Update: 21.03.2018

In a handful of fertile soil, there are more individual organisms than the total number of human beings that have ever existed.

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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 97 (July 2013)

IUSS Newsletter

Commission 1.4 Soil Classification officers have just released Newsletter 5 with a Message From the Chair; information about the 2013 National Cooperative Soil Survey Conference in Annapolis, MD;  Forthcoming meetings - Division meeting Ulm, Germany; 7th IUSS International Conference of the Urban Soils Working Group, SUITMA; 2013 Soil Science Society of America; and Soil classification at the 20th World Soil Congress; South Korea. There is also an article reprint about the Universal Soil Classification System Report (paper published in Soil Horizons). The full newsletter can be accessed at:  http://clic.cses.vt.edu/IUSS1.4/Newsletters/IUSS_Soil_Classification_Newsletter_1.4.5.pdf

Crowd-sourced soil data for Europe and the Globe

mySoil is a free smartphone app (download at itunes), originally for the United Kingdom and recently expanded to cover Europe. mySoil contains a soil properties map with basic information on soil texture, pH and vegetation habitat. It also has the ability to crowd source georeferenced data. We are continuing to expand the capabilities of mySoil and would be interested in hearing from groups who might help with data to take this effort global. Read more at:  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7445/full/496300d.html contact: David A. Robinson,   CEHsoils@ceh.ac.uk 

20th World Congress of Soil Science – Korea

We are pleased to announce that the 20th World Congress of Soil Science will be held at the International Convention Center Jeju (ICC Jeju) on Jeju Island, Korea, from June 8th to 13th, 2014. The theme of the conference is Soils Embrace Life and Universe, and the congress is also a celebration of 90 years IUSS. Jeju is an oval-shaped volcanic island with 1,950 meter Halla Mountain in the middle. Jeju is known for its unique volcanic features making the entire island a volcanic museum. Numerous species of plants from polar to subtropical abound, which make it a treasure trove of nearly 1,800 varieties. The website of the 20th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) is www.20wcss.org and you will find valuable information and announcement by the Organizing Committee. We cordially invite you to join us and be part of the 20th World Congress of Soil Science. We hope that you will take this chance to explore one of the most exciting and wonderful countries in the world. We are looking forward to seeing you on Jeju Island. For further information see www.20wcss.org or e-mail   wcss@20wcss.org

Key dates:  

Abstract Submission Open: May, 2013

On-line Registration Open: June, 2013

Deadline for Abstract Submission: October 31, 2013

Notification of Abstract Acceptance: January 15, 2014

Deadline for Early Registration; March 20, 2014

Deadline for Regular Registration: May 8, 2014



New Publications

Biochar and Soil Biota. Natalia Ladygina & Francois Rineau (Eds.). To Be Published March 4th 2013. CRC Press. Taylor & Francis. ISBN: 978-1-46-657648-3. Hardcover, 278 pages. Price $79.95. This book focuses on how the ecology and biology of soil organisms is affected by the addition of biochar to soils. It covers direct and indirect effects of biochar addition to soils, on the soil carbon cycle, impact on plant resistance to foliar and soilborne disease, interactions with pathogenic, mycorhizal and saprophytic fungi. The book focuses on application of biochar to remediate polluted soils, taking into account possible toxic effects of biochar on soil fauna. One of the chapters provides extended information on the role of biochar in soil using isotopic tracing techniques.


The Soils of Chile. Series: World Soils Book Series. By Casanova, M., Salazar, O., Seguel, O. & Luzio, W. 2013, X. Springer. ISBN: 978-94-007-5949-7. Hardcover, 185 pages. Price $129.00. eBook. Price $ 99.00. This book is intended for students and soil scientists who want to know about the state of the art in soil sciences in Chile. The book merges a comprehensive bibliographical review of the soil surveys carried out throughout the length and breadth of Chilean territory during the past 40 years and more recent information obtained by the authors in a number of field studies. As its starting point the book presents a general overview of important features related to Chilean soils, such as geology and geomorphology, climate, land use and vegetation. In this long and narrow country different soil formation factors and processes have resulted in a broad variety of soil bodies, from the extremely arid Atacama desert to the Patagonian and Antarctic zones. This book provides a description and classification (mainly Soil Taxonomy) of the most important soil types. Particularly important are soils derived from volcanic materials, which cover extensive areas of Chile. The book also deals with soil management topics in relation to the chemical, physical and biological properties of Chilean soils and it includes a number of examples from throughout the country. Finally, the book shows how man has induced severe soil degradation problems in Chile, such as erosive soil degradation, non-erosive soil degradation and land desertification.

