The Hidden Half of Nature
by Anne Bikle
- Math & Science
Microbes, from garden to gut
Good health-for humans and plants-depends on the armada of microbes that live in, on, and around us: the microbiome. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals the untapped potential of microbes to revolutionize agriculture and medicine.
David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé revived their barren yard by feeding their soil a diet of microbe-rich organic matter. When Biklé was later diagnosed with cancer, they looked even deeper and discovered surprising similarities between plant root and the human gut. Ultimately, they arrived at a startling conclusion: that by cultivating our microbiome, we can rebuild soil fertility and help reverse today's plague of chronic disease.
Here is a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world.
"When soil scientists discovered that plants release nutrient-rich exudates into the soil, they were astounded. One review found that root exudates can account for 30 to 40 percent of a plant's photosynthetic production of carbohydrates! ...Seducing microbes with sugars might sound pointless, but it's the heart of the botanical world's defense strategy. Plants can't run or hide, so they rely on what's around them. Above ground, a plant relies on botanical swords (thorns) and shields (waxy leaf cuticles) to defend itself. Microbial recruits do the job below ground, taking on the role of palace guards to protect their sugar source."-from The Hidden Half of Nature
About the Authors
David R. Montgomery is a professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington and a 2008 MacArthur Fellow. He is the author of The Rocks Don't Lie and two other award-winning popular science books.
Anne Biklé is a biologist and environmental planner. Her career spans the fields of environmental stewardship, habitat restoration, and public health.
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||November 16, 2015|