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IUSS Alert 164 (February 2019)

IUSS Alert 164 (February 2019)


IUSS Stimulus Fund – first call for submissions 2019

IUSS has established an annual Stimulus Fund to support suitable activities within its Commissions and Working Groups. Where appropriate, the Fund will also support other activities to assist the development of soil science generally but particularly in regions of the world where lack of resources limit opportunities. Applications should be sent to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at. The initial application process requires a short written proposal of no more than 500 words plus a budget indicating how the funds awarded are to be spent. The normal maximum award will be USD 2,500.
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2019

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=594


News from the Latin American Soil Science Society: SLCS

“Thus are the Soils of my Nation” at the XXII Latin-American Congress of Soil Sciences (XXII CLACS)

“Thus are Soils of my Nation” – an educational project of the Latin-American Soil Science Society and the Latin-American network for soil science teaching & learning – in the framework of the FAO Global Soil Partnership and the International Decade of Soils, would like to invite children and teachers, the global soil community and the general public to participate in our VII Latin-American Symposium of Educative innovations on Teaching and Learning Soil Sciences, to be held on October 9th at the “Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel” in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Read more: http://slcs.org.mx/index.php/es/calendario/55-vii-simposio-de-innovaciones-educativas-en-la-ensenanza-de-la-ciencia-del-suelo and http://slcs.org.mx/images/CONVOCATORIA_2019.pdf

“Thus are the Soils of my Nation” at the XLVI Mexican Congress of Soil Sciences

“Thus are Soils of my Nation” – an educational project of the Latin-American Soil Science Society and the Latin-American network for soil science teaching & learning – in the framework of the FAO Global Soil Partnership and the International Decade of Soils, would like to invite children and teachers, the global soil community and the general public to participate in our XIV Mexican Symposium of Educative innovations on Teaching and Learning Soil Sciences, to be held on October 29th at “Pedro de Alba Auditorium” of the National and Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Read more: http://slcs.org.mx/index.php/es/calendario/66-xiv-simposio-de-innovaciones-educativas-en-la-ensenanza-de-la-ciencia-del-suelo and http://slcs.org.mx/images/CONVOCATORIA_INNOVACIONES_EDUCATIVAS_2019.pdf


ISMOM2019 Travel Support Grants for Scientists from Low-budget countries

The IUSS Stimulus Fund and Division 2 of the IUSS enable to offer scholarships for waiving the fees for registration and field trip for up to 8 students and 2 young scientists from low-budget countries. The interested young scientists should be younger than 40 years at the day of the application deadline. Students and young scientists working in countries considered by the World Bank (2018) as low-income or low medium income countries will be preferentially considered.

A cover letter explaining how the topic of the thesis or the present research is suited to the ISMOM2019 as well as a recommendation letter of the present or a former supervisor shall be included. A committee will determine the winners by evaluating the scientific achievements and the quality of the submitted abstract (following the rules of the abstract submission for the ISMOM2019). Please not that this application is in addition to the regular abstract submission via the homepage of the conference. After submitting their abstract via the regular abstract submission pathway at the respective webpage (https://www.ismom2019.org/abstract-submission/), interested young scientists shall send

  • a cover letter explaining how the topic of their thesis or the present research is suited to the ISMOM2019
  • their CV (max. 2 pages, containing age, academic degree, affiliation and up to 5 important scientific achievements or published paper during the last 5 years)
  • a copy of the abstract for the congress
  • a recommendation letter of the present or former supervisor

as a single pdf-file to Heike Knicker at email ISMOM2019HK@gmail.com

Application deadline: March 10, 2019


Call for nominations for the P.M. Huang Award

The P.M. Huang Award was created in 2015 and awarded for the first time during the 7th ISMOM-CSSS-AQSSS in Montreal, Canada in July 2015. Following up, the IUSS Commission 2.5 wants to continue with this initiative and open the call for nominations for the P.M. Huang Award 2019.

