Update: 21.03.2018

Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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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 135 (September 2016)

Outcome of 2016 IUSS Presidential Election

The election of the next IUSS President has been concluded. The Council (National Soil Science Societies in good financial standing with IUSS, Executive Committee members and 3 Honorary Members) cast their vote by the closing date 15 September 2016. The result of the election was presented to the President and Executive Committee and subsequently announced to members by email and on the IUSS website: Takashi Kosaki received the majority of the votes and was the successful candidate in this election. He will take up the position of President-Elect on 1st January, 2017. IUSS was very pleased to have two very good candidates and to have a contested election.


Akira Tanaka (1924-2016)

The IUSS Secretariat was sad to learn that prominent scientist Akira Tanaka passed away on August 22, 2016 at the age of 91. He was President of the IUSS (ISSS) and of the Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (JSSSPN) in 1986-1990 and 1980-1981, respectively. Emeritus Professor Tanaka, Hokkaido University, devoted a large part of his life to research in soil science and plant physiology. One of his distinguished achievements was his great contribution to the boost of rice production in Asia – people call it ‘green revolution’. During his stay at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 1962-1966, Prof. Tanaka proposed an ideal plant type concept of tropical rice plants based on theoretical and practical experiments. His proposal was eventually realized as modern, high-yielding cultivars through the close collaboration with breeders. At the same time, Prof. Tanaka surveyed the fertility status of various soils, especially in Asian countries, and contributed to establishing appropriate fertilizer use.
Prof. Tanaka published nearly 200 research papers, many reviews and several monographs, and gave academic speeches in various international meetings and symposia. He actively joined various international and national organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, World Vegetable Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, etc. For his achievements he received the Japan Academy Prize and Japan Prize of Agricultural Science in 1975, in addition to receiving awards from the American Society of Plant Biologists in 1984 and the Committee of International Year of Rice in 2004.


Awards granted to soil scientists

In the light of recent suggestions it has been decided that awards given to soil experts will only be included in the IUSS alerts upon suggestion from the Council representatives of the national soil science societies.


Soil hydraulic properties for Europe

Soil water information is an essential input for environmental, hydrological or land surface models. A reliable soil water map can serve multiple purposes, including scientific research and application of models on different geographical scales. It is also essential for the development of a comprehensive soil quality (SQ) indicator. New soil hydraulic pedotransfer functions (PTFs) were recently developed and could support the computational basis of the new series of maps of soil hydraulic properties. The purpose of the study that JRC undertook is to assist with the implementation of the research programme on soil quality indicators, namely to facilitate the completion of a new soil quality indicator by supplying reliable spatial data on soil hydraulic properties. For this, the following map layers were developed: Water retention of topsoil (saturated water content, water content at field capacity, water content at wilting point; hydraulic conductivity of topsoil (saturated hydraulic conductivity).
Read more: http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/maps-indicators-soil-hydraulic-properties-europe


Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) saturation capacity in Europe

This dataset (map) shows the Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) saturation capacity, expressed as the ratio between the actual and the potential SOC stock in each pixel. Values close to 0 indicate a great potential of soil to store more carbon. The actual SOC stock was derived from the Pan-European simulation using the biogeochemical CENTURY model. The associated data can be found in ESDAC: “Pan-European SOC stock of agricultural soils”. The potential SOC stock was obtained simulating a grassland land use without nitrogen limitation, since it was considered a good scenario for SOC accumulation. The scenario set-up was analogous to that described in Lugato et al (2014b) for the grassland land use, namely ‘AR_GR_LUC’. However to obtain a potential SOC stock, the model was run for 2000 years with repeated actual climate, in order to reach an equilibrium condition. The simulation involved only the agricultural soils, according to the Corine Land Cover.

Read more: http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/soil-organic-carbon-saturation-capacity


Launch of Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas in Australia

The EU Joint Research Centre and the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) are releasing the first-ever Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas in Australia. The Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas will be launched by the Government Authorities in Canberra on Monday 10 October 2016. This unique Atlas maps the soil biodiversity of the entire planet providing a detailed analysis of soil organisms and of threats to soil biodiversity as a fundamental component of the Earth’s biodiversity. Global food security is dependent on life found beneath our feet: 98% of all global daily calories derive from soil biodiversity. The Atlas provides current solutions for sustainable management of soils for food security, climate regulation and improved human health.

