Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

by James B. Nardi
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226568520

ISBN-13: 9780226568522

Pub. Date: 06/01/2007

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

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,

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226568522
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
06/01/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
658,136
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

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
     1.  Life in a Dark Densely Populated World
     2.  Soil Fertility and the Formation of Humus
     3.  The Importance of Nitrogen
     4.  The Contribution of Animals to Soil Structure
     5.  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
     1.  Eubacteria and Archaebacteria
     2.  Actinomycetes
     3.  Algae
     4.  Fungi
     5.  Chytrids, Hyphochitrids, Oomycetes
     6.  Lichens
     7.  Slime Molds
     8.  Protozoa

Animal Kingdom
B. Invertebrates
     a.  Animals Without Backbones of Jointed Legs
     1.  Flatworms
     2.  Roundworms and Potworms
     3.  Earthworms
     4.  Land Leeches
     5.  Rotifers
     6.  Snails and Slugs
     7.  Tardigrades
     8.  Onychophrans
     b.  Arthropods Other Than Insects
     1.  Mites and Springtails
     2.  Proturans and Diplurans
     3.  Myriapods
     4.  Spiders
     5.  Daddy Longlegs
     6.  Psuedoscorpions
     7.  True Scorpions, Windscorpions, Whipscorpions, and Schizomids
     8.  Microwhipscorpions
     9.  Ricinuleids
     10. Woodlice
     11. Crayfish
     c.  Insects
     1.  Jumping Bristletails and Silverfish
     2.  Earwigs
     3.  Cockroaches
     4.  Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets
     5.  Short-horned Grasshoppers
     6.  Termites
     7.  Thrips
     8.  Big-eyed Bugs and Burrower Bugs
     9. Aphids, Phylloxerans, and Coccoids
     10. Cicadas and Rhipicerid Beetles
     11. Rove Beetles and Ground Beetles
     12. Tiger Beetles
     13. Short-winged Mold Beetles
     14. Featherwing Beetles
     15. Sap Beetles
     16. Antlike Stone Beetles
     17. Minute Fungus Beetles
     18. Ptilodactylid Beetles
     19. Glowworms, Fireflies, and Lighteningbugs
     20. Soldier Beetles
     21. Dung Beetles
     22. Carrion Beetles, Burying Beetles, and Hister Beetles
     23. Wireworms and Clickbeetles
     24. Beetles of Rotten Logs
     25. Scarabs, Weevils, and Their Grubs
     26. Variegated Mud-loving Beetles
     27. Fungus Beetles
     28. Scorpionflies
     29. Antlions
     30. Caterpillars and Moths
     31. March Flies
     32. Midges and Biting Midges
     33. Moth Flies
     34. Snipe Flies
     35. Robber flies
     36. Bee Flies
     37. Long-legged Flies
     38. Picture-winged Flies
     39. Root-maggot Flies
     40. Gall Wasps
     41. Parasitic Wasps
     42. Digger Bees and Velvet Ants
     43. Digger Wasps
     44. Ants
C. Vertebrates
     a.  Vertebrates Other Than Mammals
     1. Salamanders
     2. Toads
     3. Caecilians
     4.  Lizards
     5.  Snakes
     6.  Turtles and Tortoises
     7.  Birds
     b.  Mammals
     1.  Woodchucks
     2.  Badgers
     3.  Prairie Dogs
     4.  Ground Squirrels
     5.  Moles
     6.  Shrews
     7.  Pocket Gophers
     8.  Kangaroo Rats

PART THREE. WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CREATURES OF THE SOIL

     1.  Preventing Erosion
     2.  Avoiding Excessive Use of Fertilizers
     3.  Effects of Acid Rain
     4.  Avoiding salt-Encrusted Soils
     5.  Maintaining Soil Structure
     6.  Discouraging Invasion of Soils by Exotic Species
     7.  Composting as an Antidote to Soil Abuse

Collecting and Observing Life of the Soil
Glossary
Further Reading
Index

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