The Biology of Soil: A Community and Ecosystem Approach

The soil environment. Introduction. Soil formation. Soil-forming factors. Parent material. Climate. Topography. Time. Human influences. Soil properties. Soil texture and structure. Soil organic matter. Soil water. Soil pH. Conclusions. The diversity of life in soil. Introduction. The soil biota. The primary consumers. Secondary and higher-level consumers. Patterns of soil biodiversity. Global patterns of soil biodiversity. Landscape patterns of soil biodiversity. Local patterns of soil biodiversity. Temporal patterns of soil biodiversity. Conclusion. Organism interactions and soil processes. Introduction. Microbial control of soil nutrient availability. Nitrogen mineralization. Nitrogen fixation. Microbial phosphorus mineralization. The role of mycorrhizal fungi in plant nutrient supply. Influence of animal-microbial interactions on nutrient availability. Selective feeding on microbes by soil animals. Effects of microbial-feeding fauna on nutrient cycling and plant growth. Non-nutritional effects of microbial grazers on plant growth. Multitrophic controls on soil processes. Effects of animals on biophysical properties of soil. Consumption of litter and the production of fecal pellets. Physical engineering of the soil structure. Functional consequence of biological diversity in soil. Conclusions. Linkages between plant and soil biological communities. Introduction. Individual plant effects on soil biological properties. Experimental evidence of effects of individual plants on soil biota. Hemiparasitic plants. A role for plant polyphenols. Theoretical framework for explaining plant species effects on soils. Plant diversity as a driver of soil biological properties. Influence of soil biota on plant community dynamics. Mycorrhizal associations and plant community dynamics. Nitrogen fixing organisms and plant community dynamics. Root pathogens and plant community dynamics. Root-feeding fauna and plant community dynamics. Macrofauna and plant community dynamics. Microbial-plant partitioning of nutrients. Plant-soil feedbacks and ecosystem development. Conclusions. Above-ground trophic interactions and soil biological communities. Introduction. Mechanisms. Effects of herbivores on resource quantity. Effects of herbivores on resource quality. Effects of herbivores on vegetation composition. Comparisons of ecosystems. Effects of herbivores on soil and ecosystem properties of grasslands. Effects of herbivores on soil and ecosystem properties of Arctic tundra. Effects of herbivores on soil and ecosystem properties of forests. Conclusions. Soil biological properties and global change. Introduction. Climate change. Elevated CO2 and soil biota. Influence of elevated CO2 on soil nutrient vailability. Influence of soil N availability on ecosystem responses to elevated CO2. Elevated CO2 and plant community composition. Effects of elevated temperature. Soil carbon equestration. Atmospheric N deposition. Effects of N enrichment on plant and soil biological communities, and ecosystem C turnover. The retention and export of pollutant N. Invasive species. Above-ground invasive organisms. Below-ground invasive organisms. Land use transformation. Conclusions.

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The soil environment
The diversity of life in soil
Organism interactions and soil processes
Linkages between plant and soil
species effects on soils
Aboveground trophic interactions and soil
Soil biological properties and global change
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Richard Bardgett is Professor of Ecology in the Institute of Environmental and Natural Sciences at the University of Lancaster, U.K.

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