Read more: http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/event/launch-global-soil-biodiversity-atlas-australia


Land use and forest trees affect soil nutrients

Urbanization, agriculture, and clear-cutting of forests can have major negative impacts on carbon © and nitrogen (N) cycles but reforestation can replenish these nutrients over time. This relationship has been well documented for tropical habitats, but effects on C and N pools remains relatively understudied in deciduous forests. In a recent article in the Soil Science Society of America Journal, researchers selected forested sites in southern Ohio to investigate whether soil organic carbon (SOC) and N pools were affected by land-use history and forest community structure. Aerial images dating back to 1932 were used to reconstruct the history of reforestation with land-use determined from a geographic information system, and tree community structure and soil nutrient levels at different depths were measured in the field.

Read more: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/story/2016/aug/fri/land-use-and-forest-trees-affect-soil-nutrients


Our very existence depends on soil, so why is it not protected?

In the minds of many, soil is simply dirt, but without it we would all cease to exist. Unlike the water we drink and the air we breathe, soil is not protected in the EU and its quality is getting worse. This has to change, writes Balázs Horváth.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/opinion/our-very-existence-depends-on-soil-so-why-is-it-not-protected/


Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet

It’s getting hot out there. Every one of the past 14 months has broken the global temperature record. Ice cover in the Arctic sea just hit a new low, at 525,000 square miles less than normal. And apparently we’re not doing much to stop it: according to Professor Kevin Anderson, one of Britain’s leading climate scientists, we’ve already blown our chances of keeping global warming below the “safe” threshold of 1.5 degrees.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/sep/10/soil-our-best-shot-at-cooling-the-planet-might-be-right-under-our-feet


In general, what relationship does soil colour bear to climate?

What is the first colour that comes to mind when you envision soil? Is it brown, black, yellow, or red? How about white, grey, green, or blue? Any of these answers are correct depending on where you are from! It is true; soils come in an incredible range of colours.

Read more: https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/in-general-what-relationship-does-soil-color-bear-to-climate/


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops 2016

Geosciences 2016 – “Geosciences and Policies: Economy & Culture in a Changing World”

October 6-7, 2016, Orlando, USA. Conferences Series LLC invites all the participants from all over the world to attend Global Summit on Geosciences. The theme of Geosciences conferences is “Geosciences and Policies: Economy & Culture in a Changing World” which extensively covers all aspects on scientific and technical advances in the field of geosciences and geomatics ranging from the integration of instruments, methodologies and technologies to their use in earth sciences, environmental engineering and other natural sciences. The main objective of the conference is to bring together leading Academicians, Scientists, researchers, graduate students from the field of Geosciences, Geological Sciences, Meteorology, Atmospheric Sciences, Global warming, Environmental Sciences, GIS & Remote Sensing and others whose interest is to promote Earth Science education at the school, college and university levels, and among the general public.

Special benefits to IUSS attendees due to a mutual agreement:

  • Participation certificates issued to all speakers, students/delegates,
  • Special discounts on accommodation,
  • Complete registration waive off for all the attendees.

Read more: http://geosciences.conferenceseries.com/
For speaker slots, please contact: geosciences@insightconferences.com

IUSS Inter-Congress Meeting 2016

November 20-25, 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Inter-Congress Meeting of the Council is held every 4 years at the venue of the upcoming World Congress of Soil Science 2 years before the Congress. The major purpose of this meeting is a business meeting of the Council. This time, the host country will propose a symposium to discuss and plan the WCSS theme: SOIL SCIENCE: Beyond Food and Fuel. Reduced registration fee until October 20, latest registration until November 15, 2016. Online registration is available.

Read more: http://www.21wcss.org/ic2016/index.php?lang=en_US

2nd Global Soil Security conference: More Science-Society interfaces for a global soil security

December 5-6, 2016, Paris, France. The 2nd Global Soil Security Conference aims to demonstrate that soil, this highly pressurized and crucial resource, is an indispensable partner to meet sustainable development goals. The demonstration will be done by linking businesses, practitioners, policymakers and researchers on soil security dimensions through good working practices, business solutions, scientific outcomes and international initiatives that enhance protection and sustainable management of soils.

Read more: https://gssparisen.wordpress.com/

Journee mondiale des sols

December 8, 2016, Paris, France. The focus of this year’s World Soil Day in France is urban soils. In the morning, some scientists will summarize their research, and the afternoon will be for politicians and citizen activities. Registration starts October 8, 2016.

