Taking care of soils since 1924
IUSS Alert 177 (March 2020)

IUSS Alert 177 (March 2020)


IUSS Bulletin 136 – request for contributions

The IUSS Secretariat (iuss@umweltbundesamt.at) kindly invites all IUSS members to submit their contributions for our next IUSS Bulletin 136 (to be published in June) at their earliest convenience, but no later than 15 May 2020. In particular, the Secretariat would welcome conference/meeting reports and reports on activities dedicated to the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), your three favourite soil science books and any other information you would like to share with the international soil science community. Also we would like to give more room to national soil science societies to present their recent activities. Please make sure to send high-resolution photos only together with the copyright information (owner of the photos).


IUSS Presidential Elections 2020 – call for nominations

The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year. The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2021/22), President (2023/24) and Past-President (2025/26). The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines. Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists.

Full nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn (Email: rhorn@soils.uni-kiel.de) by June 1, 2020. A copy should also be sent to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at.

Procedure and guidelines: http://www.iuss.org/media/president_election_full_info_2020.pdf


Call for Awards of IUSS WG International Soil Modeling Consortium

Rien van Genuchten Award

The biennial Rien van Genuchten Award is issued for outstanding contributions to the understanding of flow and transport processes in soils. It is dedicated to recognizing outstanding scientific achievements made by well-established researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences. Granting merit to the scientific findings and breakthroughs in the soil and hydrological sciences by Rien van Genuchten, the award honors a senior/mid-career scientist with a certificate and a cash award of $2,000.

ISMC Early Career Award

Along with the Rien van Genuchten Award, the ISMC Early Career Award is issued. The ISMC Early Career Award is dedicated to recognizing outstanding scientific achievements made by early career researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences. Both awards will be conferred during the 3rd ISMC Conference.

Read more: https://soil-modeling.org/ismc-conference/rien-van-genuchten-award/

Deadline for nomination 15 May 2020.


Call for PRSSS Warkentin Prize

Annually, the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science accepts nominations and applications for the Warkentin Prize. The Warkentin Prize of $500 will be awarded to a graduate student, or someone who has graduated from a graduate program within the last two years, that has published a graduate thesis or peer-reviewed article in the field of soil science. The recipient will be acknowledged in our newsletter and on our website. This prize is open to soil scientists worldwide.

The deadline to apply/nominate is May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST

Read more: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zHjntwfVu5e5lmqALseOvOZOyHN6gvX-/view


General News

IAEA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme

The overall objective of the programme is to encourage young women to pursue a career in nuclear sciences and technologies. It will create additional opportunities for female scientists to get further training in isotope and nuclear techniques, including in the field of food and agriculture.

The IAEA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme provides opportunities to highly motivated and talented female students by providing scholarships and internships. Fellows will receive a scholarship for graduate degree programmes focussed on nuclear sciences and technologies and non-proliferation studies at an accredited university for up to a maximum of two years. Selected recipients will also receive an opportunity to pursue an internship at the IAEA related to their field of study for between 6 and 12 months.

Up to 100 female students per year will be selected. The scholarship will cover university tuition fees up to a maximum of 10,000 euros per year and a lump sum payment for living expenses based on the cost of living for the university’s location, up to a maximum of 10,000 euros

per year. The first round of fellowships will be awarded for the academic year starting in 2021.

Read more: https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/20/03/marie-curie-fellowship-programme.pdf


New report available on Soils and Gender

The online discussion ‘Mainstreaming gender for sustainable soil management’, held on the FAO Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum) from 23 September to 25 October 2019 aimed to collect views from a wide range of stakeholders about the relations between gender equality and sustainable soil management (SSM).

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1266151/?fbclid=IwAR3yO11oZ1v-wFeyOXjDvL48hbqVjZfv-IaVU9QiKfw5syeGrbr599k6rsI


Huge knowledge gap over health of soil

A vital knowledge gap about England’s environment has been uncovered by soil campaigners. They have discovered that just 0.41% of the cash invested in environmental monitoring goes on examining the soil. That’s despite the fact that soils round the world – including in the UK – are said to be facing a crisis.

