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Encyclopedia of Soil Science

Encyclopedia of Soil Science
Rattan Lal (editor)
Marcel Dekker
Publication Date: 

cloth, 1,476 p., $250

Soil science is an exploding area of research. Life revolves around the health of the soil. Man's negative impacts are reflected in the soil environment and subsequently in plant community ecology, microbial community ecology, water and air. As human activity becomes increasingly destructive, we have begun to realize how little we know about the dynamic ecology and chemistry of the soil community. Encyclopedia of Soil Science contains a wealth of information with contributions from hundreds of scientists from around the world. As the title suggests, this reference book contains information covering soil science from A to Z.

Although I refer to this book as a reference work, a number of interesting sections can entertain you for hours as you work your way through this incredible volume. Interesting topics include the effects of global climate change, Enchytraeidae (potworms), restoration ecology, spectral mixtures and carbon sequestration, just to name a few. Each entry contains detailed information no more than three to five pages in length. The maps, pictures and generalized diagrams all contribute to explaining difficult subjects. In addition, the sections are well referenced, adding credibility and utility to the text.

This book provides a thorough summary of all known aspects (with the exception of allelopathy) of the soil environment and would be invaluable on the reference shelf for any university or community library.

— Lara Jefferson, Post-doctoral Researcher, Plant Conservation, Chicago Botanic Garden