Taking care of soils since 1924
IUSS Alert 204 (June 2022)

IUSS Alert 204 (June 2022)


Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)


IUSS Book ‘Sustainable soil management as a key to preserve soil biodiversity and stop its degradation’ published

Within the framework of the International Decade of Soils (IDS) 2015-2024 and continuing with the objective of publishing and distributing material relevant to the interests of the IUSS and its members an IUSS Open Access Book Series was launched under a Creative Commons license. This is the first book of the Open Access IUSS Book Series celebrating the 98th anniversary of IUSS, as it was published on May 19, 2022.

Soil Biodiversity was proposed as a current topic of great scientific, social, economic, and political importance for the present IUSS book. The book was written from an interdisciplinary perspective covering the current state of the art in this area. Perspectives of various points of view and interactions are reflected according to the different areas of knowledge of soil sciences offered by the authors. That is why the book contains both experimental data and conceptual information, didactic experiences, and reviews organized in four different sections.

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


Update of the Scientific programme of the WCSS 2022

Please check the full programme regularly as the programme is constantly updated. The dates and times of all the sessions can be found here.

Read more: https://22wcss.org/programme/scientific-programme/

Not registered? Don’t miss out, register today!

Read more: https://22wcss.org/registration/


Víctor Hugo Alvarez Venegas (1938-2022)

The Brazilian Soil Science Society (SBCS) communicates, with great regret, the death of Víctor Hugo Alvarez Venegas, a professor of Soils Department at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), which took place on 19 June 2022. Professor Víctor Hugo was 83 years old, and an honorary member of SBCS.

Born in Ecuador he dedicated most of his career to the UFV and Brazilian soil science. He became General Secretary of SBCS in 1997 and was vice president from 2001 to 2009. During his term the SBCS had its structure entirely revised to adjust to IUSS Divisions and Commissions. His strength was behind the proposals of SBCS to host the World Congress of Soil Science in Brazil, which culminated in 2018 with the 18th WCSS Rio.

His death is a great loss not only for SBCS, but for SLCS and IUSS.


News from national soil science societies

British Society of Soil Science

Categorising Soil: Training Course

With classroom-based lectures and in-the-field training at local soil pits, this two-day Soil Training course is one not to miss! Taking place at the University of Stirling on 28 and 29 July, the course will cover Scottish soil types including brown earths, peat bogs, and podzols and the tools used in understanding and categorising soils in practice. The price for non-members is £425, which includes complimentary Associate membership of the Society until the end of 2022.

Book your place: https://britishsocietyofsoilscience.wildapricot.org/event-4732970

Share Your Soil Voice

Soil Voices, part of Our Living Soil, builds connections between writers, soil practitioners, food producers and consumers. Contact Jude Allen if you would like to record your soil story or memory during WCSS22, which will then be added to the online world map of soil stories.

Read more: https://soilvoices.org/


Spanish Society of Soil Science

On the occasion of World Environment Day, which was celebrated on June 5 with the slogan “Only one Earth”, primary school students (4th, 5th and 6th grade) of the Centro Rural Agrupado (CRA) La Sabina, Robres (Huesca), participated in some fun experiments with soil samples. With these experiments they reviewed the functions of soils and valued the importance of soils for human life and the health of the planet; they also highlighted the contrasting properties of the different types of soil. David Badía Villas, soil scientist, president of the territorial delegation of the Spanish Society of Soil Science (SECS) in Aragón, professor at the Escuela Politécnica Superior de Huesca (EPS-Unizar) and researcher at the University Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences of Aragón (IUCA) was in charge of the didactic session.


News from the Latin American Soil Science Society (SLCS)

The Chilean Soil Science Society invite you to participate in its XIV Congress “Soils for the Support of the Social Welfare and Environmental Protection” which will be held on November 22-25, 2022, in Valdivia, Chile. Abstract submission: September 2, 2022.

Read more: www.congresoschcs.cl

The Colombian Society of Soil Science invites you to participate in the VII National Workshop Seminar “GIS, Agronic and Precision Agriculture” to be held on July 14-15 infosccs@sccsuelos.com.