The figures are startling: £60.5m goes to monitoring water quality, £7.65m to checking on air – but just £284,000 to auditing soil. The mismatch was revealed in a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the Sustainable Soils Alliance (SSA).

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51861539


Mapping soilavailable Phosphorus with scanning electron microscopy

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for plants. Due to complex chemical reactions in soils, most P is rapidly fixed in a form that is unavailable for plants to utilize. To study the dynamic between P mobility and fixation, it is essential to assess the available P fraction. Traditional soil P tests are based on aggressive extractions that are destructive and applied at coarse resolution while most P reactions occurs in sub‐centimeter scale. Phosphorus‐fixing resin was proven to be an excellent indicator for soil P availability. The common practice is to shake a soil suspension with the resin and then extract the absorbed P. Authors of an article published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal used the P resin approach (FeO paper) with a modified quantification procedure.

Read more: https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/csan.20027

[From: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report: 4 March 2020]


Healthy soils lead to healthy food and added value for all

It’s been said that America has the most plentiful, safe and nutritious food supply in the world. And yet, there is a slow rumbling in some circles that today’s food is less “nutrient-dense” than the food our grandmothers and great-grandmothers once put on their tables. It’s a case of quantity over quality, explained Dan Kittredge, farmer and founder of the Bionutrient Food Association. Kittredge is executive director of BFA, a non-profit that is working to show how soil health practices not only benefit soils, but that, in turn, those healthier soils produce food crops that are more flavorful, aromatic, nutritious, pest- and disease-resistant, and in some cases more shelf-stable.

[From: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report: 4 March 2020]


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

The outbreak of the Corona virus is clearly a rapidly evolving situation. The organizers of the meetings listed below are constantly reviewing the situation in the light of global and country-specific advice to inform decisions to minimize the additional risks to attendees, their communities and those living in the meeting’s host country.

The IUSS will also continue to monitor the situation, and advise that prior to attending meetings our members review up to date information from their country’s government, the WHO and from the host country to ensure that everyone’s health and wellbeing remains a priority.


Soil Science Conference of Malaysia (SOILS 2020) – “Soil Management towards Plant Productivity & Environmental Sustainability”


Johor Bharu, Malaysia

The year 2020 will witness the collaboration of Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and MSSS in organizing the SOILS 2020 conference. It will gather various stakeholders from the private, governmental and non-governmental sectors in deliberating and sharing research findings on soil management and environmental sustainability.

Contact: soilsconference2020@gmail.com


EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online

Sunday, 3 May 2020 to Friday, 8 May 2020

Location: online

EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online will allow abstract authors to share presentation materials and open these for live discussion as well as participate in a selection of online networking events. Also additional activities are planned that will extend into the rest of the year.

Website: https://egu2020.eu/sharing_geoscience_online.html

Central platform for presentation: https://www.egusphere.net/


Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity

1-3 June 2020, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy.

With over 260 abstracts received and more than 600 confirmed participants from 95 countries, the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity 2020 seems to have exceeded all other symposia. Regrettably, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity 2020 has been postponed to 1-3 June 2020 at FAO HQ, with the same programme.

Registration open until 22 May 2020.

Call for side events extended to 15 April 2020.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/soil-biodiversity-symposium/en/

[From: Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 27, 6 March 2020 and GSBI Newsletter – February 2020]


The 8th Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly

4-5 June 2020 at FAO HQ.

The Plenary is the decision-making body of the GSP where FAO member countries and partners review and prioritize actions, making crucial decisions about the global soil agenda and future GSP developments.

