Fundamentals of Soil Ecology

2nd Edition

Authors: David Coleman D. Crossley, Jr.
Paperback ISBN: 9780121797263
eBook ISBN: 9780080472812
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 19th July 2004
Page Count: 408
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This fully revised and expanded edition of Fundamentals of Soil Ecology continues its holistic approach to soil biology and ecosystem function. Students and ecosystem researchers will gain a greater understanding of the central roles that soils play in ecosystem development and function. The authors emphasize the increasing importance of soils as the organizing center for all terrestrial ecosystems and provide an overview of theory and practice of soil ecology, both from an ecosystem and evolutionary biology point of view. This volume contains updated and greatly expanded coverage of all belowground biota (roots, microbes and fauna) and methods to identify and determine its distribution and abundance. New chapters are provided on soil biodiversity and its relationship to ecosystem processes, suggested laboratory and field methods to measure biota and their activities in ecosystems..

Key Features

  • Contains over 60% new material and 150 more pages
  • Includes new chapters on soil biodiversity and its relationship to ecosystem function
  • Outlines suggested laboratory and field methods
  • Incorporates new pedagogical features
  • Combines theoretical and practical approaches


Soil scientists, agricultural scientists, crop scientists, ecologists, microbiologists and invertebrate zoologists. Faculty, researchers, graduate students and undergraduates interested in these and related disciplines. Libraries at institutions with strong programs in these and related areas.

Courses: Soil Ecology, Conservation Biology, Forest Soils Departments: Ecology, Crop and Soil Science, Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

Preface to First Edition Preface to Second Edition 1 Historical Overview of Soils and the Fitness of the Soil Environment 2 Primary Production Processes in Soils: Roots and Rhizosphere Associates 3 Secondary Production: Activities and Functions of Heterotrophic Organisms--Microbes 4 Secondary Production: Activities and Functions of Heterotrophic Organisms--The Soil Fauna 5 Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling 6 Soil Foodwebs: Detritivory and Microbivory in Soils 7 Soil Biodiversity, and Linkages to Soil Processes 8 Future Developments in Soil Ecology
9 Laboratory and Field Exercises in Soil Ecology


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2004
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
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About the Author

David Coleman

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, U.S.A.

D. Crossley, Jr.

Affiliations and Expertise

Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, U.S.A.


""This book is by highly respected authors on a very active will give an excellent education on soil organisms and their general behavior.""

""...a very well written and organized book, with its major strength in stating the various topics as 'state of the art,' along with the authors' visions for the near future of soil ecology.""
-Hector Causarano, Auburn University, in VADOSE ZONE JOURNAL, 2005

""This updated and expanded edition will be useful as a textbook for students of soil ecology and scientists doing research in this field.""
-Northeastern Naturalist

""This book, with new material and updates to the first edition, delineates more than any other single source, the subject matter and key questions in the field. It provides a wide ranging and, in nearly all cases, a thorough and up-to-date synthesis of both older and recent literature. The writing is erudite, yet with a clear and easy style, sprinkled with anecdotes that make for an engaging read...this is an excellent reference work for soil scientists and ecologists. The style and structure of the book is somewhere between that of a traditional text book and a literature review/monograph. While basic concepts and core knowledge are well laid out, the reader is invited to explore many diverse and sometime contradictory finding and to make their own interpretations and conclusions. Hence, the book is well suited as a thought provoking text for graduate students and as an essential desk reference for the working scientist in the field.""
- Keith Paustian, Colorado State University, in AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

""...this book by Coleman, Crossley, and Hendrix is an eye-opener and a fascinating journey...Very simple and distinct illustrations further enhance the pr