Common earthworms are invaluable and diligent workers, so how can you attract them to your own garden? What are the tiny black bugs leaping in great numbers across the snow on sunny days in the spring? How does the enormous microbe population help a plant get nutrients from the soil? What senses do the animals living in the soil use to find their favourite food? The publication event of new book will take place on Tuesday, 17 September 2019 at Department of Biological and Enviromental Science.

Finnish researchers are at the forefront in the study of soil ecosystems. The new book Elämää maan kätköissä [Hidden life in the soil] (Gaudeamus) illustrates the amazingly diverse range of organisms living in the soil and what is actually happening there. The ecosystem it presents is diverse and full of life:

“A handful of ordinary Finnish soil includes millions of microbes and hundreds of tiny animals. The soil is not a black box or mere physics and chemistry but rich in life”, says Jari Haimi, a lecturer and docent from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science at University of Jyväskylä.

In the book, he writes about earthworms and enchytraeids, which he has studied for more than 30 years. The University of Jyväskylä is well represented among the authors of the book. Along with Haimi, the co- editor and also an author of many chapters is emeritus professor Veikko Huhta. University Teacher Saana Kataja-aho presents springtails and Academy researcher Sara Calhim writes about tardigrades.

The first broad-based popularised non-fiction book about the soil

The book introduces readers to the microbes, protists, worms, insects, spiders, and mollusks living in the Finnish soil. It also comprehensively explains what these organisms are actually do there.
“This work is the first of its kind in Finland”, says Jari Haimi.

”Over the decades we have gained extensive knowledge about life in the soil and no book on this theme has been published before in Finland. It has been written and edited with a very broad audience in mind, from anyone in contact with and interested in the natural environment to professionals in the field”, Haimi explains.

The publication event of this book will take place on Tuesday, 17 September at the Department of Biological and Environmental Science, room YAA303. The event begins at 2:15 p.m. Veikko Huhta, Saana Kataja-aho and Jari Haimi will present their respective topics, including fascinating stories and pictures from field research. Entry is free and you are warmly welcome to attend! Coffee will be served.

You can meet the authors of the book also at Researchers’ Night 2019 at University of Jyväskylä. Read more about the programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Science at Ylistönrinne:

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