Håkan Wallander is a professor in Soil Biology and the reader is guided through the fascinating world below ground. The book has a free form and the author mixes scientific facts with personal stories from active research experiences and everyday life. The main focus is to make the reader aware of the vast biodiversity that exists in the soil, and to describe the important processes provided by the soil organisms. Reflections are made on how dependent we are on living soils, and how vulnerable the soil is if managed in a wrong way. The importance of soils as carbon sinks and reflections about the possible influence of soils for taste and quality of food and wine is also covered. The book is illustrated with photographs and every picture has a legend that stands on its own. In this way the reader will have an easy way into the book, and the main aim is to gain new readers to a subject that is immensely important, but not very attractive to laypersons.
Foreword.- Our indispensable soil.- How soil is formed.- Floral splendour and shortage of nutrients.- Life in the soil.- The circulation of nutrients.- Biological warfare.- A matter of taste.- Soil and climate.- Epilogue.
"This book is a very brief and very personal reflection on the role of soil in society, agriculture, and the environment. It addresses the indispensability of soil to life on Earth, soil formation, nutrient management and the nutrient cycle, biodiversity, biological control, soils and food quality, and soils and climate. ... It is an excellent entry into that realm of inquisitiveness for new students. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." (M. S. Coyne, Choice, Vol. 52 (8), April, 2015)
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