The Cycle of Life:
An History of Experimental Ecology

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C.C. Delwiche, ed., Denitrification, Nitrification, and Atmospheric Nitrous Oxide (New York: Wiley, 1981).

In the first chapter in this edited volume, C.C. Delwiche wrote that "one of the facets of human influence on the earth and on biological process has been an alteration of some of the mineral cycle.' Of special interest are "those of the volatile elements of biological importance, such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. The resulting influence on the nitrogen cycle has been extensive and is reflected in such measurable phenomena as the nitrate content of the surface and ground waters. The biological world is energy-driven. virtually all of the energy that serves to do biological work--such as muscular contraction and the concentration and movement of ions--comes from the sun, directly or indirectly. Photosynthesis of green plants and other organisms is the primary energy-capturing process, and most biological reactions are the consequence of some earlier photosynthetic activity.

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