Books published in 2007
Soil Use and Management. Volume 23, supplement 1, September 2007. Special issue on Agriculture, Phosphorus, Eutrophication: a European Perspective. P. Withers and Ph. Haygarth, guest editors. Blackwell Publishing, 204 p. ISSN 0266-0032, print; ISSN 1473-2743, online.
The enrichment of European waters with anthropogenic sources of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and the resulting impairment of water use for recreation, industry and drinking, has become a major environmental issue in recent decades. Concern over eutrophication first emerged in Europe's coastal waters with subsequent commitments by bordering countries to reduce nutrient emissions to the sea. National surveys of standing and flowing freshwaters in different EU countries also identified a widespread incidence of eutrophication and led to the development of various indicators to monitor trends in water quality. Whilst both N and P contribute to eutrophication, there is ample evidence that the main focus for reducing eutrophication should remain on phosphorus.
With the introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive in 2000, there is now a legislative framework to implement catchment controls over P inputs to EU waters from all sources, including those from agriculture. Controls over transfers of P from agricultural land have been judged a necessary part of the integrated catchment management needed to achieve the good ecological status demanded by Europe by 2015. In 1997, EU COST Action 832 (Quantifying the Agricultural Contribution to Eutrophication) was set up to help co-ordinate this research activity in order that the agricultural contribution of eutrophication could be more uniformly assessed across Europe. The specific aims of the Action were to develop a common conceptual understanding of the processes of P transfer to water and to identify appropriate methodologies for quantifying the use, cycling, transfer and impacts of phosphorus in runoff from agricultural land. The Action involved 18 countries. This Special Issue of Soil Use and Management, with 16 papers, draws together the knowledge base and selected research studies conducted across Europe as part of COST 832 and supporting national research programmes.
Unser Boden. Wir stehen drauf! Eine Initiative von Landeshauptmann Dr. Erwin Prll. DVD Video 15 Minuten. Herausgeber, Autor und Medieninhaber: Abteilung Landentwickung, Amt der Nieder-sterreichischen Landesregierung, St. Polten, 2007.
This video pays attention to the different uses of the soil in Lower Austria, and its importance for safeguarding. It is an initiative within the framework of the Soil and Land Alliance of European Cities and Municipalities. (Boden-Bndnis Europischer Stadte und Gemeinden) to give information and educate school children as well as the general public about the soil and its value for housing, recreation, roads and, especially, food production.
The text of the major part of the video is in German and English. The rest of the video is in German and contains a film made at the start of a special programme for school children in some communities on Soil Day (13 April 2007).
For more information about the project and various activities of the Soil and Land Alliance, visit the website www.soil-alliance.org.
Geoderma. Volume 140, no. 4. 15 August 2007. pp. 323-456. Special Issue Pedometrics 2005. S. Grunwald, D.J. Brown and P. Govaerts, editors. Elsevier. ISSN 0016-7061.
This is the 8th special issue on pedometrics following the tradition to publish papers presented at Pedometrics meetings. This issue includes a subset of papers presented at the Meeting of Commission 1.5 Pedometrics of the IUSS. The meeting Frontiers in Pedometrics was held in September 2005 in Naples, Florida, USA. At the meeting a total of 36 oral and 16 poster papers were presented categorized into three topic areas: digital soil mapping; geostatistics; and soil sensing. The first two papers are focussed on the Matern Covariance Function to predict soil properties and uncertainty propagation and sampling in geostatistical surveys. These are followed by a paper on a spatially-balanced complete block design for field experiments; and 5 papers on digital soil mapping applications, and two on the incorporation of remote and soil sensing methods explicitly into the respective soil prediction models. These papers may further stimulate the interest in incorporating pedometrics into soil studies.
Water for food. Water for life. A comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture. D. Mollen, editor. International Water Management Institute, Colombo and Earthscan, London, 2007, xvii + 645 p. ISBN 978-1-84407-396-2., softcover; 978-1-84407-397-9, hardcover.
Managing water resources is one of the most challenges of our times fundamental to how we feed 2 billion more people in coming decades. eliminate poverty, and reverse ecosystem degradation. This book, involving more than 700 specialists, evaluates current thinking on water and its interplay with agriculture to help chart the way forward. It offers actions for water management and water policy to ensure more equitable and effective use. This assessment describes key water-food-environment trends that influence our lives today and uses scenarios to explore the consequences of a range of potential investments. It aims to inform investors and policymakers about water and food choices in light of such crucial influences as poverty, ecosystems, governance, and productivity. It covers rainfed agriculture, irrigation, groundwater, marginal-quality water, fisheries, livestock, rice, land, and river basins. Ample tables, graphs, and references make this a very useful work for practitioners, academics, researchers, and policymakers in water management, agriculture, conservation, and development.
Price: GBP 34.95, softcover; GBP 95.00, hardcover.
Voices from the Forest. Integrating indigenous knowledge into sustainable upland farming. M. Cairns, editor. RFF Press, Resources for the Future, Washington, 2007, xv + 826 p. ISBN 978-1-891853-92-0, softcover; 978-1-891853-92-0, hardcover.
Shifting cultivation, swidden, or slash-and-burn agriculture, has a bad reputation. It is frequently viewed as a major contributor to deforestation, land degradation, and recently, to widespread smog in SE Asia. This reputation is largely undeserved, for the majority of traditional swidden systems are sustainable and feature a high labour productivity at low population densities. However, there are enough cases to the contrary to keep the negative image alive. These usually arise from destabilization of preciously sustainable systems as a result of such factors as rapidly increasing population pressure, the encroachment of commercial logging, forced migrations, and changing production incentives.
These cultivation systems refer to a multiplicity of different fallow and rotational arrangements, associated with a tremendous cultural diversity. It is not surprising, therefore, that the responses to these pressures and opportunities have also been highly variable and on occasions, quite ingenious. There exist many successful systems of indigenous intensification, but they have never been systematically reviewed at the scale of the present book. A description and analysis of the multitude of these strategies would provide useful insights and directions for researchers and development practitioners alike, working on either avoiding or repairing the environmental, social, and economic problems resulting from the destabilization of shifting cultivation.
The book illustrates the enormous diversity of shifting cultivation systems and provides a striking testimony to human ingenuity. It sets out six fallow management typologies and presents case studies of each. The chapters show the richness of farmer experimentation and adaptation, and the frequency of complex or multiple systems within the same agroecosystem. More than 100 scholars from 22 countries, including agronomists, agricultural economists, ecologists, and anthropologists, collaborate in the analyses of different fallow management technologies. These have, in turn, worked closely with a cast of thousands of indigenous farmers of different cultures in a broad range of climate, crops and soil conditions. The book, which is limited to the Asia-Pacific region, has the following parts. Part I: Introduction (3 papers); Part II: Retention or promotion of volunteer species with economic or ecological value (10 papers); Part III: Shrub-based accelerated fallows (6 papers); Part IV: Herbaceous legume fallows (4 papers); Part V: Dispersed tree-based fallows (10 papers); Part VI: Perennial-annual crop rotations (6 papers); Part VII: Agroforests (14 papers); Part VIII: Across systems and typologies (9 papers); Part IX: Themes: property rights, markets and institutions (6 papers); and Part X: Conclusions. The book has 68 colour plates and closes with a botanical index, an index of nearly 100 ethnic groups living in the region, and a subject index.
