Taking care of soils since 1924
IUSS Alert 207 (September 2022)

IUSS Alert 207 (September 2022)



Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)



Call for contributions for IUSS Bulletin 141

The IUSS Secretariat (iuss@umweltbundesamt.at) kindly invites all IUSS members to submit contributions for our next IUSS Bulletin 141 (to be published in December 2022) no later than 31 October 2022. 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).



World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS22)

With the World Congress of Soil Science 2022, held in Glasgow 31 July to the 5 August, now behind us we, the British Society of Soil Science, as hosts would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supported and contributed to this special event. Alongside the scientific programme there was also a ground-breaking policy session, the first of its kind for a WCSS, exhibition, soil judging competition, tours offerings, fringe event programme, and arts, cultural and outreach offerings. Whether you were part of the organising committee(s), chair or vice- chair, convenor, speaker or presenter, exhibitor, volunteer, or simply an attendee, everyone coming together, especially after the last couple of years, truly made the Congress one for the record books.

We would also like to take this moment to thank IUSS Council for selecting us as hosts of the 22nd WCSS and for the Executive Committee’s support throughout our journey to delivering the Congress, Speakeasy our event co-ordinators for their professional operational support, and all other sponsor and partner organisations that made everything possible.

In the coming weeks and months as we seek to collate information and crystallise outcomes from the Congress, we will continue to seek to secure a legacy from WCSS22 to support and promote continued developments in soil science and further afield. We will communicate how you can access these archives in the coming months, but in the meantime you can view some information here. We will also wholeheartedly be supporting the organisers of the 23rd (Nanjing, China) and 24th (Toronto, Canada) WCSSs in delivering long-lasting impacts from the series.




Children’s booklet contest on Soils: where food begins

Following the activities from the IUSS GOES TO THE SCHOOL educative project, and in the framework of World Soil Day 2022, FAO, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) are launching a scientific children’s booklet contest on soils for nutrition with the motto “Soils: Where food begins”. Submissions should be sent by 18 November 2022.

Read more: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/contests/children-booklet-contest-2022/en/



News from national soil science societies

British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)

Introduction to Agricultural Land Classification

We are running the Introduction to Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) course virtually over three half-day sessions from 22 – 24 November. This training course, designed and presented by ALC experts from Natural England, the Welsh Government and commercial consultancy, offers a unique opportunity to learn about the background and technical basis of the current ALC guidelines.

Read more: https://britishsocietyofsoilscience.wildapricot.org/event-4836014

Award Nomination: Life on Land

Life on Land has been nominated for an award at the Earth Futures Festival 2022. Released ahead of WCSS22, the short video highlights the importance of soil in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Life on Land (SDG 15).

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qs-lqoe7Lc&list=PL1MnnrWVUv1ld03Z7VRdxJXAZdEkFE63P

The Tours Triumph!

Following some fantastic post-congress tours, the NNR team at NatureScot give an overview of the Stirling Tour in their blog, Celebrating Soil. SRUC’s Davy McCracken also highlights the North Scotland tour in his article in The Press and Journal.

Read more: https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-press-and-journal-aberdeen-and-aberdeenshire/20220806/282492892463314



Malaysian Society of Soil Science (MSSS)

The two most recent newsletters of the Malaysian Society of Soil Science are now available on the IUSS website. Issue 1, 2022, contains a report about the 51st MSSS Annual General Meeting, the Soil Familiarisation Tour 2022: Calcareous and In-land Soil, and a number of outreach programmes and how organic farming can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, and many other interesting articles. Issue 2, 2022, gives an account of nutrient management by local farmers, the Youth and Agriculture Forum 2021 and a National Webinar on 2021 World Soil Day, among others.

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



Ukrainian Society of Soil Scientists and Agrochemists (USSSA)

The Ukrainian Society of Soil Scientists and Agrochemists in collaboration with the NSC ISSAR, organize the online International Scientific & Practical Conference “The current state of the soil cover of Ukraine under conditions of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation” to be held on October 20, 2022. The IUSS President will be opening the Conference.

Read more: http://www.issar.com.ua/en/international-scientific-practical-conference-current-state-soil-cover-ukraine-under-conditions



General News


5 December 2022 is the United Nations World Soil Day (WSD). This year’s campaign, “Soils, where food begins” highlights the value of soil for food production, better nutrition, and healthy diets.

