Update: 12.02.2018

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 126 (December 2015)


IUSS Message on account of the International Year of Soils

In December 2013 the United Nations Organisation designated 2015 the ‘International Year of Soils’ – the culmination of an initiative started back in 2002 by the International Union Soil Sciences (IUSS). His Majesty King Bumibhol of Thailand gave the initiative his support and, in April 2012, his government submitted an official proposal for an International Day of the Soil to the FAO Council for their support at the UN General Assembly in New York.

In December 2013, the United Nations not only inaugurated World Soil Day, but declared 2015 the International Year of Soils.
This declaration will help increase worldwide public awareness of the highly sensitive topic of soils and their very specific properties – but also their irreversible vulnerability to mismanagement – and can help improve our handling of soils in the future.
By 2050, the global population is projected to exceed 9 billion people. While the population rapidly increases, the available surface area of soil in which the food is grown to feed them diminishes at a rate of 300 square kilometres each day.

Soils are the most complex biomaterials on the planet. They are, effectively, self-regulating biological factories. Soils are 3-dimensional bodies on the earth’s surface with liquid, gaseous and solid components. They contain both organic and inorganic materials, including living organisms in great number and diversity. These soils must be used carefully and in accordance with their resilience and elasticity, in order to ensure the long-term maintenance of their key properties and processes – and thus to meet the demands of a growing world population.

At present, the vulnerability of soils to global change and anthropogenic impact is unprecedented. Severe degradation, including widespread contamination, compaction, accelerated erosion, severe depletion of carbon and nutrients, rapid urbanisation and frequent hazards all threaten sustainable food production, adequate water supply, global ecosystem services and the essential quality of human life.

Soil carbon sequestration, soil restoration, the conservation of biodiversity and other important soil functions are important for sustainable land and soil use. Through land misuse and soil mismanagement, soils have been severely and increasingly degraded and some irretrievably lost. Soil degradation constitutes the most insidious and underestimated challenge of the 21st century, a challenge it is essential we meet and conquer.

The United Nations’ decision to inaugurate 2015 as International Year of Soils is an important step in raising public awareness. But public concern alone is not sufficient to protect soils and ensure their sustainable use. Every country around the world needs to take and to maintain action.

During 2015, a number of activities were organised by national soil science societies in Cuba, Nigeria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, Honduras, Japan, Poland, Romania, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela, to name just a few. Regional soil science societies such as ESAFS, the GSW in Berlin, the Soil Governance conference in Brasilia, participation in fairs like Green week in Berlin, the IFOAM meeting in Amsterdam and numerous IUSS conferences like in Texas, Goettingen or the SUSTAIN conference in Kiel all underline the enthusiastic engagement of soil scientists worldwide to help improve the visibility of soils and to explain their properties and functions, but also their vulnerability.

We are profoundly grateful for all your activities. Please continue during the period following the end of 2015. The International decade of Soils shall be the next challenge which will also bring us straight into the centennial anniversary of IUSS which will be celebrated in 2024 in Italy. We must remain at the forefront of the scientific agenda, on the agenda of policy makers and in public consciousness.

As a topic, soil must be accorded the importance it deserves.

Prof. Prof. h.c. Dr. Dr. h.c. Rainer Horn (President), Prof. Dr. Rattan Lal (President elect), Prof. Dr. Jae Yang (Past President)

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Publication of IUSS Bulletin 127

The latest IUSS Bulletin with detailed reports of IUSS Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups, an account of the numerous activities undertaken during the International Year of Soils 2015 to raise awareness on soils and their importance for humankind, as well as other information from the world of soil science will be published on the IUSS website very soon.

Read more

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Call for applications for the Pons Medal for distinguished service to acid sulfate soil science and practice

The Acid Sulfate Soil Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences is inviting applications for the Pons Medal which will be presented at the 8th International Acid Sulfate Soils Conference in Maryland USA in late July 2016. Named after Leen Pons, who was a leading figure in early acid sulfate soil science, and in the organisation of international acid sulfate soil conferences, the Pons Medal will be awarded for recognition of distinguished service to acid sulfate soil science and practice.

Further information on the Pons Medal and on the instructions for making a nomination can be accessed by emailing the Chair of the Acid Sulfate Soil Commission, Professor Leigh Sullivan. Nominations need to be received by the Chair by the 17th April 2016.

