Terraria and Soil Microcosms

  • Robert J. Beyers
  • Howard T. Odum
Part of the Springer Advanced Texts in Life Sciences book series (SATLIFE)


Terraria, the terrestrial equivalent of aquaria, are small containers usually containing soil materials, terrestrial plants, animals, and air. Terraria are found by the millions, self-organizing in schoolrooms, offices, and homes. Often open to external air exchange, these microcosms may dry out and become water-limited. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are maintained at external levels by air exchange. Humans occasionally add water. The simulation in Figure 2.11 represents conditions typical of those found in houses and schoolrooms. However, serious studies of typical terraria are scarce. On the other hand, considerable scientific literature exists on transplanted and recently assembled terrestrial microcosms. Gillet and Witt (1978) reviewed earlier work, especially that concerned with study of the way such.terrestrial ecosystems process chemical substances.


Soil Respiration Terrestrial Ecosystem Turnover Time Soil Microcosm Simulated Acid Rain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Beyers
    • 1
  • Howard T. Odum
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Engineering SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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