IUSS Alert 54 (October 2009)

Information for and from the global soil science community

19th WCSS - Papers must be submitted before 31st Oct

The 19th World Congress of Soil ScienceThe 19th World Congress of Soil Science will be held in Australia, 1-6 August 2010 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The conference theme 'Soil Solutions for a Changing World' provides a tremendous opportunity for a broad range of presentations. Papers must be submitted by 31 October 2009 to be considered. Registration for the 19th World Congress of Soil Science is open  www.19wcss.org.au 

Contributions to the next IUSS Bulletin

All contributions for the next IUSS Bulletin must be received before the end of October (another deadline). Please send your conference reports, ideas and all other contributions.

New Pedometron

New PedometronIUSS The latest version of Pedometron has now been published on the IUSS and Pedometrics website. There is ample information on the last pedometrics meeting in Beijing, a report from the EGU in Vienna, the nine chapters of mathematical art, the Gods of soil, a pedometrics family tree, the agua salud project, soil bibliometrics pedomathemagica, profiles from Zhou Shi and John Crawford and a book review. Plenty to read and fun too!


1 km soil moisture for Southern African and Australia

European Space Agency's (ESA)The regularly updated soil moisture dataset with 1 km spatial resolution is available for free for Southern African Development Community (SADC) SADC and Australia. The dataset has been generated within the framework of the European Space Agency's (ESA) DUE Tiger project SHARE and is a result of the cooperation between Vienna Technical University and University of Kwazulu Natal. The soil moisture products are based on the newest radar satellite technology (ENVISAT's Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) and Metop's Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) sensors).The synergistic use of both systems allows frequent, medium resolution monitoring of regional soil moisture dynamics. The regular bulletin on soil moisture datasets can be downloaded at www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/radar/share/index.php?go=bulletin


Conferences and meetings

Conferences and meetingsSoil, Crop Production, Horticulture, and Weed Sciences Combined Congress - 18-21 January 2010, Bloemfontein, South Africa.  This conference will focus on the advances in UV HoofgebouSoil Science, Crop Production, Horticulture, and Weed Science, specifically in the semi-arid Southern Africa region.  The annual Combined Congress is presented under the auspices of the Southern African Society for Horticultural Sciences, the Southern African Weed Science Society, the South African Society of Crop Production, and the Soil Science Society of South Africa.  Mid-congress tours will highlight maize production and value addition in this semi-arid environment, with a rainfall of 550 mm per year or a visit to a commercial rose-growing enterprise.  More information is available at: www.combinedcongress.org.za

International Conference on Balanced Nutrient Management for Tropical AgricultureInternational Conference on Balanced Nutrient Management for Tropical Agriculture, Pahang, Malaysia 12 - 16th April 2010. Balanced plant nutrition is an integrated approach to meet the nutritional needs of the crop throughout its life cycle. In the current scenario of high inputmsss costs for agriculture production, issues on methods of achieving balance between the nutrient requirements of plants and the nutrients reserves in soils for maintaining high yields and soil fertility, preventing environmental contamination and degradation and sustaining agricultural production over the long term will have to be discussed. Thus this conference will be a platform for interested stakeholders to present their latest R&D findings, innovations and ideas on issues on balanced nutrients for tropical agriculture. This agenda will encompass issues on sustainable nutrient management for crop production, environmental management and socio-economic issues. The deadline for Abstracts submission is 31st October. For submission and more information, see www.msss.com.my

Couple of New Publications

Towards a Soil Information System with quantified accuracyTowards a Soil Information System with quantified accuracy. Three approaches for stochastic simulation of soil maps. D.J. Brus & G.B.M. Heuvelink, WOT Natuur & Milieu. ISBN: ISSN 1871-028X.  Soil maps are usually constructed such that these provide the best estimate of the spatial distribution of the soil. However, the estimates contained in the soil map are typically based on limited knowledge and limited information. To acknowledge that soil maps are not free of errors, the uncertainty in the estimates may be represented with probability distributions. This report uses (geo)statistical methods to derive maps of soil type and soil properties from soil observations and explanatory information. A principal property of these methods is that these do not only produce a map but also quantify the associated uncertainty. Also, rather than storing maps, the new prototype Soil Information System stores geostatistical models and their input data, such that a map can be made upon request with the latest information available. Quantified uncertainty is needed, among others, to analyze how uncertainty propagates through process models that use soil maps as input. Methods are illustrated with examples from the Netherlands. Freely downloadable here:  http://library.wur.nl/way/bestanden/clc/1866662.pdf

