Problems in Tree Nutrition

Abstract

ONE of the most difficult problems, either in botany as a pure science, or in forestry as applied biology, has always been, and still is, to assess the relationships which exist between the root of a tree and its environment in the soil. The reason for this lies, of course, in the fundamental difficulty of observing the root under natural conditions without, at the same time, destroying its environment, or at least changing this in some radical manner. A secondary source of difficulty is also to be found in the need for a specialist's knowledge in making accurate observation of the micro-flora and -fauna of the soil, which form so important a part of the natural environment of the root. The consequence of this is to be seen in the relative neglect in general works on plant ecology of that part of plant associations which occurs below the ground, notwithstanding its admitted very great importance. The book under notice is concerned with the study of a special aspect of this relatively neglected subterranean field. Its topical interest lies herein, and especially in view of the wide interest aroused in the effect of composting on soil fertility—that is, on the value of the soil for root development—by Sir Albert Howard and others during recent years. The book consists of a collection of papers which have appeared at various times since 1934. They are here brought together with little or no alteration or editing and, with a short but excellent introduction, form the chapters of the book. A list of references, a glossary and an index are appended, and there is also a large number of plates illustrating the various papers.

Problems in Tree Nutrition

An Account of Researches concerned primarily with the Mycorrhizal Habit in relation to Forestry and with some Biological Aspects of Soil Fertility. By M. C. Rayner and W. Neilson-Jones. Pp. 184 + 27 plates. (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1944.) 12s. 6d. net.

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