Individuals or scientists from any university, government, scientific association or industry are welcome to nominate a deserving individual as a candidate for receiving the P.M. Huang Award 2019.

The successful candidate will be elected in recognition to his/her scientific research, or a publication that is deemed to have made significant contributions to advancing the understanding of the interactions between soil minerals, soil organic matter, and soil organisms. The publication may be a book, a book chapter, a review article, or a peer reviewed research article published in a scientific journal. The publication must have been printed (on the web or in print) for at least 4 years, so as to permit sufficient time for the Award Committee to evaluate its impact. Preference will be given to young or mid-career candidates, and to candidates who have been active in ISMOM, the International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms.

Submission deadline: May 10, 2019
Please send applications to Heike Knicker at ISMOM2019Hk@gmail.com

What information needs to be provided in the nomination?

  • The candidate’s name, position and contact information.
  • A copy of the candidate’s Curriculum Vitae.
  • List of the five most important publications authored by the nominee that in the nominator’s opinion had a significant impact in the focus areas of ISMOM.
  • An explanation what the candidate has accomplished and of how this has contributed to the scientific endeavours of ISMOM (Maximum of one page, 12-point is good).
  • Name, position and contact information for nominator.

An Awards Committee of scientific experts will establish the reach and impact of contributions made by all candidates. The Awards Committee will report to the ISMOM Conference Chair the name of the successful candidate that is to receive the P.M. Huang Award, and list those that applied but were not successful. The selected scientist will be awarded during the 8th ISMOM (International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms) in Seville, Spain during June 23 – 28 2019.


Slovene translation of WRB now available

The Slovenian version of the WRB in Mednarodni klasifikacijski sistem za poimenovanje tal 2014 Mednarodni klasifikacijski sistem za poimenovanje tal in izdelavo legend na zemljevidih tal, Posodobitev 2015 is now available.

Download the pdf: http://www.fao.org/3/I3794SL/i3794sl.pdf


General News

Crops leave large amounts of soil nitrogen

Nitrogen cycling and distribution in soils are of great economic importance because each hectare of crops needs hundreds of kilograms of nitrogen to grow. Environmentally, nitrogen lost from soils can degrade water quality. Cash crops cease taking up nitrogen a month or more before harvest maturity, and residual nitrogen (as nitrate) commonly leaches downward >1 m between fall and spring in the humid mid-Atlantic region. Few studies have investigated residual soil nitrogen deeper than 30 cm, so we don’t know how much nitrogen remains, and at what soil depth. In a paper recently published in Agricultural & Environmental Letters, researchers found that a significant amount of nitrogen remained in the 0-210 cm profile following summer crops, over half of which is likely to be out of reach to next year’s summer crop.

Read more: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/content/Crops-Leave-Large-Amounts-of-Soil-Nitrogen

[From: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report, 20 February 2019]


Macropore flow in frozen soils

Snowmelt is the major source of freshwater in many cold regions. The ground is usually frozen when snowmelt begins, and consequently, the permeability of frozen ground has a significant influence on a watershed’s response to snowmelt. In a paper recently published in Vadose Zone Journal, researchers review the hydrologic importance of preferential flow in frozen soils during snowmelt infiltration. They emphasize that frozen ground is not impermeable, but rather that networks of unsaturated macropores (fractures, plant root holes, and animal burrows) can allow water to preferentially ‘short circuit’ the frost zone during snowmelt, reducing runoff and enhancing soil drainage and groundwater recharge.

Read more: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/content/Macropore-Flow-in-Frozen-Soils

[From: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report, 6 February 2019]


Comparison between geostatistical and machine learning models as predictors of topsoil organic carbon with a focus on local uncertainty estimation

The main objective of this work is to compare geostatistical techniques, ML methods and hybrid methods, e.g., regression kriging, in terms of not only their overall accuracy but also their precision in providing useful confidence intervals at unsampled locations. We aim to provide clear application guidelines for future mapping exercises.
For this experiment, we used a legacy soil dataset (n = 414) of topsoil observations from the semi-arid Mediterranean region of Sicily.

