Annual Report 2001 - Cornell University
004 Selected Books by Faculty

11 David W. Wolfe, Horticulture

Tales from the Underground: A Natural History of Subterranean Life (Perseus Books, 2001). This is an animated story of critters, scientists, and the intertwining of nature and humanity. Wolfe explains how life beneath us—such as microbes down to 10 feet below the surface—works together with all of nature. For example, extremophiles, microbes that exist without oxygen or sunlight and at temperatures beyond water's boiling point, are useful in remediating soil contaminated by oil spills and chemical dumping. Prairie dogs keep grasses trimmed to specific heights; and when the prairie dog population was reduced (because they were pests to landowners), the black-footed ferret became rare in North America because of a sparse food supply. The author also explores the relationship of soil, plants, and roots. The book has significance for current research directions in biogeochemistry.

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© 2002 by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research [OVPR], Cornell University.

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