Charles Darwin, Soil Ecologist

Darwin@the Library info | Exhibit brochure (pdf)

The last work Darwin published is one of his least-known, but his study of mold and earthworms drew upon his broad interests. Far from being small and insignificant creatures, Darwin argued, earthworms turn over the soil in vast quantities, creating a suitable habitat for the growth of plants. Drawing upon some of his early geological work in the production of soils, this work represents a founding exemplar of quantitative ecology.

Like Darwin’s other books, it also contains interesting visual representations — for example, a tower of earthworm casts and diagrams showing the importance of mold in forming soil.

Charles Darwin, Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, 1881

Charles Darwin, Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, 1881

Read more about this book at Wikipedia.

Darwin@the Library info | Exhibit brochure (pdf)

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