Update: 21.03.2018

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 103 (January 2014)


2015 Year of the Soil

The United Nations has approved 2015 as the Year of the Soil. This will be an unique opportunity to raise the profile of soils and celebrate soil science. The IUSS has formed an ad-hoc committee that will coordinate and organize all activities for this special year. Many activities are being planned and please submit these activities and all your ideas to the IUSS President elect Rainer Horn:   rhorn@soils.uni-kiel.de  


Nominations - IUSS President 2016-2018

This year we need to elect the IUSS President for the period 2016-2018. As its Senior Officer, the President of the IUSS will provide leadership, focus and direction both within and outside of the Union. The President will Chair meetings of Council, the Executive Committee and the President's Committee and will be responsible for the proper conduct of the business of the Union. More details on the position and how to be nominated can be found at www.iuss.org  Nomination close 28th February 2014 and the elected President will be presented at the World Congress of Soil Science in Korea in June 2014.


IUSS International Soil Judging Contest

The inaugural International Soil Judging Competition for soil science students is scheduled to take place in Jeju, Korea from June 5-7, 2014, immediately preceding the 20th World Congress of Soil Science. Each country with a National Society membership to the IUSS has been invited to nominate up to two teams, (each) consisting of a coach and four soil science students. Team members and coach must be nominated by the National Society, by March 20, 2014. All participants must be registered for the 20WCSS, but a USD1,000 travel scholarship will be paid to each team upon arrival in Jeju to help defray costs. For further information, see;



IUSS Commission 1.4 Soil Classification Newsletter 

The chair and vice-chair of Commission 1.4 Soil Classification have released Newsletter (see www.iuss.org Newsletters. The 46 page newsletter contains a call for soils data to assist the Universal Soil Classification working group to conduct a meaningful numerical analysis of existing great groups. There are critical needs for data on cold soils and tropical soils. There are reports and abstracts from past meetings and a summary of soil classification publications from 2013. The classical soil genesis paper by Roy Simonson is included for review.


Future Earth

Future Earth is a 10-year international research programme that will provide critical knowledge required for societies to face the challenges posed by global environmental change and to identify opportunities for transformations towards global sustainability. Future Earth was launched in 2012 by the Science & Technology Alliance for global sustainability comprising the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), UNESCO, UNEP, the United Nations University, the International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA) and the Belmont Forum of principals, and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Future Earth Engagement Committee has just been published: www.icsu.org/news-centre/news/call-for-applications-for-future-earth-engagement-committee


Conferences and meetings

XX Latinoamerican Soil Science Congress will be organized by the Latinoamerican Soil Science Society (SLCS) www.slcs.org.mx  and the Peruvian Soil Science Society (SPCS) in Cuzco Peru from 9-15 November 2014. The web is www.xxcongresolatinoamericanodesuelosperu.org ) and the email for questions is   clacs2014@xxcongresolatinoamericanodesuelosperu.org . Invited speakers will be Dr. Pedro Sanchez (World food Prize 2002), Dr. Rattan Lal (Ohio University), Dr. Rainer Horn (elect president of IUSS), Dr. Ronald Vargas (FAO-Rome), Dra. Cheryl Palm (Columbia University), Dr. Eddie Schrevens (Leuven University Belgium) , Dr. Patrick Lavelle (Paris University), Dra. Carmen Felipe-Morales (UNALM University, Peru). All are welcome to participate and to learn about our Inca culture.

XII Congress of the Croatian Society of Soil Science will be held in Dubrovnik, in the independent Republic of Croatia, the 28th EU member, from September 22-26, 2014. In the same year we celebrate 83 years of active and organized activity of Croatian soil scientists at home and abroad. Under the theme of “Sustainable soil management for food and environment safety”, the aim of the XII Congress of Croatian Society of Soil Science is to bring together the leading researchers and specialists in order to share their experiences, research results and discuss the already adopted and devised new solutions on all aspects of sustainable soil management for food and environment safety. More information see: www.congress-csss.org

II Curso latinoamericano – Micromorfologia de suelos y técnicas complementarias (CLMSTC) Will be held in Bogota (Colombia) from 04 to 10 August 2014. The Objectives are to extend the knowledge of micromorphology to the Spanish-speaking audiences in Latin America (it is a course taught in Spanish).  These course is addressed to persons belonging to the areas of agronomy, geography, geology, archeology, biology and many other fields of environmental sciences. This course is part of IUSS Commission 1.1 Soil Morphology & Micromorphology activities. Invited lecturers: C. Mallol, R. Poch, G. Stoops, K. Robertson S. Gaviria, J.C Loaiza Information:   jcloaiza@unal.edu.co;   willyposada@yahoo.es

