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Soils of South Africa: Their Distribution, Properties, Classification, Genesis, Use and Environmental Significance

By: Martin Fey (Author), Jeff Hughes (Contributor), Jan Lambrechts (Contributor), Antoni Milewski (Contributor), Anthony Mills (Contributor)

288 pages, illustrations, maps

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Feb 2010 | #186559 | ISBN-13: 9781107000506
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £87.99 $108/€99 approx

About this book

The first book in seventy years to provide a comprehensive account of South African soils. The book arranges more than seventy soil forms into fourteen groups and then provides, for each group:

- maps showing their distribution and abundance throughout South Africa descriptions of morphological, chemical and physical properties
- a detailed account of classification and its correlation with international systems
- a discussion of soil genesis which includes a review of relevant research papers
- appraisal of soil quality from a land use perspective as well as for its ecological significance
- illustrative examples of soil profiles with analytical data and accompanying interpretations.

There is also a fascinating account of the special relationship that exists between South African animals and soil environments. Soils of South Africa should interest students and researchers in the earth, environmental and biological sciences, as well as environmental practitioners, farmers, foresters and civil engineers.

"The book is richly illustrated with numerous colour photographs of soil profiles and the landscapes in which they occur, pedogenic features such as concretions and stone lines, subterranean fungus gardens and spectacular termite mounds. [...] a book that will appeal to students and professional scientists alike, one that is destined to be the definitive text on South African soils for many years to come."
Experimental Agriculture


Preface and acknowledgements

Part I. Introduction to the Soil Groups and the Naming of Forms and Families
1.1 The key to soil groups
1.2 Description of soil groups
1.3 Descriptive nomenclature for soil forms and families

Part II. The Soil Groups: Distribution, Properties, Classification, Genesis and Use
2.1 Organic soils
2.2 Humic soils
2.3 Vertic soils
2.4 Melanic soils
2.5 Silicic soils
2.6 Calcic soils
2.7 Duplex soils
2.8 Prodzolic soils
2.9 Plinthic soils
2.10 Oxidic soils
2.11 Gleyic soils
2.12 Cumulic soils
2.13 Lithic soils
2.14 Anthropic soils

Part III. Animals in Soil Environments
3.1 Termites
3.2 Termite - and ant-eating animals (myrmecophages)
3.3 Earthworms
3.4 Golden moles
3.5 Rodents
3.6 Honey badger
3.7 Insects and spiders
3.8 Birds
3.9 Large herbivores
3.10 Elephants, trees and termites

Part IV. Profile descriptions and analytical data

Appendix: Criteria for generating distribution maps for soil groups

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