The soil beneath our feet is a world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic matter that supply humans and animals with food through plant growth. Just like us, soils need balanced and varied input of nutrient in appropriate quantities to be healthy. When crops are harvested, nutrients are removed from the soil. Nutrient deficient soils produce nutrient deficient plants, causing hidden hunger for more than 2 billion people worldwide.

Soils have no borders and are at risk. This year’s WSD will focus on the importance of soils for nutrition while serving as a call to action and empathy for those who bear the brunt of these threats.


Are you planning an event or an outreach activity? Mark your agenda, alert your audience, contact your local, regional and global advocates and make use of the free campaign toolkit (all files are print-ready).


If you haven’t done so yet, register your event on the World Soil Day map! Don’t forget to share photos of your event on social media using the hashtags #WorldSoilDay and #Soils4Nutrition.

Read more: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/worldwide-events/add-events/en/

[Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Special announcement No. 42, September 2022]




The success of the World Soil Day depends on you and everyone’s involvement! During the second half of the year, the World Soil Day campaign is marked by a number of events, actions and initiatives to raise awareness of the potentials and challenges for sustainable soil management, facilitate dialogue among actors and promote innovative solutions for nurturing cooperation on soil.

In the framework of World Soil Day – 5 December 2022, IUSS invites you to participate in a Soil cake contest launched by the FAO and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP).

Deadline: 10 December 2022

Read more: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/contests/soil-cake-contest-2022/en/

#TheSoilIsLife #TogetherWeAreStronger

Another event is a poster drawing contest for kids. In addition, following the activities from the IUSS GOES TO THE SCHOOL educative project, and in the framework of World Soil Day 2022, FAO, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) are launching a scientific children’s booklet contest on soils for nutrition with the motto “Soils: Where food begins”.

Deadline for poster drawing and children’s booklet contest: 18 November 2022

Read more: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/booklet-contest/en/?lang=en



CNBC Short Documentary on Soil

CNBC recently released Why The World Is Running Out Of Soil, a short documentary. Including Ronald Vargas from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the programme outlines why we are facing a silent soil crisis, how soil can be saved and what it means for the world.

Watch the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJhpoYwAqFA



LUCAS 2018 TOPSOIL dataset

Topsoil data for 18,984 samples from LUCAS 2018 are available as a CSV file and, to facilitate use of the data, an ESRI shapefile containing the theoretical points to which the taken samples. The measured properties include: pH (CaCl2 and H2O), organic carbon content, CaCO3, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, EC (Electrical conductivity), Oxalate extractable Fe and Al. In addition, this dataset includes further modules of LUCAS 2018: a) erosion b) assessment of organic soils and Bulk Density. Further data on the LUCAS 2018 will follow in the future.

Data available at: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/lucas-2018-topsoil-data
[From ESDAC Newsletter 143 (July 2022)]



High resolution cropland global soil erosion (GloSEM 1.3)

GloSEM stands for Global Soil Erosion Modelling platform. The GloSEM 1.3 dataset, contains present (2019) and future (2070) scenarios on soil erosion at global scale. This covers almost 1.4 billion ha of global croplands at a resolution of 100m. The 2070 scenarios include the projections made with RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RPC8.5. GloSEM has been coupled with the cropland maps from ESA and Copernicus. The results of this study are also aggregated in a summary table per country.

Data are available at: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/glosem

[From ESDAC Newsletter 144 (August 2022)]



Teaching about the essence of soil biodiversity

Professor Loren B. Byrne of Rodger WIlliams University in Rhode Island, USA discusses the importance of soil biodiversity in ecological education and “Pedogogy for the Pedosphere” in this timely back-to-school piece.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2022/8/22/teaching-about-the-essence-of-soil-biodiversity

[From GSBI Newsletter – September 2022]



Table of soil biodiversity-related organizations

Check out the GSBI’s online document of soil biodiversity-related organizations, societies, and projects. We hope this assists 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 – September 2022]



“Frontiers for Young Minds” Translations

Did you know that Frontiers for Young Minds soil biodiversity articles are translated into many languages? Brought to you by iDiv – The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research.

Can you contribute to translating articles? What do you need to know to contribute:

  1. Check the list of articles,
  2. Find an article according to your scientific expertise, and
  3. Fill out the form,
  4. Wait for our response and translate the article.