Read more: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X19301359?dgcid=author


CRC Press welcomes book ideas

CRC Press welcomes new book ideas and hearing from individuals who want to edit or write a book. If you are interested please contact Ms. Randy Brehm, Senior Editor for Agriculture and Nutrition at CRC Press/Taylor and Francis Group at Randy.Brehm@taylorandfrancis.com.


Healing Power of Clay? Not as Off-the-Wall as You Might Think

An ancient folk remedy, blue-green iron-rich clay, kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria using a one-two punch, a new study shows. People have studied how clay heals wounds for a long time, “but they don’t understand why” clay is antibacterial.

Read more: https://eos.org/articles/healing-power-of-clay-not-as-off-the-wall-as-you-might-think?fbclid=IwAR3uUp3WAev95P7140r9hcdXJvITWQYk9UXQenFy8CoqoEhSUfmHzlI6Z8Q#.XBzR1MIwAZQ.twitter


“We’re black sheep”: the people who are fascinated by soil in cities

A recent gathering of scientists on the upper west side of Manhattan enthused about a crucial element in the formation of the surrounding city. The substance talked about in revered tones? Soil.

In a fairer world, soil would be receiving reverence from people well beyond the fourth annual NYC Urban Soils Symposium, given that the slender outer layer of the planet supports the life that treads, grows and flies above it. As it is, though, it is up to soil aficionados to extol the urban importance of this crumbly manna.



EJSS Pedometrics 2017 special issue

Pedometrics 2017 special issue that has just been published in EJSS: Volume 70, Issue 1, Special Issue: Including Landmark Papers No. 8. Pedometrics Special Issue. Pages: i-iv, 1-213, January 2019. It will be open access for the entire year.

Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/13652389/2019/70/1


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops


Suoli, paesaggi e cultura – Workshop on soils, landscapes and culture

March 1, 2019, Palermo, Italy. Presentations will be given e.g. by Carmelo Dazzi (President of European Society of Soil Conservation), Takashi Kosaki (President of IUSS), Paola Adamo (President of the Italian Soil Science Society) and Anna Benedetti (Italian Focal Point of the Global Soil Partnership).

Programme: https://www.iuss.org/media/workshop.pdf

Seminar: https://www.iuss.org/media/seminar_takashi.pdf


6th European Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly & Soils4EU Workshop

March 28 and 29, 2019, FAO HQ, Rome, Italy. All ESP partners are welcome to join this assembly where soil related activities on the European territory are discussed annually and given a place vis-à-vis the ESP Implementation Plan 2017-2020. ESP partners are invited to attend the side event to the ESP 6th Assembly “Soils4EU Workshop – Impacts of and implementation barriers for arable soil protection and sustainable management across the EU”.

Closing date for registration: 25 March 2019

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/events/detail/en/c/1170359/


Brownfield Redevelopment in the EU

April 5, 2019, Brussels, Belgium. The objective of this conference is to promote brownfield redevelopment as a sustainable strategy to limit the conversion of open space or farmland for residential, commercial, or industrial use, and to protect the environment and human health. During the event, European, regional and local stakeholders will be presenting inspiring policies and good practices, and the potential offered by EU funds will be explored.

Read more: https://ec.europa.eu/info/events/brownfield-redevelopment-eu-2019-apr-05_en


Brazilian Critical Zone Symposium (BCZS) – Integrating environmental science

April 15 – 17, 2019, ESALQ/USP Campus, Piracicaba, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The Brazilian Critical Zone Symposium (BCZS) is an interdisciplinary event promoted by the Soil and Plant Nutrition Graduate Program with support of the Department of Soil Science of the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture of University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP).

The BCZS will be three-day meeting, conducted in English, which will bring together foreign researchers with Critical Zone Science background and Brazilian researchers chosen to lecture because of the multidisciplinary nature of their research.

