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Soil Conditions and Plant Growth


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Table of Contents

Contributors viii Preface x 1 The historical development of studies on soil?plant interactions 1 Stephen Nortcliff and Peter J. Gregory 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 The search for the ?principle? of vegetation, 1630?1750 2 1.3 The search for plant nutrients 4 1.4 The beginnings of soil microbiology 10 1.5 The development and application of modern knowledge of soils 13 References 20 2 Plant and crop science 22 Sayed Azam-Ali 2.1 Introductory principles of resource capture by crops 22 2.2 Growth and development 23 2.3 Solar radiation 27 2.4 Water 32 2.5 Integrating principles of resource capture by crops 42 2.6 Conclusion 45 References 46 3 Soil fertility 49 Elizabeth A. Stockdale, Keith W.T. Goulding, Timothy S. George, and Daniel V. Murphy 3.1 Introduction 49 3.2 Concepts of soil fertility 50 3.3 Plant?soil interactions determining soil fertility 57 3.4 Assessing soil fertility 62 3.5 Managing soil fertility 72 References 79 4 Soil organic matter 86 David Powlson, Pete Smith, and Maria De Nobili 4,1 Introduction 86 4.2 Factors influencing SOM content 88 4.3 Modelling SOM dynamics 93 4.4 Chemical structure of SOM as elucidated using new forms of spectroscopy ? advances and pitfalls 100 4.5 Organo-mineral interactions 108 4.6 Fractionation methods for studying SOM 111 4.7 The living part of SOM ? the soil microbial biomass 115 4.8 SOM and soil physical conditions and implications for plant growth 116 4.9 Soil C and climate change 120 References 126 5 Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles and their management 132 Phil M. Haygarth, Richard D. Bardgett, and Leo M. Condron 5.1 Introduction 132 5.2 Sources of nitrogen and phosphorus to soil-plant systems 134 5.3 Chemical and biological processes of nutrient cycling, transformations and bioavailability 137 5.4 Processes of nitrogen and phosphorus losses from soils 145 5.5 Nitrogen and phosphorus use in agricultural systems 149 5.6 Future soil nutrient cycles and environmental change 153 References 155 6 Properties and management of cationic elements for crop growth 160 Philip J. White and Duncan J. Greenwood 6.1 The movement of essential cationic elements to the root surface 160 6.2 Cationic elements in plants 163 6.3 The uptake of essential cationic elements from the rhizosphere 169 6.4 Cationic elements in the soil solution 173 6.5 Management practices increasing the acquisition of essential mineral cations 180 6.6 Genetic strategies to improve the efficiency of acquisition and physiological use of essential cationic elements 183 6.7 Concluding remarks 186 References 187 7 Managing adverse soil chemical environments 195 Mark E. Hodson and Erica Donner 7.1 Potentially toxic metals (PTMs) 195 7.2 Salt-affected soils (saline, sodic and saline-sodic soils) 206 7.3 Acid and alkaline soils 218 References 228 8 Managing the soil physical environment for plants 238 Paul D. Hallett and A. Glyn Bengough 8.1 Introduction 238 8.2 Basic physical properties of soil 238 8.3 Soil structure 241 8.4 Soil tilth and seedbeds 249 8.5 Critical soil physical conditions for plant growth 257 References 261 9 Soil water and its management 269 Anne Verhoef and Gregorio Egea 9.1 Soil water management ? a general overview 269 9.2 Key concepts related to water in soil 270 9.3 Soil water and plants 281 9.4 Determination of soil water balance and related variables 288 9.5 Water management to alleviate soil water shortage 298 9.6 Water management to alleviate excess water 308 References 312 10 Plant-induced changes in soil processes and properties 323 Philippe Hinsinger 10.1 Introduction 323 10.2 Roles of plants in carbon cycling: deposition, burial and emission 324 10.3 Roles of plants in soil acidification 335 10.4 Roles of plants in the weathering of soil minerals 342 10.5 Conclusion 353 References 355 11 Sustainable management of soil and plant health by optimising soil biological function 366 Dominic Standing and Ken Killham 11.1 Introduction 366 11.2 Managing soil and plant health 368 11.3 Conclusion 386 References 386 12 Managing the soil?plant system for the delivery of ecosystem services 390 David W. Hopkins and Edward G. Gregorich 12.1 Introduction 390 12.2 Roles of soils 394 12.3 Sustainable soil use and soil quality 409 12.4 Concluding remarks 413 References 414 13 The new challenge ? sustainable production in a changing environment 417 Peter J. Gregory and Stephen Nortcliff 13.1 Introduction 417 13.2 Human-induced environmental change 418 13.3 Food security and food production 426 13.4 Routes to sustainable intensification 434 References 442 Index 449 A colour plate section falls between pages 214 and 215

About the Author

Peter J. Gregory is Chief Executive of East Malling Research and a Professor at the Centre for Food Security, School of Agriculture, Policy & Development, University of Reading. He is also the author of the Wiley-Blackwell-published book, Plant Roots, and co-author of the second edition of Science and the Garden. Stephen Nortcliff is Emeritus Professor at the Soil Research Centre, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading.


No doubt it will be bought by many libraries and shouldbe of interest to those intending to specialise in soil sciencethrough a Masters course for example. (EuropeanJournal of Soil Science, 1 October 2013) The book is a superb foundation for in-depth classdiscussion. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Students of alllevels, researchers/faculty, andprofessionals/practitioners. (Choice, 1 October2013)

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