Architecture and Biology of Soils: Life in Inner Space

Architecture and Biology of Soils: Life in Inner Space

By: Karl Ritz (editor), Iain Young (editor), Harris Harris (contributor), Richard Bewley (contributor), Claire Chenu (contributor), Philippe Baveye (contributor), James James (contributor), Mary Firestone (contributor)Hardback

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Soil is a fundamental and critical, yet often overlooked, component of terrestrial ecosystems. It is an extremely complex environment, supporting levels of diversity far greater than any ecosystem above ground. Bringing together existing knowledge in the areas of soil biology and physics, this book explores the key characteristics of soil spatial architecture, including how it develops and the consequences this has for life underground. The effects of soil's physical and biological components on their interactions and functions are used to demonstrate their roles in ecosystem dynamics.

About Author

I am a soil ecologist, convinced that soil is the most remarkable, complex and fascinating material on the planet... as well as absolutely fundamental to our past and future civilisations. I graduated in Agricultural Botany from the University of Reading in 1981, and completed a PhD in grassland ecology at the University of Bristol in 1984, then moving to Scotland to lead research programmes in Government Institutes in Aberdeen and Dundee. Since 2002, I have held a Personal Chair in Soil Biology at Cranfield University. My research interests focus on developing a mechanistic understanding of the origins and functional consequences of the compositional and spatial organisation of soil communities. This work underpins the development of frameworks for understanding factors that regulate the activity of life belowground, systems to manage the biota appropriately, and incisive procedures for assessing and monitoring soil health. I have a portfolio of over 100 research papers and several hundred other outputs. I am a Chief Editor of the high-ranking journal, Soil Biology Biochemistry and have held long-standing editorial roles with FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Mycological Research and the Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, as well as editing the books 'Beyond the Biomass', 'Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics', and most recently 'Architecture and Biology of Soils'. Hence one of my key concepts is that of soil architecture, and my work on visualising soil systems across a wide range of spatial scales has revealed many new insights into how life belowground is spatially organised, the functional consequences of this for the earth system, and how we might then manage the crucial soil resource more effectively and sustainably.


1: Views of the Underworld: in situ Visualization of Soil Biota 2: Modelling Soil Structure and Processes 3: Microbial Regulation of Soil Structural Dynamics 4: The Zoological Generation of Soil Structure 5: Biotic Regulation: Plants 6: Biota-Mineral Interactions 7: How do the Microhabitats Framed by Soil Structure Impact Soil Bacteria and the Processes that they Regulate? 8: Fungal Growth in Soils 9: Sensory Ecology in Soil Space 10: Managing the Interactions between Soil Biota and their Physical Habitat in Agroecosystems 11: Contaminated Soils and Bioremediation: Creation and Maintenance of Inner Space 12: Biological Interactions within Soil Profiles Engineered for Sport and Amenity Use

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781845935320
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9781845935320
  • weight: 800
  • ISBN10: 1845935322

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