Contact Professor Leigh Sullivan

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Soil Science Has Lost One of Its Giants: Nyle C Brady (1920-2015)

The IUSS Secretariat was sad to learn that our distinguished colleague Nyle C Brady passed away on 24 November 2015 at the age of 95.

Dr. Brady was a global leader in soil science, in agriculture, and in humanity. He worked at Cornell University for over 20 years in several capacities including Assistant Dean of the College of Agriculture. During this period, he was elected President of both the American Society of Agronomy and of the Soil Science Society of America. He is also widely known as co-author of the classic soil science textbook The Nature and Properties of Soil.

Known for his active interest in international development and for his administrative skills, he was called in 1973 to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. During his eight years as Director General at IRRI he pioneered numerous major advances that would have significant impacts in soil science in rice production.
Dr. Brady then returned to work for another 10 years under the direction of the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. He was a fierce champion of international scientific cooperation to promote sustainable resource use and agricultural development.

His death is a tremendous loss for soil science.

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Celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils – Achievements and Future Challenges

IAEA/Vienna International Centre, Austria, December 7, 2015.
The IUSS together with the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture organized this conference in Vienna to celebrate the International Year of Soils (IYS) together with the World Soil Day (WSD).

Speakers from regional soil science societies (Africa, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America), the IUSS Council, the chairs and vice-chairs of the IUSS Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups as well as several high level representatives from FAO, IAEA and partners were invited to discuss the achievements of the IYS and the future challenges in soil science as well as opportunities for international cooperation.

In the course of this highly successful event, which attracted more than 120 participants from all over the world, a draft version of the Vienna Soil Declaration “Soil matters for humans and ecosystems” was adopted and the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) proclaimed by Rainer Horn, IUSS President.
The end of the International Decade of Soils coincides with the centennial anniversary of the International Union of Soil Sciences.

Read more

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World Soil Day celebrated in Iran

The International Year of Soils (IYS) and World Soil Day (WSD) were celebrated at the National Salinity Research Center (NSRC).
Honouring December 5th (World Soil Day) and Global Soil Week a roundtable meeting was held at NSRC Headquarters, Yazd, Iran.
At this meeting which was held on Sunday December 6th 2015 the NSRC Director, Dr. Dehghani stated the importance of soil quality attributes in maintaining the crops yield and providing sustainability for the agricultural sector.
The situation of soil science researchers in Iran in comparison with the world was presented in advance by Eng. Hasheminejhad.

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Celebration of the International Year of Soils in Georgia: Olympiad for school children “Earth is our home”

Since the UN had declared 20105 the International Year of Soils, the Mikheil Sabashvili Institute of Soil Science, Agro chemistry and Melioration of the Agricultural University of Georgia together with the Georgian Soil Scientists Society and the Association of Professional Chemists held the Republican Olympiad for schoolchildren “Earth is our Home” on the 6th of November 2015.

The goal of the Olympiad was to increase publicity of natural sciences (especially soil science), to promote agricultural disciplines and understanding of their role, to increase acknowledgement of the need to care for a safe environment and ecology.
The competition was held in two rounds. 95 pupils took part in the competition, of which 27 were selected by the jury for the next round. The final round of the competition was held at the Agricultural University, in which 15 pupils took part. From preliminarily prepared issues the contestants selected three on a lottery basis.
The following issues were selected:

  • Morphological signs of soil
  • Soil erosion and Degradation
  • Soils of East Georgia – a brief description
    The task was fulfilled in two academic hours. The jury assessed the works and pupils were awarded I, II, III degree certificates. Their teachers were awarded certificates of gratitude. The Republican Olympiad for Schoolchildren will be held annually.

Submitted by Prof. Dr. Tengiz F. Urushadze, Director of the Mikheil Sabashvili Institute of Soil Science, Agrichemistry and Melioration, Agricultural University of Georgia

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IYS event at the University of Delaware: DENIN event to boost appreciation for soil, an overlooked resource

The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) hosted an event in celebration of the International Year of Soils on Monday, Dec. 7, in the Trabant University Center. The University of Delaware community was invited to stop by DENIN’s booth near the food court to play soil-related trivia, enter the “Pay Dirt” raffle, pot a plant to take home, and sample the special “DENIN Dirt” ice cream flavor concocted by the UDairy Creamery.

