The Rhizosphere

1st Edition

An Ecological Perspective

Editors: Zoe Cardon Julie Whitbeck
Hardcover ISBN: 9780120887750
eBook ISBN: 9780080493046
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 15th March 2007
Page Count: 232
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Below the soil surface, the rhizosphere is the dynamic interface among plant roots, soil microbes and fauna, and the soil itself, where biological as well as physico-chemical properties differ radically from those of bulk soil. The Rhizosphere is the first ecologically-focused book that explicitly establishes the links from extraordinarily small-scale processes in the rhizosphere to larger-scale belowground patterns and processes. This book includes chapters that emphasize the effects of rhizosphere biology on long-term soil development, agro-ecosystem management and responses of ecosystems to global change. Overall, the volume seeks to spur development of cross-scale links for understanding belowground function in varied natural and managed ecosystems.

Key Features

  • First cross-scale ecologically-focused integration of information at the frontier of root, microbial, and soil faunal biology
  • Establishes the links from extraordinarily small-scale processes in the rhizosphere to larger-scale belowground patterns and processes
  • Includes valuable information on ecosystem response to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and enhanced global nitrogen deposition
  • Chapters written by a variety of experts, including soil scientists, microbial and soil faunal ecologists, and plant biologists


Scientists, professionals, students and researchers in agriculture, silviculture, phytoremediation, bioremediation, and plant mineral nutrition, as well as general ecosystem ecologists. Members of organizations such as Soil Science Society of America, the Physiological Ecology and Soil Ecology sections of the Ecological Society of America, and the Soil Ecology Society.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction; 2 Root life history and dynamics; 3 The flux of carbon from roots to rhizosphere soil; 4 Microbial communities and their activity in the rhizosphere; 5 Rhizosphere microfauna; 6 Plant residues and their influence on soil physical properties; 7 Mycorrhizas - symbiotic mediators of rhizosphere and ecosystem processes; 8 Elevated CO2 and links between carbon and nutrient cycling; 9 Rhizospheres: keys to formation and function of highly weathered soils; 10 Plant root systems in a changing world; 11 The rhizosphere in agricultural ecosystems; 12 Soil rhizosphere food webs, their stability, and implications for soil processes in ecosystems


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© Academic Press 2007
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About the Editor

Zoe Cardon

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Connecticut, Storrs, U.S.A.

Julie Whitbeck

Affiliations and Expertise

University of New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.


"...we enjoyed this book, which is a valuable addition to the literature on the rhizosphere and rhizosphere ecology. The book offers an integral view of the rhizosphere processes, from the soil volumes surrounding the root and to comprehensive examination of rhizosphere effects on the whole soil and the surrounding community. Most chapters are supported by excellent reviews of the relevant literature. The editing is excellent." - Jorge M. Vivanco, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA, in ECOLOGY "Zoe Cardon and Julie Whitbeck must be congratulated because they have persuaded a strong group of leading lights and rising stars to contribute and all have provided a good spread of hard information and intelligent speculation...Appropriately, the possible impacts of climate change on soil–plant–microbe interactions are discussed in many places. Most chapters also look into the crystal ball and give pointers to further research. The frequently ignored microfauna are given their due in Chapter 3 and an even greater complexity in the plant–soil organism relationship emerges. This prepares the reader nicely for a subsequent chapter on food webs that takes a quantitative approach that is easily accessible to the average reader...This is a neatly produced volume, carefully written and edited...a valuable summary of our early 21st century knowledge of the root-soil interface and erects many signposts that suggest that this is only the beginning. The book will appeal to both research students and established practitioners and I recommend it strongly." - Richard G. Burns, School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, The Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane, in the SOIL SCIENCE SOCIETY OF AMERICA JOURNAL