Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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This book opens readers' eyes to the fascinating and important world of soils, and the principles that can be used to minimize the degradation and destruction of one of our most important natural resources. KEY TOPICS Concentrating on essentials, this edition is a more concise version of its parent book, The Nature and Properties of Soils, maintaining its high standards of rigor and readability, and its priority of explaining this science in a manner relevant to many fields of study. It provides a fundamental knowledge that is a prerequisite to meeting the many natural-resource challenges awaiting humanity in the 21st century. For individuals who study the science of soil, and those who make a profession of it.

Table of Contents

The Soils Around Us
Formation of Soils from Parent Materials
Soil Classification
Soil Architecture and Physical Properties
Soil Water: Characteristics and Behavior
Soil and the Hydrologic Cycle
Soil Aeration and Temperature
The Colloidal Fraction: Seat of Soil Chemical and Physical Activity
Soil Acidity, Alkalinity, and Salinity
Organisms and Ecology of the Soil
Soil Organic Matter
Nitrogen and Sulfur Economy of Soils
Soil Phosphorus, Potassium, and Micronutrients
Practical Nutrient Management
Soil Erosion and Its Control
Canadian and FAO Soil Classification Systems
SI Units, Conversion Factors, and Periodic Table of the Elements
Glossary of Soil Science Terms
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Like mountains or lakes, soils are both natural bodies in the landscape and ecosystems in their own right. Soils are among our most important natural resources. Soil science therefore lies at the heart of terrestrial ecology; understanding the soil system is key to the success and environmental harmony of any human use of the land. This textbook is designed to help make your study of soils a fascinating and intellectually satisfying undertaking. We are confident that much of what you learn will be of enormous practical value in equipping you to meet the natural resource challenges of the 21st century. Whether your interests lie in forestry, agriculture, ecology, geography, or landscaping, you will soon find that soil science is critical to solving a wide range of problems relevant to these and similar fields. Because soil science integrates concepts from physics, chemistry, geology, and biology, this textbook will provide many opportunities for you to see practical applications for principles from these and other basic sciences. As is the case for its parent book,The Nature and Properties of Soils,13th edition, this newest edition ofElements of the Nature and Properties of Soilsexplains the fundamental principles of soil science in a manner that you will find relevant to your interests. Throughout, the text emphasizes the soil as a natural resource and highlights the many interactions between the soil and other components of forest, range, agricultural, wetland, and constructed ecosystems. We have sought to craft a book that will serve your needs well, whether your reading this textbook is to be your only formal exposure to soil science or you are embarking on a comprehensive soil science education. This new textbook is meant to provide both an exciting, accessible introduction to the fascinating world of soil science and a reliable reference for your professional bookshelf. The parent 13th edition ofThe Nature and Properties of Soilsmaintains the ecological approach to soil science education characteristic of the two previous editions. This approach helps you understand the many critical ecosystem processes that are centered in the soil and that form the basis of interactions between soils and other ecosystem components such as groundwater, air, streams, and vegetation. ThisElementsversion preserves the ecological approach of its parent book, while telling the story of soil science in a more condensed form that some students and professors have found more suitable to their needs. Since 2000, when the firstElementsedition was published, we have conferred with many students and professors who used the textbook. They told us that they need an updated coverage of soil science principles in approximately 550 pages, rather than the 960 pages of the parent textbook. They also urged that we not diminish either the scientific rigor or the easy readability of the parent book. We have tried to follow their advice. We have been able to limitElementsto about 60% of the number of pages in the parent book by rewriting and condensing many sections, by reorienting much of the artwork, and by reorganizing and reducing application details so as to allow the fundamentals of soil science to be covered in 15 rather than 20 chapters. New to this edition ofElementsis expanded coverage of topics that are critically important to the future role of soils in natural resource sciences: wetlands, septic drain fields, salt-affected soils, bioremediation, soil ecology, nutrient and irrigation management, soil hydrology, and new concepts inSoil Taxonomy.This edition includes new sections on the pedosphere concept, nonsilicate colloids, inner and outer sphere complexes, effective CEC, proton balance approach to soil acidity, acid and non-acid cation saturation, human-influenced acidity, Ca and Mg in plants and soils, irrigation water quality, biomolecule binding, soil foo

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