Call for side events open until 30 March 2020.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/about/plenary-assembly/eight-session-2020/en/

[From: Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 27, 6 March 2020]


PRSSS 2020 Soil ID Course

9-11 June, 2020, William’s Lake, British Columbia (BC), Canada

Every summer the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science hosts a soil identification course in a different region of BC where course participants can benefit from the wealth of knowledge shared by local soil experts as they explore the diverse array of soil types throughout the province. This year the course will be held in and around William’s Lake.

The ID course runs for three days, beginning with an introduction to soil classification and field descriptions, as well as proper hand-texturing methods and jar testing. The remaining time is spent in the field where participants gain hands-on experience digging soil pits, interpreting what they discover, and integrating what they observe from the surrounding environment as soil formation factors and soil processes are revealed.

From students to professional foresters and surficial geologists, the varied backgrounds of participants create a unique group dynamic that fosters great conversations, debates, and a lot of fun!

Registration is now open!

Read more: https://www.prsss.ca/events/event/2020-summer-soil-id-course-williams-lake/


8th International Crop Science Congress

15-21 June 2020, Saskatoon, Canada.

Globally there is now major focus on environmental sustainability, including sustainability of agricultural landscapes. There will be little opportunity to increase crop production by expanding the area of land under cultivation. Rather focus must be on improving crop productivity on existing agricultural land while simultaneously looking after the fragile environmental resources upon which agriculture depends.

Submissions to be considered for oral presentations close: April 15, 2020

Read more: https://www.icsc2020.com/


2nd Summer school “Certificate in Archaeological Soil Micromorphology and Phytolith Analysis”

3 – 8 August 2020, Brussels, Belgium

It is a one-week training programme in English focussing on the basics of archaeological soil micromorphology and phytolith analysis, including intensive microscopy sessions and an on-site visit in the Brussels area.

Download the flyer: https://www.iuss.org/media/ulb_summerschool_archaeology_2020-2.pdf

Read more: Summer School – Certificate in Archaeological Soil Micromorphology and Phytolith Analysis – Formation Continue


8th World Sustainability Forum (WSF2020)

15 – 17 September 2020, International Conference Center, Geneva, Switzerland

September 2020 marks the 5th birthday of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With The 8th World Sustainability Forum, we are taking stock of where we are in relation to a more sustainable world, what has worked, what has not yet worked, and where we need to go next.

Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2020

IUSS members get 20% discount on all registration fees

Read more: https://wsf-8.sciforum.net/


VI International Soil Classification Congress in 2020 in Mexico – new dates

11 – 20 October 2020, Mexico

Field Workshop – Cuatro Ciénegas-Querétaro: October 4-10, 2020

Congress – Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 11-13, 2020

XII International Workshop of Soil Classification Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 14-20, 2020

V International Course-Workshop of Soil Quality Indicators Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 14-20, 2020

Congress website: http://iscc2020.org/


Save the date: Global Symposium on Salt-Affected Soils

12 – 16 October 2020, Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Given the current threat of salt-affected soils and their impact on food security, FAO, the Global Soil Partnership and its Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) together with the Republic of Uzbekistan, will be organizing the Global Symposium on Salt-Affected Soils.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/events/detail/en/c/1264612/

[From: Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 27, 6 March 2020]


ISCC 2020 new dates

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, is necessary to inform you that in comply with yesterday’s statement from the World Health Organization and the IUSS, we agreed to defer the dates scheduled for ISCC-2020, as follows:

Field workshop – Cuatro Ciénegas-Querétaro: October 4 – 10, 2020

6º International Soil Classification Congres – Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 11 – 13, 2020

XII International Workshop of Soil Classification Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 14 – 20, 2020

V International Course – Workshop of Soil Quality Indicators Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 14 – 20, 2020


SUSTREM2020 Conference – Empowering Sustainable Land Management for the Future

29 – 30 October 2020, Cape Town, South Africa

The sustainable remediation of contaminated sites continuously evolves in response to the ever-growing global environmental awareness driven by social pressure and resource scarcity. In the last decade more holistic concepts have been developed that consider sustainable land management and stewardship. In light of this rapid change and evolving challenges this conference will focus on the theme of empowering sustainable land management for the future.