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Soil Health Institute launched to benefit soil

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, in partnership with the Farm Foundation, announced the launch of the Soil Health Institute, a private-public partnership that works directly with farmers, researchers, academia, legislators, government regulators, industry, and environmental groups to improve soil health. The Institute will focus on five specific areas: research, standards and measurement, economics, education/communication and public policy.

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Large scale soil restoration for climate change adaptation, mitigation and food security – what’s in it for smallholder farmers?

Hosts: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)

In recent years, land restoration has gained increased attention in the international climate regime because of its potential role in mitigating climate change. Moreover, there is increasing recognition of the adaptation needs in global agriculture. Many of the pledged Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) reflect this recognition.

Read more

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Soil data may improve assessments of wildfire risk

Wildfire is known to have a dramatic impact on soil, but do soil conditions also affect wildfire?
A new study says yes, and the finding could lead to better predictions of wildfire danger. The open access paper, which appears in the November–December 2015 issue of Soil Science Society of America Journal, addressed a simple but understudied question, says Oklahoma State University (OSU) soil scientist and lead author, Erik Krueger: Is soil moisture related to wildfire?

When the scientists crunched the numbers, they found that 91% of Oklahoma’s largest fires during the growing season broke out only when soil moisture dropped below levels that cause plants severe stress.

Read more

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On World Soil Day, scientists warn of underground extinction risks

It’s time for ecologists and conservation biologists to dig deeper into dirt—in order to better understand the threats facing soil creatures that are key to healthy ecosystems and our food supply, and that might offer a rich source of potential antibiotics.
That call to expand studies of oft-neglected underground biodiversity is included in a new collection of papers timed to highlight World Soil Day, which was celebrated on Dec. 4. “Despite marked progress over the last few decades, currently soil ecology still lags far behind aboveground ecology, and our knowledge of the world belowground is comparatively limited,” soil ecologist Stavros Veresoglou of the Free University of Berlin.

Read more

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Puzzling polar desert carbon probed in Canadian study

On Ellesmere Island high in the Canadian Arctic sits the Dome: a rocky, polar desert mountain that Steven Siciliano thought would make a great reference site for studies of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from soil.
To the University of Saskatchewan soil scientist, the Dome’s sparse vegetation signaled a dearth of soil organic matter and microbial activity. And because of this, he hypothesized, GHG emissions would also be negligible compared with those in Arctic soils blanketed by mosses and willows. However, he was wrong.

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Study suggests eroded sediments could be phosphorus sink rather than source

For decades, phosphorus pollution has contributed to unwanted algae blooms in many lakes—including Vermont’s Lake Champlain.
A raft of recent research has pointed a finger at eroding streambanks, suggesting their washed-out soils are a major source of this phosphorus flow. But a new study in the Journal of Environmental Quality complicates that picture, raising questions about whether streambank erosion is in fact a culprit in Lake Champlain’s phosphorus problems. The new research shows that while eroding streambanks may increase the total amount of phosphorus that ends up in the lake, some of these soils may also decrease the amount of phosphorus available to algae.

Read more

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Free access article collection on World Soil Day celebrations from Taylor&Francis

To celebrate World Soil Day 2015, Taylor&Francis have put together a free access article collection from various relevant journals and the public can view and download this set of articles for free.

Link to this campaign

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Global Soil Partnership – latest Newsletter

The Global Soil Partnership has published its latest Newsletter, in which FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva is quoted for saying at the opening of the International Year of Soils twelve months ago, “healthy soils are critical for global food production, but we are not paying enough attention to this important silent ally”.
Giving this “silent ally” a voice became one of the main goals of the IYS global campaign. Other issues are inter alia the closure of the International Year of Soils, the launch of the Status of the World’s Soil Resources report, the establishment of the International Network of Soil Information Institutions and the release of the Revised World Soil Charter.

Read more

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Launch of the report: Status of the World's Soil Resources

The Status of the World’s Soil Resources produced by FAO’s Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils has been launched during the World Soil Day celebration and closure ceremony of the International Year of Soils.

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Soils are the Foundation for Vegetation which is cultivated or managed for feed, fibre, fuel and medicinal products

Healthy soils are crucial for ensuring the continued growth of natural and managed vegetation, providing feed, fibre, fuel, medicinal products and other ecosystem services such as climate regulation and oxygen production.

