Interactions and self-organization in the soil-microbe complex

Iain M. Young, John W. Crawford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    605 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Soil is the most complicated biomaterial on the planet. As with any material, the physical habitat is of prime importance in determining and regulating biological activity. However, until recently the opaque nature of soil has meant that any interrogation of its interior architecture has been relatively rudimentary, restricted to simple qualitative expressions of the physical heterogeneity that fail to relate to any specific function. However, new techniques and insights into the biophysical and biochemical processes of this inner space are leading to the developments of theoretical frameworks and experimental approaches that will allow us to sustainably manage Earth's most important resource. We introduce the concept that the soil-microbe system is self-organized and suggest new priorities for research based on an integrative approach that combines biochemistry and biophysics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1634-1637
    Number of pages4
    JournalScience
    Volume304
    Issue number5677
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

    Keywords

    • Soil ecology
    • Ecological heterogeneity
    • Biochemistry
    • Biophysics
    • Soil management
    • Soil science

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