About the book
Besides live biomass and decaying dead biological matter, humus constitutes an important component of organic matter in the soil. It is a general term that has been largely used to describe a group of separate but distinct humic substances, which are heterogeneous polymers formed during the process of decay and degradation of plant, animal, and microbial biomass. The humic fraction of organic matter is a stable nutrient base that serves as a slow-release source of carbon and energy for the indigenous, slow-growing microorganisms in the soil. The complexity of humic substances and their remarkable properties in agricultural and other applications have attracted and continue to attain the attention of many researchers, bringing over the years new knowledge on their structure, physicochemical and biological properties. Nevertheless, the numerous studies produced controversial results because of the difficulty to identify a precise relationship between the structure and the activity of these substances.
This book aims to regroup recent advances and applications of humus and humic substances in agriculture, the environment, industry, and medicine, hopefully adding new information and shedding more light on the subject.