The Mexican Soil Science Society invite you to participate in its 46th Mexican Congress on Soil Science to be held on October 03-07, 2022, in Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico.

Read more: https://46cncs.cinvestav.mx/


General News

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, are the IUSS representatives to this 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 current policy brief no. 6 talks about the lessons to be learned from the Tonga Volcanic Eruption: http://www.iscgdrr.com/plus/view.php?aid=57

Read more about the Standing Committee on Disaster and Risk Reduction: https://www.iuss.org/media/sc-drr_leaflet_v4_2022-06-22_digital.pdf


News from the International Science Council (ISC)

Stockholm+50 Letter to fellow citizens

In 1972, 2200 environmental scientists presented an urgent call on the state of the environment at the UN Summit on the Human Environment. In 2022, fifty years on from the UN Summit, the ISC, Future Earth and the Stockholm Environment Institute convened an Expert Writing Group of natural scientists, social scientists and humanities scholars to modernize and extend the historical call on the eve of Stockholm+50. This week the campaign featured in Nature, encouraging support for the new letter.

Read the Nature Editorial Visit the dedicated website to read and support the 2022 version

[From ISC Update on June 3, 2022]


Whose right is it anyway? Copyright and scholarly publishing

Copyright for scientific publications, such as journal articles, is complex and contested. This blog considers some of the recent initiatives designed to support authors to retain rights to their published work.

Read more: https://council.science/current/blog/copyright-and-scholarly-publishing/

[From ISC Update on June 8, 2022]


How do we develop indicators of healthy soil? Science-based policy development from a policymaker’s perspective

In this article Elena Havlicek, Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, Soil and Biotechnology Division, Switzerland discusses policy efforts to work towards healthy soils. Recently, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) has launched an important call to the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity on the need to protect soil biodiversity, urging governments to develop policies and legal mechanisms, and stated that education and awareness are decisive to take necessary actions for protect and restore soil resources.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2022/6/5/how-do-we-develop-indicators-of-healthy-soil-science-based-policy-development-from-a-policymakers-perspective

[From GSBI Newsletter – June 2022]


Confused by the abbreviations & acronyms of the many soil biodiversity projects and organizations?

The recent increase in research initiatives and projects related to the science of soil biodiversity led to the creation of many new acronyms. We at the GSBI Secretariat developed a living online document of soil biodiversity-related organizations, societies, and projects with the goal of assisting the global community of soil biodiversity researchers, educators, and policy-makers in understanding what the goals of these organizations are and how they may relate to one another.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/soilrelated-organizations

[From GSBI Newsletter – June 2022]


Call for Soil Biodiversity Special Issue

The European Journal of Soil Biodiversity announced an open call for submissions to a special issue of the journal on synthesizing multiple facets of soil food web research. Editors for this issue are Anton Potapov (University of Göttingen), Zoë Lindo (Western University, Ontario), and Robert Buchkowski (Canadian Forest Service, New Brunswick).

Submissions open: 01 July 2022

Submission Deadline: 05 December 2022

Read more: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/european-journal-of-soil-biology/about/forthcoming-special-issues

[From GSBI Newsletter – June 2022]


More Plant-Available Water from Soil Carbon

Healthy soil soaks up rainfall and stores it for crops. While farmers have known this for a long time, it has been hard for scientists to predict how much extra water farmers can expect soil to provide to their crops when they use practices that improve carbon in the soil. New equations published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal show that enhancing soil carbon results in an increase of plant-available water as much as three times higher than earlier estimates.

Read more: https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/csan.20751

[From ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report, 8 June 2022]


A Glance at the Global Soil Partnership 10th Plenary Assembly

The Global Soil Partnership 10th Plenary Assembly took place online on 23-25 May 2022. Over 450 people from 143 countries including FAO Members, delegates and members of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) participated actively and with great enthusiasm. The Plenary was very special as it marked the tenth anniversary of the formal establishment of the Partnership, a decade dedicated to raising the profile of soil and putting sustainable soil management in action.