Read more (in French only): http://www.lajourneemondialedessols.org/

Conferences, Meetings and Workshops 2017

Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society, 10th Biennial Symposium

March 26 – 30, 2017, Cleveland Downtown Marriott at Key Center, Cleveland, Ohio. Theme: Ecosystems, Engineering, Valuation, and Practice – The Roles of Freshwater Mollusks in a Changing Environment. We anticipate four plenary sessions on the following themes: 1 – Mollusks in Ecosystems – Implications for a Changing Environment; 2 – Mollusks as Ecosystem Engineers – Species to Landscape Level Review; 3 – Value of Mollusks (monetary, human, and ecosystems); and 4 – A Review in Mollusk Research – Lessons Learned from Research to Regulation to Practice.
We promise a thought-provoking Symposium that introduces new research, discusses challenging topics imposed by an uncertain future in the face of climate and land use changes, and one that nurtures FMCS’s commitment to conservation of America’s most imperiled group of animals.

Read more: http://molluskconservation.org/EVENTS/2017Symposium/2017_FMCS-Symposium.html

ISSPA 2017 – 15th International Symposium Soil and Plant Analysis

May 14-18, 2017, Nanjing, China. The symposium theme is ‘The roles of soil, plant, water and waste analyses in food security and environmental quality’. Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: January 16, 2017. Deadline for Early Bird Registration: March 15, 2017.

Read more: http://isspa2017.csp.escience.cn/dct/page/1

14th International Conference on Sustainable Use and Management of Soil, Sediment and Water Resources – AquaConSoil 2017

June 26–30, 2017 Lyon, France. Topics covered range from Assessment and monitoring of soil, water and sediment quality to Risk assessment; Advances in remediation technologies; Strategies and policies for pollution management and remediation; Reuse and upgrading of land, water and sediment in the circular economy and Sustainable use & spatial planning of the subsurface. Deadline for abstract submission: Tuesday, 15 November 2016.

Read more: http://www.aquaconsoil.org/


New publications

Trace Materials in Air, Soil, and Water

By Kendra R. Evans, Elizabeth S. Roberts-Kirchhoff, Mark A. Benvenuto, Katherine C. Lanigan, and Alexa Rihana-Abdallah (eds.), September 1, 2016 by Oxford University Press, 240 Pages, 62 line art; 16 halftones, 227×152mm, ISBN: 9780841231108, price hardcover: £97.00. The field of techniques for preparing, preconcentrating, quantitating, tracking, and remediating trace pollutants is vast. This volume is intended to be a diverse ‘sampling’ of such methods, each chapter representing one specific field of environmental chemistry analyses. The book is divided into three sections: air, soil and minerals, and water. The air section includes studies on airborne particulate matter and other pollutants present in trace levels. The soil and mineral section includes chapters on X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, mercury-thiourea complex ion chromatography, and mercury speciation analyses. The water section of the book focuses on specific contaminants in water and addresses the existing and future remediation methods for metals in water.

Crisis Management of Chronic Pollution: Contaminated Soil and Human Health

By Magalie Lesueur Jannoyer, Philippe Cattan, Thierry Woignier, Florence Clostre (editors), September 28, 2016 by CRC Press, – 290 Pages – 66 B/W Illustrations, ISBN 9781498737838, price hardback £ 121.00. This book deals with a long term pollution problem, generated by the former use of organochlorine pesticides. Through a case study of the chlordecone pollution in the French West Indies, the authors illustrate a global and systemic mobilization of research institutions and public services. This book gathers all the works that have been carried out over the last ten years or more and links them to decision makers’ actions and stakeholders’ expectations. This reference fills a gap in the literature on chronic pollution.

New Scientific Journal

Plant Production Science

is an Open Access journal that publishes original research reports on field crops and resource plants, their production and related subjects. It covers a wide range of sciences such as soil science, physiology, biotechnology, morphology, ecology, cropping system, production technology and post harvest management and more.
The journal is the official English journal of the Crop Science Society of Japan and has an impact factor of 0.612, ©2016 Thomson Reuters, 2016 Journal Citation Reports®.
You can view all the research published in Plant Production Science for free and also find out how you can submit a paper to the journal via the journal’s homepage on Taylor & Francis Online.

Read more: http://bit.ly/tandfonline-PPS


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