Price: USD 50.00 softcover; USD 100.00 hardcover.
Pedological Biogeochemistry. O.K. Borggaard and B. Elberling. Department of Natural Sciences and Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen, 2007, 353 p. ISBN 87-989450-1-7. Softcover. Published by the authors.
The subject of this book is soil chemistry, i.e. the composition of soil air, soil solution and soil mineral and organic solids, and the interactions between these phases. The book's title emphasizes the importance of interacting biological and geochemical processes to understand soil genesis. Sustainable soil use requires appropriate knowledge about how different soils respond to various perturbations, which in turn, necessitates profound understanding of composition and properties of various soils. The soils considered in this book represent the soils of the World, although examples in the text are biased towards Danish soils. The first chapter gives an overview of basic pedology and includes definitions of soil terms, soil composition and components, and an outline of soil formation and classification with an introduction to Soil Taxonomy. The following 4 chapters discuss soil organic matter, soil minerals, soil solution and soil air. Mineral weathering is discussed in chapter 6, soil acidification in chapter 7, non-specific adsorption and specific adsorption are described in chapters 8 and 9. Soil salinization is considered in chapter 10, and the book closes with a chapter about redox processes. The book has many figures and tables. Interactive figures have been produced to provide possibilities for users to work with complex aspects of soil science. These figures can be found on the internet.
The book is specifically written for students interested in soil chemistry and pedology, but many students in related disciplines as well as professionals that need information about soils and soil processes will find this volume useful.
Price: EUR 70.00; USD 95.00, including packing and postage.
European Journal of Soil Science. Volcanic Soils Thematic Issue. P. Buurman and C. Regalado, guest editors. Volume 58, no 2. April 2007. pp 355-515. Blackwell Publishing.
ISSN: 1351-0754, print; 1365-2389, online.
Although volcanic soils are widespread throughout Europe, much of the research has been published in national journals and in a variety of languages. This precluded dissemination of European knowledge into the international literature. To bring together European knowledge, and address typically European environmental problems linked to such soils, a scientific study was funded by the EU under the name COST 622: Soil resources of European volcanic systems. The participants came from 12 countries in Europe, representing disciplines as far removed as erosion control and soil organic matter chemistry. Experts from non-European countries participated as invited speakers at meetings and in the two workshops. A series of volcanic soils were described collectively, sampled and analyzed, resulting in a dataset that is unsurpassed worldwide. The present issue of the European Journal of Soil Science contains the last collection of papers of COST 622, after issues of Geoderma and Catena, and a book (Arnalds et al., editors, Soils of Volcanic Regions of Europe. Springer, New York, 2006). This book includes a CD containing all primary data synthesizing the information colleted during 5 years of this study.
European Journal of Soil Science. Molecular Methods Thematic Issue. M.H. Gerzabek, G. Haberhauer, K.-U. Totsche and D. Tunega, editors. Volume 58, no. 4. August 2007. pp 867-988. Blackwell Publishing. ISSN 1351-0754, print; 1365-2389, online.
Today, soil science is increasingly confronted with societal-driven research questions that cannot be answered by tools and techniques specifically developed for the typical spatial and temporal scale of soil research the plot and bench scale and hours to years, respectively. Over the last two decades soil research has become ever more open to the macroscale, which involves remote sensing, geo-statistics and global modelling approaches. At the same time, it has also accessed the micro- and nano-scale, driven by the necessity to explore biogeochemical interfaces in soils at a molecular or even atomic level. These considerations led to an interest in the development of a more general understanding of the relationships between molecular characteristics of solutes and their interactions with biogeochemical interfaces in soils. Key elements of this endeavour include characterization and quantification of the molecular functionality and abundance of reaction sites of biogeochemical interfaces and their chemical activity. The 10 papers in this issue are organized into three groups. The first group represents papers in which quantum chemical methods are applied to treat specific problems related to soil chemistry. The second group covers the application of simulation methods based on combining molecular dynamics with classical molecular mechanics, where interatomic interactions are expressed via empirical formulas. This approach is often called the force-field approach. The third group consists of two papers focusing on experimental methods.
Soils. Genesis and Geomorphology. R. Schaetzl and S. Anderson. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, 2005, reprint with corrections 2007, xiii + 817 p. ISBN 978-0-521-81201-6. Hardcover.
In this comprehensive and accessible handbook the authors introduce the building blocks of the soil in Part I. They continue adding to the basic knowledge base in Part II (chapters 8-12), but add a great deal more material on theory and soil genesis/processes. In chapter 11, for example, a large dose of pedogenic and geomorphic theory is introduced, which in combination with the previous chapters allows to discuss soil genesis and pedogenic processes at length in chapter 12. Knowledge of soil genesis provides important information to scientists who classify them. Finally, considerable attention is given to examining soil landscapes over time and how soils can be used as dating tools and as keys to past environments. Part III is the synthesis section, for within it the authors pull together concepts introduced previously and apply them to problems of dating landscapes and understanding their evolution. Lateral flows of materials and energy link soil bodies to adjoining ones on the landscape, helping to reinforce the three-dimensional component. The use of many block diagrams shows the need for a holistic perspective on soils within the landscape. The book has a North American focus, but contains many data and examples of soil studies from outside this continent. As such, it can be a useful book for the global soils community. The book is well-illustrated with many clear figures, tables and few photographs. With over 80 pages references and a useful glossary of 50 pages and an extensive index, it is completed.
Price: GBP 45.00; USD 85.00.
The Soils of Israel. A. Singer. Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg, 2007, x + 306 p. ISBN 978-3-540-71731-7. Hardcover. 978-3-540-71734-8. Online.
When preparing my first trip to Israel, to attend the Aridic Soils meeting in 1981 - held under the able leadership of Prof. Dan Yaalon a.o. -, I got hold of one of the few books about the soils in this country. It was written by A. Reifenberg, published in 1947 as a second edition, and was entitled The Soils of Palestine. I also obtained a 1: 600.000 generalized soil map, published in 1955. Although much valuable soil research and extensive soil surveys have been carried out in Israel, and reported on at meetings, in scientific and other journals, a new book, at least in English, as a follow-up of Reifenberg's book, was not published until the present book appeared. This book gives a concise description of the soils of Israel, including their distribution, chemical, physical and mineralogical characteristics and agricultural attributes. On the background of the various soil forming factors, such as the great variation of climate, lithology and physiography the pathways of their formation are discussed. The distribution of the different soil types is explained. Due attention is given to research results of the various studies carried out on paleosols with their paleogeographic significance. The presence of over 30 pages with 68 colour photographs is very illustrative and helpful. Fifteen pages with references and an index complete this book.
