Life in the Soil

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226568539
Release Date: 2009-09-15
Genre: Science

Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.

Life in the Soil A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

Author: Biologist James B Nardi
Publisher:
ISBN: 1282422405
Release Date: 2009
Genre:

Leonardo da Vinci once mused that "we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot," an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, "Life in the Soil "invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardi""begins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, "Life in the Soil" covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, "Life in the Soil "will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.

Essential Soil Science

Author: Mark Ashman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118685433
Release Date: 2013-04-18
Genre: Technology & Engineering

This textbook is aimed at the majority of students, who need to quickly acquire a concise overview of soil science. Many current soil science textbooks still cater for a traditional student market where students embark on three years study in a narrow discipline. The growth in modular degree schemes has meant that soil science is now often taught as self-standing unit as part of broad based degree program. Students pursuing this type of course are increasingly reluctant to purchase expensive textbooks that are too detailed and often assume a scientific background. For those opting to specialise in soil science there are a variety of good textbooks to choose from. This short informative guide, will be particularly useful for students who do not possess a traditional scientific background, such as those studying geography, environment science, ecology and agriculture. Only textbook to cater for introductory courses in soil science. Provides an affordable concise overview of soil science. Learning exercises and chapter summaries enhance usability. Annotated suggestions for further reading. Based on proven and successful modular course structure. Emphasis on readability and interactive learning. No scientific background assumed.

Discoveries in the Garden

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226531830
Release Date: 2018-03-05
Genre: Gardening

Every square inch of soil is rich with energy and life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. At the tips of our trowels, a sun-driven world of microbes, insects, roots, and stems awaits—and it is a world no one knows better than James Nardi. A charming guide to all things green and growing, Nardi is as at home in prairies, forests, and wetlands as he is in the vegetable patch. And with Discoveries in the Garden, he shows us that these spaces aren’t as different as we might think, that nature flourishes in our backyards, schoolyards, and even indoors. To find it, we’ve only got to get down into the dirt. Leading us through the garden gate, Nardi reveals the extraordinary daily lives and life cycles of a quick-growing, widely available, and very accommodating group of study subjects: garden plants. Through close observations and simple experiments we all can replicate at home, we learn the hidden stories behind how these plants grow, flower, set seeds, and produce fruits, as well as the vital role dead and decomposing plants play in nourishing the soil. From pollinators to parasites, plant calisthenics to the wisdom of weeds, Nardi’s tale also introduces us to our fellow animal and microbial gardeners, the community of creatures both macro- and microscopic with whom we share our raised beds. Featuring a copse of original, informative illustrations that are as lush as the garden plants themselves, Discoveries in the Garden is an enlightening romp through the natural history, science, beauty, and wonder of these essential green places.

Teaming with Microbes

Author: Wayne Lewis
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 1604692545
Release Date: 2010-09-10
Genre: Gardening

Healthy soil teems with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Chemical fertilizers injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and the soil becomes increasingly dependent on artificial, often toxic, substances. But there is an alternative: by strengthening the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms—gardeners can create a nurturing environment for plants. Teaming with Microbes extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. It clearly explains the activities and organisms that make up the web, and explains how gardeners can cultivate the life of the soil through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. With Jeff Lowenfels’ help, everyone—from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants—can create rich, nurturing, living soil.

The Soul of Soil

Author: Joseph Smillie
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603581240
Release Date: 1999-06-01
Genre: Gardening

Soil is the basis not only for all gardening, but for all terrestrial life. No aspect of agriculture is more fundamental and important, yet we have been losing vast quantities of our finite soil resources to erosion, pollution, and development. Now back in print, this eminently sensible and wonderfully well-focused book provides essential information about one of the most significant challenges for those attempting to grow delicious organic vegetables: the creation and maintenance of healthy soil. Chapter 2, "Understanding the Soil System," is alone worth the price of admission. Gershuny and Smillie give lay readers and experts a clear explanation of subjects--soil life and nutrient cycles--that have confounded most authors. Nowhere will the reader find simpler and more coherent descriptions of key concepts including cation exchange capacity and chelation. There are other books about soil available, including Grace Gershuny's comprehensive Start with the Soil, and there are books that feature chapters on soil building. What distinguishes The Soil of Soilis the authors' concise presentation; they give readers important information, including technical essentials, without getting bogged down in scientific or quasiscientific mumbo-jumbo. In addition, useful tables list specific compost materials, green manures, and other resources that allow growers to translate into action the more general information provided by the book. The soil-building techniques featured include: Organic matter management Building and maintaining humus On-site composting Green manures and rotations Cultivation and weed control Nutrient balances and soil testing Using mineral fertilizers Planning for organic certification Updates to the 1999 edition include analysis of Proposed Rules for the National Organic Standards, and expanded recommendations for private testing services and soil-testing equipment for home gardeners and organic farmers. All of us involved in the cultivation of plants--from the backyard gardener to the largest farmer--need to help regenerate a "living soil," for only in the diversity of the soil and its creatures can we ensure the long-term health of ourselves and our environment. The Soul of Soil offers everyone a basic understanding of what soil is and what we can do to improve our own patch of it. Seen in this light, this practical handbook will be an inspiration as well.