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/about/plenary-assembly/tenth-session-2022/en/

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 40, June 2022]


Launch of the Global Black Soil Distribution Map

The Global Black Soil Distribution Map, is the outcome of a multi-year effort, produced using a country-driven approach led by the Partnership. Black soils not only sustain the people settled on them, but are also a food basket for the rest of the world.

Press release: https://www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/global-soil-partnership-ten-years-of-promoting-the-foundation-of-global-agrifood-systems/en

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 40, June 2022]


Photocontest on #Soils4Nutrition

Are you a photographer? Are you an environmentalist? Join the photo contest #Soils4Nutrition! Send us your photographs that will compete for public voting during the Global Symposium. Prizes are up for grabs!

Read more: https://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/areas-of-work/soil-fertility/photocontest-on-soils4nutrition-guidelines/en/

[From Global Soil Partnership Special announcement No. 40, June 2022]


Satellite-based Global Erosivity dataset

We developed a satellite-based R-factor dataset using the high spatial and temporal resolution global precipitation (30 min) estimates obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and applying the Climate Prediction Center MORPHing (CMORPH) technique. Alternatively, the erosivity density (ED) concept was also used to estimate global rainfall erosivity. The obtained global estimates of rainfall erosivity were validated against the pluviograph data included in the Global Rainfall Erosivity Database (GloREDa). In this study, we found that the CMORPH estimates have a marked tendency to underestimate rainfall erosivity when compared to the GloREDa estimates. The most substantial underestimations were observed in areas with the highest rainfall erosivity values. Data available at: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/global-rainfall-erosivity

Read more: https://hess.copernicus.org/articles/26/1907/2022/

[From ESDAC Newsletter 142 (June 2022)]


Conserving healthy soils

The health of soils is dependent on the variety of organisms they contain, known as soil biodiversity. The amount of soil biodiversity determines the productivity of land, and thus the provision of food, water, and the regulation of climate. Current land degradation, chiefly due to chemical-fuelled, intensive agricultural production, is causing the loss of soil biodiversity, undermining the services provided by healthy soils. Governments should put in place policies and legislation, and promote land management practices which restore or preserve soil biodiversity.

Read more: https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/conserving-healthy-soils?fbclid=IwAR1hUATq-SH6yJeORBG2sKjWc8q8ByY1xxv-nib69NI-jezqtGHOxH51HDM


How does soil moisture impact our lives?

Soil moisture is key to understanding the land’s surface and all the activities that occur there, both seen and unseen. These include agriculture, hydrology, weather, and human health, to name just a few. But first it is important to understand what soil moisture is. Soil moisture is the available water contained within the matrix of soil and organic matter at the surface of the earth, above the water table.

Read more: https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/how-does-soil-moisture-impact-our-lives/


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

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


Soil Classification and Education 2

IUSS and Poland Soil Science Society invite you to participate in the Soil Classification 2nd Conference to be held on September 12-14, 2022 in Torún, Poland, by registering at https://sites.google.com/view/soil-classification/home. The conference is under the patronage of the IUSS president.

Its organization is supported by Erasmus+ grant. Therefore, the conference fee includes 3 nights, accommodation, meals and fieldtrip.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/intro-sce-2-2022-globalization-and-global-environmental-issues_fin.pdf


XIV Congress “Soils for the Support of the Social Welfare and Environmental Protection”

November 22-25, 2022, Valdivia, Chile.

The Chilean Society of Soil Science presents the XIV Congress “Soils for the Support of the Social Welfare and Environmental Protection” which will be held on November 22-25, 2022, Valdivia, Chile. The event is supported by Chilean Society of Soil Science every four years and in this opportunity, the Congress is organized by Universidad Austral de Chile and Universidad de La Frontera. The program includes connoted invited speakers and oral and poster presentations. The conferences will be focused on the following research topics:

  • Soil Functions and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Services as support for the well-being of humanity
  • Soil Degradation and Resilience
  • Soil Salinity and Desertification
  • Soils and Biodiversity
  • Soil Chemistry and Fertility
  • Soil Pedogenesis and Mineralogy
  • Role of Mycorrhizae in the Efficiency of Resource Use
  • Soils, Society, Land Use Planning and Food Security
  • Education and Chilean Soil Science History

Abstract submission: September 2, 2022

Revised abstract submission: October 17, 2022

Conference website: www.congresoschcs.cl

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


New publications

Sustainable soil management as a key to preserve soil biodiversity and stop its degradation

Edited by Laura Bertha Reyes-Sánchez, Rainer Horn and Edoardo A.C. Costatini. Published by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), ISBN: 979-8-9862451-0-2.