Registration will be open until 8 May 2019.

Read more: https://www.bczs.com.br/


Global Symposium on Soil Erosion (GSER19)

May 15 – 17, 2019, FAO HQ in Rome, Italy. Soil erosion represents one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, decreasing agricultural productivity, degrading crucial ecosystem functions, amplifying hydrogeological risks and, in severe cases, leading to the displacement of populations.

Starting from the latest scientific knowledge on the status of interventions and innovations related to soil erosion management and existing assessment frameworks, the Symposium will address soil erosion prevention and control for increased food security and ecosystem services.

Deadline for abstract submission: 10 March 2019

Read more: http://newsletters.fao.org/q/16voXLxAocG/wv


SUITMA 10 – Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas

June 16-21, 2019, Seoul, Korea. On behalf of the organizing committee, it is our great pleasure to invite you to the 10th conference of the IUSS Working Group on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMA10). The theme of SUITMA10 is SUITMA+20; visioning the future by reflecting on 20 years of SUITMA since its birth in 1998. SUITMA has progressed significantly. Sincere enthusiasm in sharing knowledge with its membership family is the ongoing legacy from its founding fathers. Understanding the properties, functioning, impacts and long-term evolution of soils from major human influences has given insights to the role of anthropogenic change whilst enabling improved management of urban ecosystems.

Abstract submission deadline extended to February 28, 2019

Read more: www.suitma10.org


10th Annual Summer Soil Institute

June 16-29, 2019, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA. Gain an integrated perspective on soil ecology and biogeochemistry with world-renowned faculty to address critical questions using up-to-date field and laboratory analytical techniques and models. We will use an ecosystem approach to study grassland, agricultural and forest soils at the confluence of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.
The Summer Soil Institute is designed for a broad range of participants including graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, environmental professionals, faculty, and K-12 teachers.

Read more: https://soilinstitute.nrel.colostate.edu/


International Soil Congress 2019

“Successful Transformation toward Land Degradation Neutrality (Future Perspective)”

including a Youth Forum on “Land Degradation Neutrality from Local to Global Scale”

17-19 June 2019, Ankara, Turkey. The International Conference on “Successful Transformation toward Land Degradation Neutrality (Future Perspective)” in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Deadline for early registration and abstract submission: March 15, 2019

Read more: https://soil2019.gidatarim.edu.tr/en


ISMOM 2019 – 8th International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms

“Understanding Soil Interfacial Reactions for Sustainable Soil Management and Climatic Change Mitigation”

June23-28, 2019, Seville, Spain. It is a pleasure to invite you to participate in the 8th ISMOM (International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms). This symposium is part of a series of international symposia organized by Commission 2.5 (Soil chemical, physical and biological interfacial reactions) of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and aims to provide a platform for fruitful discussions between scientists and students from soil sciences, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physics, ecology or environmental sciences.

The ISMOM 2019, “Understanding Soil Interfacial Reactions for Sustainable Soil Management and Climatic Change Mitigation” follows successful 4-yearly meetings in Canada, France, Italy, China and Chile. There will not be parallel sessions, and generous periods will be allotted to poster presentations, discussions and social events.

Deadline for abstract submission: February 28, 2019
End of early bird registration: April 1, 2019
Download the symposium flyer: https://www.iuss.org/media/flyer_final-7-2018.pdf
Read more: https://www.ismom2019.org/


Saline Futures Conference

Addressing Climate Change and Food Security. Building a community of science and practice on saline agriculture.

September 10-13, 2019, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. The aim of this conference is to showcase the global potential of saline agriculture. All stakeholders are invited, including political decision-makers, business operators, land managers, civic society, researchers and research planners. With your participation, we aim to create a platform for researchers and research-users to enhance food production on saline lands.

Research underway in the North Sea countries and elsewhere in the world illustrates the vast and as yet underrated potential of growing food on soils generally qualified as saline.

