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IUSS Alert 195 (September 2021)

IUSS Alert 195 (September 2021)


Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)



Call for Abstracts 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 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.



First call for contributions for IUSS Bulletin 139

The IUSS Secretariat (iuss@umweltbundesamt.at) kindly invites all IUSS members to submit their contributions for our next IUSS Bulletin 139 (to be published in December 2021) no later than 15 November 2021. In particular, the Secretariat would welcome conference/meeting reports and reports on activities dedicated to the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), and any other information you would like to share with the international soil science community. National soil science societies are encouraged to present their recent activities. Please make sure to send high-resolution photos only together with the copyright information (owner of the photos).



IUSS contributes to ISC GeoUnions Standing Committee on Disaster and Risk Reduction

The International Science Council (ISC) GeoUnions Standing Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction was established in July 2020 to strengthen the long-standing ISC leadership in advancing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The Committee identifies and encourages activities of global scientific communities for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, as further defined by the ISC.

Prof. Takashi Kosaki, IUSS Past President, and Dr. Edoardo Costantini, IUSS President Elect, were appointed as IUSS representatives to this new committee. The presence of the IUSS in the Committee is aimed at highlighting the role played by soil as an anthropogenic factor that regulates natural disasters and to advise multiple stakeholders through the ISC. One of the activities of the Committee is the publication and broad distribution of policy briefs related to events of global relevance connected to DRR.

The website of the committee is: http://www.iscgdrr.com/

The current policy brief no. 5 talks about how to communicate anthropogenic factors that contribute to natural disasters.

Download the policy brief: https://www.iuss.org/media/isc_gu_sc_drr_policy_brief_5.pdf



General News

Apply for the OWSD – Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World

The OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists reward and encourage women working and living in developing countries who are in the early stages of their scientific careers, having often overcome great challenges to achieve research excellence. Awardees must have made a demonstrable impact on the research environment, both at a regional and international level, and must have received their PhD in the last ten years.

Deadline: 28 October 2021 (24:00 CET)

Read more: https://owsd.net/awards/awards



The Land and Soil Management Award 2021/22

The Land and Soil Management Award 2021/22 call: For good agriculture and environmental conditions is now open!

The prize rewards land use and soil management practices mitigating soil threats i.e. soil degradation, erosion, reduction of organic matter content, diffuse contamination, and compaction as well as the reduction of soil biodiversity, salinization, sealing, flooding and landslides. In doing so, the award sheds light on outstanding achievements, encouraging new concepts of land and soil protection and their implementation in land management, as well as enhancing awareness about the importance of land and soil functions.

Farmers, landowners, land managers, groups of farmers, on their own or in collaboration with research institutes, universities and/or private companies can apply. 5.000 € is awarded to the winning project every year. The Jury can also award a Diploma of Recognition.

Deadline: 15 January 2022

Download the Application Form from here.

Read more: https://www.europeanlandowners.org/awards/soil-land-award?mc_cid=84ec1c4f90&mc_eid=c738904ccb



The blind spots of soil macroecology

Carlos Guerra, SoilBON Co-Lead, Germany, discusses his new paper in Nature Communications. Soils are often seen as being locally driven, with many researchers focusing on looking at them through microscope lenses, but nowadays we are discovering new global patterns of soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions and starting to talk about soil biogeography.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2021/8/29/the-blind-spots-of-soil-macroecology

[From GSBI Newsletter – September 2021]



Project GloWorm

Attention Canadian soil biodiversity researchers! Project GloWorm, a global project investigating the distribution earthworm species, is requesting earthworm samples from certain areas of Canada for their survey. For more information, including the requested method for preservation of specimens, please see pg. 12 of the recent newsletter of the Biological Survey of Canada.

Read more: https://biologicalsurvey.ca/newsletter/bsc.vol40.1.pdf

[From GSBI Newsletter – September 2021]



Why does corn grow so well? Scientists think soil microbes play a role

Bountiful harvests of corn and other major crops rely on a mysterious phenomenon known as hybrid vigor. When highly inbred varieties are crossed, their offspring are taller, hardier, and bear more grain. Now, researchers report that this vigor is somehow influenced by microbes in the soil, perhaps via a plant’s immune system.

Read more: https://www.science.org/news/2021/07/why-does-corn-grow-so-well-scientists-think-soil-microbes-play-role

[From: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report: 4 August 2021]



Soil maps help scientists dig up dirt in criminal investigations

Any ordinary person looking at the rainbow-colored map of Canberra, Australia, would see just a map—or maybe, the following day’s weather forecast. But Patrice de Caritat sees something entirely different: a detailed landscape of soils, with different colors revealing areas of earth rich in elements like carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The geochemist has spent more than 2 decades making geochemical atlases to help other researchers track down rare minerals or understand an area’s changing environment. Now, a new group is showing an interest in these maps: law enforcement agencies.