The Science of Clays: Applications in Industry, Engineering, and Environment. By Mukherjee, Swapna. 2013. Jointly published by Capital Publishing Company and Springer. ISBN: 978-94-007-6682-2. Hardcover, 480 pages. Price $179.00. This book is an attempt to provide a comprehensive and coherent description of three widely separated aspects of clays: the science of clays; the industrial uses of clays; and the role of clays in the environment. Most of the existing literature lacks such an integrated study and this work endeavours to fill that gap. An exhaustive account of the science of clays is presented in Part I of the book, which includes the classification, origin and evolution, composition and internal structure, chemical and physical properties of clays; soil mechanics; and analytical techniques for determining clay constituents. Part II provides a comprehensive description of the applications of clays and their derivatives in various industries, while Part III describes the role of clays in the environment; the pollution caused by clay minerals; and the application of clays in order to prevent environmental hazards. A principal feature of the book is its explanation of how the structure and composition of particular clay types facilitate their specific industrial or environmental applications, thus describing the interrelationship between three widely varying aspects of clay. A number of thought-provoking questions are raised at the end of the work in order to leave readers with a better insight in this regard.

Fungi as Bioremediators. Series: Soil Biology, Vol. 32. Goltapeh, Ebrahim Mohammadi; Danesh, Younes Rezaee & Varma, Ajit (Eds.). 2013.  Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-33811-3. eBook, immediately available per PDF-download (no DRM, watermarked). Price $149.00 Hardcover, 489 pages. $189.00. Biological remediation methods have been successfully used to treat polluted soils. While bacteria have produced good results in bioremediation for quite some time now, the use of fungi to decontaminate soils has only recently been established. This volume of Soil Biology discusses the potentials of filamentous fungi in bioremediation. Fungi suitable for degradation, as well as genetically modified organisms, their biochemistry, enzymology, and practical applications are described. Chapters include topics such as pesticide removal, fungal wood decay processes, remediation of soils contaminated with heavy and radioactive metals, of paper and cardboard industrial wastes, and of petroleum pollutants.

Precision Farming: Soil Fertility and Productivity Aspects. By K. R. Krishna. 2013. Taylor & Francis. ISBN: 978-1-926895-44-4. Hardcover, 188 pages. Price $99.95. Precision farming involves soil fertility and crop growth monitoring, electronic equipment, remote sensing, global information and positioning systems, computer models, decision support systems, variable-rate technology, and accurate recordkeeping. This book on precision techniques provides valuable information on instrumentation and methodology. It discusses the impact of precision techniques on soil fertility, nutrient dynamics, and crop productivity and highlights the application of GPS techniques to regulate fertilizer supply based on soil nutrient distribution and yield goals set by farmers. The book considers advances and examples from different agroecosystems from all continents.

Soil-Water-Root Processes: Advances in Tomography and Imaging. By Stephen H. Anderson and Jan W. Hopmans, editors. Soil Science Society of America. Hardcover. 304 pp., 2013. SSSA Special Publication 61. ISBN: 978-0-89118-958-9 (print). Also available at  https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/books. Rapid advances in tomography and imaging techniques and their successful application in soil and plant science are changing our sciences today. Many more articles using imaging and tomography are being published currently compared to 20 years ago. Soil–Water–Root Processes: Advances in Tomography and Imaging is a unique assemblage of contributions exploring applications of imaging and tomography systems in soil science—it provides an updated collection of X-ray computed tomography, synchrotron microtomography, neutron imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, geophysical imaging tools, and other tomography techniques for evaluating soils and roots. Exciting new procedures and applications have emerged, with the promise to propel forward our understanding of soil–plant properties and processes.