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IUSS Alert 194 (August 2021)

IUSS Alert 194 (August 2021)


Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)


IUSS Bulletin 138 online

With content ranging from an update on the preparations for the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS22), to news from National and Regional Soil Science Societies, the reports of IUSS’s four Divisions and its Commissions and Working Groups, and activities under the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), its 144 pages make for interesting reading. Conference and meeting reports, articles from IUSS Alerts, a contribution celebrating the 175th anniversary of Vasily Dokuchaev, the FAO protocol for the assessment of sustainable soil management and the resolution on soil protection of the European Parliament round off the content.


IUSS Stimulus Fund – last reminder for submissions 2021

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. Research projects or travel costs of individuals will not be funded. Applications should be sent to . 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 in relation to the total budget of the activity. The normal maximum award will be USD 2,500.

Submission Deadline: September 15, 2021

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/iuss-stimulus-fund/


Abstract Submission for the World Congress of Soil Science 2022

The organisers of The World Congress of Soil Science 2022 (WCSS), the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) on behalf of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), are delighted to announce the opening of the abstract submission process for oral presentations and posters. The congress seeks to represent all those with an interest in soil science and is keen to receive abstract submissions from international colleagues whose research or practice links to soil.

The WCSS is inviting abstract submissions for the Interdivisional sessions, the Divisional scientific sessions, and the Working Group sessions and a full list of sessions, chosen to reflect the Congress theme, Crossing Boundaries, Changing Society, can be found on the WCSS website: www.22wcss.org/conference/abstracts.

The abstract submission deadline is 24:00 GMT on the 31 October 2021, and acceptance notifications can be expected in January 2022. Only the text of the abstracts will be reviewed; author names, affiliations, and biographies will not be considered during the selection process. For further information and to apply, visit www.22wcss.org/conference/abstracts or email us at wcss2022@speak.co.uk.


Soil Judging Intro to World Congress of Soil Science 2022

As part of the World Congress of Soil Science 2022 (WCSS) we are pleased to announce the launch of the quadrennial, hotly contested, Soil Judging Competition! This is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, whilst enjoying some time away in Stirling, the historic “Gateway to the Highlands”. In teams of four you will spend time in training with some of the foremost experts in the field of soil science, before representing your country or region in competition at sites across scenic Scotland. With prizes presented on the opening night of the World Congress, during the prestigious opening ceremony, this is an accolade worth working for. The competition is open to all registered students who are not otherwise employed in any post relating to soil surveys, and who also qualify as ‘early career’ students.

Read more: https://22wcss.org/venue/soil-judging/


Attendance Survey for WCSS 2022 continued

The world has changed, and life is different to how it once was. As such, we here at the World Congress of Soil Science (Glasgow 31 July 2022- 5 August 2022) are planning a conference a bit different to any that have gone before, for the first time we are offering a hybrid conference to allow participation where travel is not possible. We want to see as many of you as in person as we can, to collaborate and to share, to demonstrate and learn, but know this may not be possible for some. We need your help to know what to expect, to know who is coming, and how to adapt to meet their needs. We ask that you please fill out the form online until September 20, or send us an email at wcss22@soils.org.uk, and let us know what your plans for attending are.

Take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HBDLKFM

Congress website: https://22wcss.org/


Soil Science Society of America releases recommendations for climate change solutions

Seeing the rapidly increasing focus on agriculture as a climate solution, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA released a new climate solutions position statement, Advancing Resilient Agriculture: Recommendations to Address Climate Change, which outlines concrete actions policymakers can take right now to help U.S. agriculture mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects.