The Humane Gardener

Author: Nancy Lawson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781616896171
Release Date: 2017-04-18
Genre: Gardening

In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces. Detailed chapters address planting for wildlife by choosing native species; providing habitats that shelter baby animals, as well as birds, bees, and butterflies; creating safe zones in the garden; cohabiting with creatures often regarded as pests; letting nature be your garden designer; and encouraging natural processes and evolution in the garden. The Humane Gardener fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with all the creatures that share our world.

A Naturalist s Guide to the Arctic

Author: E. C. Pielou
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226148670
Release Date: 2012-07-31
Genre: Nature

This book is a practical, portable guide to all of the Arctic's natural history—sky, atmosphere, terrain, ice, the sea, plants, birds, mammals, fish, and insects—for those who will experience the Arctic firsthand and for armchair travelers who would just as soon read about its splendors and surprises. It is packed with answers to naturalists' questions and with questions—some of them answered—that naturalists may not even have thought of.

Cows Save the Planet

Author: Judith Schwartz
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603584333
Release Date: 2013-05-20
Genre: Technology & Engineering

In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—"green water"—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

Social Marketing to Protect the Environment

Author: Doug McKenzie-Mohr
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781412991292
Release Date: 2011-05-11
Genre: Business & Economics

Social marketing takes key marketing principles and applies them to campaigns and efforts to influence social action. In Social Marketing to Protect the Environment, the focus turns to the environment, and how social marketing can be successful to change environmental behaviour. The text begins with a definition of the Social Marketing Model and includes a discussion of various tools that can be used to develop social marketing strategies. It then moves into sections on Residential-Related Behaviours and Commercial-Related Behaviours. These sections follow a consistent format and: - Describe a variety of environmental issues - Give examples of the numerous changes in behaviours and/or practices that would contribute to reducing the problem - Provide mini-cases that illustrate the successful use of social marketing principles along with tools to influence this behaviour in similar situations - Review what worked and what could have been improved. A final section provides future directions and recommendations.

The Essential Naturalist

Author: Michael H. Graham
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226305707
Release Date: 2011-05-15
Genre: Nature

Like nearly every area of scholarly inquiry today, the biological sciences are broken into increasingly narrow fields and subfields, its practitioners divided into ecologists, evolutionary biologists, taxonomists, paleontologists, and much more. But all these splintered pieces have their origins in the larger field of natural history—and in this era where climate change and relentless population growth are irrevocably altering the world around us, perhaps it’s time to step back and take a new, fresh look at the larger picture. The Essential Naturalist offers exactly that: a wide-ranging, eclectic collection of writings from more than eight centuries of observations of the natural world, from Leeuwenhoek to E. O. Wilson, from von Humboldt to Rachel Carson. Featuring commentaries by practicing scientists that offer personal accounts of the importance of the long tradition of natural history writing to their current research, the volume serves simultaneously as an overview of the field’s long history and as an inspirational starting point for new explorations, for trained scientists and amateur enthusiasts alike.

The Soil and Health

Author: Albert Howard
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813132099
Release Date: 2011-01-23
Genre: Nature

During his years as a scientist working for the British government in India, Sir Albert Howard conceived of and refined the principles of organic agriculture. Howard’s The Soil and Health became a seminal and inspirational text in the organic movement soon after its publication in 1945. The Soil and Health argues that industrial agriculture, emergent in Howard’s era and dominant today, disrupts the delicate balance of nature and irrevocably robs the soil of its fertility. Howard’s classic treatise links the burgeoning health crises facing crops, livestock, and humanity to this radical degradation of the Earth’s soil. His message—that we must respect and restore the health of the soil for the benefit of future generations—still resonates among those who are concerned about the effects of chemically enhanced agriculture.

Secrets of Fertile Soils

Author: Erhard Hennig
Publisher: Acres U.S.A.
ISBN: 1601731280
Release Date: 2015-12-01
Genre: Humus

Translation of: Geheimnisse der fruchtbaren Beoden.

Patterns in Nature

Author: James G. Sanderson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226292724
Release Date: 2015-11-10
Genre: Science

What species occur where, and why, and why some places harbor more species than others are basic questions for ecologists. Some species simply live in different places: fish live underwater, birds do not. Adaptations follow: most fish have gills; birds have lungs. But as Patterns in Nature reveals, not all patterns are so trivial. Bringing up to date a critical debate in the field of community ecology between Jared Diamond and colleagues Daniel Simberloff and Edward F. Connor—in which Connor and Simberloff claimed to have demonstrated that island communities did not differ from random expectations—this book undertakes the identification and interpretation of nature's large-scale patterns of species co-occurrence to offer insight into how nature truly works. Travel along any gradient—up a mountain, from forest into desert, from a north-facing slope to a south-facing one, from low tide to high tide on a shoreline, from Arctic tundra to tropical rain forests—and the species change. What explains the patterns of these distributions? Some patterns might be as random as a coin toss. But as with a coin toss, can ecologists differentiate associations caused by a multiplicity of complex, idiosyncratic factors from those structured by some unidentified but simple mechanisms? Can simple mechanisms that structure communities be inferred from observations of which species associations naturally occur? While the answers to these questions are not yet entirely clear, Patterns in Nature forces us to reexamine assumptions about species distribution patterns and will be of vital importance to ecologists and conservationists alike.

The Brother Gardeners

Author: Andrea Wulf
Publisher: Vintage Books USA
ISBN: 9780307454751
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Gardening

Follows the lives of six men who shared a passion for plants and a love of gardening in eighteenth-century London, who made Britain the epicenter of horticulture, and transformed gardening from an aristocratic pastime to a national obsession.