Update: 19.02.2018

There are over 100,000 different types of soil in the world.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

IUSS Alert 106 (April 2014)


IUSS Paleopedology Newsletter 2014

The Newsletter gives an overview about paleopedological events in 2013 and informs about activities in 2014. In the beginning, it commemorates three great scientists who greatly contributed to our understanding of soils and paleosols and who passed in the past months, namely Donald L. Johnson, Vitaly A. Demkin and Dan H. Yaalon. The newsletter includes reports of ISFWP-XII (XIIth International Symposium and Field Workshop on Paleopedology) in Kursk/Russia; AEOMED and RAISIN Workshops; other activities at international conferences; summer schools in 2013.  It provides information and links to websites of upcoming events such as ISFWP-XIII in Torùn/Poland in September 2014, RAISIN and AEOMED Workshops in Oct/Nov 2014; other upcoming international conferences, summer schools and short courses. Finally, it presents the content of the recently published Catena Special Issue “Landscapes & Soils through Time”.

Conferences and meetings

XIII International Symposium and Field Workshop on Paleopedology, Poland, 1-6September 2014. The meetings is organized by the 'Paleopedology Comission IUSS and Polish Society of Soil Science. The meeting will be held in Northern Poland, the historical town Torun (famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus birth place) and its vicinity. All aspects of paleosols studies are welcome to be presented during thematically focused scientific sessions. Evolution of typical postglacial landscapes (moraine, outwash, melt-ice, inland dune) and soils of that area during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene is the main subject presented during two two-days field sessions (1-2 and 5-6 September)' The conference website is: www.home.umk.pl/~paleopedology2014/
6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (WCCA) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will promote the practical application of conservation practices to improve agricultural sustainability. From June 22-25, conservation-minded individuals from around the world will meet for the first WCCA in North America. The program highlights the latest developments in research, farmers’ success stories and the policy issues that confront governments and societies around the world. Register now for discounted prices. For more information, visit www.wcca6.org 

New Publications

Use of Microbes for the Alleviation of Soil Stress. Volume 2: alleviation of Soil Stress by PGPR and Mycorrhizal Fungi. By M. Miransari. April 30, 2014. IX Springer. ISBN: 978-14-939-0720-5. Hardcover, 304 pages. Price $189.00. Use of Microbes for the Alleviation of Soil Stresses, Volume 2: Alleviation of Soil Stress by PGPR and Mycorrhizal Fungi describes the most important details and advances related to the alleviation of soil stresses by PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi. Comprised of eleven chapters, the book reviews the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in alleviation of salt stress, the role of AM fungi in alleviating drought stress in plants, the impact of biotic and abiotic stressors and the use of mycorrhizal fungi to alleviate compaction stress on plant growth. Written by experts in their respective fields, Use of Microbes for the Alleviation of Soil Stresses, Volume 2: Alleviation of Soil Stress by PGPR and Mycorrhizal Fungi is a comprehensive and valuable resource for researchers and students interested in the field of microbiology and soil stresses.
The Soil Underfoot. Infinite Possibilities for a Finite Resource. By G.J. Churchman, E.R. Landa. 2014. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-14-665-7156-3. Hardcover, 454 pages. Price $99.95. The largest part of the world’s food comes from its soils, either directly from plants, or via animals fed on pastures and crops. Thus, it is necessary to maintain, and if possible, improve the quality—and hence good health—of soils, while enabling them to support the growing world population. The Soil Underfoot: Infinite Possibilities for a Finite Resource arms readers with historical wisdom from various populations around the globe, along with current ideas and approaches for the wise management of soils. It covers the value of soils and their myriad uses viewed within human and societal contexts in the past, present, and supposed futures. In addition to addressing the technical means of maintaining soils, this book presents a culturally and geographically diverse collection of historical attitudes to soils, including philosophical and ethical frameworks, which have either sustained them or led to their degradation. Section I describes major challenges associated with climate change, feeding the increasing world population, chemical pollution and soil degradation, and technology. Section II discusses various ways in which soils are, or have been, valued—including in film and contemporary art as well as in religious and spiritual philosophies, such as Abrahamic religions, Maori traditions, and in Confucianism. Section III provides stories about soil in ancient and historic cultures including the Roman Empire, Greece, India, Japan, Korea, South America, New Zealand, the United States, and France. Section IV describes soil modification technologies, such as polymer membrane barriers, and soil uses outside commercial agriculture including the importance of soils for recreation and sports grounds. The final section addresses future strategies for more effective sustainable use of soils, emphasizing the biological nature of soils and enhancing the use of "green water" retained from rainfall.
Acid Mine Drainage, Rock Drainage, and Acid Sulfate Soils: Causes, Assessment, Prediction, Prevention, and Remediation. By J.A. Jacobs, J.H. Lehr, and S.M. Testa. May 2014. Wiley. ISBN: 978-04-704-8786-0. Hardcover, 520 pages. Price $149.95. Written to help readers understand the formation of AMD, Acid Mine Drainage addresses the generation of acidic waters usually from both used and abandoned coal or metal mines. Offering the most up-to-date ideas on metals remediation, which makes finding control methods relatively easy, the text provides a section on legal and policy issues and details the causes, control, prediction, prevention, and remediation of AMD formation. Case studies from North America, Europe, Asia, and developing countries highlight various approaches to AMD problems.
Einführung in die Bodenphysik. By Jörg Bachmann; Rainer Horn; Stephan Peth. 2014. 4. Revised and extended edition, 372 p. 978-3-510-65280-8, hardcover, €49.80/~US$ 70  http://schweizerbart.com/9783510652808. This fourth, completely revised (in German) edition is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art introduction to basic physical and chemical soil properties (structure, texture, particle interfaces) and explains how important parameters such as soil productivity are controlled by physical factors (e.g. loading, bulk density, hydraulic conductivity) and time. Fundamentals of water-, gas-, and heat transport in soils and general principles of soil mechanics are introduced and discussed at different scales, pointing out how they affect soil fertility and crop yield. Methods of soil amelioration and soil protection, consequential to these relationships, are discussed. The volume targets students of and researchers in soil science, physical geography, hydrology, civil engineering, agriculture, forestry and all practitioners interested in how soil processes, parameters and plant yield relate.