Deadline for abstracts and sessions: March 1, 2019

Read more: https://www.waddenacademie.nl/nl/salinefutures/


9th ESSC International Congress

September 26-28, 2019, Tirana, Albania. The European Society for Soil Conservation & the Agricultural University of Tirana are delighted to invite you to the 9th ESSC International Congress.
In this 9th edition of the congress, the focus will be on “Soil’s Contribution to People: from Food to Life Supporting Services”.

Deadline of abstract submission: May 31, 2019
Second Circular, Call for papers, info on Grants for young Researchers and more info are available at: www.9ESSC.UBT.EDU.AL


14th International Conference of the East and Southeast Asia Federation of Soil Science Societies (ESAFS) 2019

November 3-7, 2019, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. ESAFS 2019 will be held at GIS Convention Center of National Taiwan University including 2 days (Nov 4-5) for scientific sessions and 2 days (Nov 6-7) for excursion program in Taiwan. The ESAFS 2019 will focus on Smart Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture.

The ESAFS is dedicated to the exchange of recent advances in soil science in the East and Southeast Asian regions. The
conference provides a platform for interaction among scientists, consultants, and policy makers, who are responsible for the research and technology transfer of soil science, fertilizer management, and plant nutrition in order to cope with the rapid industrial development.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: June 30, 2019

Read more: http://esafs2019.cssfs.org.tw/


New publications

Bioremediation of Agricultural Soils

Edited by Juan C. Sanchez-Hernandez, 1st Edition published by CRC Press on 15 February 2019, 295 pages, 4 colour illustrations, 39 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781138651913, price hardback £144.50.

The quality of agricultural soils are always under threat from chemical contaminants, which ultimately affect the productivity and safety of crops. Besides agrochemicals, a new generation of substances invades the soil through irrigation with reclaimed wastewater and pollutants of organic origin such as sewage sludge or cattle manure. Emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials and microplastics, are now present in agricultural soils, but the understanding of their impact on soil quality is still limited. With focus on in situ bioremediation, this book provides an exhaustive analysis of the current biological methodologies for recovering polluted agricultural soils as well as monitoring the effectiveness of bioremediation.

Read more: https://www.routledge.com/Bioremediation-of-Agricultural-Soils/Sanchez-Hernandez/p/book/9781138651913


Measuring and modelling soil carbon stocks and stock changes in livestock production systems – Guidelines for assessment. Version 1 – Advanced copy

Published by FAO in 2019. 155 pages.

These guidelines are a product of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership, a multi-stakeholder initiative whose goal is to improve the environmental sustainability of the livestock supply chains through better methods, metrics and data. These guidelines provide a harmonized, international approach for estimating soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and stock changes in livestock production systems.

The intended uses of this document are all those having an interest in quantifying soil carbon stocks or stock changes. Wide is the range of objectives and scales for SOC stock change studies, for example: Global or regional accounting for GHG emissions and removals from the land sector as a component of climate change accounting; Monitoring, reporting and verification obligations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Analysis of the climate change impact of livestock products; Evaluation of the environmental impacts of grazing land management for animal agriculture; Assessment of the mitigation potential of agricultural practices at an industry, region or farm scale; Implementing mitigation options in an emissions trading or other market mechanism where payments for SOC sequestration depend on accurate and verifiable quantification; Research into soil and biological processes affecting SOC stocks and dynamics. A set of methods and approaches are recommended for use by individual farmers or land managers, by those undertaking life cycle assessment of livestock products, policy makers, or regulators at local, regional or national scales.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/CA2934EN


Measuring and modelling soil carbon stocks and stock changes in livestock production systems – A scoping analysis for the LEAP work stream on soil carbon stock changes

Published by FAO in 2019. 85 pages. ISBN: 978-92-5-131235-3.

