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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 2, p. 238-241
     
    Received: Aug 30, 1976
    Published: Mar, 1977


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1977.03615995004100020016x

Soil Microbiology—It's a Small World1

  1. Francis E. Clark2

Abstract

Abstract

Soil Microbiology—It's a Small World.

The accomplishments and personalities of some notable early American soil microbiologists are discussed. The tangled skeins of influences and interactions among them are used to justify the small world concept used in the title. In discussing the subject matter of soil microbiology, it is noted that as society becomes more concerned with population growth and world food supply, energy sources and requirements, and econology and the environment, soil microbiology is shifting its emphasis from soil and the growing plant to man and the biosphere. The soil microbiologist is becoming increasingly involved in exposing such unesthetic substrates as sewage, animal manures, and food and fiber processing and sanitary landfill organic wastes to microbial attacks. His objectives are to make such substrates less objectionable environmentally and to exploit their residual food and energy potentials. Together with these endeavors he is expanding his efforts to define the dominant roles of microorganisms in the functions of terrestrial ecosystems. Therein, microorganisms metabolize a far larger amount of the net primary productivity than do all of the higher forms of life, inclusive of man, taken collectively.

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