Update: 08.12.2017

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 149 (November 2017)


IUSS News

21st World Congress of Soil Science

The 21st World Congress of Soil Science (21WCSS) will take place in Rio de Janeiro, August 12 – 17, 2018. Dedicated to the theme “Soil Science: Beyond food and fuel”, it will review the key role of soil science in answering some of the topical key questions regarding future food and water security, environmental protection and climate change mitigation. There will be 8 conferences, 16 interdivisional symposia, 72 symposia organized by the four Divisions of IUSS, 16 symposia organized by the IUSS Working groups, and numerous oral presentations and poster sessions. Around 7,000 participants are expected from more than 100 countries. The organizers are looking forward to receiving your abstracts and to your registration through the 21WCSS online registration system. A conference folder showing all the details is available at the IUSS website.

Important dates:

Abstract submission ends by January 20, 2018
Abstract acceptance after March 15, 2018
Early registration ends March 31, 2018
Regular registration until May 12, 2018

Read more: https://www.21wcss.org/

Download the congress information: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/files/21wcss_-_meeting_information.pdf

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New WRB homepage

The World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) Working Group belongs to IUSS Division 1 (Soils in Space and Time), Commission 1.4. (Soil Classification). The WRB is an international soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. The task of the Working Group is to test and further develop the WRB. The WRB Working Group has a strong relationship to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), where the WRB documents are published. The third edition, update 2015, is the currently valid WRB. At present, it is available in four languages (English, Georgian, Spanish and Polish) and can be downloaded from the new homepage. In addition, the new homepage has information about the WRB classification levels, features a picture gallery and a history section.

Read more: http://www.soil-science.com/?id=wrb

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Last call for applications for the Dan H. Yaalon Medal

The Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal – an award by the IUSS Division 1: Soils in Space and Time and Commission 4.5: History, Philosophy and Sociology of Soil Science – is awarded once every four years at the World Congress of Soil Science. The first presentation will take place at the XXI World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2018.
The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31, 2017. The nominees will be notified on Feb. 1, 2018.
A nominee should be a researcher in his/her early scientific career, i.e., PhD student or postdoc researcher within the first 5 years after PhD graduation; be an active member of a national soil science society and/or the International Union of Soil Science and, have published in the field of soil science. Further information about the qualification criteria and the nomination procedure can be found at the IUSS website.

Read more: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=631

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2017 edition of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria Newsletter published

The most recent newsletter of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria is now available: The Bill for an Act for the establishment of the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science was signed into law on 3 February 2017. There are various reports on the 2016 World Soil Day and International Year of Pulses, followed by information on the 41st Annual Conference of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, 12-17 March 2017, with the theme “Land Degradation, Sustainable Soil Management, Food and Nutrition Security”.

Read more: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=673

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News from the IUSS Website

The most recent Viewpoint on “The Solutions Under Foot” by Rattan Lal, President of the International Union of Soil Sciences is now available on the IUSS website.

Read more: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/index.php?article_id=636

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News from European Confederation of the Soil Science Societies

The next Eurosoil will take place at Geneva in 2020. Switzerland was elected in Istanbul in November 2016, with the theme “Connecting people and soils”. The commitment made is not only to organize a high level “Swiss made” scientific congress, but also to develop the scope of the congress towards stakeholders and to revive the European Confederation of the Soil Science Societies (ECSSS). As put forward by the theme, the ambition is to make ECSSS the soil voice for the soil causes at European level, and to involve stakeholders in the activities.

Therefore, new statutes, activities and a web site for the ECSSS are in preparation. During 2018, these changes will be submitted to the ECSSS council by Pr. Pascal Boivin, the elected ECSSS president, and a vote will be organized at Rio WCSS 2018. We are currently updating the contacts for the council members. Among the objectives of the future ECSSS is to support the countries that need help to maintain permanent activities of a soil science society, and foster the involvement of young scientists in the Eurosoil2020. Contact: EUROSOIL@hesge.ch or pascal.boivin@hesge.ch.

