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Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

by

Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


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.

About the Author

James B. Nardi is a biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Natural History Survey who gardens with the help of innumerable soil creatures.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

How to Use This Book

Preface

PART ONE. THE MARRIAGE OF THE MINERAL WORLD AND THE ORGANIC WORLD

A. Introduction

B. How Soil Forms Rocks and Weather

C. Plant Roots and Their Bacterial Partners

D. Plant Roots and Their Bacterial Partners

E. Where Roots Meet Rocks and Minerals

F. Plant Roots and Their Animal Partners

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Life in a Dark Densely Populated World

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2.and#160; Soil Fertility and the Formation of Humus

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3.and#160; The Importance of Nitrogen

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; The Contribution of Animals to Soil Structure

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5. and#160;Diggers and Thrillers of Soil

G. How Plants and Animals Affect the Layers of a Soil

PART TWO. MEMBERS OF THE SOIL COMMUNITY

A. Microbes

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Eubacteria and Archaebacteria

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;2.and#160; Actinomycetes

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3.and#160; Algae

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Fungi

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Chytrids, Hyphochitrids, Oomycetes

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Lichens

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Slime Molds

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 8.and#160; Protozoa

Animal Kingdom

B. Invertebrates

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; a.and#160; Animals Without Backbones of Jointed Legs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Flatworms

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2.and#160; Roundworms and Potworms

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;3.and#160; Earthworms

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Land Leeches

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Rotifers

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Snails and Slugs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Tardigrades

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 8.and#160; Onychophrans

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; b.and#160; Arthropods Other Than Insects

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Mites and Springtails

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2.and#160; Proturans and Diplurans

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3.and#160; Myriapods

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Spiders

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Daddy Longlegs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Psuedoscorpions

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Trueand#160;Scorpions, Windscorpions, Whipscorpions, and Schizomids

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 8.and#160; Microwhipscorpions

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 9.and#160; Ricinuleids

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 10. Woodlice

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 11. Crayfish

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; c. and#160;Insects

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Jumping Bristletails and Silverfish

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2.and#160; Earwigs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3.and#160; Cockroaches

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Short-horned Grasshoppers

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Termites

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Thrips

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 8.and#160; Big-eyed Bugs and Burrower Bugs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 9. Aphids, Phylloxerans, and Coccoids

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 10. Cicadas and Rhipicerid Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 11. Rove Beetles and Ground Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 12. Tiger Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 13. Short-winged Mold Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 14.and#160;Featherwing Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 15. Sap Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 16. Antlike Stone Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 17. Minute Fungus Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 18. Ptilodactylid Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 19. Glowworms, Fireflies, and Lighteningbugs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 20. Soldier Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 21. Dung Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 22. Carrion Beetles, Burying Beetles, and Hister Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 23. Wireworms and Clickbeetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 24. Beetles of Rotten Logs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 25. Scarabs, Weevils, and Their Grubs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 26. Variegated Mud-loving Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 27. Fungus Beetles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 28. Scorpionflies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 29. Antlions

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 30. Caterpillars and Moths

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 31. March Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 32. Midges and Biting Midges

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 33. Moth Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 34. Snipe Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 35. Robber flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 36. Bee Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 37. Long-legged Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 38. Picture-winged Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 39. Root-maggot Flies

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 40. Gall Wasps

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 41. Parasitic Wasps

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 42. Digger Bees and Velvet Ants

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 43. Digger Wasps

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 44. Ants

C. Vertebrates

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; a.and#160; Vertebrates Other Than Mammals

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1. Salamanders

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2. Toads

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3. Caecilians

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Lizards

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Snakes

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Turtles and Tortoises

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Birds

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; b.and#160; Mammals

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Woodchucks

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2.and#160; Badgers

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3.and#160; Prairie Dogs

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Ground Squirrels

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Moles

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Shrews

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Pocket Gophers

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 8.and#160; Kangaroo Rats

PART THREE. WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CREATURES OF THE SOIL

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 1.and#160; Preventing Erosion

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 2.and#160; Avoiding Excessive Use of Fertilizers

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 3.and#160; Effects of Acid Rain

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 4.and#160; Avoiding salt-Encrusted Soils

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 5.and#160; Maintaining Soil Structure

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 6.and#160; Discouraging Invasion of Soils by Exotic Species

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; 7.and#160; Composting as an Antidote to Soil Abuse

Collecting and Observing Life of the Soil

Glossary

Further Reading

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226568522
Author:
Nardi, James B.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Subject:
Soil biology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Subject:
Life Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems
Subject:
Environmental Studies-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
October 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
69 color plates, 229 halftones, 2 line d
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Home and Garden » Gardening » Composting and Mulching
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