Early bird registration ends 30 June 2020

Read more: https://nicola-org.com/save-the-date/

For the complete list of upcoming events, please see the event calendar on the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/


New publications

Field Measurement Methods in Soil Science (2020)

Wessel-Bothe/Weihermüller (Eds.): published in 2020 by Schweizerbart Science Publishers, 210 pages, 76 figures, 18 tables, 17x24cm, ISBN 978-3-443-01109-3, price hardcover: EUR 59.90.

Rising interest in soils causes mounting demand for soil information. These data must frequently be generated by field measurements and are necessary to describe and model water and solute transport processes, detect soil degeneration or to optimize crop production.

The nine chapters of this book introduce available methods for measuring soil redox potential, soil pH, soil water content, matric potential, taking in-situ soil water samples, measuring infiltration rate/conductivity, soil erosion, and the penetration resistance of soils and their strengths and weaknesses.

Read more: https://www.schweizerbart.de/publications/detail/isbn/9783443011093


Advances in Conservation Agriculture, Volumes 1 & 2

Both volumes edited by Amir Kassam, published by Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing in January 2020.

Advances in Conservation Agriculture – Volume 1: Systems and Science

602 pages, ISBN-13: 9781786762641, price £150/$195/€180/C$255.

Key features:
-) Reviews the development of CA systems globally and elaborates on science underlying the key CA system components.
-) Assesses the latest evidence on improving soil and crop health and CA system resilience through the application of the core CA system principles.
-) Includes case studies reviewing current science on optimising CA cropping systems involving cereal, legume, horticultural and tree crops as well as integrating livestock in CA systems.

Read more: https://shop.bdspublishing.com/store/bds/detail/workgroup/3-190-82923

Advances in Conservation Agriculture – Volume 2: Practice and Benefits

498 pages, ISBN-13: 9781786762689, price £150/$195/€180/C$255.

Key features:
-) Summarises current research on optimising CA system practices and their ecological, economic and social benefits.
-) Elaborates on how CA systems make efficient use of production inputs such as water, nutrients, energy and addresses challenges in such areas as weed, insect pest and disease management.
-) Reviews the central issues of improvement in yield, profitability and ecosystem services as well as climate change adaptability and mitigation in CA systems.

Read more: https://shop.bdspublishing.com/store/bds/detail/workgroup/3-190-82937


Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture

Editors: Farooq, Muhammad, Pisante, Michele. Published in 2019 by Springer International Publishing, 627 pages, 23 b/w illustrations, 47 illustrations in colour, Hardcover ISBN978-3-030-23168-2, eBook ISBN978-3-030-23169-9, price hardcover EUR 199.99, price eBook EUR 160.49.

This volume is a ready reference on sustainable agriculture and reinforce the understanding for its utilization to develop environmentally sustainable and profitable food production systems. It describes ecological sustainability of farming systems, present innovations for improving efficiency in the use of resources for sustainable agriculture and propose technological options and new areas of research in this very important area of agriculture.

Read more: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030231682


Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Soil and Water Management

By Zied Haj-Amor, Salem Bouri, 1st Edition published February 3, 2020 by CRC Press, 184 Pages, 75 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9780367405533, price hardback GBP 73.60, eBook VitalSource GBP 61.75, eBook VitalSource rental GBP 47.50.

Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Soil and Water Management discusses the latest approaches for monitoring soil and water degradation in coastal regions under current climate conditions as well as potential further changes in the future. It presents an overview of climate change impacts on soil and water resources and summarizes the adaptation of practical options and strategies to minimize the potential risks, such as land degradation, seawater intrusion, droughts, ocean acidification, etc. The book aims to promote the adoption of best practices, which can be selected and implemented according to the respective local conditions. In addition, the recommendations for specific soil and water use planning strategies to address climate change can also be incorporated into national and international development plans.