Read more: https://kids.frontiersin.org/collections/11796/soil-biodiversity

[From GSBI Newsletter – September 2022]



Call for Soil Food Web Special Issue

The European Journal of Soil Biology 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 (iDiv, Germany), Zoë Lindo (Western University, Ontario), and Robert Buchkowski (Canadian Forest Service, New Brunswick).

Submission Deadline: 5 December 2022

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

[From GSBI Newsletter – September 2022]



How does young soil support plant life?

In order to grow well, plants need a place to grow, access to nutrients, and in most cases sunlight. A rich soil provides that home and a good supply of nutrients. But young soils have less to offer – yes, soils can have different ages ranging from hundreds to thousands to millions of years old. This is because soil is being made and lost all the time, with various dynamic processes.

Read more: How does young soil support plant life? – Soils Matter, Get the Scoop! (wordpress.com)

[From ASA, CSSA, SSSA Science Policy Report, 31August, 2022]



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/


SOILveR Webinar on Soil Certificates and Soil Passport

14 October 2022

Online, 09:30 – 12:30 CET (Zoom)

Part of the ‘knowledge road’ towards the EU Soil Strategy & Law

SOILveR (Soil and Land research funding Platform) wants to move forward on its ‘knowledge road’ towards the EU Soil Strategy & Law. After having discussed the soil monitoring topic, as well as the sustainable land use (info) SOILveR will organise a third webinar on October 14th 2022 on the use Soil certificates and Soil passports. In this workshop policy and practice will discuss and meet. 

Registration: https://www.soilver.eu/registration-form-webinar-soilver-webinar-on-soil-certificates-and-soil-passports-14th-of-october-2022/



International Scientific & Practical Conference “The current state of the soil cover of Ukraine under conditions of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation”

20 October 2022

Online, starts at 10.00 (EEST/UTC +3/Kiev Time)

Official languages: Ukrainian and English

The conference covers the following areas:

  • impact of military actions on land and soil resources, agricultural production, and the state of the natural environment in Ukraine;
  • assessment of damage and losses caused by armed aggression to the land fund and soil resources;
  • directions for liquidation of the consequences of armed aggression and military actions in Ukraine: reclamation, melioration, remediation, and restoration of degraded soils; promising directions of international technical and financial support for the strategy (or programme, plan) of restoration of the soil cover of Ukraine damaged by the war.

Registration until 15 Oct. 2022: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezwO_DRgV91jTHstlGyA1sAoQ5LYsdSsMCq1RbPfbCoV7utQ/viewform

Read more: http://www.issar.com.ua/en/international-scientific-practical-conference-current-state-soil-cover-ukraine-under-conditions



ENSOr online conference – Emerging policy challenges on new soil contaminants

20-21 October 2022


For this fourth edition of our workshop on Emerging policy challenges on New SOil contaminants, we focus again on PFAS, albeit in a broader context: within what wider social context does the PFAS story play? How to take into account broader health issues? Have we lost sight of the P that stands for People in the PPP-approach? Do we take sufficient account of all stakeholders? Who should we communicate with and what should we communicate about?

Programme: https://www.2mpact.be/nl/ensor-2022/program

Registration: https://www.2mpact.be/nl/ensor-2022/register-now




The 3rd Global Soil Biodiversity Conference

13-15 March 2023

Dublin, Ireland

Extended deadline: October 7, 2022

Abstract guidelines and submission: https://gsb2021.ie/abstracts

Conference website: https://gsb2023.org/




22 – 25 May 2023

Edinburgh, Scotland

The scientific program ranges from pore-scale modeling, pore-scale imaging, to experimental and numerical methods on larger scales, to sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. Stay abreast of the latest porous media research on trending topics such as energy storage, biotechnics and nature-based agriculture. Presentations will be given on a wide variety of porous media processes in highly diverse applications, including: transport phenomena, soil mechanics, fuel cells, filters, foams, membranes and more. InterPore2023 also offers opportunities to find collaborative industrial and application-oriented institutional partners.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 12 December 2022

Read more: www.interpore.org/2023



Global Conference on Sandy Soils

4-8 June 2023

Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Deadline for Abstract submission: March 15, 2023

