The Nature and Properties of Soils

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  • Edition: 14th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-06
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Featuring new photographs, diagrams, and special "boxes", The Nature and Property of Soils is an engaging book for readers. It has an ecological approach that explains the fundamentals of soil science effectively. Chapter topics include Soil Erosion and Its Control, Soil Acidity, Soils and Chemical Pollution, and Organisms and the Ecology of the Soil. For individuals interested in soil and the environment.

Author Biography

Dr. Raymond Weil, Professor, University of Maryland College Park


B.S. in Crop Science from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 1970.
M.S. in Soil Science from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1973.
Ph.D. in Soil Ecology from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 1977.


Elected Fellow in 2003 of both the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy.


Weil has been active in soil science research since 1972 and has made many contributions in the areas of nutrient cycling and management, environmental impact of soil management, and assessment of soil quality. His current research is focused on the assessment and improvement of soil quality and organic matter.  He has conducted research in several countries outside the United States, including Ethiopia, Chad, Brazil, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania.  In addition to his teaching at the University of Maryland, he has conducted many training workshops for such agencies as the USDA, The World Bank, The Rodale Research Institute, and the International Food Policy Center.


Dr. Weil has authored or coauthored more than 100 scientific publications in soil science and related areas.


Dr. Nyle Brady


Dr. Brady has, since 1947, worked in education, research and research administration, focusing on both international and U.S. issues. He is past president of the SSSA and served six years as Editor-in-Chief of the SSSA Proceedings and is Emeritus Professor at Cornell University. He has served in leadership positions with Cornell University, the International Rice Research Institute, USAID, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank. He is recognized around the world as author and co-author of eleven editions of the world's most widely used soil science textbook, The Nature and Properties of Soils.

Table of Contents

The Soils Around Us
Functions of Soils in Our Ecosystem
Medium for Plant Growth
Regulator of Water Supplies
Recycler of Raw Materials
Habitat for Soil Organisms
Engineering Medium
Pedosphere as Environmental Interface
Soil as a Natural Body
The Soil Profile and Its Layers (Horizons)
Topsoil and Subsoil
Soil: The Interface of Air, Minerals, Water, and Life
Mineral (Inorganic) Constituents of Soils
Soil Organic Matter
Soil Water: A Dynamic Solution
Soil Air: A Changing Mixture of Gases
Interaction of Four Components to Supply Plant Nutrients
Nutrient Uptake by Plant Roots
Soil Quality, Degradation, and Resilience
Conclusion Study
Formation of Soils from Parent Materials
Weathering of Rocks and Minerals
Factors Influencing Soil Formation
Parent Materials
Biota: Living Organisms
Four Basic Processes of Soil Formation
The Soil Profile
Conclusion Study
Soil Classification
Concept of Individual Soils
Comprehensive Classification System: Soil Taxonomy
Categories and Nomenclature of Soil Taxonomy
Soil Orders
Entisols (Recent: Little If Any Profile Development)
Inceptisols (Few Diagnostic Features: Inception of B Horizon)
Andisols (Volcanic Ash Soils)
Gelisols (Permafrost and Frost Churning)
Histisols (Organic Soils without Permafrost)
Aridisols (Dry Soils)
Vertisols (Dark, Swelling and Cracking Clays)
Mollisols (Dark, Soft Soils of Grasslands)
Alfisols (Argillic or Natric Horizon, Medium to High Bases)
Ultisols (Argillic Horizon, Low Bases)
Spodosols (Acid, Sandy, Forest Soils, Low Bases)
Oxisols (Oxic Horizon, Highly Weathered)
Lower-Level Categories in Soil Taxonomy
Conclusion Study
Soil Architecture and Physical Properties
Soil Color
Soil Texture (Size Distribution of Soil Particles)
Soil Textural Classes
Structure of Mineral Soils
Formation and Stabilization of Soil Aggregates
Tillage and Structural Management of Soils
Soil Density
Pore Space of Mineral Soils
Soil Properties Relevant to Engineering Uses
Conclusion Study
Soil Water: Characteristics and Behavior
Structure and Related Properties of Water
Capillary Fundamentals and Soil Water
Soil Water Energy Concepts
Soil Water Content and Soil Water Potential
The Flow of Liquid Water in Soil
Infiltration and Percolation
Water Vapor Movement in Soils
Qualitative Description of Soil Wetness
Factors Affecting Amount of Plant-Available Soil Water
Mechanisms by Which Plants Are Supplied with Water
Conclusion Study
Soil and the Hydrologic Cycle
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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Arrived promptly in good shape February 4, 2014
Who would have thought that a book about dirt would be so clean.
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