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This book describes and comprehensively illustrates all earth soils in accordance with the prevailing worldwide WRB classification. However, it goes far beyond description and definition, by presenting the soils in the context of the natural habitats in which they occur. The book is structured in line with ecological zones. Initially their location, the climate and the vegetation as well as the factors influencing the constitution of the soil are briefly presented. All soils representative of the corresponding ecological zone are then defined and described in detail: Definition Diagnostic features Physical, chemical and biological characteristics Occurrence and distribution Use and endangering Processes influencing soil formation; Distribution maps; Diagrams showing profile characteristics and soil formation processes; Photographs of soil profiles; Photographs of soil-scapes and Soil catenas. All these factors contribute to producing an impression of their characteristics as well as their natural surroundings. The very instructive photographs and graphs combine to make the publication an excellent reference book about the earth's soils and their distribution.