Books  Ecological & Biological Sciences  Soils & Soil Ecology 

Under Ground: How Creatures of Mud and Dirt Shape Our World

By: Yvonne Baskin

237 pages, B/w illus

Island Press

Paperback | Jun 2006 | #163454 | ISBN: 1597261181
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.99 $25/€22 approx
Hardback | Jun 2005 | #152022 | ISBN: 1597260037
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £28.99 $38/€33 approx

About this book

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 " 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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Yvonne Baskin is author of The Work of Nature (Island Press, 1997) and A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines: The Growing Threat of Species Invasions (Island Press, 2002). Her articles have appeared in Science, Natural History, Discover, and numerous other publications.

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