Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry

3rd Edition

Authors: Eldor Paul
Hardcover ISBN: 9780125468077
eBook ISBN: 9780080475141
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 22nd December 2006
Page Count: 552
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Now in its third edition, this classic textbook includes basic concepts and applications in agriculture, forestry, environmental science, and a new section entirely devoted to ecology. This revised and updated edition guides students through biochemical and microbial processes in soils and introduces them to microbial processes in water and sediments. Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry serves as an invaluable resource for students in biogeochemistry, soil microbiology, soil ecology, sustainable agriculture, and environmental amelioration.

Key Features


  • New section on Ecology integrated with biochemistry and microbiology
  • Sections on exciting new methodology such as tracers, molecular analysis and computers that will allow great advances in this field
  • Six new chapters: bioremediation, soil molecular biology, biodiversity, global climate change, basic physiology and ecological interpretations
  • Expanded with contributions from leading soil microbiologists and agronomists on both fundamental and applied aspects of the science
  • Full-color figures
  • Includes a website with figures for classroom presentation use


Undergraduate students in soil science, soil microbiology, agronomy, and related disciplines. Faculty, graduate students and researchers at institutions with strong programs and libraries at institutions with departmens in all these disciplines.

Table of Contents


1 Soil Microbiology, Ecology and Biochemistry in Perspective
E.A. Paul
I. General History and Scope
II. Soil Microbiology
III. Soil Ecology
IV. Soil Biochemistry
V. In Perspective
References and Suggested Reading

2 The Soil Habitat
R. P. Voroney
I. Introduction
II. Soil Genesis and Formation of the Soil Habitat
A. Soil Profile
III. Physical Aspects of Soil
A. Soil Texture
B. Soil Structure
IV. Soil Habitat Scale and Observation
A. Scale of Soil Habitat
B. Pore Space
C. Soil Solution Chemistry
D. Soil pH
E. Soil Temperature
F. Soil Water Content
G. Environmental Factors, Temperature and Moisture Interactions
References and Suggested Reading


3 Physiological and Biochemical Methods for Studying Soil Biota and Their Function
E. Kandeler
I. Introduction
II. Scale of Investigations and Collection of Samples
III. Storage and Pre-treatment of Samples
IV. Microbial Biomass
A. Chloroform Fumigation Incubation and Extraction Methods
B. Substrate-Induced Respiration
C. Isotopic Composition of Microbial Biomass
V. Signature Molecules as a Measure of Microbial Biomass and Microbial Community Structure
A. ATP as a Measure of Active Microbial Biomass
B. Microbial Membrane Components and Fatty Acids
C. Respiratory Quinones as a Measure of Structural Diversity
D. Ergos


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2007
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
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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


"This is a comprehensive text for the study of soil ecology. It covers the subject in sufficient depth for an advanced undergraduate or post graduate course in soil microbiology and biochemistry...the reader soon begins to relate the discussions to plant health and fruit development. The topics are covered to a depth that addresses a wide range of readers, from those who wish an overview of the subject to those who need to know the fundamental microbiology or biochemistry. The 18 chapters are divded into five broad subject areas, starting with background and continuing through the soil biota, interactions, biochemistry, and concluding with the impact of human processes. There is little current appreciation of the impact of cultivation on soil ecosystems, thus we employ few strategies to manage these systems to our advantage. A book like this is food for though." - Gary Strachan, in FRUIT GROWER