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Baas Becking's Geobiology: Or Introduction to Environmental Science

Don E. Canfield (Editor), Deborah Sherwood (Translated by), Mishka Stuip (Translated by)
ISBN: 978-0-470-67381-2
152 pages
December 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
Baas Becking


Laurens Baas Becking was a pioneer in the field of microbial ecology and the father of Geobiology. This is the first English translation of Baas Becking’s Geobiologie: of Inleiding tot de Millieukunde published in Dutch in 1934.  This book provides a fascinating view of how organisms have both adapted to and shaped their environment, from all types of settings ranging from lakes to the oceans, to acidic peats and salt ponds, drawing heavily on Baas Becking’s own keen observations. Although written 80 years ago, Baas Becking’s insights feel surprisingly modern and provide a unique insight into the fields of evolution of microbial ecology and geobiology. This book should appeal to anyone interested in microbial ecology, geobiology, biogeochemistry and the history of science. The translated text is accompanied by extensive footnotes and by an Editor’s summary at the end of each chapter placing Baas Becking’s writing in the context of modern developments in the field.
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Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction, vii

I Introduction, 1

II The Environment, 4

III Environmental Factors: Solar Radiation, 17

IV Environmental Factors: Temperature, 28

V Environmental Factors: The Chemical Environment, 38

VI Cycles, 59

VII Oligotrophic Water, 72

VIII Eutrophic Fresh Water, 82

IX Oceans, 92

X Brine, 103

Appendix, 127

References, 129

Index, 133

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Author Information

Don Canfield is Professor of ecology at the University of Southern Denmark and Director of the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution. Canfield is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and has previously published Oxygen: A Four Billion Year History, Aquatic Geomicrobiology and was co-editor of Fundamentals of Geomicrobiology.
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