Read more: http://eurosoil2020.com/

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General News

The call for the Land and Soil Management Award 2017/18 is now open!

The prize rewards land use and soil management practices mitigating soil threats i.e. soil degradation, erosion, reduction of organic matter content, diffuse contamination, and compaction as well as the reduction of soil biodiversity, salinization, sealing, flooding and landslides. In doing so, the award sheds light on outstanding achievements, encouraging new concepts of land and soil protection and their implementation in land management, as well as enhancing awareness about the importance of land and soil functions. 5.000 € as well as a diploma of recognition are awarded to the winning project. Application deadline: December 31, 2017.

Read more: http://www.europeanlandowners.org/awards/soil-land-award?mc_cid=c92ed4112a&mc_eid=468a5141b2

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ICSU and ISSC members vote to create a new merged 'International Science Council'

On 26 October 2017 at a historic joint meeting, members of two leading international science councils voted to merge, launching a process that will see the formation of a single global entity called the International Science Council that unites the scientific community, including all social and natural sciences. The new International Science Council brings together the current members of ISSC (International Social Science Council) and ICSU (International Council for Science), including 40 international scientific unions and associations including IUSS, and more than 140 national and regional organizations such as academies and research councils.

The organization will be launched at a founding General Assembly to be held in Paris, France in 2018. Its mission will be to serve as the global voice of science, providing leadership in coordinating international action on issues of major public concern.

[From: ICSU Newsletter, 26 October 2017]

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2nd Global Soil Biodiversity Conference a big success

The 2nd Global Soil Biodiversity Conference held 15-18 October, 2017, in Nanjing, China, was a success attracting more than 1000 participants from 47 countries. Co-organized with the Chinese Academy of Science, the conference featured 20 keynote speeches from international leaders sharing ground breaking research from China, Europe, Australia, the United States, and Brazil. Concurrent sessions, poster presentations, workshops, and round-table events all contributed to sharing new ideas and building new collaborations.

Read more: http://blog.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/article/2017/10/25/2nd-global-soil-biodiversity-conference

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Open digital mapping for assessing carbon storage in tropical peatlands

Researchers from Sydney, Australia, and Bogor, Indonesia demonstrate that tropical peatland can be mapped accurately and cost effectively using freely-available remote sensing data and open source software. At COP23 in Bonn, the Global Peatlands Initiative and various organisations held events aiming to bring peatlands on the agenda at COP23. Peatlands have an important role in the global carbon cycle as it stores a huge amount of carbon. A small loss of peat from land clearance and mismanagement can contribute a large amount of CO2 to the atmosphere. Indonesia has one of the largest peatlands in the tropics, with an estimate of 15 million hectares. Responding to the global issue of reducing CO2 emissions, Indonesia has legislation on the protection and management of the peat ecosystem. The legislation outlined conservation areas, which depends on the thickness of peat; however, the main challenge is the lack of fine-scale, accurate maps of peat distribution and its thickness. The current peatland map in Indonesia is at a coarse scale with much uncertainty that it cannot be used to implement conservation and management regulations.

Read more: http://www.digitalsoilmapping.com/article/open-digital-mapping-for-assessing-carbon-storage-in-tropical-peatlands/

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Shallow soils promote savannas in South America

The boundary between South American tropical rainforests and savannas is influenced by the depth to which plants can root, research indicates. Shallow rooting depth promotes the establishment of savannas. Previous research has shown that precipitation and fire mediate tropical forest and savanna distributions. The study shows that below ground conditions need to be considered to understand the distribution of terrestrial vegetation both historically and in the face of future climate change. The study is based on computer vegetation models. Source: Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum.

Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171023180702.htm

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Massive Carbon Sink May Be More Resilient Than Scientists Thought

Carbon-rich peat bogs seem to adapt well to changes in temperature, precipitation and other climate-related factors. One of the world’s most important carbon-storing ecosystems may be more resilient to environmental change than previously suspected, scientists have just reported. And that could be good news for addressing global warming.
A new study, released in the journal Nature Communications finds that plants in carbon-rich European peat bogs are able to adapt to changes in temperature, precipitation and other climate-related factors. As the environment changes, specific types of plants may die off and be replaced by new species—but the study suggests that the incoming species tend to be similar to the old ones, meaning the stability of the bog is preserved.

