Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry

4th Edition

Authors: Eldor Paul
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124159556
eBook ISBN: 9780123914118
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 12th November 2014
Page Count: 598
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The fourth edition of Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry updates this widely used reference as the study and understanding of soil biota, their function, and the dynamics of soil organic matter has been revolutionized by molecular and instrumental techniques, and information technology. Knowledge of soil microbiology, ecology and biochemistry is central to our understanding of organisms and their processes and interactions with their environment. In a time of great global change and increased emphasis on biodiversity and food security, soil microbiology and ecology has become an increasingly important topic.

Revised by a group of world-renowned authors in many institutions and disciplines, this work relates the breakthroughs in knowledge in this important field to its history as well as future applications. The new edition provides readable, practical, impactful information for its many applied and fundamental disciplines. Professionals turn to this text as a reference for fundamental knowledge in their field or to inform management practices.

Key Features

  • New section on "Methods in Studying Soil Organic Matter Formation and Nutrient Dynamics" to balance the two successful chapters on microbial and physiological methodology
  • Includes expanded information on soil interactions with organisms involved in human and plant disease
  • Improved readability and integration for an ever-widening audience in his field
  • Integrated concepts related to soil biota, diversity, and function allow readers in multiple disciplines to understand the complex soil biota and their function


Professionals including Soil Scientists, Ecologists, Biochemists, and Agronomists. Undergraduate and Graduate Students studying soil microbiology

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry: An Exciting Present and Great Future Built on Basic Knowledge and Unifying Concepts
    • Abstract
    • I Scope and Challenges
    • II The Controls and Unifying Principles in our Field
    • III The Special Role of Accessibility and Spatial Scaling of Biota and Soil Organic Matter
    • IV Soil Organic Matter as a Control and Informational Storehouse of Biotic Functions
    • V Biotic Diversity and Microbial Products
    • VI Unifying Concepts
  • Chapter 2: The Soil Habitat
    • Abstract
    • I Introduction
    • II Soil Genesis and Formation of the Soil Habitat
    • III Physical Aspects of Soil
    • IV Soil Habitat and Scale of Observation
    • V Soil Solution Chemistry
    • VI Environmental Factors, Temperature, and Moisture Interactions
  • Chapter 3: The Bacteria and Archaea
    • Abstract
    • I Introduction
    • II Phylogeny
    • III General Features of Prokaryotes
    • IV Cell Structure
    • V Metabolism and Physiology
    • VI Biodegradation Capacity
    • VII Differentiation, Secondary Metabolism, and Antibiotic Production
    • VIII Conclusion
  • Chapter 4: The Soil Fungi: Occurrence, Phylogeny, and Ecology
    • Abstract
    • Acknowledgments
    • I Introduction
    • II Phylogeny
    • III Occurrence
    • IV Biodiversity
    • V Fungal Communities
    • VI Functions
    • VII Fungus-like Organisms and Soil Food Webs
  • Chapter 5: Soil Fauna: Occurrence, Biodiversity, and Roles in Ecosystem Function
    • Abstract
    • Acknowledgments
    • I Introduction
    • II Overview of Faunal Biodiversity in Soils
    • III Microfauna
    • IV Mesofauna
    • V Macrofauna
    • VI Roles of Soil Fauna in Ecosystems
    • VII Summary
  • Chapter 6: Molecular Approaches to Studyi


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About the Author

Eldor Paul

Eldor A. Paul is a Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University, East Lansing. During his time at Michigan State, he was professor of Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry, and Crop and Soil Sciences. He earned degrees from the University of Alberta and the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on the dynamics of soil organic matter and the microbial ecology of soil. Dr. Paul is a Fellow of ASA, SSSA, the Canadian Society of Soil Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Affiliations and Expertise

Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, USA