This is a welcome addition to your and my library!
Price: EUR 99.95; USD 139.00.
Hans van Baren, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Fertilizer Best Management Practices. International Fertilizer Industry Association, Paris, 2007, vi + 299 p. ISBN 2-9523139-2-X. Softcover.
This publication is a compilation of the papers presented at the IFA International Workshop on Fertilizer Best Management Practices (FBMPs), held in 2007 in Brussels. The workshop was aimed at: Defining the general principles of FBMPs and the strategy for their wider adoption; Defining the role of the fertilizer industry in developing and promoting FBMPs, and identify priority areas for action; Exchanging information on experiences; Reviewing achievements and locating the gas; and Understanding the actors and identifying the key partners. The workshop is a component of IFA's initiative on FBMPs launched in 2006. Next steps at the global level include the definition of a global framework for FBMPs, and the development of a web portal and of a set of indicators for measuring the performance of FBMPs. The main challenge remains at the national and local levels, where FBMPs have to be tailored to the specific needs of different farming systems.
Sustainable Management of the Nitrogen Cycle in Agriculture and Mitigation of Reactive Nitrogen Side Effects. IFA Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen. International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), Paris, 2007, vi + 53 p. ISBN 2-9523139-1-1. Softcover.
Nitrogen (N) is a vital element for life. It is an essential component of all proteins and of DNA. On Earth there are two pools of N, with relatively little exchange between them: the gaseous dinitrogen (N2) of the atmosphere, which makes up about 99% of total N, and the 1% of N that is chemically bound to other elements, such as carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) and has been described as reactive nitrogen, for its tendency to react with other elements. Gaseous N2 is almost inert and cannot used directly by most plants. It requires a high energy input to covert N2 into plant available, reactive N forms. The N cycle refers to the circulation of N compounds through the Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere and pedosphere. At various points in this cycle, reactive N compounds become involved in processes that can affect human health and the environment in both positive and negative ways. When improperly managed, N inputs can have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Lack of reactive N leads to soil fertility decline. , low yields and crop protein content, depleted soil organic matter, etc. This booklet discusses the adoption of an integrated approach to nutrient management maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks associated with the use of N sources, contributing to raising crop productivity and N use efficiency.
Les Grands Sols du Monde (the Great Soils of the World). J-P. Legros. Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes, Lausanne, 2007, 574 p. ISBN 978-2-88074-723-7.
The aim of this publication is to provide, in French, an overview of the diversity of soils on a global scale, an insight in the processes of their formation and their distribution and an understanding of the influence of their characteristics on their use and protection. Of a total of fifteen chapters the first chapter is devoted to definitions of nomenclature, concepts and study methods which are essential for a full comprehension of the further text. It is a refresher of general soil science. Chapter two gives a detailed description of the factors of soil formation. Next to the classical factors of climate, parent material, time, relief and vegetation attention is also given to human influence such as terracing, fertilization, liming, manuring, irrigation, drainage, removal of stony material, polders, land leveling and pollution.
The third chapter deals with the basic theme of the book namely the progressive subsidence (enfoncement progressif) in soil formation, a geochemical process which over time leads to a sinking of the land surface to a lower level and the development of soil horizons. Traditionally soil formation is considered to consist of a transfer and movement of components such as iron, aluminium, carbon, clay, calcium carbonate and salts through a skeleton of silt and sand. It has mostly been overlooked that the skeleton is progressively emptied of its substance, which results in concentrations of residue and in soil collapse. This alteration proceeds along weathering fronts and results in the horizontal and lateral stratification of the soil profile. The textural and chemical composition of the soil horizons develops not only in function of internal movements and transfers but also in relation to external export. These phenomena are particularly observable in old soils of the intertropical zone but are also present in younger soils of temperate areas. The author suggests that this concept should be validated through modelisation and numerical simulation. He feels that a number of classical sometimes dogmatic theories of soil formation need to be questioned.
Chapter four gives an overview of the four systems of classification to which reference is made in the book: the French Commission de Pedologie et de Cartographie des Sols (CPCS, 1967), the USDA Soil Taxonomy (ST, 1960-2006), the French Referentiel pedologique (RP, 1995) and the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB, 1998-2006). Each of the four systems is analyzed in terms of their structure, nomenclature and criteria used for the differentiation of the units. In spite of the different approaches it appears that a certain congruence is emerging as reflected in the World Reference Base for Soil Resources. It is the latter system which the author uses for his review of the great soils of the world although he frequently refers to units in the other systems since these are still in use in current francophone literature. The progressive subsidence applies geochemistry and mineralogy to study the spatial organization of the world's soil pattern. The author acknowledges to have given less attention to biology and organic matter issues which he considers to have been dealt with sufficiently elsewhere.
Chapters five through fifteen deal with clusters of the great soils of the world successively: 5, Ferralsols and other soils of warm regions; 6, Vertisols; 7, Calcisols; 8, Cambisol-Luvisols and Planosols; 9, Red Soils of Mediterranean and tropical dry areas; 10, Andosols; 11, Podzolized soils; 12, Gleysols-Stagnosols; 13, Histosols; 14, Solonchaks-Solonetz; 15, other soils.
Each of the chapters encompasses information on soil characteristics, spatial distribution, genesis, age, classification, agronomic and environmental notes. The coverage of the Ferralsols is very elaborate, their being the lead example of progressive subsidence. The soil collapse is estimated at 20 m in a million years. The evolution of horizons is dealt with in great detail, compassing the full transition of lithostructure to pedostructure, the formation of ferruginous crusts and stonelines. A weak point of this chapter is that the Acrisols, considered part of the Ferralsol cluster (sols tropicaux lessivs), have not been dealt with separately. Acrisols are more extensive than Ferralsols in the world, have a different genesis and specific use and management requirements. Acrisols are great soils on their own merits. For the Vertisols the concept of progressive subsidence is more difficult to demonstrate. However, the lack of a distinct differentiation of soil horizons is compensated by an evolution of the mineralogy throughout the development of Vertisols. The chapters dealing with Luvisols and Podzolized soils present the processes of progressive subsidence as alternatives to the conventional soil formation sequences of leaching and accumulation. The chapter on Red Soils of Mediterranean and tropical dry areas is the only one which is not using the WRB system. Emphasis is given to the fersiallitic nature of these soils, following the early French nomenclature. This approach may indicate a shortcoming of WRB in identifying the cluster of fersiallitic soils as a separate Reference Soil Group. Even though human influences on soil formation have appropriately been highlighted in Chapter two no chapter has been devoted to Anthrosols. Increased attention paid to Anthrosols in the last ten years clearly shows that few soils in the world have remained natural which is increasingly reflected in updated soil classification systems. Chernozems, Phaeozems and Kastanozems have been relegated to a three page summary in Chapter fifteen, other soils, in spite of their productive importance and extension on a global scale. A reason may be the stated lesser relevance of organic matter issues in the geochemical cycle of soil formation. Some of the chapters are introduced by a pre-requisite facilitating the understanding of the main text, for instance the nature of the amorphous substances in the Andosols.
