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Bacteria in Relation to Country Life


WRITTEN in non-technical language, this book gives a good account of the activities of micro-organisms. It may therefore be recommended to all those who desire to obtain a general knowledge of the functions of bacteria and the important rôle they play in relation to daily life, while the intelligent agriculturist will find a large amount of information which should aid him in his work. After a brief survey of the form, structure, food requirements, and conditions of growth of bacteria, successive chapters deal with these organisms as met with in air, water, and sewage. The relation of water to health and disease is discussed, and the chief factors in connection with the contamination and purification of water are detailed. A readable account is given of the disposal of sewage and of bacterial systems of sewage disposal. Next follow the most important sections of the book, viz. the relation of bacteria to soil fertility and the influence of manures. We here find accounts of. the sources of nitrogen in the soil, of nitrification and denitrification, of the action of leguminous crops in fixing nitrogen, and of soil inoculation with pure cultures of nitrogen-fixing organisms. The proper methods of storing farmyard manure are dealt with at some length, and it is shown that under different conditions of storage the losses of organic matter from the manure stack in three or four months may range from 15 to 20 per cent, to 40 to 50 per cent, of the initial quantity, and valuable suggestions are made on the best means of conservation of manurial constituents, both by proper methods of storage and by the use of chemical fixatives.

Bacteria in Relation to Country Life.

By Dr. Jacob G. Lipmann. Pp. xx + 486. (New York: The Macmillan Co.; London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1908.) Price 6s. 6d. net.

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