In order to build consensus on methods to measure and model soil carbon stocks and stock changes, the Steering Committee of the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership mandated a task force to develop this scoping analysis and pave the way towards the formation of the LEAP Technical Advisory Group on soil carbon stock changes. Soil carbon sequestration and storage in grasslands offers a significant potential to compensate for GHG emissions from livestock, but the lack of consensus on the appropriate methodologies to account for soil carbon stock changes hinders robust and standardized assessments. In this report, we reviewed several published soil organic carbon (SOC) models, and evaluated their aptitude to combine them with life cycle assessments (LCAs). Among contentious issues, the most relevant are: a) the lack of universal models, b) the uneven data availability, comparability and quality between countries and regions, and c) the difficulty to match measurable SOC fractions with those determined by the models. Taking this into account, a tiered approach is proposed, according to the availability of original data to run the models. The use of IPCC carbon © accounting system appears to be the simplest approach suitable to countries with scarcity of original C data. Conversely, more complex models such as Century (Parton 1987, 1988) or Roth C (Smith 1998) are likely to perform better and give less uncertainty when original input data are easily available.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/CA2933EN


Soil-based Wastewater Treatment+

Published in 2018 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America.

The book addresses the needs of practitioners, engineers, scientists, regulators, resource managers, planners, and others with a need to know about septic systems. It arose after discussions about the need for a text that integrated current understanding of the hydrologic, physical, chemical, and biological processes involved in the treatment of wastewater using soil. In our experience, people working with septic systems – ourselves included – have a fragmented understanding of what these systems are, how they function, how wastewater moves through soil, how and which pollutants are removed, and how these systems impact the environment and public health. The relevant information is scattered across disciplines, information sources and audiences. This book is an attempt to collect and integrate this information in one place, and provide a scientific framework for understanding soil-based wastewater treatment.

Read more: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/books/tocs/acsesspublicati/sbwtreatment


Properties and Management of Soils in the Tropics

By Pedro A. Sanchez, University of Florida. 2nd Edition published in January 2019 by Cambridge University Press, 690 pages, 85 b/w illustrations, 12 maps, 226 tables, ISBN 9781107176058, price hardback: £ 79.99.

The long-awaited second edition of this classic textbook expands on the first edition to include advances made in the last four decades, bringing the topic completely up to date. The book addresses critical issues such as whether humanity can feed itself, and whether it can do so in environmentally sound and sustainable ways. Written from agronomic, environmental, and ecological standpoints, the textbook employs a multidisciplinary approach, including policymaking and plant genetic improvements, as well as ecosystem services, climate change, biodiversity, sustainability and resilience. New chapters in this second edition focus on organic carbon in soil, soil biology, soils in relation to livestock production and forestry, and agroforestry. The new edition will again be the go-to textbook for courses on tropical soils, and a reference textbook for soil and agricultural scientists and development professionals working in the tropics.

Read more: https://www.cambridge.org/at/academic/subjects/earth-and-environmental-science/soil-science/properties-and-management-soils-tropics-2nd-edition?format=HB



financially supported

SM150T – Research grade soil moisture and temperature sensor __________________________________________________

  • Research grade build and performance at a great price
  • Soil moisture ± 3% accuracy
  • Built-in temperature sensor
  • Robust and buriable – IP68

The SM150T is a highly dependable sensor with exceptional salinity and temperature stability. It achieves moisture accuracy of ±3% (after soil specific calibration) and the built-in temperature sensor achieves 0.5°C accuracy. It is built to withstand long term burial – the sensor, connectors and cable are all environmentally protected to IP68.

The SM150T is a dual purpose probe – it can be used portably (with readout unit) for instant moisture readings, or left installed in the soil for continuous logging – to provide long-term moisture and temperature data. The SM150T can be logged by any Delta-T Devices data logger and by many loggers from other manufacturers (simple 0-1 V output).
The SM150T is provided with general calibrations for mineral and organic soils. A two-point soil specific calibration can be performed for greater accuracy if required.

More information on the SM150T – https://www.delta-t.co.uk/product/sm150t/

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