Each chapter is provided with an extensive bibliography. The existence of the FAO/Unesco Soil Map of the World is briefly mentioned in the text. It is regretted that this publication is not referred to in the bibliography since it is the basis of the WRB and offers a cartographic synthesis of the great soils of the world (FAO, 1971-1981).
The publication is well supplied with explanatory graphs and photographs. An inlay of twelve pages of coloured photographs adds a field perspective even though the captions do not consistently trace back to the text of the study.
The Great Soils of the World are in the first instance addressed to bachelor/master students in soil science and to those scientists who are especially involved in soil genesis and classification. It will be of particular interest to geographers, geologists and all those who are studying the diversity and the chemical and mineralogical composition of the planet's skin. The author recommends that soils be studied bottom upwards, from the lower alteration front to the overlying residual layers. He suggests that this approach may lead to reconcile geology and pedology and to rethinking the classical hypotheses of soil formation and of their impact on soil classification.
Price: EUR 61.60 plus taxes, packing and postage. In Switzerland: CHF 96.50, In France: EUR 65.00.
R. Dudal, Leuven, Belgium.
Interpreting Soil Test Results. What do all the numbers mean? P. Hazelton and B. Murphy. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, 2007, 160 p. ISBN 978-0-64309-225-9. Softcover.
The first edition of this text was written for officers in the then Soil Conservation Service of new South Wales, Australia, who were expected to interpret and give advise on a wide variety of soil management issues. In the present publication the original information has been reviewed and revised. The data contains test results that are more wide reaching than ever originally intended. The text is, therefore, useful for a wider range of professionals from agriculturalists to engineers. The data colleted shows the large volume and diversity of information needed by all professionals who endeavour to provide advice on natural resources management. The interpretations and values provided are not intended for specific advice on particular problems or issues, but provide a general background on the variety of soil tests available and how the results may be interpreted. All chapters have lists of references and suggestions for further reading.
Price: AUD 59.95.
Evaporation. Selection, Introduction and Commentaries. Benchmark Papers in Hydrology. J.H.C. Gash and W.J. Shutteworth. International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 2007, x + 432 p. ISBN 978-901502-98-5. Softcover.
This volume in the new series of the IAHS is also of interest to soil scientists. The development of evaporation measurement techniques are documented first, commencing with the Wagon Wheel Gap catchment water balance (1921), through mass budget to water transfer methods, and use of scintillometry. Dalton's seminal essay On Evaporation (1802) starts the selection of papers on evaporation estimation, which then covers atmospheric controls on the evaporation process (the original Penman and Thornthwaite papers are reproduced), vegetation controls via transpiration and interception, and finally evaporation as a component of the global climate system. The Commentaries explain the context and significance of each of these important papers.
Price: GBP 40.00.
Where the Land is Greener. Case studies and analysis of soil and water conservation initiatives worldwide. H. Liniger and W. Critchley, editors. WOCAT, 2007, xi + 364 p. ISBN 978-92-9081-339-2. Softcover.
This book, co-published by CTA, FAO, UNEP and CDE on behalf of the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT), contains examples of case studies of well-documented and interesting technologies and approaches from the WOCAT database. After an inventory lasting about 5 years, the number of technologies ended up at 42, while also 28 approaches are inventoried. Based on the expertise of about 100 scientists from around the world working in this intriguing subject, the book contains a wealth of information relevant to the subject in a broad sense. After presenting a listing of the policy points, which can be regarded as the conclusions of this in-depth study, Part 1 of this well-illustrated book is entitled: Analysis and policy implications. It contains chapters on the analysis of soil and water conservation technologies and approaches, concentrating on the issue of what works where, and why. and how the approaches are put into place. Part 2 is on the case studies in the following fields, collected in more than 20 countries: conservation agriculture (5 case studies); manuring/composting (3); vegetative strips (3); agroforestry (8); water harvesting (3); gully rehabilitation (3); terraces (9); grazing land management (4) and other technologies (4 case studies). Each case is covered in 4 pages. Several of the technologies are well-established; others are innovative, relatively unknown and full of promise. In the separate chapters many relevant data about the technology are given, aided by illustrative line drawings, graphs and photographs.
This book should receive a wide distribution, since it may give the reader/user an answer to the questions regarding practical soil and water conservation in order to get a greener land. See also http://www.wocat.org/ for details about WOCAT.
Price: USD 45.00. Orders to: Earthprint, at www.earthprint.com/go.htm?to=wocat001. For scientists from ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) countries working in agriculture and rural development, to receive the publication free of charge, see http://www.cta.int/, or write to: CTA, P.O. Box 173, 6700 AD Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Advances in Plant and Animal Boron Nutrition. F. Xu, H.E. Goldbach, P.H. Brown, R.W. Bell, T. Fujiwara, C.D. Hunt, S. Goldberg and L. Shi, editors. Springer, Dordrecht, 2007, xvi + 401 p. ISBN 978-1-4020-5381-9. Hardcover.
This book contains the proceedings of the Third International Symposium on all Aspects of Plant and Animal Boron Nutrition, held in 2005 at the Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China. After a plenary review about the function of Boron in plant and animals, Part I, Boron in plants has the following chapters: Physiology and metabolism of boron in plants 6 papers); Boron nutrition and boron application in crops (13 papers); Genotypic differences of boron nutrition in plants (4 papers). Part II, Boron in animals and humans has 6 papers, while the closing Part III, Boron in plants has 7 papers. The book does not only present the latest developments in research, but suggests also future research issues.
Digital Soil Mapping. An Introductory Perspective. Developments in Soil Science, volume 31. P. Lagacherie, A.B. McBradney and M. Voltz, editors. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Boston, 2007, xxii + 599 p. plus 42 colour plates. ISBN 0-444-52958-6. Hardcover.
This book is based on contributions to a Global Workshop on Digital Soil Mapping, which was held in Montpellier in September 2004. Although it has been put into practice for several years through the development of soil databases, soil information systems and the increasing use of numerical techniques in the prediction of soil variability, the concept of Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) has only been introduced recently and this workshop is the first specifically devoted to it. The editors define DSM as the creation and population of spatial soil information systems by numerical models inferring the spatial and temporal variation of soil types and soil properties from soil observation and knowledge and from related environmental variables. Eighty scientists, from soil surveyors to pedometricians, from 17 countries attended the meeting, which provided a large overview of the state of the art of this nascent discipline. The editors compiled in this book the best ideas and methodologies that emerged from this workshop. They envisage significant developments in the coming years, and from this perspective a Digital Soil Mapping working group was established within the IUSS. The book is dedicated to Dr. Jean-Marc Robbez-Masson, who was a major contributor to the workshop. He tragically lost his life in an accident in the Alps in July 2005.