Soils and vegetation have a reciprocal relationship. Fertile soil encourages plant growth by providing plants with nutrients, acting as a water holding tank, and serving as the substrate to which plants anchor their roots. In return, vegetation, tree cover and forests prevent soil degradation and desertification by stabilizing the soil, maintaining water and nutrient cycling, and reducing water and wind erosion.
As global economic growth and demographic shifts increase the demand for vegetation, animal feed and vegetation by products such as wood, soils are put under tremendous pressure and their risk of degradation increases greatly. Managing vegetation sustainably—whether in forests, pastures or grasslands—will boost its benefits, including timber, fodder and food, in a way meets society’s needs while conserving and maintaining the soil for the benefit of present and future generations.

Also available in: Italian, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified)

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4 per 1000 - Soil Carbon to Mitigate Climate Change

In this article Andrea Koch, Alex McBratney and Budiman Minasny investigate the viability of a call by the French Government in the lead up to COP21 to increase carbon in the global soil stock by 4 percent per annum, based on Australia’s world leading regulatory approach to carbon farming.

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Tough action on carbon offers a bright future - Nicholas Stern argues the economic benefits of tackling emissions

In an article published on 27 November 2015 in the Financial Times the author put forward that regarding land use, we not only had to stop deforestation, but had to move to reforestation and rehabilitation of our soils, thereby removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
He furthermore suggests that the UN climate change summit in Paris should be a turning point for the low-carbon transition of world’s economy.

Source: FT, Section Managing Climate Change, November 27, 2015

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Iowa’s Climate-Change Wisdom

In this NY Times article the author, Jeff Biggers, describes energy related initiatives in Iowa pointing out the important role of soils in climate change mitigation.

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Source: NY Times, November 20, 2015

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Agricultural policy: Govern our soils

Luca Montanarella published an article in NATURE with the title “Agricultural policy: Govern our soils”. In this article, he calls for a voluntary international agreement to protect soil from erosion and degradation through a reinvigorated Global Soil Partnership (GSP).
The GSP is the best current option for driving forward various recommendations, despite its shortcomings. The partnership needs to motivate all invested parties to develop commitments to specific actions. These should enshrine soil management in legislation tailored to each country’s needs. The GSP needs to prove that it can be more than just a talking shop, and can generate political will and raise funding.
The FAO has suggested an initial budget of $64 million over five years for the GSP, mainly to help to develop a Global Soil Information System and to promote training and capacity building in developing countries.

Read more

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The Dirt on Dirt: 5 Things You Should Know About Soil

World Soil Day: why our life depends on it.
We walk on it every day. Get it under our fingernails. Track it into the house. But do we really appreciate the vital role soil plays—not just in the environment, but in human health?
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is giving soil its due. Friday, December 5, is World Soil Day, and 2015, the FAO has declared, will be the International Year of Soils.
“The minerals, the nutrients that make up our muscles and bones almost entirely come from soil,” says Jerry Glover, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and agroecologist at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“This is, of course, very critical because we’re supposed to be increasing agricultural production to feed and nourish some of the ten billion people, but it’s at the same time that our soils are the thinnest and most nutrient depleted.”
Here are five things you should know about soil.

Read more

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Living in the Soil Comic

A snail, a worm and a group of young people are some of the characters who star in ‘Living in the Soil,’ a comic produced in the context of ‘The International Year of Soils’ that aims to raise awareness about the most significant environmental and social issues related to soil and its need for protection.

Through some 60 sketches, the authors report various aspects of the characteristics, functions and implications related to the use of this non-renewable resource. It reflects both the view of humans and the living organisms that inhabit soil. The comic, which is conceived as an educational resource, is aimed both at children and the general public and for students at all educational levels.

Read more
pdf download
English version of the Comic

Authors: Mª Pilar Jiménez Aleixandre, Estudio Tangaraño, María Teresa Barral Silva and Francisco Díaz-Fierros V. (2015). Co-ordination: Montserrat Díaz-Raviña
Report provided by José Luis Rubio, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación-CIDE, Valencia, Spain

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Film: From potato to planet

Did you know in one teaspoon of soil there are more living things than there are people in the world?

The Soil Association have worked with Aardman (the people behind Wallace & Gromit) to produce a short film about the benefits of taking little steps to protect our soils.

The film has been launched at the World Soils Day, a day aimed to connect people with soils and raise awareness on their critical importance in our lives.