Read more: https://www.crcpress.com/Climate-Change-Impacts-on-Coastal-Soil-and-Water-Management/Haj-Amor-Bouri/p/book/9780367405533


Experimental and Theoretical Study of Strength and Stability of Soil

By A.Z. Khasanov, Z.A. Khasanov, 1st Edition published on February 12, 2020 by CRC Press, 142 pages, ISBN 9780367368883, price hardback GBP 40, eBook GBP 11.05, eBook rental from GBP 8.50.

This work presents the experimental results of the strength of sands and clay soils in the following conditions: plane shear, triaxial stress state, with passive and active loading. The obtained experimental results are compared with existing theories of strength and the reasons for their non-conformity are identified. Experimental data on the determination of the position of shear surfaces with active and passive resistance of soils is analysed. A new concept of the theory of soil strength is considered, which allows to take into account the fundamental parameters of the strength of soils: the angle of internal friction, specific adhesion, and lateral pressure ratio. Given analytical expressions allow one to determine the stress state at the sites rejected with respect to the main stresses. The definition of the physical essence of the concept of lateral pressure coefficient for soils is given.

The book is intended for professionals working in the fields of soil mechanics and geotechnics, as well as for students and academics in engineering, earth and soil sciences and construction.

Read more: https://www.crcpress.com/Experimental-and-Theoretical-Study-of-Strength-and-Stability-of-Soil/Khasanov-Khasanov/p/book/9780367368883


Soil Physics with Python
Transport in the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere System

By Marco Bittelli, Gaylon S. Campbell, and Fausto Tomei. Published on 14 February 2020 by Oxford University Press, 464 Pages, 57 figures and/or tables, 246x171mm, ISBN: 9780198854791. Price paperback GBP 35.00. Also available as eBook.

This innovative study presents concepts and problems in soil physics, and provides solutions using original computer programs. It provides a close examination of physical environments of soil, including an analysis of the movement of heat, water and gases. The authors employ the programming language Python, which is now widely used for numerical problem solving in the sciences. In contrast to the majority of the literature on soil physics, this text focuses on solving, not deriving, differential equations for transport. Using numerical procedures to solve differential equations allows the solution of quite difficult problems with fairly simple mathematical tools. Numerical methods convert differential into algebraic equations, which can be solved using conventional methods of linear algebra. Each chapter introduces a soil physics concept, and proceeds to develop computer programs to solve the equations and illustrate the points made in the discussion.

Problems at the end of each chapter help the reader practise using the concepts introduced. The text is suitable for advanced undergraduates, graduates and researchers of soil physics. It employs an open source philosophy where computer code is presented, explained and discussed, and provides the reader with a full understanding of the solutions. Once mastered, the code can be adapted and expanded for the user’s own models, fostering further developments. The Python tools provide a simple syntax, Object Oriented Programming techniques, powerful mathematical and numerical tools, and a user friendly environment.

Read more: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/soil-physics-with-python-9780198854791?q=Soil&lang=en&cc=at


Frontiers in Soil and Environmental Microbiology

By Suraja Kumar Nayak, Bibhuti Bhusan Mishra. 1st Edition published by CRC Press on March 12, 2020, 349 pages, 50 colour & 25 b/w illustrations, ISBN 9781138599352, price hardback GBP 148.00, eBook GBP 120.25, eBook Rental from GBP 92.50.

Soil harbours a wide range of microorganisms with biotic potentials which can be explored for social benefits. The book Frontiers in Soil and Environmental Microbiology comprises an overview of the complex inter-relationship between beneficial soil microbes and crop plants, and highlights the potential for utilisation to enhance crop productivity, bioremediation and soil health. The book focusses on important areas of research such as biocide production, pesticide degradation and detoxification, microbial decay processes, remediation of soils contaminated with toxic metals, industrial wastes, and hydrocarbon pollutants.

Read more: https://www.crcpress.com/Frontiers-in-Soil-and-Environmental-Microbiology/Mishra-Nayak/p/book/9781138599352


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