Serpentine Geoecology of Western North America. Geology, soils and vegetation. E.B. Alexander, R.G Coleman, T. Keeler-Wolf and S.P. Harrison. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2007, vi + 512 p. ISBN 0-19-516508-X. Hardcover.
Ultramafic, or serpentine rocks are unique in the continental crust of the earth in that their chemical composition is similar to that of the mantle, which is overlain by 30-70 km of continental crust, or much thinner ocean crust. There are several different kinds of ultramafic rocks that reach the surface of the earth in different ways. The main focus of this book is the effects of ultramafic rocks on terrestrial landscapes and ecosystems. The unique ultramafic rock chemistry is largely inherited by serpentine soils, which support unique suites of plants. Because the soils and vegetation are so unique, they warrant this comprehensive book. The geographical coverage is western North America. A large portion is the book is devoted to the principles of serpentine soil formation and serpentine plant ecology. Practically all principles of serpentine soil formation, vegetation distribution, and floristic development can be illustrated with examples from this region. These principles are applicable to serpentine soils on all continents, making the book pertinent to pedologists and ecologists around the world.
The topics of this book, which together make up geoecology, span many disciplines. For this purpose, four co-authors from three disciplines have been selected to cover the entire spectrum of serpentine geoecology with authority.
The Rhizosphere. Biochemistry and organic substances at the soil plant interface. Second edition. R. Pinton, Z. Varanini and P. Nannipieri, editors. CRC Press, 2007, 456 p. ISBN 978-0-8493-3855-7.
In the rhizosphere, exudates from plants and micro-organisms as well as stable soil organic matter influence processes that can control plant growth, microbial infections, and nutrient uptake. As the chemistry and biochemistry of these substances becomes more and more clear, their study promises to shed light on the complex interactions between plant and soil micro flora. Maintaining the interdisciplinary approach of the first edition, this second edition summarizes information on soil science, agronomy, plant nutrition, plant physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry to provide a comprehensive overview of the most recent advances in the field. It presents new information on areas that are only recently gaining importance for understanding the complex biochemistry of the soil-microbe-plant interaction. New topics include the role of nutrient availability in regulating root morphology and architecture; the involvement of root membrane activities in determining and responding to the nutritional conditions in the rhizosphere; molecular signals between root-root and root-microbe, and gene flow and the evolution of rhizosphere organisms and their co evolution with plants.
Soil Carbon Management. Economic, environmental, and societal benefits. J.M. Kimble, C.W. Rice, D. Reed, S. Mooney, R.F. Follett and R. Lal, editors. CRC Press, 2007, 288 p. ISBN 978-1-4200-4407-2.
In the United States, soil has fuelled the availability of abundant, safe food, thus underpinning economic growth and development. In the future, we need to be more vigilant in managing and renewing this precious resource by replacing the nutrients and life-sustaining matter that we remove for our own needs. Taking these issues into consideration, this book explores all of the advantages of effective soil carbon management. It provides a new conceptual framework to develop policies for managing and enhancing soil C and presents new approaches to achieve environmental outcomes. In each of the 14 chapters, the book poses a problem or set of problems and then describes how effective soil C management can help to solve these challenges, listing the multiple benefits that arise from these practices. It addresses specific problems, such as soil erosion and land degradation and evaluates the advantages of soil C sequestration, specifically for policy development purposes. The policies discussed can be tailored to meet regional and local needs and constraints. The book also explains how to achieve an ideal environment by applying beneficial practices for farming and land management.
Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems. N. Uphoff, A.S. Ball, E. Fernandes, H. Herren, O. Husson, M. Laing, C. Palm, J. Pretty, P.A. Sanchez, N. Sanginga and J.E. Thies, editors. CRC Press, 784 p. ISBN 1-5744-4583-9.
Global agriculture is now at the crossroads. The Green Revolution of the last century, which helped developing countries meet their food needs for several decades, is now loosing momentum. Rates of growth in food production are now declining, with land and water resources becoming scarcer, while world population continues to grow. We need to continue to identify and share the knowledge that will support successful and sustainable agriculture systems in this new century. These depend crucially on soil. The book brings together 102 experts from multiple disciplines and 28 countries to report on the science and the innovation going on for sustainable soil system management. While accepting some continuing role for chemical and other external inputs in 21st-century agriculture, this book presents a variety of ways in which crops can be produced more abundantly and more cheaply with lessened dependence on the exogenous resources that have driven the expansion of agriculture in the past. With 50 self-contained chapters, this original work provides researchers, practitioners, planners and policy makers with a comprehensive understanding of the science and steps needed to utilize soil systems for the long-term benefit of humankind and the environment.
Modeling Phosphorus in the Environment. D.E. Radcliffe and M.L. Cabrera editors. CRC Press, 2007, 432 p. ISBN 978-0-8493-3777-2.
This book combines traditional models with new approaches derived from modern technology and assesses the current state of modelling phosphorus (P). It describes basic approaches in modelling P, how the current models implement these approaches, and ways to improve them. It allows researchers, engineering consultants, soil and groundwater scientists, regulators and others to assess and consider all the models available for predicting the fate of phosphorus in the environment, so as to be readily able to select the model that best fits their own situation. Written by experts in the field, this book is the first single-source reference for information on basic approaches used in modelling phosphorus.
Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry. Third edition. E.A. Paul, editor. Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier, 2007, xx + 532 p. ISBN 978-0-12-546807-7. Hardcover.
This new edition contains fully revised chapters to address the importance of ecological advances in soil science. It also includes a number of new chapters, such as those about bioremediation, soil molecular biology, biodiversity and global climate change. The inclusion of ecology concepts reflects the broader applicability of the science. Especially great advances have been made in molecular techniques, the broader use of tracers, and maturation of modelling in interpretation of data and the development of new concepts. New chapters are also about invertebrate-microbial interactions, basic physiology, and ecological interpretations. Students of agriculture, forestry, ecology, and environmental science will find guidance through basic concepts and applications of various soil processes as well as being introduced to microbial processes in water and sediments. Compared to the second edition of 1996, the new edition has more interpretative diagrams to enhance learning.
State of the World 2007. Our Urban Future. O'Meara Sheehan, project director. L. Starke, editor. W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 2007, xxxi + 250 p. ISBN 978-0-393-32923-0. Softcover.