Most organisms in terrestrial ecosystems develop at least a part of their life cycle in soil habitats or live in it, making the soil resource the most important reservoir of global biodiversity. Soil biodiversity plays a fundamental role in the proper functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems as well as economic, social, and human services that guarantee both human well-being and the existence of life on Earth. Furthermore, soil healthy, nutritious food, climate change mitigation, as well as many other issues essential to our life, all depend on the knowledge of soil biodiversity.

Against this background intends the IUSS, as the leader in Soil Sciences at the worldwide level, to foreground the study of edaphic biodiversity from the broad interdisciplinary perspective, to promote the advancement of its area of knowledge.

In this regard, Soil Biodiversity was proposed as a current topic of great scientific, social, economic, and political importance for the present IUSS book as a document that had to be written from an interdisciplinary perspective and starting on the current state of the art in this area. A book written from the perspective of various points of view and interactions since the different areas of knowledge of soil sciences offered by the authors.

That is why the book contains both experimental data and conceptual information, didactic experiences, and reviews organized in four different sections showing points of view and interactions from the following knowledge areas of soil sciences:

  • Soil Biodiversity perspectives from biological sciences point of view
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives from agronomical point of view
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives from soil physical point of view
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives from soil chemistry and education point of view

Within the framework of the “International Decade of Soils (IDS) 2015-2024” and continuing with the objective of publishing and distributing material relevant to the interests of the IUSS and its members; an IUSS Open Access Book Series is launched under a Creative Commons license.

This is the first of the Open Access IUSS’ Book Series.

Foreword by Dr. Laura Bertha Reyes-Sánchez, President of the International Union of Soil Sciences, UNAM, Mexico, May 19, 2022

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


Soils of the World

By Wolfgang Zech, Peter Schad and Gerd Hintermaier-Erhard. First edition published by Springer Berlin, Heidelberg in June 2022, 256 pages, 3 b/w illustrations, 321 illustrations in colour, eBook ISBN 978-3-540-30461-6, Hardcover ISBN 978-3-540-30460-9, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-30461-6, price eBook: EUR 109.99, hardcover: EUR 153.99.

This book describes and comprehensively illustrates the soils of the world in accordance with the worldwide WRB classification. The structure of the book follows the ecozone concept. For every ecozone, location, climate and vegetation as well as soil formation and distribution are presented. All soils representative of the corresponding ecozone are then described in detail: definition, properties, distribution, use, classification, genesis. Over 260 photographs illustrate soil profiles, soil details and landscapes. Instructive maps and graphs help understand soil properties and soil-forming processes and make the publication an excellent reference book about the world’s soils.

Read more: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-540-30461-6


Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture

Edited By Nintu Mandal, Abir Dey, Rajiv Rakshit. First edition published June 2, 2022 by Apple Academic Press, 624 pages, 16 color & 61 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781774630235, price eBook GBP 132.30, price hardback GBP 147.00.

Taking a sustainable approach, this volume explores the various soil management techniques. It begins with an overview of the elementary concepts of soil management and then delves into new research and novel soil management tools and techniques.

Topics include clays as a critical component in sustainable agriculture with respect to carbon sequestration in conjunction with its interaction with soil enzymes; the potential utilization of microbes to mitigate crop stress; resource conservation technologies and prospective carbon management strategies; the use of smart tools for monitoring soils; effective nutrient management approaches; nanotechnological interventions for soil management and techniques for the remediation of soils contaminated by metals and pesticides.

Read more: https://www.routledge.com/Soil-Management-for-Sustainable-Agriculture-New-Research-and-Strategies/Mandal-Dey-Rakshit/p/book/9781774630235


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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