The Fertilising Influence of Sunlight


WITH reference to Dr. Russell's remarks on this subject in NATURE of April 28, I should like to remark (1) that my point was not so much that toluene removed toxic material from the soil as that it rendered it insoluble. The question of washing out material from the soil was not raised by me. (2) and (3) Dr. Russell seems to beg the question by taking “fertility” and “bacterial activity” as synonymous. He has not, so far as I can find, proved that the addition to partially sterilised soil of an aqueous extract—or of a portion—of an untreated soil increases crop production (in contradistinction to soil fertility as indicated by bacterial activity and ammonia-production). If such is found to be the case, it would certainly require further experiment before it could be explained on the toxic theory.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

FLETCHER, F. The Fertilising Influence of Sunlight. Nature 83, 488–489 (1910).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.