Read more
Soil Association Website

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Operations Director position at ICSU

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is currently recruiting for an Operations Director position at the ICSU Secretariat in Paris. The closing date for applications is 3 January 2016.

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Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

Launch of the first Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas

The International Year of Soils 2015 is coming to an end and it has been an amazing year of soil-related events. With the release of the first Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas planned for early in the new year, we propose to make 2016 the Year of the Atlas! The GSBI (Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative) will be hosting a launch event in Washington DC on Feb 14, 2016, in combination with a symposium Global Soil Biodiversity: A Common Ground for Sustainability at the AAAS 2016 Annual Meeting.

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The 12th International Conference of ESSS ‘Development of Water and Soil Resources: Challenges and Solutions’

2nd announcement, 7-9 March 2016, Ismailia, Egypt. Topics of the conference: Topic of the Conference: Soil security and global soil crisis (water-energy-food nexus, water, food and soil security); Global Climate Changes and Natural Resources (forests, grasslands, crop lands, water resources, soil resources, bio-diversity ); Emerging issues in soil and water management (energy conservation and sustainable use; policy and regulatory options; biofuel and other renewable options); Science and Technology in Environmental Resource Management (Remote Sensing, GIS and precision farming; eco-biotechnology and nano-biotechnology); Sustainable Agriculture (crop production and improvement , soil, plant, and microorganisms relationships in agro – ecosystems); Global Environmental Changes and Human Health (biofortification, phytoremediation and bioremediation). Abstracts deadline (final): 18 February 2016.

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Spring school on mapping and assessment of soils (9-13 May 2016, ISRIC)

ISRIC – World Soil Information will organise a Spring School on digital soil mapping, classification and assessment for soil and environmental scientists, students, soil experts and professionals in natural resources management. The spring school will take place at the Wageningen Campus in the Netherlands and will consist of two five-day courses that are run in parallel.

Information and Registration

EUROSOIL 2016 (17—22 July 2016, Istanbul, Turkey)

Abstract submission had been extended to 6 January 2016. The JRC is organizing 5 sessions: “Soil Erosion modelling and climate change—policy scenarios”, “Progresses toward the GlobalSoilMap”, “Distribution of soil biodiversity and related ecosystem services”, “2nd workshop on the extension of the European Soil Database in the Mediterranean” and “Soil awareness activities”.

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Meeting of the IUSS Commission Soil Classification

1 – 7 December 2016, South Africa
There is a four day tour that starts December 1 in the morning in Johannesburg and ends December 4 in the evening in Bloemfontein. In Bloemfontein we will have the meeting from December 5 in the morning (including a celebration of the World Soil Day) to December 7 in the evening. Main organizer is Cornie van Huyssteen.
Details will be announced later.
Please note that these data differ from the data, which we provisionally announced

EGU General Assembly 2016 (EGU2016) – Call for Abstracts

The start of the abstract submission for the EGU General Assembly 2016 (EGU2016), 17–22 Apr 2016, Vienna, Austria was announced recently.

You are cordially invited to browse through the sessions: Read more about sessions

Detailed information on how to submit an abstract can be found at the EGU Website abstract management

Deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 13 Jan 2016, 13:00 CET.

The JRC is organizing 2 sessions:
Causes and Consequences of Aeolian Processes and Wind Erosion
This session will stimulate discussion among researchers working broadly on wind transport from a range of perspectives.
National inventories of soil related emissions and removals – looking for higher Tier approaches
This session constitutes a possibility for researchers to present novel approaches and ideas, datasets or modelling works and add to a discussion that needs to be fostered on the scientific level.

JRC soil erosion developments will be presented in the session Soil Erosion, Land Use and Climate Change: mapping, measuring, modelling, and societal challenges, the Rainfall Erosivity Database (REDES) in the session Precipitation: Measurement, Climatology, Remote Sensing, and Modeling.

EGU Website

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New publications

Update 2015 to the third edition of the WRB 2014

The WRB (World Reference Base) Board has prepared the Update 2015 to the third edition of the WRB 2014. It provides some corrections and, especially, some amendments.