Read more: https://www.science.org/news/2021/08/soil-maps-help-scientists-dig-dirt-criminal-investigations

[From: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report: 1 September 2021]



Projections of soil loss by water erosion in Europe by 2050

Soil loss by water erosion is projected to increase by 13–22.5% in the EU and UK by 2050, mainly due to increased rainfall intensity. This soil loss is expected to be greatest in central and northern Europe, which could see losses of up to 100% in some areas. Soil erosion in southern Europe is projected to be largely unchanged due to a decline in precipitation patterns. Authors used 19 Global Climate Models and three different Representative Concentration Pathways – RCP2.6, 4.5, 8.5) to project soil loss by water erosion in Europe by 2050. They also simulated the crop dynamics and land use changes with CAPRI model. More details in a JRC-led article. Data available here:

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/water-erosion-europe-2050

[From ESDAC Newsletter No 133 (August 2021)]



Approaches to delineate aggregates in intact soil using X-ray imaging

Soil structure refers to the spatial arrangement of primary soil particles and pores, and is known to influence a variety of soil functions including carbon sequestration and water holding capacity. At present, research in this field is often divided, focusing either on pores where pore networks are investigated in undisturbed soil or on solids where isolated soil aggregates are commonly studied. The choice of approach depends on the needs and traditions in different disciplines of soil science. While there is much debate regarding how well these viewpoints relate to each other, there have been only marginal research efforts undertaken to compare them quantitatively. In this study, we presented and evaluated methods to identify 3-D subunits in X-ray images of eight undisturbed soil samples that we interpreted as macroaggregates, and compared these to results from drop-shatter tests. Here, we exploited the cohesive forces of water that induces shrinkage cracks under drying. Despite promising trends, comparisons between image and drop-shatter test derived aggregate properties remained inconclusive. Nevertheless, our results encourage further investigations on larger sample sets and different observation scales. The here presented and discussed aggregate delineation methods illustrate an approach to harmonize soil structure characterization in terms of both pore-networks and soil aggregation. For example, respective extended approaches may be developed to evaluate the locations of microaggregates within macroaggregates.

Read more: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706121004407



EDAFOS, an interactive program on Soil Science

The EDAFOS program is an interactive, multiplatform program that allows you to acquire knowledge about Soil Science and practice with self-evaluating exercises and activities. It is available in Spanish and in English. EDAFOS can be used online, as a self-learning tool or directed by teachers. In this program, the components, the soil formation factors and processes and the ecosystem services of the soils are reviewed. Edafos can be useful at different educational levels, from High School to University and, given the interdisciplinary and transversal nature of Soil Science, it can be used in multiple disciplines related to Natural Sciences.

Find out more: www.cienciadelsuelo.es



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/


Soils for our future

Symposium and Ceremonial Presentation of the IUSS Distinguished Service Medal 2020 to Dr. Franz Fischler, former Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Austria, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries of the European Union and President of the European Forum Alpbach.

Date: 15 October 2021

Location: Vienna, Austria

Registration: Please send an email to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/soils_for_our_future_invitation_20211015.pdf



XI Soil Use and Management Conference

1-3 December 2021

Location: Virtual event


Languages: Spanish and Portuguese

Deadline for abstract submission and early bird registration: 15 October 2021

Read more: https://ums2021.suelos.org.ar/




International Symposium on Managing Land and Water for Climate-Smart Agriculture

25-29 July 2022, Vienna, Austria

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is organizing an International Symposium on Managing Land and Water for Climate-Smart Agriculture. Approximately 400 participants from IAEA Member States and invited international organizations are expected to attend this event.

The purpose of the event is to review recent development of nuclear, isotopic and related techniques to improve land and water management practices, provide information on the development of tools and technology packages to build soil resilience, adapt farming practices to the impact of climate change, as well as to nuclear or radiological emergencies; and to identify knowledge gaps, research needs and new opportunities to develop climate-smart agricultural practices to build capacities and transfer of technologies to Member States. The event is aimed at scientists, academics, research managers and laboratory personnel, policy makers from governmental, non-governmental and international organizations, donor agencies and potential partners.

Call for abstracts open until January 31, 2022: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/call-for-papers-international-symposium-on-managing-land-and-water-for-climate-smart-agriculture-2022

Conference website: https://conferences.iaea.org/event/270/



16th International Conference on Soil Micromorphology

September 4 to 8, 2022

Kraków, Poland


Postponed from 2020!

Early registration and call for abstracts opens: October 1, 2021

End of the abstract submission: February 28, 2022

Read more: http://www.icosm2020.sggw.pl/

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



New publications

A Visual Atlas for Soil Micromorphologists

By Eric P. Verrecchia, Luca Trombino. Published by Springer in 2021, XIX, 177 pages, 1 b/w illustrations, 81 illustrations in colour, Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-67805-0, Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-67808-1, eBook ISBN 978-3-030-67806-7, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67806-7, price hardcover: EUR 54.99 (incl. VAT), softcover: EUR 43.99 (incl. VAT),

This open access atlas is an up-to-date visual resource on the features and structures observed in soil thin sections, i.e. soil micromorphology. The book addresses the growing interest in soil micromorphology in the fields of soil science, earth science, archaeology and forensic science, and serves as a reference tool for researchers and students for fast learning and intuitive feature and structure recognition. It provides hundreds of images and photomicrographs to help practicing soil micromorphologists and students. Focuses on the diversity of soil elements and features, rather than feature interpretations, to assist with recognition.

Read more: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-67806-7#about



Safe and Sustainable Crop Protection

Edited by Kari Lynn, Mingming Ma, Qiang Yang, and Qi Yao, published in the ACS Symposium Series by Oxford University Press on 3 August 2021, 152 pages, 254x178mm, ISBN: 9780841235519, price hardback GBP 115.00.

As the world population grows, agrochemical researchers continue to innovate. This volume contains select innovations and advances in crop protection technology from the ACS Division of Agrochemicals. Contributed chapters focus on biochemistry, such as microbiomes and antibiotics, as well as workflows, including separation, characterization, and analysis.

Read more: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/safe-and-sustainable-crop-protection-9780841235519?q=soil&facet_narrowbypubdate_facet=Last%203%20months&lang=en&cc=at



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/




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