International Scientific Conference Geography: challenges of the XXI century . This conference is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Geography Faculty of Taurida National V.I. Vernadsky University (8 – 12 April, 2014). Sections: Crimean geography school: results and perspectives; Physical geography: composite and component (landscape, geomorphology, paleogeography, meteorology, climatology, hydrology, oceanography, biogeography and geography of soils); Economical, Social, Recreational, Political Geography and Geopolitics; Geoecology and constructive geography; Geographical Cartography and Geographic Information Systems. Remote Sensing of the Earth; Historical Geography. History of Geographical Research. Problems of Geographical Didactics. More information:  http://geo80.crimea.edu or contact   geokonferenciya@ukr.net  


New Publications

Genomics of Soil- and Plant-Associated Fungi. Series: Soil Biology, Vol. 36. By Horwitz, B.A.; Mukherjee, P.K.; Mukherjee, M.; Kubicek, C.P. (Eds.). 2013, XII. Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-39339-6. Hardcover 322 pages.  Price $189.00. eBook price $149.00. This volume addresses the similarities and also the differences in the genomes of soil saprophytes, symbionts, and plant pathogens by using examples of fungal species to illustrate particular principles. It analyzes how the specific interactions with the hosts and the influence of the environment may have shaped genome evolution. The relevance of fungal genetic research and biotechnological applications is shown for areas such as plant pathogenesis, biomass degradation, litter decomposition, nitrogen assimilation, antibiotic production, mycoparasitism, energy, ecology, and also for soil fungi turning to human pathogens.

Introduction to Soil Chemistry: Analysis and Instrumentation 2nd Edition.  Series: Chemical Analysis- A Series of Monographs on Analytical Chemistry and its Applications. By: Alfred R. Conklin Jr. December, 2013. Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-118-13514-3. Hardcover 344 pages. Price $120.00. This text provides the tools needed to explore the incredible complexities of the earth’s soils. Now in its Second Edition, this highly acclaimed text fully equips readers with the skills and knowledge needed to analyze soil and correctly interpret the results. Due to the highly complex nature of soil, the author carefully explains why unusual results are routinely obtained during soil analyses, including the occurrence of methane in soil under oxidative conditions. The text also assists readers in developing their own analytical techniques in order to analyze particular samples or test for particular compounds or properties. The Second Edition of Introduction to Soil Chemistry features four new chapters. Moreover, the entire text has been thoroughly updated and revised. It begins with a review of the history of soil chemistry, introducing fundamental concepts that apply to all soils. Next, the text explores: Basic soil characteristics, horizonation, texture, clay, air, water, solids, organic matter, organisms, and fundamental chemical concepts essential to soil chemistry, tested and proven sampling techniques for soil analysis that provide reliable analytical results, basic soil measurement techniques and extraction procedures, and Instrumentation to isolate and identify soil chemicals, including plant nutrients and contaminants. Detailed examples and figures throughout the text help readers successfully perform soil sampling and analytical methods as well as better understand soils chemical characteristics.

Agroecosystems: Soils, Climate, Crops, Nutrient Dynamics and Productivity. By Krishna, K.R..  January 2nd, 2014. Apple Academic Press, and CRC Press. ISBN: 978-1-926895-48-2. Hardcover 552 pages. Price $129.95. Comprised of three sections, this covers the nutrient dynamics and productivity of global agroecosystems. It focuses on the major aspects that make up agroecosystems, such as soils, climate, crops, nutrient dynamics, and productivity. It introduces agroeocsystems and describes global soil types that support vast crop belts, then deals with the principles that drive crop growth, nutrient dynamics and ecosystematic functions within any agroecosystem. It also details the influence of agronomic practices and factors such as soil microbes, organic matter, crop genetic nature, irrigation, weeds, and cropping systems that affect productivity of agroecosystems.

Soil and Water  Contamination, 2nd Edition. By Marcel van der Perk. November 15th, 2013. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-0-415-89343-5. Paperback 428 pages. Price $89.95. Soil and Water Contamination, Second Edition gives a structured overview of transport and fate processes of environmental contaminants. Dealing with all topics essential for understanding and predicting contaminant patterns in soil, groundwater and surface water, it contributes to the formation of a solid basis for adequate soil and water pollution control and integrated catchment management. A unique feature of this work is that it does not treat water and soil pollution as independent processes, but as components of an integrated whole. This comprehensive, successful textbook, now in its second edition, has been conscientiously updated and extended and includes many case studies, examples and exercises sections, providing undergraduate and graduate students in the Earth and Environmental Sciences with all the material necessary for the study of soil and water contamination. In addition, it can serve as a useful source of information for professionals.