WRB site at FAO
pdf download Edition WRB 2014

Visual Soil Evaluation – Realizing Potential Crop Production with Minimum Environmental Impact

Edited by B C Ball, SRUC, UK, L J Munkholm, Aarhus University, Denmark.
October 2015 / Hardback / 172 Pages / ISBN 9781780644707, Price: €112.50
October 2015 / Paperback / 172 Pages /ISBN 9781780647456, Price: € €49.50

Visual Soil Evaluation (VSE) provides land users and environmental authorities with the tools to assess soil quality for crop performance.
This book describes the assessment of the various structural conditions of soil, especially after quality degradation such as compaction, erosion or organic matter loss. Covering a broad range of land types from abandoned peats to prime arable land, this useful handbook assesses yield potential across a range of scales.
It also appraises the use of VSE in determining the potential of different land types for carbon storage, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leaching, and for diagnosing and rectifying erosion and compaction in soils.

Wetland Soils: Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes, and Classification, Second Edition

By Michael J. Vepraskas, Christopher B. Craft.
December 2, 2015 by CRC Press, 508 Pages, 26 Color & 184 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781439896983, Price Hardback 84,15 GBP.

Wetland Soils: Genesis, Hydrology, Landscapes, and Classification, Second Edition contains 11 new chapters and additional updates written by new authors with a broad range of related field and academic experience.
This revised work augments the previous material on wetland functions and restorations, while maintaining the field-oriented focus of the first book. The reworked text includes current coverage of hydric soil field indicators, wetland soils, chemistry of wetland soils, and wetland hydrology. This book explains how wetland soils are formed, described, and identified, defines the functions they perform, and serves to assist decision-making in the field.

Status of the World’s Soil Resources

By FAO, Natural Resources and Environment Dept., December 4, 2015, 650 p.

The SWSR will constitute the reference document on the status of global soil resources with a strong regional assessment on soil change. The information is based on peer-reviewed scientific literature, complemented with expert knowledge and reliable project outputs (mainly FAO ones). It provides a description and a ranking of ten major soil threats that endanger ecosystem functions, goods and services globally and in each region separately. Additionally, it describes direct and indirect pressure son soils and ways and means to combat soil degradation at all levels.

Soil Science Simplified, 6th Edition

By Neal S. Eash, Thomas J. Sauer, Deb O’Dell, Evah Odoi, Mary C. Bratz (Illustrator)
December 2015 by Wiley-Blackwell, 272 pages, ISBN: 978-1-118-54069-5, Price Hardcover EUR 54,70.

Already renowned as a user-friendly beginners’ guide to soil science, Soil Science Simplified, 6th Edition is an updated version of the beloved textbook that includes even more thorough applications of soil science to interdisciplinary fields. It includes the most recent research concerning uses of soil in municipal, engineering, and other areas, conversion agriculture covering no-till, hoe-till, and the methodology of cover crops, crop rotations, N contribution, and worldwide trends in conversion agriculture. The experienced authors have fully revised and updated the fundamental chapters on physical, chemical, and biological properties to create an ideal introductory text.

Soil Ecosystems Services

By Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 2015, in press

Soils provide critical ecosystem services that make life on Earth possible. Develop an understanding of the essential role of soil in our ecosystem and its valuation. Soils support human life through agriculture, medicine, water purification, and raw materials for shelter. Soils regulate climate through soil carbon cycling. Soils culturally enrich our lives through landscapes and sense of place. Learn how these ecosystem services and more are evaluated and economically assessed. Engaging case studies demonstrate how soil properties and processes provide specific ecosystem functions. Readers will gain a new appreciation of the provisioning, supporting, regulating, and cultural services of soil. Discover how soil is essential to life! This book is being published according to the “Just Published” model, with more chapters to be published online as they are completed.

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Water Dynamics in Plant Production

By W Ehlers, University of Göttingen, Germany, M Goss, University of Guelph, Canada.
Expected to be published in January 2016, hardback, 344 pages, 9781780643816, price: EUR 54.-; There is a potential discount for IUSS members.

This new edition of Water Dynamics in Plant Production focuses on the dynamics of water through the hydrologic cycle and the associated mechanisms that plants employ to optimize growth and development. It describes the basic scientific principles of water transport in the soil-plant atmosphere continuum, and explains the linkage between transpirational water use and dry matter production.
Paying particular attention to the various agronomic strategies for adaptation to climate-driven limitations of water resources, the efficiency of water use in plant production and in achieving an economic yield is presented in detail. This book offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the fundamentals and applications of water dynamics in natural and managed ecosystems.
Including text boxes throughout, as well as online supplementary material, it provides an essential state of-the-art resource for students and researchers of soil and plant science, hydrology and agronomy.

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