Division 4, The Role of Soils in Sustaining Society and the Environment

Commission 4.3 – Soils and Land Use Change


Commission 4.3 – Soils and Land Use Change

Ryusuke Hatano / Japan
IUSS, chair commission 4.3

Jay Jabro / USA
IUSS, vice chair commission 4.3

For more information see IUSS people


Soils play a large role as source and sinks of greenhouse gases. In a context of global sustainability, this Commission will investigate how the source/sink function of the soils can be managed and controlled to mitigate the impact of climate change. Land use change is of a major interest to all, what is the effect of urbanization, lost of productive land to other uses, forest conversion, and other changes are of major interest and these changes will fall under this Commission.

During the 2015 International Year of Soils, the IUSS Division 4 will illustrate its main topics through articles written by Division 4 officers or their colleagues. These will each be highlighted every week from October to December 2015.

For this fourth week, we are displaying an article from the Commission 4.3 chair – Ryusuke Hatano.


Key processes and factors to mitigate land degradation

Ryusuke Hatano / Japan
IUSS, chair commission 4.3 / Division of Environmental Resources, Hokkaido University, Japan

When & Where


Soil message

At the 20th world Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) held in Jeju, Korea an inter-di¬visional symposium was held on the above with the purpose of specifying the key processes and the controlling factors that lead to soil and land degradation in land use and land management in every region. The base of the symposium was the Division 4.3 Soils and land Use Change (IUSS) focusing on its mission to inte¬grate the knowledge of soil science and to inform stakeholders about the utility of the soil. Eight papers were presented in areas of soil carbon sequestration, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, eutrophication and soil acidification. Below, a summary of the results.

Two papers focus on changes in carbon stocks which have been achieved by converting secondary forest to Chinese fir and Moso bamboo, while research in Russia and Kazakhatsn demonstrates an increase in soil carbon of abandoned crop fields being converted over to natural vegetation. Both acknowledge there is a trade-off between agricultural production and soil carbon sequestration. A third paper showed that the proper management of manure application in balance with plant nutrient demand maintained crop production without decreases in soil carbon. Research presented on tea plantation management showed that a combined application of chicken manure and chemical fertilizer reduced N2O emissions. Research in Lake Hachiro Japan, demonstrated that lowering the ratio of dissolved inorganic nitrogen to soluble phosphorus is a key factor for the growth of algal or cyanobacterial blooms.

Also in Japan, on Ogasawara Island, soil acidification resulted from subsoil exposure by erosion by feral goats, while parts of the bare soil with high acidity received phosphorus and nitrogen derived from seabird activities.

These papers are examples to developing good practices for reducing soil and land degradation.

Information and contact

Ryusuke Hatano

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Page created: 22.10.2015 | Page updated: 04.04.2021

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