For the past 4 billion years, the chemistry of the Earth's surface, where all life exists, has changed remarkably. Historically, these changes have occurred slowly enough to allow life to adapt and evolve. In more recent times, the chemistry of the Earth is being altered at a staggering rate, fueled by industrialization and an ever-growing human population. Human activities, from the rapid consumption of resources to the destruction of the rainforests and the expansion of smog-covered cities, are all leading to rapid changes in the basic chemistry of the Earth. The Second Edition of Biogeochemistry considers the effects of life on the Earth's chemistry on a global level. This expansive text employs current technology to help students extrapolate small-scale examples to the global level, and also discusses the instrumentation being used by NASA and its role in studies of global change. With the Earth's changing chemistry as the focus, this text pulls together the many disparate fields that are encompassed by the broad reach of biogeochemistry. With extensive cross-referencing of chapters, figures, and tables, and an interdisciplinary coverage of the topic at hand, this text will provide an excellent framework for courses examining global change and environmental chemistry, and will also be a useful self-study guide.

Key Features

@bul:* Emphasizes the effects of life on the basic chemistry of the atmosphere, the soils, and seawaters of the Earth * Calculates and compares the effects of industrial emissions, land clearing, agriculture, and rising population on Earths chemistry * Synthesizes the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur, and suggests the best current budgets for atmospheric gases such as ammonia, nitrous oxide, dimethyl sulfide, and carbonyl sulfide * Includes an extensive review and up-to-date synthesis of the current literature on the Earths biogeochemistry


Upper-division undergraduate and graduate students in geochemistry, ecology, earth, and soil sciences, especially those with interest in global change or environmental chemistry.

Table of Contents

Preface. Part I: Processes and Reactions: A Model for the Earth as a Biogeochemical System. Cycles in Biogeochemistry. Thermodynamics. Gaia. Origins: Origins of the Elements. Origin of the Solar System and the Earth. The Origin of the Atmosphere and Oceans. Origin of Life. Evolution of Metabolic Pathways. Comparative Planetary History: Earth, Mars, and Venus. The Atmosphere: Structure and Circulation. Atmospheric Composition. Biogeochemical Reactions in the Troposphere. Biogeochemical Reactions in the Stratosphere. Models of the Atmosphere and Global Climate. Atmospheric Deposition. The Lithosphere: Rock Weathering. Soil Chemical Reactions. Soil Development. Weathering Rates. The Biosphere: The CarbonCycle of Terrestrial Ecosystems: Photosynthesis. Respiration. Net Primary Production. Net Primary Production and Global Change. The Fate of Net Primary Production. Humus Formation and Soil Organic Matter. The Biosphere: Biogeochemical Cycling on Land: Biogeochemical Cycling in Land Plants. Nutrient Allocations and Cycling in Land Vegetation. Biogeochemical Cycling in the Soil. Calculating Landscape Mass-Balance and Responses to Global Change. Summary: Integrative Models of Terrestrial Nutrient Cycling. Biogeochemistry in Freshwater Wetlands and Lakes: Redox Potential: The Basics. Redox Reactions in Natural Environments. Biogeochemistry of"Terrestrial"Wetlands. Primary Production and Nutrient Cycling in Lakes. Lake Budgets. Wetlands and Climactic Change. Rivers and Estuaries: Soil Hydraulics and Stream Hydrology. Stream Load. Salt Marshes and Estuaries. The Oceans: Ocean Circulation. The Composition of Seawater. Net Primary Production. Sediment Diagenesis. Models of Carbon inthe Ocean. Nutrient Cycling in the Ocean. Biogeochemistry of Hydrothermal Vent Communities. The Marine Sulfur Cycle and Global Climate. The Sedimentary Record of Biogeochemistry. Part II: Global Cycles: The Global Water Cycle: The Global WaterCycle. Models of the Hydrologic Cycle. The History of the


No. of pages:
© 1997
Academic Press
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:


@qu:"Schlesinger presents a clear analysis of the interactions among biological and chemical processes that determine the composition of the atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere, and places these in the context of global change." @source:--Pamela Matson in ECOLOGY "Schlesinger presents the material in a vivid style making the book both informative and a pleasure to read." @source:--Peter Warneck in JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY @qu:"An excellent resource for earth scientists interested in increasing their knowledge of the roles of the terrestrial biosphere and of soil organic matter in geochemical cycling, particularly as they affect the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus." @source:--E.K. and R.A. Berner in GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA @qu:"Do not take a spin on a biogeochemical cycle without first reading Schlesinger's description of the components of that cycle." @source:--J.C.G. Walker in SCIENCE @qu:"Careful attention to detail is evident throughout the text. The book is richly illustrated with clearly explained figures, most of which are redrawn from the original primary literature. I recommend this book for any scientitst who needs a comprehensive and thoroughly referenced overview of biogeochemistry, and it is certainly well suited as a textbook for upper-level and graduate courses that deal with biogeochemistry." @source:--Stephen K. Hamilton, Michigan State University, BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGY SOCIETY