Update: 12.02.2018

Five tonnes of animal life can live in one hectare of soil.

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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 105 (March 2014)


World Congress of Soil Science 8-13 June 2014

Preparations are well underway and all abstracts have been reviewed. Early bird registration ends March 20. Accommodation can be easily booked on the World Congress website and there is information on visa and transportation and much more. The website has also information on the tours, and on the soils of Jeju and Korea. We look forward seeing you at the 20th World Congress of Soil Science. Please register at www.20wcss.org

90 years IUSS 1924-2014 – Pictures wanted

The ISSS (now IUSS) was established in 1924 and this year we celebrate our 90th anniversary. At the World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in jeju, Korea in June there will be a photo exhibition on all the congresses. If you have any WCSS pictures that you would like to share please send them to   wcss@20wcss.org and   hartemink@wisc.edu

Conferences and meetings

Innovation in Soil-Based Onsite Wastewater Treatment. April 7-8, 2014. Embassy Hotel, Albuquerque, USA. Natural resource professionals are being asked to treat human wastewater more effectively and efficiently in today's decentralized wastewater arena. This is a tall order and can only be accomplished if everyone understands the state of the science in this broad, interconnected field. Soil scientists must know the technology to make good recommendations to engineers about system design. Engineers must know the regulations to specify an appropriate system for a site. Service providers must understand system function to maintain the highest level of treatment. Regulators must understand soil and system capabilities to develop sustainable regulations. And the public must be educated about how their actions affect performance to increase system longevity and protect their investment. www.soils.org/meetings/specialized-conferences/onsite-wastewater
16th World Fertilizer Congress. October 20-24, 2014. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Embrapa, Esalq-USP and the International Scientific Center of Fertilizers (CIEC) will host the 16th World Fertilizer Congress. The theme is “Technological Innovation for a Sustainable Tropical Agriculture” and the main topics of discussions include: controlled release fertilizers; micronutrients and secondary macronutrients in NPK fertilizers; fertilizers and environmental impacts; new routes for fertilizer production; organic based fertilizers and biofertilizers; direct use of agrominerals. More info here:www.16wfc.com/presentation
Global Soil Security Symposium. May 18-20, 2015. Texas A&M University, USA. Soil security involves maintenance and improvement of the soil resource to produce food, fiber, and fresh water, to contribute to sustainable energy production, adapt to climate changes, and to maintain biodiversity and function in ecosystems. Those concerned with achieving soil security recognize that attainment will involve scientific, economic, and political engagement to effectively and credibly inform political and legal frameworks. Texas A&M University will be the first of three locales for the Soil Security Forum. The next two are planned for Europe and Oceania. More information here:  globalsoilsecurity.tamu.edu

Call for Nominations: SSSA Awards & Scholarships

The Soil Science Society of America is accepting nominations for 2014 Awards and scholarships which honors researchers, educators, extension professionals, and students. Nominate a colleague or student for one of the dozens of awards and scholarships. Awards Deadlines: March 27 to initiate online nominations and April 3 for reference letters and final submission. Scholarship Deadlines: April 3 to initiate online applications and April 10 for reference letters and final submission.

New Publications

United Arab Emirates Keys to Soil Taxonomy. By Shahid S.A., Abdelfattah M.A., Wilson M.A., Kelley J.A., Chiaretti J.V. ISBN 978-94-007-7420-9. Price (eBook 55,53 €; Hardcover 66,66 €). 108 p. 81 illus. in color. The United Arab Emirates Keys to Soil Taxonomy is an essential tool for further soil classification studies in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the arid and semi-arid regions. The challenge of protecting and managing the environment is significant and must be based on robust scientific and technical knowledge. Knowledge and understanding of soil is critical, particularly in an arid environment, as the resources in soil are scarce and must answer competing demands from agriculture to urban development, mineral exploration, and infrastructure development. The book provides a basic soil classification system that is very beneficial to anyone wishing to classify and correlate soils within similar conditions. It not only provides the taxonomic key necessary for the classification of soils that can be easily used in the field, but establishes a scientific standard to be used (and updated as needed) for future generations. It concentrates on three main areas: Provides a unique key for classifying soils of the United Arab Emirates, goes beyond USDA soil classification keys to include specialized criteria for UAE soils, and includes a mechanism for updating current surveys and correlating information from new surveys.
Remote Sensing of Energy Fluxes and Soil Moisture Content. By George P. Petropoulos. 2013. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-1-46-650578-0. Hardcover 562 pages. Price $139.95. Discussing the state of the art in the remote sensing of surface turbulent heat fluxes and soil surface moisture content, this book offers the most up-to-date understanding of the natural processes of Earth systems and their interactions with man-made activities. Identifying effective, accurate, and practical methods, it allows researchers to obtain much-needed data on the soilscape at decreased cost: both reducing the amount of field data collection and increasing coverage area. An all-inclusive overview of methods and modeling techniques, it provides case studies and considers future trends, prospects, and scientific challenges.
Soils in Natural Landscapes. By Earl B. Alexander. 2013. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-1-46-659435-7. Hardcover 319 pages.  Price $99.95. In any complete investigation of terrestrial ecosystems, rocks and soils must be considered. Soils are essential resources, providing water and nutrients for vascular plants, and mitigating the flow of water from the land. In addition, soil diversity is critical for biotic diversity. While there are many references on the agricultural perspective of soils, there is a need for a basic soils book for those concerned with natural landscapes and ecosystems. The text fills this niche, providing a thorough introduction to the physics, chemistry, and biology of soils and their roles in local to global systems. The book begins by describing the field of soils and the major roles of soils in natural landscapes. The chapters that follow cover a range of topics: Soil parent material, Architecture of soils, Temperature and soils, Water, air, and climate, Classification of soils, Soil landscapes, Plant nutrition, Soil organisms, Organic matter in soils. The author also discusses global issues such as water and carbon cycles, global warming, and acid rain. He addresses land management for different uses, soil quality, and soil degradation. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book provides practical insights for the evaluation of soils in natural environments and their non-intensive management.
Soil Biota and Ecosystem Development in Post Mining Sites. By Jan Frouz. 2013. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-1-46-659931-4. Hardcover 316 pages. Price $99.95. This book focuses on soil development in restoration of post-mining sites. In particular, the authors address the role of biota, including plants, microorganisms, invertebrates, and their various interactions during the process of soil formation. The book largely deals with sites created by open-cast mining, as this method represents a very destructive and, at the same time, intensively studied example of a mining operation. This book is a useful summary of recent knowledge for scholars dealing with ecosystem development after large disturbances as well as for practitioners dealing with reclamation and restoration of post-mining land.