Update: 12.02.2018

A handful of soil can contain billions of soil microorganisms.

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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 79 (January 2012) 

Conferences, Symposia, Meetings

Goldschmidt 2012 (JUNE 24-29, 2012) Montréal, Canada. www.goldschmidt2012.org Records of climate change from terrestrial archives: palaeosols and loess. The driving forces of evolution of Earth’s climate, from cold snowball Earth to warm greenhouse state, can be revealed and quantified by palaeoclimate studies. Nowadays fragile global environmental conditions demand urgent improving of the understanding of paleoclimates to better predict climate change. The physical, chemical and biological composition of ancient soils or more polygenetic buried soils hold great potential as proxies for regional palaeoclimate and palaeoatmospheric circulation patterns as well as palaeoatmospheric pCO2variations for intervals of Earth’s history characterized by extreme and abrupt environmental perturbations. More understanding of the mechanisms that influence biogeochemical data preservation in the proxies is needed to avoid biases of interpretation. Once these issues are addressed, the geochemistry of palaeosols can provide both qualitative and semi-quantitative information about the changing redox state of the atmosphere since the Precambrian times. Palaeosol-loess sequences also have a great potential for the evolution of climate throughout Earth’s history as they have preserved detailed climatic records of stepwise terrestrial climate change. We invite contributions that investigate various biogeochemical proxies of the evolution of the climate system from Precambrian to Holocene as well as on extreme events (e.g. LIPs related to catastrophic global climate impacts and mass extinctions events).  Co-convenors: Mohammed Rafi G. Sayyed (Poona College, Pune, India) - mrgsayyed yahoo.com  Martine Gerard (IMPMC, Paris) - Martine.Gerard impmc.upmc.fr

7th International Conference of the Urban Soils Working Group, SUITMA, of the International Union of Soil Sciences.  SUITMAs (Soils in Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas) are one of main components of urban ecosystem. They are very diverse and heterogeneous, and fulfill primary functions of utmost importance. SUITMA7 will be held in UNESCO World Heritage city of Torun, famous for its gothic architecture. One-day pre-conference tour (Northern Poland red brick gothic castles), two-day mid-conference field tour (18 & 19 September 2013) will be offered in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Province and a post-conference tour (20 - 23 September 2013) will be organized in Poland and Czech Republic, with not only soils but also interesting social part (breweries visiting) included in the program and finish in Golden Prague, Czech capital, to address issues related to urban and industrial soils of Central Europe. We will be very pleased to invite you to participate in SUITMA 7 to share your ideas and experience for the benefit of  urban communities and SUITMAs. For more information visit conference website: www.suitma7.umk.pl or email Przemyslaw CHARZYNSKI, Chairman of SUITMA 7: suitma7@umk.pl  You are also welcomed to join SUITMA 7 group on Facebook to be instantly informed on news and updates concerning the Conference.

2012 IUSS International Conference on Soil Classification: Towards a Universal Soil Classification System. Please register and submit abstracts as early as possible at http://clic.cses.vt.edu/IUSS1.4/Conf_Soil_Classification_2012/index.htm on link: First Announcement. The 4th International Conference continues the discussion on soil classification issues started in Godolo, Hungary (2001), Petrozavodsk, Russia (2004) and Santiago, Chile (2008). Specific attention will be paid to the harmonization of criteria for diagnostic horizons and features of soils in agricultural and urban areas and discussion on development of the concepts of a newly proposed Universal Soil Classification System.