Read more: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-carbon-sink-may-be-more-resilient-than-scientists-thought/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sa-editorial-social&utm_content&utm_term=sustainability_partner_text_free

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Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

2017

WORLD SOIL DAY 2017 – Land, Soils and Science

4 – 6 December 2017, IBGE Brussels, Belgium. Land and soils require our attention! This celebration of World Soil Day is devoted to the topical research needs for soil and land use. The event will present and discuss state-of-the-art and pressing gaps in European research on land and soils from the perspectives of policy makers, funders, end-users of research and scientists.

Read more: http://www.worldsoilday2017.eu

Edit-a-thon for World Soil Day

Dec 5, 2017 (1-4 pm, Pacific Time); Orchard Commons Study Lounge, 6363 Agronomy Rd., UBC campus, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Join us at this interactive event! Our goal is to improve the information about soils on Wikipedia, the medium used by millions. Learn how to update articles, add citations, and share your great soil photos with the world!
World Soil Day Wikipedia edit-a-thon is an event where members of soil science community can edit and improve specific content in Wikipedia such those pages that have not been fully developed (e.g., soil science stubs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Soil_science_stubs ) or that are lacking media. Furthermore, there is also an opportunity for Canadian soil scientists to enhance the Canadian content on Wikipedia by adding a page about the Canadian Society of Soil Science. Do not worry if you’ve never edited a Wikipedia entry before! The edit-a-thon on Dec 5, 2017 will provide training and support.

Online meeting access: https://is.gd/Soilday

2018

42nd Annual Conference of Soil Science Society of Nigeria

“Sustainable Management of Soil and Water Resources for Food Security, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation”

March 12–16, 2018, Institute for Agricultural Training and Research, Moore Plantation, Ibadan – Oyo State, Nigeria. Abstract submission to sssn.iart2018@gmail.com until 31 December, 2017

Read more: http://www.sssniart2018.com

Conference Soil Classification and Education

May 18-20, 2018, Toruń, Poland. Globalization and global environmental issues, as well as unification of scientific research and teaching on the EU and global levels require harmonization of technical languages, such as the terminology used in soil science. The aim of this conference is to present solutions for international education in soil science, elaborated within the Erasmus+ FACES project, to present new attempts to soil description and classification. Full papers submission deadline: 25 February 2018

Read more: https://sites.google.com/site/facesconference/

21th ISTRO Conference 2018

September 24-27, 2018, Paris, France. The International Soil Tillage Research Organization (ISTRO) is an international association whose objective is to stimulate research on tillage and no till, compaction and, more broadly, to contribute to soil protection and to improve soil quality. The scientific topics during the conference will focus on advances in soil structure characterization, soil compaction, biogeochemical processes and carbon sequestration, with a special interest on soil ecology and ecosystem services. Equipment strategies will also be discussed with soil tillage strategies, smart farming, tires and tillage equipment design. Abstract submission until 1 March 2018.

Read more: http://istro2018.webistem.com

International Scientific Conference: “90 Years Forest Research Institute – for the Society and Nature” – First announcement

October 24-26, 2018, Sofia, Bulgaria. The objective of the event is to link traditions and innovations in international and local experience with forest ecosystems, their resources, services, functioning and management for social wellbeing.

More information will be available soon at http://www.bas.bg/fribas and http://www.fri.bas.bg.

The 13th International Conference of ESSS – first announcement

Management of Water and Soil Resources under Global Climate Changes.
December 4-5, 2018, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. Conference venue: the Egyptian International Center of Agriculture “EICA”. Organized by the Egyptian Soil Science Society (ESSS), under the umbrella of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).

Read more: http://www.esss.org.eg/

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New publications

Urban Soils

Edited by Rattan Lal, B. A. Stewart. Published in October 2017 by Routledge as part of the Advances in Soil Science Series, 406 pages, 55 B/W Illustrations, hardback ISBN 9781498770095, e-book ISBN 9781315154251, price hardback £114.00.