This annual publication of the Worldwatch Institute is published in 30 languages. The 2007 report is about cities, regarded as the key factor to tackle poverty and climate change. While cities cover only 0.4 percent of the Earth?s surface, they generate the bulk of the world's carbon emissions. Nearly one half of all people live in urban areas and over 60 million persons, roughly the population of France, are now added to the planet's burgeoning cities and suburbs each year, mostly in low-income urban settlements in developing countries. This report is only marginally concerned with soils, in the chapter entitled Framing the Cities, but forms a part of the aims of the Worldwatch Institute to work on progress toward a sustainable society.
The Ecology of Papua. (covering the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Irian Jaya). The Ecology of Indonesia Series, volume VI. A.J. Marshall and B.M. Beehler. In two parts. Periplus Editions, Singapore, 2007, 1467 p. ISBN 978-0-7946-0393-9 (part 1); 978-0-7946-0483-7 (part 2). Hardcover.
Papua (western or Indonesian - New Guinea) is the largest island in Indonesia with the smallest population compared to the other islands of Indonesia. Papua has lasted into the 21st century as largely a blank space on the map, and we will do well to treasure it for that. Here for the last time in history, as human modernity closes irreversibly over the planet, we may take comfort that there still exists a land beyond the frontier such as Papua. New Guinea, including Papua, is a challenge and a paradise for anthropologists and biogeographers. Its complex mountainous terrain has divided its human populations into the most diverse array of cultures and languages of any comparable area in the world. Long before people arrived, the islands equatorial location and geology combined to make it one of the several most biologically rich regions of Earth, both on the land and in the coral reefs of its marine coast. However, biodiversity in Papua is facing very serious problems, such as biodiversity loss and ecological degradation. The threats include logging-induced deforestation, forest conversion into agricultural plantation (especially oil palm), small-holder agricultural conversion, the introduction and potential spread of non-native alien species, and water pollution from oil and mining exploration. The book brings together 76 authors to catalog for the first time the many facets of Papua's environment. Section 1 of the first part presents an introduction to Papua. The physical environment is treated in section 2. The flora is discussed in section 3, the fauna in section 4. The second part of this book has four sections. The natural ecosystems are presented in section 5; the human-ecosystem interactions in section 6. Section 7 pays attention to the conservation of Papuan natural resources. Eleven appendices are contained in section 8. The volumes are well illustrated with (color)photographs, tables and figures. The papers have extensive lists of references. Designed for students and researchers, it is a richly detailed text, dense with biogeographical data, historical reference, and fresh insight on this complicated and marvellous region. The authors hope that the book will serve to raise awareness of Papua on a global as well as local scale, and to catalyse effective conservation of its most precious natural assets.
Ingenierie des Eaux et du Sol. Processus et amanagements. M. Soutter, A. Mermoud et A. Musy. Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes, 2007, 312 p. ISBN 978-2-88074-724-4. Broch.
Cet ouvrage traite des methodes et techniques des sciences de lingnieur dont les objectifs sont la matrise des eaux et leur gestion, dans un cadre global de preservation des ressources naturelles. Les notions abordes couvrent les nombreux aspects de la gestion des eaux en relation avec la production alimentaire (irrigation et drainage) et la conservation des milieux naturels. Le concept de matrise des eaux renvoie en effet la fonction de protection quexercent les ouvrages et amnagements, en particulier lgard de la ressource que constitue le sol. Les divers domaines de l'agrohydrologie sont associas et integris dans une perspective doingnierie environnementale qui met en vidence les liens troits unissant ces ressources naturelles vitales que sont l'eau et le sol. Articul en deux parties consacres dune part la description des processus fondamentaux et d'autre part celle des techniques damnagement, cet ouvrage original et pedagogique propose une vision complete, quilibre et dtaille de plusieurs disciplines, en un ensemble coherent et rigoureux. Il rpond ainsi aussi bien aux besoins de formation des tudiants, qu celui de reference pour le praticien.
A Pro-poor Policy Agenda for Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region. Talking Point 2/07. ICIMOD, Kathmandu, 2007, 21 p. ISBN 978-92-9115-044-1. Softcover.
The vast majority of people in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region lives in rural areas and depends primarily on agriculture for their survival and wellbeing. Mountain farmers have gained little from agricultural development during the Green Revolution. In an analysis to address this issue, it is shown that agricultural policies and strategies in most countries of the region target agriculture for the plains, particularly for field crops. By ignoring mountain-specific biophysical and socioeconomic factors and diversification most countries in the region are also pursuing the same agricultural policies and strategies in mountains as used in the plains. This has resulted in accelerated deforestation, soil erosion and environmental degradation, creating a vicious circle of poverty, degradation, and deprivation. Drawing evidence from different parts of the region and other similar regions, this paper concludes that agricultural development and resource conservation goals can be achieved simultaneously by removing existing policy biases and imperfections, and reorienting institutions towards mountain agriculture. This would require a fundamental change in policies, institutions, strategies, and programmes. This paper develops a framework tor such a change in paradigm shift and discusses the concepts.
Ecological Basis of Agroforestry. D.R. Batish, R.K.Kohli, H.P. Singh and S. Jose, editors. CRC Press, 2007, 400 p. ISBN 978-1-4200-4327-3. Catalogue no. 43277.
Faced with the growing problems of climate change, ecosystem degradation, declining agricultural productivity and uncertain food security, agricultural scientists look for potential relief in an ancient practice. Agroforestry, if properly designed, can mitigate greenhouse effects, maintain ecosystem health and biodiversity provide food security, and reduce poverty. However, poorly implemented agroforestry can not exacerbate existing problems, but also contribute to the overall negative effects of our depleted and failing ecosystems. A thorough understanding of the ecological processes that govern these complex systems is therefore crucial. This book provides an understanding of the ecological relationships among forests, soils, root systems and water systems. It evaluates the socioeconomic impact of agroforestry, and covers the practice of ecologically sustainable agroforestry in tropical and temperate regions. The book starts (7 papers) with a study of tree-crop interaction, including above and below ground interactions, alley cropping, tri-trophic interactions, ecologically based pest management and the potential of chemically mediated plant interactions. The second section (6 papers) investigates root-mediated below ground interactions and their role in enhancing productivity, soil fertility and sustainability. It includes a study on litter dynamics and factors affecting nutrient release. Section three (2 papers) demonstrates the use of computer-based designs to ensure profitability, while the last section (4 papers) addresses the socio-economic aspects of agroforestry.
Climate Change and Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in Central Asia. R. Lal, M. Suleimenov, B.A. Stewart, D.O. Hanson and P. Doraiswamy. CRC Press, 2007, 512 p. ISBN 978-0415422352. Catalogue no. SW2353.
Bringing together current knowledge of terrestrial C sequestration in Central Asia, this book covers biophysical environments, water resources, sustainable agriculture, soil degradation, the effects of irrigation schemes on secondary salinization, soil management and its relationship to carbon dynamics; the relationship between forest management and carbon dynamics, economic analyses of land use practices, issues in using GIS, remote sensing, and carbon budgeting and scaling. It will be of interest to a wide variety of environmental scientists, economists and those interested in policy issues for the sustainable management of natural resources.
Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis, second edition. M.R. Carter and E.G. Gregorich. CRC Press, 2007, 1264 p. ISBN 978-0849335860. Catalogue no. 3586.
Thoroughly updated and revised, this second edition of Soil Sampling and Methods of Analysis presents several new chapters in the areas of biological and physical analysis and soil sampling. Reflecting the burgeoning interest in soil ecology, new contributions describe the growing number and assortment of new microbiological techniques, describe in-depth methods, and demonstrate new tools that characterize the dynamics and chemistry of soil organic matter and soil testing for plant nutrients. A new section devoted to soil water reviews up-to-date field- and laboratory-based methods for saturated and unsaturated soil hydraulic properties. Retaining the easy-to-follow, "cookbook" style of the original, this second edition provides a compilation of soil analytical techniques that are fast, straightforward, and relatively easy-to-use. This practical manual and resource handbook that describes a wide array of methods, both conventional and cutting-edge, for analyzing the chemical, biological, biochemical, and physical properties of many different soil types. Including several "primer" chapters that cover the overall principles and concepts behind the latest techniques, the book presents sufficient detail on the materials and procedures to characterize the potential and limitation of each method. It covers recent improvements in methodology, outlines current methods, and characterizes the best methods available for selecting the appropriate analysis technique.
Monitoring and Evaluation of Soil Conservation and Watershed Development Projects. J. de Graaff, J. Cameron, S. Sombatpanit, Ch. Pieri and J. Woodhill, editors. With assistance from A. de Bruin. Science Publishers, Enfield, Jersey, 2007, 529 p. ISBN 978-1-57808-349-7. Softcover.
Much concern is being expressed about the state of the world's soil and the availability of water. Interventions to conserve soil and develop watersheds are being undertaken globally by a wide variety of agencies, but we need to have instruments to assess the access of these interventions. This means identifying the variables that the interventions are aiming to affect, indicators of those variables, and the people who are the intended beneficiaries. It is therefore important that effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) techniques are identified to ascertain that these interventions contribute to halting further environmental degradation, but also to determine their wide socio-economic impact and to learn from these experiences. This book offers evidence that better practices in M&E systems, with differing procedures and tools, have already been developed and applies in many countries around the world. The writing of this book was initiated by the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWC) in 2002, after much smaller publications on two essential soil conservation topics: Extension and Incentives in 1997 and 1999 respectively. The purpose of the present book is to help all stakeholders, either directly or indirectly, to plan and execute soil conservation and watershed development projects/programmes more effectively. It focuses on both physical and socio-economic factors and indicators. The presents an overview of how M&E systems are being applied in various types of soil conservation and water management development projects and can serve as a reference book for all those involved in designing systems. The book contains 25 papers, grouped into four parts. Part 1 (5 papers) discusses principles of M&E in soil conservation and water development projects. Part 2 (7 papers) presents contributions about M&E in practice. Part 3 (6 papers) gives information about Physical parameters in M&E, while part 4 (7 papers) has contributions about the social, economic and institutional aspects. The book has an interesting epilogue, in which the editors have identified five main challenges in the subject matter discussed in this book. The first appendix gives a listing and information about training courses in this subject. The second appendix gives an overview of some of the manuals and guidelines about monitoring and evaluation.
Price: GBP 38.90; USD 69.50; EUR 56.60. Orders to: In Europe: NBN International, Estover Road, Plymouth PL6 7PY, UK. Email:
. Elsewhere: Science Press, P.O. Box 699, Enfield, NH 03748, USA. Email:
. Website: www.scipub.net. US$69.50, WASWC members get a 40% discount by contacting Mr. Vijay Primlani at:
Hydroecology and Ecohydrology. Past, Present and Future. P.J. Wood, D.M. Hannah and J.P. Sadler, editors. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 2007, xxiv + 436 p. ISBN 978-0-470-01017-4. Hardcover.
Water-dependent habitats are extremely diverse in terms of their nature (e.g., drylands, wetlands, streams/rivers and ponds/lakes), geography (poles to equator, low to high latitude) and many support communities and species of high conservation value, some of which are under threat from extinction. As pressure is increasing on water-dependent habitats due to global change and ever-growing anthropogenic impacts, it is clear that balancing the water needs of people against those of ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic) is, and will increasingly become, a premier environmental issue. This crucial, often precarious balancing act involves some highly complex issues and, thus, it has compelled recent workers to identify the need, not only for new integrative science (between traditional fields of hydrology-ecology) and analytical approaches, but for truly interdisciplinary research. In this context, it has been argued that the new discipline(s) of hydroecology/ecohydrology has the potential not only to unlock elements of this complexity, but also to provide a foundation for the sustainable management of water resources. The terms ecohydrology and hydroecology have been used increasingly in the international scientific literature over the last decade, but although there is a growing volume of research output at the interface between hydrological and biological sciences, the terms hydroecology and ecohydrology and the scientific remit of the field remain remarkably poorly defined. This book aims to address this research gap and capture the vitality of this current scientific hot-topic in a cutting-edge research text that: (i) reviews the evolution of the discipline (past); (ii) provides detailed coverage of the present state of the art, and (iii) looks to the horizon for the ecohydrology/hydroecology of the future. The chapters in this book present significant new results and methodological developments and identifying future research needs. The book has three sections. Part 1 considers fundamental ecohydrological/hydroecological process understanding and how floral and faunal communities and ecosystem functions (e.g. nutrient cycling) are influenced and respond to water and its availability. Part 2 draws together methodological approaches and critiques of how ecohydrological/hydroecological patterns and processes can (may) be monitored/modelled to maintain and protect the natural environment, and be managed to ensure the continued supply of water for human uses. Part 3 comprises detailed case studies of research studies undertaken on different floral and faunal groups in different environments across the globe. The final chapter identifies some challenges and future prospects for hydroecology/ecohydrology. All of the 22 chapters have an introduction, discussion and conclusions, and many references.
There is an important role to play by soil scientists in this quickly developing new field, in which the integration with our science is of importance.
Geostatistics for Environmental Scientists. Second edition. R. Webster and M.A. Oliver. John Wiley & Sons, 2007, xii + 315 p. ISBN 978-0-470-02858-2. Hardcover.
Geostatistics is essential for environmental scientists. Weather and climate vary from place to place, soil varies at every scale at which it is examined, and even man-made attributes such as the distribution of pollution vary. The techniques used in geostatistics are ideally suited to the needs of environmental scientists, who use them to make the best of sparse data for prediction, and top plan future surveys when resources are limited. Geostatistical technology has advanced much in the last few years and many of these developments are being incorporated into the practitioner's repertoire. This second edition describes these techniques for environmental scientists. Topics such as stochastic simulation, sampling, data screening, spatial covariances, the variogram and its modeling, and spatial prediction by kriging are described in rich detail. At each stage the underlying theory is fully explained, and the rationale behind the choices given, allowing the reader to appreciate the assumptions and constraints involved.
