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The hidden life of soils

by Philippe Hinsinger (writer)
Collection: Carnets de sciences
june 2024
165 x 220 format 152 pages In stock
23,00 €
152 pages Download after purchase
15,99 €
Download after purchase
15,99 €
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Soils are amongst the greatest reservoirs of biodiversity of the planet. The functioning of terrestrial ecosystems is linked to the roles played by the many organisms that live underground, discreet, hidden or invisible to the naked eye. From bacteria to fungi, from microscopic animals to plants via their roots, from detritivorous or predatory arthropods to small mammals, not forgetting earthworms, they interact with each other and profoundly modify soil characteristics.

Soils evolve actually. They have a past, of which they keep traces, and a future. But whether we are talking about farmed or forested areas, or so-called natural or pristine ecosystems, they are threatened in many ways. In addition to artificialization, pollution and declining biodiversity, they are also seriously altered by natural processes such as acidification, salinization and erosion, which are being amplified by human activities.

Aimed at a wide readership and richly illustrated, this book highlights the richness of soils and the life they harbor, and the pressing need to safeguard them in the context of climate and land-use changes worldwide.

Table of contents

Chap. 1 – Soil formation: a history of the Earth

Pioneers and settlers: from bedrock to mother earth

Originally, the weathering of rock

Roots and soils

Rock-eating fungi

Rocks made by soil organisms

Diggers and burrowers: transferring water, air... and soil

Soil in motion

Soil engineers, little-known artists

Chap. 2 – A major reservoir of biodiversity

Numbers that make your head spin

So many organisms, from the micro to the mega

Overpopulation at first sight

Hot spots and hot moments

Diversity, an invaluable resource

The world wide web beneath our feet!

A communicating underground world

Chap. 3 – The alchemy of soil, biogeochemistry

To be (organic) or not to be

Bacteria and archaea at the origin of great transformations

Life as a couple, or more if you like

Acidification and salinization, a taste for the extreme

Redox Chili Peppers!

When humans force nature

Urban soils and rural soils: the same battle

Chap. 4 – The soil and its inhabitants, masters of climate

Atmosphere, atmosphere!

Carbon in stocks

Blue planet and green water: plants, the system’s engine

Traffic officers: earthworms and roots

Too much or too little water

Guardians of vegetation in the face of desertification

Chap. 5 – Mother Earth

Soil, support for life on Earth

Soil quality, quality of life

Urbanization and artificialization

Agriculture's footprint

Back to earth and its values... a dream of agroecology

(Conclusion) Let's get to know soils and love them…

To find out more


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More contents


Language(s): French

Publisher: Éditions Quae

Edition: 1st edition

Collection: Carnets de sciences

Published: 6 june 2024

Reference Book: 02942

Reference eBook [PDF]: 02942NUM

Reference eBook [ePub]: 02942EPB

EAN13 Book: 9782759238972

EAN13 eBook [PDF]: 9782759238989

EAN13 eBook [ePub]: 9782759238996

Interior: Colour

Format (in mm) Book: 165 x 220

Pages count Book: 152

Pages count eBook [PDF]: 152

Reading time eBook [PDF] :

Weight (in grammes): 360

Size: 12 MB (PDF), 35.9 MB (ePub)


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