Read more: https://www.soils.org/news/science-policy-news/societies-release-recommendations-climate-change-solutions


News from the Malaysian Society of Soil Science (MSSS)

The most recent newsletter of MSSS is now available on the IUSS website. It gives a detailed account of its Golden Jubilee (50 years) celebrations, which took place in April 2021. The goal was to highlight the valuable contribution of MSSS members and raise public awareness on the importance of soil. All the programs were held through a Zoom platform and live-streamed on MSSS Facebook due to the pandemic Covid-19.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/newsroom/newsletters/malaysian-society-of-soil-science-newsletter/


General News

ISC 2020 Annual Report: Now available online

The International Science Council’s 2020 Annual Report – the record of an extraordinary and unprecedented year for science, in which the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread disruption for us all, is now available. On the other hand, the crisis also created new opportunities and demonstrated the importance of international scientific collaboration.

Read more online or download the pdf: https://council.science/annual-report-2020/


CODATA Connect – Data Science Journal Early Career Essay Competition 2021

The CODATA Connect Early Career and Alumni Network in collaboration with the CODATA Data Science Journal (DSJ) is pleased to announce its second Essay Competition for Early-Career Researchers (ECR).

Topic for the Essay: “Challenges and Benefits for governments and industry involvement in the Open Data Initiative”

Deadline: 31 August 2021

Winner will be awarded with a cash prize of

  • 1st: $500
  • 2nd: $300
  • 3rd: $200

The winning essay will be published in DSJ for free along with a formal certification of their achievement.

Read more: https://datascience.codata.org/about/submissions/


IPBES call for experts to assess interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health and causes of biodiversity loss

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) secretariat is inviting expert nominations for participation in the thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (nexus assessment) and the thematic assessment of the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and the determinants of transformative change and options for achieving the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (transformative change assessment).

Nominated experts should have strong multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary expertise, expertise in one or more disciplines of natural science, social science or the humanities, be indigenous and local knowledge experts or have expertise in indigenous and local knowledge systems. IPBES also encourages policy experts and practitioners to apply. All nominees should have experience in working within interdisciplinary, international and/or global contexts. Please find more information regarding the required expertise at https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2021-07/em_2021_17_nominations_nexus_transformative_en_0.pdf.

If you wish to nominate experts, please complete the nomination procedure by 6 September:  
 Nominees are invited to complete the application form and attach their curriculum vitae through the dedicated web portal at the links below (to access this page you will need to log in with your IPBES website log in credentials. Nominees not yet registered on the IPBES website will need to do so at https://ipbes.net/user/register). Please note that the nomination form is in English only and applications should be submitted in English, as the assessment process will be conducted in English:   — Nexus assessment: https://ipbes.net/applications/nexus — Transformative change assessment: https://ipbes.net/applications/transformative-change
ii. The nominating organization (Nominator) indicated by the Nominee will receive an email with a link to the nomination form and will be invited to approve and submit the nominations in the web portal. Please indicate “International Science Council” as the nominating organization and “Anne-Sophie Stevance, ” as the nominating person. Nominees will receive a confirmation via email once the nomination has been duly submitted.  

Please consider sharing this invitation with your colleagues, members and wider networks.

[From: ISC Newsletter, 26 July 2021]


Glinka World Soil Prize – call for nominations

The Glinka World Soil Prize recognizes the efforts of soil scientists and/or institutions in their fight for healthy soils. The call for nominations is open and FAO Members, GSP focal points and partners are invited to nominate their champion (form). This annual prize consists of a cash prize of 15 000 USD and a medal. Closing date: 10 September 2021

Read more: http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/glinka-world-soil-prize/en/


King Bhumibol WSD Award – call for nominations

Did you organize an outstanding event for #WorldSoilDay 2020 under the motto “Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity”? If yes, take your chance and complete the application form. Every year, the World Soil Day (WSD) Award prizes the most successful WSD celebration with a 15 000 USD check and a medal. Closing date: 10 September 2021 Application form: http://newsletters.fao.org/c/1d7KlPjBWlu45pCWxWizWNnXQ

Read more: http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/wsd-award/en/

[Both from Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 32, August 2021]