Reducing Carbon Emissions through Community-managed Forests in the Himalaya. K. Banskota, B. Singh Karky and M. Skutsch, editors. ICIMOD, Kathmandu, 2007, 85 p. ISBN 978-92-9116-058-8. Softcover.
Mountain systems are seen globally as the prime sufferers from climate change. Enhancing resilience and promoting adaptation in mountain areas have thus become among the most important priorities of this decade. The present study describes an example of how mountain areas and mountain people can contribute effectively to mitigation through carbon sequestration, although compensation for their services has yet to be realised. Climate change has become an overriding issue and its impacts are recognised to be felt globally. The fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas is exceptionally susceptible to even minute variations in climatic conditions and is likely to experience many such impacts over the coming decades. Studies suggest that mountain people in general and poor people in particular are more vulnerable to the impacts of climatic change than communities in the plains. The research discussed here looks at emerging issues of climate change and how communities forests can help mitigate concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The book reports on work carried out by the research project: Kyoto: Think Global Act Local, which aims to bring local sustainable forest management projects under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. The book draws on work carried out at three sites in India and Nepal. The project gathered data to show that community-managed forests can play important roles in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change by sequestrating CO2 from the atmosphere. The levels of CO2 sequestered annually were quantified using the IPCC guidelines. Field studies show how communities can carry out measurements needed to calculate carbon sequestration, the basis for calculating the impact of avoiding deforestation. Including avoided deforestation in climate change policy will not only help the global climate, it will provide a way for millions of poor people in developing countries to benefit directly, and will help stop the destruction of forests and encourage further conservation. The publication, with 7 chapters, has many tables and figures.
Sustainable food production and ethics. W. Zollitsch, Ch. Winkler, S. Waiblinger and A. Haslberger, editors. Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2007, 550 p. ISBN 978-90-8686-046-3. Softcover.
Sustainability has become an issue widely debated in many countries. Given the central role of food supply and the emotional relationship that modern mankind still has to its food, sustainability is seen as a value which has to be maintained throughout food supply chains. The complexity of modern food systems invokes a variety of ethical implications which emerge from contrasts between ideals, perceptions and the conditions of technical processes within food systems, and the concerns connected to this. This book covers a broad range of aspects within the general issue of sustainable food production and ethics. Linking different academic disciplines, topics range from reflections about the roots of sustainability and the development of concepts and approaches to globalisation and resilience of food systems as well as specific ethical aspects of organic farming and animal welfare. Modern technologies which are intensely advocated by certain stakeholder groups and their societal challenges are addressed, as are many other specific cases of food production and processing, consumer perception and marketing.
Soil Desertification in River Deltas. Part II. The Syrdarya River. V.M. Starodubtsev and L.R. Petrenko. MAUP Publishers, Kiev, 2007, 90 p. ISBN 978-966-608-839-3. Softcover.
This monograph discusses the processes of hydromorphic soil desertification in the river deltas under the impact of hydropower and water management construction, for which the Syrdarya River is taken as an example. The consequences of these processes result in the reduction of soil fertility, development of salinity and wind erosion as well as in the degradation of the deltaic landscapes. Desertification is accompanied with the aggravation of social problems, health problems, and migration of the population.
The publication is written for researchers, teachers and students, and other individuals interested in the discussed topics. Part I has been announced in a previous Bulletin.
First International Meeting on Microbial Phosphate Solubilization. Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences, volume 102. E. Valazques and C. Rodrigues-Barrueco, editors. Springer, x + 362 p. ISBN 978-1-4019-1. Hardcover.
Last decade has seen a significantly increased knowledge about phosphate solubilizing microorganisms. Sixty specialists from thirteen countries met in Salamanca to discuss the problems of the high P-unavailability as a soil nutrient for crops, and the hazards of an increasing phosphate input to aquatic habitats from industrial and mining activities, sewage disposal, detergents, and other sources. Updated solutions to enhance P-uptake by plants, bioremediation potential in the rehabilitation of ecosystems, taxonomic characterization interactions with mycorrizae, the physiological and molecular basis of PSM, and possibilities of genetic modifications of rhizospheric microorganisms were among the contributions presented. Challenges in commercializing a phosphate solubilizing microorganism were also outlined by a relevant biotech company. The book will fill a gap in agricultural libraries and it is a wish of the editors to attract the attention of agronomists, environmentalist, technocrats and administrators holding responsibilities in the field of soil conservation and sustainable agricultural production.
Eco- and Ground Bio-engineering: the Use of Vegetation to Improve Soil Stability. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Eco-engineering, September 2004. Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences, volume 103. A. Stokes, I. Spanos, J.E. Norris and E. Cammeraat, editors. Springer, 2007, ix + 438 p. ISBN 978-1-4020-5592-8. Hardcover.
In an era where climate change, natural catastrophes and land degradation are major issues, the conservation of soil and vegetation in mountainous or sloping regions has become an international priority. How to avoid substrate mass movement through landslides and erosion using sustainable and ecologically sound techniques is rapidly becoming a scientific domain where knowledge from many different fields is required. These proceedings bring together papers from geotechnical and civil engineers, biologists, ecologists and foresters, who discuss current problems in slope stability research, and how to address those problems using ground bio- and eco-engineering techniques. Ground bioengineering methods integrate civil engineering techniques with natural materials to obtain fast, effective and economic methods of protecting, restoring and maintaining the environment whereas eco-engineering has been defined as a long-term ecological strategy to manage a site with regard to natural or man-made hazards. Studies on slope instability, erosion, soil hydrology, mountain ecology, land use and restoration and how to mitigate these problems using vegetation are presented by both scientists and practitioners. Papers encompass many aspects of this multidisciplinary subject, including the mechanisms and modelling of root reinforcement and the development of decision support systems, areas where significant advances have been made in recent years.
Thin on the Ground: Land Resource Survey in British Overseas Territories, by Anthony Young. The Memoir Club, 2007, paperback 978-1-84104-175-9, $14.50.
Gives an account of soil survey and other types of land resource survey for agriculture in 48 tropical and subtropical countries of the former British Commonwealth. Beginning with the pioneering period between the two world wars, the main account covers what is referred to as the "golden age" of soil survey, 1950-1975. The work of soil surveyors in the colonial service was continued after countries achieved independence by the Land Resources Division and in surveys by FAO and consultant companies. The author draws upon his own extensive experience together with accounts by over 90 former soil surveyors. The uses to which surveys were put, including reasons for insufficient use, are discussed. The final chapter is a retrospect on the achievements of these surveys, and what should be the role of the field study of soils, including soil monitoring, in land resource development at the present day.
Updated 18th January 2011