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The porosphere as an ecological medium emphasized in Professor Ghilarov's work on soil animal adaptations


The author recalls that the late Professor Mercury S. Ghilarov, from the Institute of Animal Morphology and Ecology in Moscow, was a great pioneer in soil zoology and a far-sighted scientist in the evolution of terrestrial faunas. Professor Ghilarov agreed that during their evolution insects passed through the soil as a transitional medium from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. His theory, which is based on morphological and physiological observations, fits the thermodynamics of soil water the author describes when considering all porous bodies (porosphere), such as soil and other media, permitting a slow and gradual transition from an aquatic towards a xeric aerial system. In conclusion, a general concept of water accessibility for soil animals is formulated.

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Dedicated to the late Prof. Dr. M.S. Ghilarov

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Vannier, G. The porosphere as an ecological medium emphasized in Professor Ghilarov's work on soil animal adaptations. Biol Fert Soils 3, 39–44 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00260577

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Key words

  • Porosphere
  • Animal adaptations
  • Water accessibility
  • Thermodynamics of pores