International Forum on Black Soils Conservation and Utilization

The International Forum on Black Soil Conservation and Utilization was held in Jilin Province, People’s Republic of China from 21 to 23 July 2021. Organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MARA) in partnership with the International Network of Black Soils (INBS) of FAO, it served to promote international cooperation on black soils’ protection and sustainable future.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1418291/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 32, August 2021]


SOPs video tutorials on organic carbon

The Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) harmonizes Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) ensuring the replicability of measurement, credibility and traceability of data. Thanks to the support of some network members – (BSWM Philippines and LDD Thailand), GLOSOLAN has also released videos offering step-by-step instructions on how to perform laboratory analyses.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1415856/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 32, August 2021]


ITPS SOIL LETTERS | Salt-affected soils are a global issue

Discover the third ITPS letter! It focuses on the salinity and sodicity levels of soil that are dangerously increasing in many areas of the world. Although naturally saline or sodic soils host valuable ecosystems, an increase in salt content of the soil can affect its health and fertility. Effects of salinization will likely be exacerbated by climate change and have further impacts on the prices of commodities produced in those vulnerable areas.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/itps/itps-soils-letter/en/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 32, August 2021]


Photo contest: take up the challenge and win up to USD 500

Share your testimonies on the effects of salinization! Photos should showcase the on-site and off-site impacts of salinization and sodification. Each participant can submit up to five entries by filling out the Registration form. Photographs must be of the highest quality regarding file size, bit depth and resolution and should be accompanied by a short description.

Deadline: 30 September 2021

Read more: http://www.fao.org/events/global-symposium-on-salt-affected-soils/photo-contest/en

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 33, August 2021]


Video contest: fight #Salinization and win up to USD 500

Do you know any innovative technologies or effective sustainable soil management practices that can help farmers, extension services and the private sectors in the mitigation and sustainable management of SAS? Shoot and submit a short video illustrating your practice! Each participant can submit up to 5 entries by filling out the Registration form.

Deadline: 30 September 2021

Read more: http://www.fao.org/events/global-symposium-on-salt-affected-soils/video-contest/en

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 33, August 2021]


Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity – GSOBI Outcome Document now available

Look for the Outcome Document of The Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity held 19-22 April 2021, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy, soon from FAO publishing (PWS)!

The outcome document of the Symposium is a step in bringing attention to soil biodiversity and its threats. The document will have recommendations for implementation of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Soil Biodiversity and recommendations from previous documents, such as the “State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity, Status, Challenges, and Potentialities”.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/3/cb6005en/cb6005en.pdf

[From GSBI Newsletter – August 2021]


A Look at International Gender Equity in Soil Science

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is important to provide a wide range of perspectives in all fields, including soil science. This is because maximizing our investigations into the opportunities and challenges in our discipline requires us to include people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. However, soil science has traditionally been a male-dominated field, and data on gender equity issues for soil science are rare. Therefore, the authors decided to investigate the international gender equity situation and found that only 32% of the overall membership of the 44 national soil science societies who responded to this request for data were women, and men outnumbered women in 37 of the 44 societies.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2021/8/1/a-look-at-international-gender-equity-in-soil-science

[From GSBI Newsletter – August 2021]


Sustainable futures over the next decade are rooted in soil science

Since the founding of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, there has been growing recognition about the importance of soils for driving development. With less than ten years left before the SDGs are aimed to be achieved, now is a critical point to determine where we are, and what we need to do in this next decade. In this paper, we synthesise the key achievements in soil science over the past decade, with particular focus on five major environmental challenges: food security, water security, urban development, ecosystem conservation, and climate change. With limited resources and budget at our disposal over the next decade, we propose three major ways that soil scientists can support efforts to secure sustainable development by 2030. These include a greater implementation of research into policy, interdisciplinary partnerships to evaluate function trade-offs and synergies between soils and other environmental domains, and integrating monitoring and modelling methods to ensure soil-based policies can withstand the uncertainties of the future. 

Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejss.13145


Belowground microbial solutions to aboveground plant problems

Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research have discovered that signaling occurring from the response of plant leaves to light, and plant roots to microbes, is integrated along a microbiota-root-shoot axis to boost plant growth when light conditions are suboptimal.

Read more: https://www.mpipz.mpg.de/pr-haquard-2021


Bacterial survival kit to endure in soil

Soil bacteria have amazing strategies to attain energy in order to withstand stressful times. Researchers investigated how acidobacteria, which are widespread in soils, can survive under adverse conditions.

Read more: https://medienportal.univie.ac.at/presse/aktuelle-pressemeldungen/detailansicht/artikel/bacterial-survival-kit-to-endure-in-soil/


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

Due to the Corona pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions most of the events planned for 2020 had to be cancelled or postponed. This continued to some extent in 2021. For a current list of upcoming events, please consult the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/


Intersol 2021 – Soils & Transition of Territories

7-9 September 2021

Paris, France

Read more: https://www.webs-event.com/en/event/intersol/


Webinar “The Future of Soil Science, Climate Change and Agriculture”

9 Sept. 2021

Online, 15:00 – 17:00 BST

In the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), UK Research and Innovation is inviting you to contribute to discuss past successes in soil research and innovation, and to debate what the key questions are that need the most urgent answers and where the future lies in better managing this vital planetary resource.

Whether you are a researcher or a policymaker, a farmer or an environmentalist, a stakeholder or an interested party from across the agri-food sector or other land use activity, you are warmly invited to attend this webinar.

Registration until 8 Sept. 2021

Read more: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-future-of-soil-science-climate-change-and-agriculture-tickets-167597477567


Plant productivity and food safety – Soil science, Microbiology, Agricultural Genetics and Food quality

15-17 September 2021

Virtual conference, Nicolaus Copernicus University Toruń, Poland

The conference aims to enable the exchange of knowledge, views, and scientific experience in terms of sustainable soil use and the maintenance of a microbiome favourable to plant development as key factors for preserving the tolerance of plants against adverse environmental conditions and maintaining their high productivity.

Read more: https://soil-micro.umk.pl/pages/Konferencja/?langu=en


Global Symposium on Salt-Affected Soils

20 October 2021 to 22 October 2021

Online, 13:00 – 16:00 CEST

Starting from the latest scientific knowledge on the status of interventions and innovations, the Symposium will address the prevention and sustainable management of Salt-affected soils for increased food security and the achievement of the SDGs.

Deadline for abstract and good practices submission is 17 September 2021

Read more: http://www.fao.org/events/global-symposium-on-salt-affected-soils

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


New publications

Soil Science: Fundamentals to Recent Advances

Edited by Rakshit, A., Singh, S.K., Abhilash, P.C., Biswas, A.; 1st edition published by Springer in 2021, XXII, 902 pages, 144 illus., 86 illus. in colour, ISBN 978-981-16-0917-6, price hardcover 169,99 € | £149.99 | $219.99, price eBook 139,09 € | £119.50 | $169.00.

This compilation has been designed to provide a comprehensive source of theoretical and practical update for scientists working in the broad field of soil science. The book explores all possible mechanisms and means to improve nutrient use efficiencies involving developing and testing of nanofertilizers, developing consortia based microbial formulations for mobilization of soil nutrients, and engineering of nutrient efficient crops using molecular biology and biotechnological tools. This is an all-inclusive collection of information about soil science. This book is of interest to teachers, researchers, soil scientists, capacity builders and policymakers.

Read more: https://www.springer.com/de/book/9789811609169


Conservation Agriculture: A Sustainable Approach for Soil Health and Food Security

Edited by Jayaraman, S., Dalal, R.C., Patra, A.K., Chaudhari, S.K., 1st edition published by Springer in 2021, XV, 632 paages, 120 illus., 91 illus. in colour, ISBN 978-981-16-0827-8, price hardcover 219,99 € | £199.99 | $279.99, price eBook 181,89 € | £159.50 | $219.00.

