Adam's Reviews > Under Ground: How Creatures of Mud and Dirt Shape Our World

Under Ground by Yvonne Baskin
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's review
Jun 10, 10

bookshelves: mudd-library, non-fiction, science, soil
Read from June 07 to 09, 2010

The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) decided that much too little was known about soil ecology, and particularly, the way soil communities react to human pressures. To amend that, they organized several research projects around the world dedicated to exploring those relationships. Yvonne Baskin organizes and popularizes their findings in Under Ground. She devotes a chapter to her experience visiting each team and having them explain their work to her. The result is a somewhat patchy collection of interesting aspects of soil ecology. There is a wealth of interesting information here, dealing with mycorrhizal fungal associations, nematodes, denitrifying bacteria and while wetlands are crucial, the relationship between grazers and grasslands, how maintaining healthy soil communities could prevent the degradation of land associated with agriculture, etc. Baskin manages to accomplish an explanation of basic soil ecology, an appreciation of its relevance to present environmental concerns, and the current research in the field succinctly and clearly.

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