New Publications

Multiscales Geomechanics: From Soil to Engineering Projects. By Pierre-Yves Hicher. January, 2012. Wiley-ISTE. ISBN: 978-1-84821-246-6. Hardcover. Price $195.00. This book addresses the latest issues in multiscale geomechanics. Written by leading experts in the field as a tribute to Jean Biarez (1927-2006), it can be of great use and interest to researchers and engineers alike. A brief introduction describes how a major school of soil mechanics came into being through the exemplary teaching by one man. Biarez's life-long work consisted of explaining the elementary mechanisms governing soil constituents in order to enhance understanding of the underlying scientific laws which control the behavior of constructible sites and to incorporate these scientific advancements into engineering practices. He innovated a multiscale approach of passing from the discontinuous medium formed by individual grains to an equivalent continuous medium. The first part of the book examines the behavior of soils at the level of their different constituents and at the level of their interaction. Behavior is then treated at the scale of the soil sample. The second part deals with soil mechanics from the vantage point of the construction project. It highlights Biarez's insightful adoption of the Finite Element Codes and illustrates, through numerous construction examples, his methodology and approach based on the general framework he constructed for soil behavior, constantly enriched by comparing in situ measurements with calculated responses of geostructures.

Bio-Geo Interactions in Metal-Contaminated Soils. Series: Soil Biology, Vol. 31. Kothe, Erika and Varma, Ajit (Eds). 2012, 2012, IX. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-23326-5. Hardcover, 423 pages. Price $209.00. Metal contamination is an increasing ecological and eco-toxicological risk. Understanding the processes involved in metal mobilization, sorption and mineralization in soils are key features for soil bioremediation. Following an introduction to the physical, chemical and biological components of contaminated soils, various chapters address the interactions of soil, microorganisms, plants and the water phase necessary to transfer metals into biological systems. These include topics such as potential hazards at mining sites; rare earth elements in biotic and abiotic acidic systems; manganese redox reactions; biomineralisation, uranium in seepage water; metal-resistant streptomycetes; mycorrhiza in re-forestation; metal (hyper)accummulation in plants; microbial metal uptake; and their potential for bioremediation.

Secretions and Exudates in Biological Systems. Series: Signaling and Communication in Plants, Vol. 12. Vivanco, Jorge M. and Baluška, František (Eds.). 2012, 2012, VII.  Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-23046-2. Hardcover, 283 pages. Price $189.00. Secretions and emissions in biological systems play important signaling roles within the organism but also in its communications with the surrounding environment.  This volume brings together state-of-the-art information on the role of secretions and emissions in different organs and organisms ranging from flowers and roots of plants to nematodes and human organs. The plant chapters relate information regarding the biochemistry of flower volatiles and root exudates, and their role in attracting pollinators and soil microbial communities respectively. Microbial chapters explain the biochemistry and ecology of quorum sensing and how microbial communities highly co-adapted to plants can aid in bio-energy applications by degrading ligno-cellulosic materials. Other chapters explain the biology of secretions by nematodes, algae and humans, among other organisms. This volume will be a welcome addition to the literature, as no other book covers aspects related to biological secretion in such a holistic and integrative manner.

Sols et Environnement. Edited  by MC Girard, C. Walter, JC Remy , J.Berthelin J.  and JL Morel. DUNOD-F. Sciences Sup., Hardcover, 2nd Ed., 896 p., 36 chap. ISBN 978-2100549009. This manual is designed for French speaking students involved in Masters and Schools of Engineering (Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Earth Sciences). It will also be helpful for professionals involved with soils as a reference for up-to-date knowledge on soil processes and policies.  This fully revised second edition integrates contributions from nearly 80 specialists, carefully edited to ensure facility of comprehension and homogeneous presentation. All aspects of the environmental challenges of tomorrow are considered as soils are a key element of the environment: waste recycling, pollution by toxic substances, water resource, greenhouse gas fluxes,  carbon sequestration, soil biodiversity. Soils have also a societal role and this edition integrates new contributions on viewpoints from sociology, law and economics on the integration of the soil resource in public decision. The book is divided into 36 chapters within 6 sections: I. The soil as core element of the biosphere; II. Soils and human activities; III. Soil functions; IV. Soils and land management;  V. Soil: threats, prevention and rehabilitation; VI. Soil and social sciences.   At the end of each chapter classroom-tested exercises are provided and supplements are available online.