Biological Processes in Soils


This is the last chapter of Part B, the section of this course dealing with basic processes that underlay soil formation. The effects of biological processes on soils can be described in physical or chemical terms (see Chapters 2 and 3), but they are so important and specific that they deserve a separate chapter. After studying this chapter you should be able to (1) specify the soil forming factors that determine the quantity and nature of soil organic matter, (2) apply rate equations that quantify the kinetics of soil organic matter dynamics, (3) describe effects of biota on soil structure, texture, and mineral weathering, and (4) recognize the chemical effects of nutrient cycling on a soil profile.


Soil Organic Matter Humic Acid Microbial Biomass Fulvic Acid Plant Litter 
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4.10. References

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General and further reading

  1. Anderson, J.M., and J.S.I. Ingram, 1989. Tropical soil biology and fertility: a handbook of methods. C.A.B. International, Wallingford, 171 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Huang, P.M., and M. Schnitzer (Eds.), 1986. Interactions of soil minerals with natural organics and microbes. SSSA Special Publication No. 17. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 606 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Swift, M.J., O.J. Heal, and J.M. Anderson, 1979. Decomposition in terrestrial eco-systems. Studies in Ecology, Vol. 5. Blackwell Science Publishers, 372 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Piccolo, A. (Ed.), 1996. Humic substances in terrestrial ecosystems. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 675 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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