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AuthorJeffrey, David W. author
TitleSoil̃Plant Relationships [electronic resource] : An Ecological Approach / by David W. Jeffrey
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1987
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Descript VIII, 296 p. online resource


Soil-plant relationships once had a limited meaning. To the student of agriculture it meant creating optimum conditions for plant growth. To the ecologist it meant explaining some plant community distribuยญ tion patterns by correlation with soil type or conditions. This dual view has been greatly expanded at an academic level by the discovery of the ecosystem as a practical working unit. A flood of concepts and information subsequently emerged from the International Biological Programme. At a totally different level of resolution, it is appreciated that certain soil-based ecological problems have a molecular basis, and must be addressed by physiological or biochemical approaches. From ecosystem to molecule we have powerful new tools to increase the flow of ecological data and process it for interpretation. Society is now experiencing a series of adverse global phenomena which demand an appreciation of soil-plant relationships. These include desertification leading to famine, soil degradation accomยญ panying forest destruction, acidification of watersheds and the spasmodic dispersal of radionuclides and other pollutants. It is public policy, not merely to identify problems, but to seek strategies for minimising their ill effects. This book is written as a guide to soil-plant relationships, cenยญ trally oriented towards ecology, but of interest to students of geoยญ graphy and agriculture. For ecology students it will bring together subfields such as microbiology, plant physiology, systematics and proยญ vide interfaces with animal biology, meteorology and soil science


I: A plant-centred biological complex -- 1 Plants, roots and ion absorption -- 2 Mineral composition of plant tissues and the function of ions -- 3 Plants and water -- 4 Symbiotic and other associations for nutrient capture -- 5 Herbivores, decomposers and other soil organisms -- 6 Vegetation and fire -- II: Environmental complexes -- 7 Soil formation -- 8 Soil matrix and soil water -- 9 Soil atmosphere and soil temperature -- 10 Some examples of mineral nutrient supply -- 11 Measuring availability of nutrients and toxic ions -- 12 Experimental approaches to the study of soil variables -- III: Interactions in the real world. Some case histories -- 13 The autecology of two contrasting species -- 14 Restoration of derelict land -- 15 Two aspects of forest mineral-nutrient economy -- 16 Australian heathlands and other nutrient-poor terrestrial ecosystems -- 17 Three aspects of the Alaskan Arctic tundra Complex -- 18 Saltmarshes and the coastal zone -- 19 Calcareous and serpentine soils and their vegetation -- Further reading

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