Jeffrey L Smith Harold P Collins

Introduction

Changing Soil Organism Populations and Processes

Alternative Agricultural Management

The Potential for Managing Microorganisms and Their Processes

Concluding Comments on Microbial Ecology References and Suggested Reading introduction

Historically humans have managed organisms inadvertently, consciously, and sometimes by simple intuition. One of man's first introductions to a microbial process occurred over 100,000 years ago when fruit fermented and formed wine (Purser, 1977). Reference to wine-making methods were recorded on ceramic artifacts dating to 5000 years BCE. Enhancements to wine making and viticulture were made during the times of the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, who also promoted its use in everyday life. It was not until the mid-1800s that Louis Pasteur discovered the process of fermentation, shedding light on the thousands of years of humans managing organisms to their benefit (Forester, 1998). A similar story could be told of cheese and cheese making, as archaeologists have evidence of cheese consumption dating back to 6000 years BCE and depictions of it on Egyptian tomb murals dating to 2000 BCE (Smith, 1995). Management of organisms for

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