Feeding the increasing global population, which is projected to reach ~10 billion by 2050, there has been increasing demands for more improved/sustainable agricultural management practices that can be followed by farmers to improve productivity without jeopardizing the environment and ecosystem. Indeed, about 95% of our food directly or indirectly comes from soil. It is a precious resource, and sustainable soil management is a critical socio–economic and environmental issue. Maintaining the environmental sustainability while the world is facing resource degradation, increasing climate change and population explosion is the current challenge of every food production sectors. Thus, there is an urgent need to evolve a holistic approach such as conservation agriculture to sustain higher crop productivity in the country without deteriorating soil health.

Read more: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811608261


Geoethics: Status and Future Perspectives

Edited by Di Capua G., Bobrowsky P.T., Kieffer S.W. and Palinkas C. (2021). Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 508, https://doi.org/10.1144/SP508, price hardcopy GBP 120.00.

This is the second volume focused on geoethics published by the Geological Society of London, under the MoU with the IUGS. This is a significant step forward in which authors address the maturation of geoethics. The field of geoethics is now ready to be introduced outside the geoscience community as a logical platform for global ethics that addresses anthropogenic changes. Geoethics has a distinction in the geoscientific community for discussing ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, research, practice, education and communication. This provides a common ground for confronting ideas, experiences and proposals on how geosciences can supply additional service to society in order to improve the way humans interact responsibly with the Earth system. This book provides new messages to geoscientists, social scientists, intellectuals, law- and decision-makers, and laypeople. Motivations and actions for facing global 3 anthropogenic changes and their intense impacts on the planet need to be governed by an ethical framework capable of merging a solid conceptual structure with pragmatic approaches based on geoscientific knowledge. This philosophy defines geoethics. The book is dedicated to Jan Boon.

Read more: https://sp.lyellcollection.org/content/508/1

[From: IUGS E-Bulletin#176 – July 2021]


Sustainable Soil Management in Eurasia

FAO and the Eurasian Centre for Food Security (ECFS) are launching the publication “Sustainable soil management (SSM) in the Eurasian region”. Prepared in the framework of the Eurasian Soil Partnership together with the ECFS of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, this book collects Eurasian country experiences in the application of the recommendations contained in the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.  In Eurasia soils face serious degradation processes associated with low technological level of farming as well as excessive pressure from high-tech cultivation and use of chemicals. This book aims to provide a common basis for enhanced conservation and protection of soil resources.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1418765/

[From Global Soil Partnership Newsletter No. 32, August 2021]


Job offers

If you are interested in working in soil sciences and related fields of expertise, please see current job offers at: https://www.iuss.org/jobs/



financially supported

ALL NEW WET150 Sensor

Digital SDI-12 Multi-Parameter Soil Sensor


  • Soil moisture, electrical conductivity, and temperature
  • True research-grade performance at a new price point
  • Digital SDI-12 for easy system integration     
  • Robust, buriable and low power
  • Available in kit form with readout meter for portable use
  • 5 year warranty

Delta-T Devices’ new WET150 Sensor measures soil moisture, temperature and EC, and is the product of over 40 years’ development expertise. Through a series of recent in-house design innovations it delivers a research-grade level of quality at a price point not previously possible. These technical breakthroughs mean that researchers can now integrate an accurate and rugged sensor into their measurement and control systems at lower cost. The WET150 offers an SDI-I2 enabled solution for real-time monitoring of soil and substrate conditions. SDI-12 is an interface for connecting digital sensors to an SDI-12 master device such as a logger or irrigation controller. A key strength of SDI-12 is that it supports the connection of up to 62 sensors to a single input on a compatible device. A notable benefit of the WET150 is its ability to reliably calculate pore water conductivity (ECp), which is the ion content of the water available to plants.

More information on the new WET150


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