Deadline for registration: April 15, 2023

Sandy soils cover approximately 900 million ha worldwide particularly in arid or semi-arid regions. There are extensive areas of sandy soils under cultivation, but the soil fertility is often low. Sandy soils –as a group of soils –have received limited research attention. With increasing global pressure on land resources, marginal soils such as sandy soils are taken into production or cultivated more intensely. There is a need to quantify and understand the properties of sandy soils. This conference will bring together experts on sandy soils from across the world.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/flyer_sandy_soils2023.pdf

Conference website: https://sandysoils.org/



Wageningen Soil Conference 2023

August 28th – September 1st, 2023

Wageningen, the Netherlands

Website: https://wageningensoilconference.eu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WageningenSoil

Flyer: https://www.iuss.org/media/save_the_date_flyer_wsc2023.jpg



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



New publications

Healing Soil: How soil health will save the planet and us

By Bruce Ball. First edition published by Nielsen on 28 September 2022, 144 pages, ISBN-10: 1739593103; ISBN-13: 978-1739593100, price paperback 18.22 USD.

Using his own artworks and drawing on his soil science research, Bruce Ball reveals the importance of soil to humanity. Structured in three main parts, his book takes us on a journey from the nature of healthy soil, through the influence of soil on our health and food to its hidden contributions to our society and our planet.

In Healing Soil you can discover:

  • How soil works, what makes it healthy and how it affects your health
  • How healthy soil helps combat climate change, environmental pollution and biodiversity loss while allowing sustainable production of nutritious food.
  • How a soil-based view of the world, and parallels between soil and our lives, can help us arrive at the cultural and spiritual transformation needed for a sustainable society.
  • Your own road to a healthy and sustainable life using practical and meditative exercises on soil, helped by a visual soil health chart and a wealth of references that allow you to reflect and build on what you unearth in the book.

Read more: https://www.amzn.com/1739593103



Soil health in the Western Balkans

By Zdruli, P.; Wojda. P. & Jones, A., published by the Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2022, ISBN 978-92-76-55210-9, doi:10.2760/653515, JRC130276.

This report attempts to benchmark a range of issues affecting soil health with considerations on the accession progress for a possible future Soil Health Law under the EU 2030 Soil Strategy. The outcomes reported here are based on a literature review of 139 sources, bilateral exchanges with national soil experts in all Western Balkans countries, and on the personal experience of the authors. Based on the results of this study it is concluded that soil degradation is prevalent and extensive throughout the Western Balkans region. Soils are under pressure, but the intensity of various soil health indicators varies between them and among the countries.

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/public_path/shared_folder/EUR31163.pdf

[From ESDAC Newsletter 144 (August 2022)]



Kuwait Soil Taxonomy

By Shabbir A. Shahid, Samira A. S. Omar, Springer Cham, 2022, 149 pages, 5 b/w illustrations, 49 illustrations in colour, ISBN: 978-3-030-95296-9 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-3-030-95297-6 (eBook), DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95297-6. Price hardcover 120.99 EUR, eBook 93.08 EUR.

This book provides guidelines to key soil taxa in the deserts of Kuwait and guidance to associated procedures for laboratory analyses of soils, leading to land use planning on informed decisions. Soils are essential to provide food, feed, and fiber in addition to multiple ecosystem services that sustain life on earth. To achieve the above services sustainably, it is essential to use soils rationally based on their potential for specific uses. This requires establishing national soil classification systems to assess soils locally and to provide guidance to other countries where similar soils may be occurring. Once soil classification is established, it becomes easier to adopt technologies established on similar soils and environmental conditions without conducting long-term and expensive experimental trial. The taxa are established based on soil’s morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties and climatic factors. It offers opportunities to maintain future soil surveys and their correlation to the soils of Kuwait. The book is useful in other arid region countries where similar soil and environmental conditions are existing, such as Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The book also has international relevance, as it was prepared by extracting definitions from USDA-NRCS keys to soil taxonomy, and sections related to soils of Kuwait are added in the book.

Read more: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-95297-6



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/


If you are interested to promote your product or book, event, job call in our Alert, please send an email to .



IUSS Alerts are e-mailed to more than 3000 individual subscribers and 80 national soil science societies globally. Please forward the IUSS Alerts to your friends and colleagues. Send information for IUSS Alerts to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at
If you would like to receive the monthly IUSS Alert by email, please subscribe here 

The IUSS is on TwitterLinkedIn , Facebook and Youtube