237 pages, B/w illus
Yvonne Baskin takes the reader from the polar desert of Antarctica to the coastal rain forests of Canada, from the rangelands of Yellowstone National Park to the vanishing wetlands of the Mississippi River basin, from Dutch pastures to English sounds, and beyond. She introduces exotic creatures - from bacteria and fungi to microscopic nematode worms, springtails, and mud shrimp - and shows us what scientists are learning about their contribution to sustaining a green and healthy world above ground. She also explores the alarming ways in which air pollution, trawl fishing, timber cutting, introductions of invasive species, wetland destruction, and the like threaten this underground diversity and how their loss, in turn, affects our own well being.
[An] enjoyable tour of a new ecological frontier. - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Engaging...rich and descriptive...Baskin's book successfully gives a face to the rapidly changing field of soil ecology." - BIOSCIENCE "At last, proper attention is given to the vast biomass and biodiversity at our feet, humanity's absolute dependence upon this layer of life, and the need to expand science and conservation to save it. This is a well-written and important book." - E.O. WILSON "One of the most talented science writers, Yvonne Baskin has presented a clear view of amazing creatures and microbes and their profound influence on the surface world..." - PAUL R. EHRLICH "With fabulous prose, Yvonne Baskin takes us through an ecological looking glass to the wonderland of underground...required reading (for all) made delightful." - THOMAS E. LOVEJOY"
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