Urban soils are composed of geological material that has been drastically disturbed by anthropogenic activities and compromised their role in the production of food, aesthetics of residential areas, and pollutant dynamics. Properties of urban soils are normally not favorable to plant growth—the soils are contaminated by heavy metals and are compacted and sealed. Therefore, the quality of urban soils must be restored to make use of this valuable resource for delivery of essential ecosystem services (e.g., food, water and air quality, carbon sequestration, temperature moderation, biodiversity). Part of the Advances in Soil Sciences Series, Urban Soils explains properties of urban soils; assesses the effects of urbanization on the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and water and the impacts of management of urban soils, soil restoration, urban agriculture, and food security; evaluates ecosystem services provisioned by urban soils, and describes synthetic and artificial soils.

Read more: https://www.routledge.com/Urban-Soils/Lal-Stewart/p/book/9781498770095

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European achievements in soil remediation and brownfield redevelopment

Edited by Ana Payá Pérez and Sara Peláez Sánchez. A report of the European Information and Observation Network’s National Reference Centres for Soil (Eionet NRC Soil), published by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s in-house science service in 2017, ISBN 978-92-79-71690-4 (PDF), ISBN 978-92-79-71691-1 (print).
This monograph presents examples of success stories of remediation of contaminated soils in various contexts and different European countries, aiming at sharing best practices of soil restoration and management of contaminated sites among European countries. Eight countries present a total of 17 cases which illustrate how soil and brownfields remediation along with sustainable land management have become essential for reversing the trend of soil degradation and ensuring the provision of ecosystem services by soil. The cases show progress in research and innovative technologies of soil remediation, new outstanding approaches to soil remediation management, beneficial integration of stakeholders in decision-making and fruitful progress in raising public awareness and citizen science.

Read more: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC102681/kj0217891enn.pdf

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Fundamentals of Soil Ecology

By David Coleman, Mac Callaham, D. Crossley, Jr.; 3rd Edition published by Elsevier 13 November 2017, imprint Academic Press, 376 pages, eBook ISBN: 9780128052525, paperback ISBN: 9780128052518, price paperback EUR 83.63.
Fundamentals of Soil Ecology, 3rd Edition, offers a holistic approach to soil biology and ecosystem function, providing students and ecosystem researchers with a greater understanding of the central roles that soils play in ecosystem development and function. The text emphasizes the increasing importance of soils as the organizing center for all terrestrial ecosystems and provides an overview of theory and practice in soil ecology, both from an ecosystem and evolutionary biology point of view. This new edition is fully updated, including an expanded treatment of microbial ecology and new sections on advances in molecular techniques and climate change research. These updates make this edition an essential resource for researchers and students in soil ecology and microbiology.

Read more: https://www.elsevier.com/books/fundamentals-of-soil-ecology/coleman/978-0-12-805251-8?start_rank=1&producttype=books&publicationyear=2017&sortby=sortByDateDesc&q=soil

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The Soils of Turkey

Edited by Kapur Selim, Akça Erhan and Günal Hikmet. Published by Springer in the World Soils Book Series; 1st ed. 2018, XIII, 369 pages, 324 illustrations, 275 illustrations in color, ISBN 978-3-319-64390-8, price hardcover 149,99 € | £120.00 | $189.00, price e-book 118,99 € | £96.00 | $149.00.
This book compiles all available and relevant information concerning the soils of Turkey, including the soil survey studies conducted by universities and governmental institutes from the early 1950s until today. Recent findings and advances include the description and analyses of new profiles from some parts of the country by the chapter authors; reflecting the latest version of the World Reference Base (WRB) soil system, they produce a refined soil map. The book offers valuable guidance on soil management for planners of agricultural strategies, land management experts concerned with terrestrial carbon management (soil-sequestered and biomass carbon) and climate change mitigation, and educators concerned with raising awareness for the long-neglected significance of Turkey’s soils.

Read more: http://www.springer.com/de/book/9783319643908

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