This book gathers the latest insights into soil health and its sustainability, providing an up-to-date overview of the various aspects of soil quality and fertility management, e.g., plant-microbe interactions to maintain soil health; and the use of algal, fungal and bacterial fertilizers and earthworms for sustainable soil health and agricultural production.
It first discusses the past, present, and future scenarios of soil health, and then explores factors influencing soil health, as well as the consequences of degradation of soil health for sustainable agriculture. Lastly it highlights solutions to improve and maintain soil health so as to achieve greater productivity and sustainability without damaging the soil system or the environment.
Soil health is defined as the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem frontiers, to sustain biological productivity, to maintain environmental quality and to promote plant, animal and human health. Soil health is established through the interactions of physical, chemical and biological properties, e.g., soil texture, soil structure, and soil organisms. Healthy soil provides adequate levels of macro- and micronutrients to plants and contains sufficient populations of soil microorganisms. As a result of the increasingly intensified agriculture over the past few decades, soils are now showing symptoms of exhaustion and stagnating or declining crop yields. Exploring these developments as well as possible solutions based on holistic and sustainable approaches, Soil Health is a valuable resource for researchers in the area of soil and environmental science, agronomy, agriculture, as well as students in the field of botany, ecology and microbiology.
Dr Bhoopander Giri received his PhD in Mycorrhizal Research from the Department of Botany, University of Delhi, in 2001. He has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, USA and is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Botany, Swami Shraddhanand College, University of Delhi. He is a recipient of a CSIR Research Associateship (2003), DST Young Scientist Fellowship (2005) and a Raman Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He has served as the General Secretary of the International Symbiosis Society (ISS), USA, and he is a life member of several prestigious academic societies. He is also a reviewer for several international and national journals. Dr Giri has published more than 38 papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals and books. His paper Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Alleviation of Salt Stress, published in Annals of Botany, Oxford Press, UK was listed among the top 10 cited publications in 2009-2014 in the area of biological science and agriculture by the International Comparative Performance of India’s Research Base. Dr Giri has also edited numerous books.
Prof. Dr Ajit Varma completed his PhD at Allahabad University at the age of 25 years and is a former Professor at the School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He is currently a Distinguished Scientist & Professor of Eminence at Amity Institute of Microbial Technology; Group Dy. Vice-Chancellor, Ritnand Balved Education Foundation, and Vice Chairman of Amity Science, Technology & Innovation Foundation, Amity University, India. He has published more than 314 papers in respected journals and has been serving as an Editor-in-Chief of the Soil Biology Series, Springer Verlag Germany. Dr Varma is a Fellow of Alexander-von-Humboldt Society, Germany, elected Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Fellow of the Microbiology Society of India.