A number of excellent textbooks on general ecology are currently available but' to date' none have been dedicated to the study of soil ecology. This is important because the soil' as the `epidermis' of our planet' is the major component of the terrestrial biosphere. In the present age' it is difficult to understand how one could be interested in general ecology without having some knowledge of the soil and further' to study the soil without taking into account its biological components and ecological setting. It is this deficiency that the two authors' Patrick Lavelle and Alister Spain' have wished to address in writing their text. A reading of this work' entitled `Soil Ecology'' shows it to be very complete and extremely innovative in its conceptual plan. In addition' it follows straightforwardly through a development which unfolds over four substantial chapters. Firstly' the authors consider the soil as a porous and finely divided medium of b- organomineral origin' whose physical structure and organisation foster the development of a multitude of specifically adapted organisms (microbial communities' roots of higher plants' macro-invertebrates).
Acknowledgements. Foreword; G. Pedro. Foreword; M. Swift. Introduction. I. Internal Environment, Microclimate and Resources. II. Soil Formation. III. Soil Organisms. IV. Functioning of the Soil System. References. Index.