Soil has generally been regarded as something of a 'black box' by ecologists. The importance of soil is obvious: it provides physical support for plants, and both the living and non-living components contribute to a variety of important environmental functions. Soil is a species-rich habitat, but many questions about the ecological significance of the soil's biological diversity, and in particular how it affects ecosystem function, have never been asked. The linkages between above-ground ecology, which is rich in ecological theory, and below-ground ecology, where investigation has been restricted by methodological difficulties, have not been made. Technical developments, including isotopic and molecular methods as well as experimental and modelling approaches, have led to a renaissance in soil biodiversity research. The key areas are reflected in this exciting volume which brings together many leading contributors to explore the role and importance of soil biota.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 428
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 244 x 170 x 22 mm
'... the contributions are well written and come up with new views and perspectives. ... the book is very well edited and includes a comprehensive index allowing quick location of topics. ... the editors are to be congratulated for having brought together some of the most prominent in the field for contributing to this volume. ... Certainly, the new book will substantiate the appreciation of the importance of the below-ground system and I wish it will be read not only by people working on soil biota but by a wide audience of ecologists including those working on above-ground systems.' Basic and Applied Ecology
'This is an excellent reference book that provides information on soil eco-system functioning which will be useful to a wide range of readers from undergraduates to researchers. The great subject breadth contains a lot of very useful information for both the specialist and those wishing to extend their knowledge into other areas. Non-specialists will find this a very good introduction to soil biology as it informs just how diverse, active, potent and intriguing soil systems are. A text to be recommended.' Experimental Agriculture
'It offers a clear, often brilliant demonstration that the knowledge of soil biodiversity is the key for the sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems.' European Journal of Soil Science