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Soil Science

Shared Planet explores the link between a growing human population and wildlife and there is no other part of the natural world that is under as much pressure as the earth's soils. We rely on them to grow healthy crops, which they can only do if they support an appropriate community of bacterial, fungal and invertebrate life. Wildlife too depends on this diverse life that thrives in the soil, everything from birds to plants to insects. The earth worm is the surprising champion of soils and an animal that looks vulnerable in the face of human population pressure.

Listen via BBC page
iTunes episode 38, 15 October 2013

Accessed June 04. 2014 and Listed as available for over a year at that time.

With Professor Wilfred Otten: Professor of Biophysics of Soil Ecosystems at Abertay University in Dundee and co-director of the SIMBIOS Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre that operates at the interface between the physical and life sciences.

Helaina Black is a soil ecologist based at The James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and Past President of the British Society of Soil Science. For over 25 years, she has been exploring how we can improve the use and protection of our soils to meet changing human demands and to cope with environmental change in a world.

Karl Ritz is a soil ecologist who graduated in Agricultural Botany from the University of Reading in 1981, and completed a PhD in grassland ecology at the University of Bristol in 1984; he then moved to Scotland to lead research programmes in Government Institutes in Aberdeen and Dundee. Since 2002, Karl has held a Personal Chair in Soil Biology at Cranfield University.

Editorial Notes: Originally broadcast in October 2013, but still a great introduction to the issues.
Readers wanting to delve more deeply in soil may want to revisit Bart's 2006 article Soil food web - opening the lid of the black box
Also see Soil to the Rescue.

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