NNitrogen Fixation in Crop Productionitrogen Fixation in Crop Production, by David W. Emerich and Hari B. Krishnan (Eds). Hardcover, 422 pages, 2009; ASA, CSSA, SSSA. Agron. Monogr. 52. ISBN: 978-0-89118-170-5. The only book of its kind to present the science, application, and politics of the use of nitrogen-fixing crop plants across the globe in various environments, Nitrogen Fixation in Crop Production is a problem-solving look forward to the next Green Revolution. Nitrogen fixation can help provide a growing population with a nutritious, environmentally friendly, sustainable food supply. From new "omics" approaches to the role of nitrogen fixation in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, from farming strategies in nonindustrialized nations to nitrogen fixation in the global economy, scientists will find the key issues and expanding research areas, and how they contribute to the next wave of advancements related to agriculture and the environment.

The Role of Fertilizer in Integrated Plant Nutrient ManagementThe Role of Fertilizer in Integrated Plant Nutrient Management, by Mark Alley and Bernard Vanlauwe, IFA Paris, 2009. This booklet is written for farmers, students, researchers, extension personnel, agribusiness representatives and policy makers to provide an overview of the concepts of Integrated Plant Nutrient Management (IPNM) and Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). Integrated Plant Nutrient Management focuses on efficiently utilizing all available sources of essential nutrients for crops. Integrated Soil Fertility Management provides a framework for managing soil fertility to sustain and improving soil quality and production capacity. The combination of these concepts provides a holistic view of providing plant nutrients and maintaining and/or enhancing soil productivity. Specific aspects of IPNM and ISFM are discussed, as well as the use of nutrient budgets for assessing nutrient use on a farm, watershed, regional or national basis. It is hoped that this booklet will lead to more efficient use of plant nutrients for increasing food production and sustaining and increasing soil productivity in an environmentally sensitive manner. You can download it at: www.fertilizer.org or order hardcopies from the IFA Secretariat sending an e-mail to

 Soil: Earth's living skin (Dossiers d'Agropolis International n-8)Soil: Earth's living skin (Dossiers d'Agropolis International n-8), by Benoit Jaillard (INRA) and Roland Poss (IRD), 52 pp. 2009 (in French and English). The main objective of this 'dossier' is to provide a better understanding and a better knowledge of the competence and of the potential of the several hundreds of scientists involved in soil research and teaching located in southern France, a major European hub of activities in soil science. It also aims at facilitating the contacts for the development of scientific and technical exchanges and cooperations. This 'dossier' was certified by the French committee of the International Year of Planet Earth. Table of content:  Soils produce food and clothing for people; Soils regulate inland water flow; Soils regulate biogeochemical nutrient and pollutant cycling; Soils are living environments that harbour multifunctional organisms; Soils maintain an evolutionary record of ecosystems and humankind. Download this brochure here: www.agropolis.org/pdf/Dossiers-Sols-Eng-52p.pdf Contact: Nathalie Villem-jeanne, Agropolis International 

Contaminant GeochemistryContaminant Geochemistry by Brian Berkowitz: Book CoverContaminant Geochemistry: Interactions and Transport in the Subsurface Environment. Brian Berkowitz, Ishai Dror & Bruno Yaron, Springer 2008 ISBN: 978-3-540-74381-1. This book combines soil science, subsurface hydrology and environmental geochemistry, providing a comprehensive background for specialists interested in the protection and sustainable management of the subsurface environment in soils vadose zone, and ground water. Initially the reader is introduced to the characterization of subsurface environment, to selected geochemical processes, and the chemistry of selected contaminants in the soil and subsurface. The major focus of the book is on contaminant partitioning and reactions in porous media solid phases, soil solutions, and groundwater, accounting for their persistence and transformation in the subsurface, as they are transported from the land surface into groundwater. Case studies discussions are provided for each part of the book illustrating many of the subjects presented.

Frontiers in Soil Science Research: Report of a WorkshopFrontiers in Soil Science Research: Report of a Workshop, by the Steering Committee for Frontiers in Soil Science Research, National Research Council.  Paperback, 80 pages, 2009; National Academies Press.  ISBN: 978-0-309-13891-8.    Interest in soil science has been renewed with the recognition that biogeochemical processes occurring at the Earth's surface influence global climate change, land degradation and remediation, soil and water conservation and quality, food sufficiency and safety, and many other issues pertinent to the stewardship of land and water resources. Addressing these challenges will require advances in soil science research that need to be communicated to all stakeholders. In December 2005, the National Academies convened the Frontiers in Soil Science Research Workshop, summarized in this volume, to identify emerging research areas by addressing the interaction of soil science subdisciplines, collaborative research with other disciplines, and the use of new technologies in research.



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