International Union of Soil Sciences

IUSS Alert 77 (November 2011) 

IUSS Inter Congress Meeting 3-8 June 2012

The Inter-Congress Meeting will take place on Jeju Island, Korea from 3-8 June 2012.  Full details together with registration forms will be available shortly. Please send items for discussion at the Business Meeting of Council. For more information see or contact the IUSS President Prof Jae yang at    The 20th World Congress of Soil Science will be held on Jeju Island, Korea from 8-13 June 2014.

IUSS on Facebook

The IUSS is moving into the new social media. Last year we have entered LinkedIn and now the IUSS is on Facebook thanks to Budiman Minasny, click here. There are several announcements and shared information. Join the IUSS on Facebook!

Driving Forces for Global Pedodiversity

The journal Geomorphology published a special issue Driving Forces for Global Pedodiversity edited by Pave Krasilnikov and Richard W. Arnold. The special issue is based on the papers presented at the international conference “Soil Geography: New Horizons” held in Huatulco Santa Cruz, Mexico, Nov. 16-20, 2009. The Geomorphology journal always paid desert attention to soil geomorphology. The papers devoted to soil-landforms interactions, karst phenomena, soil erosion and related issues are very common. However, only once more than 20 years ago a special issue of the journal on soil geomorphology has been published. It was Volume 3 (issues 3-4) that presented in 1990 the Proceedings of the 21st Annual Binghamton Symposium in Geomorphology. The issue edited by P.L.K. Knuepfer and L.D. McFadden opened with several review papers, including important contributions from Peter W. Birkeland and A. John Gerrard, the people who are considered to be the patriarchs of soil geomorphology. This special issue is somewhat different from the previous one. In 1990 the focus was on the core topics of soil geomorphology, mainly the slope processes. The present issue makes an attempt to include the development of a soil mosaic on the Earth’s surface in a broader context of various geomorphological processes.

IUSS President - Call for Nominations

At its Meeting held in August 2010 in Brisbane, the IUSS Council adopted new procedures for the election of the President of the Union. The key change that was made by Council at this meeting was to break the link between the role of the President of the Union and the organisation of the World Congress of Soil Science. The IUSS is now calling for nominations to the position of President. The person elected will take up the position as President-Elect in mid-2012, and will serve as a Senior Officer for a total  period of six years. Persons nominated should be internationally-recognised, leading soil scientists who possess and exhibit first-rate interpersonal and communication skills. Further details of the selection criteria to be used and the nominations procedure are on the IUSS web site   Nominations should be made by 17th January 2012.

Images of Crop Nutrient Deficiencies

The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has released an updated collection containing more than 400 images showing nutrient deficiency symptoms in plants. The photos were collected from research plots, farm fields, plantations, diagnostic labs, and other sources. Some came from an annual contest which IPNI conducts each year, where photos of documented deficiencies are submitted by crop advisers, researchers, extension workers, crop scouts, farmers, students, and others. The images are organized in groups including primary nutrients, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients. The image galleries and search results can be narrowed by available crop-type. Text and diagrammatic descriptions of nutrient deficiency are also available as supporting information. The IPNI Crop Nutrient Deficiency Image Collection is available either on a CD for USD 30.00 (thirty dollars) or on a USB Flash Drive for USD 40.00 (forty dollars). Both prices include shipping for a single item. Further info click here

Conferences, Symposia, Meetings

The IUSS Working Group on Digital Soil Mapping invites you to its Fifth Global Workshop that will be held at the  University of Sydney, Australia, 10-13 April 2012. Abstract Submission is now open, follow this link: Deadline for Abstract submission is 30 November 2011. Your Abstract will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee, and you will be notified in due time (by the end of December 2011) regarding its acceptance. Accepted abstract will be requested to develop into a full paper (maximum 6 pages) that must be submitted by 12 February 2012. The full paper will be refereed and will be published as a Conference Proceedings by CRC Press/Balkema. The papers will be indexed for citation purposes in major databases (e.g. ISI, EI, and others). Registered participants will receive the hardbound publication free. We are calling for exciting presentations that address the following topics:  Digital Soil Assessments - From DSM to soil functions and risk assessments in climate change, food security and soil carbon sequestration; Global Soil Mapping - Global advancements in digital soil mapping and; DSM Theory - Advances in spatiotemporal modelling, Multiscale spatial modelling, and more; Soil Observations - From legacy soil data to new technologies for gathering new soil data;  Soil Covariates - Novel and creative covariates for DSM; Soil Sampling & Monitoring – Sampling in space and time and the 4th dimension of DSM; Soil Information Modelling, Production & Cyber Infrastructure – Delivering the products. The program starts off with a field trip to the Hunter Valley on the 10th April 2012 highlighting the application of DSM techniques for producing digital terroirs. The Workshop highlights the latest research and technologies in digital soil mapping and assessment and with some focus on Global soil mapping methodologies. Social activities are being planned, including BBQ, Gala Dinner and a Post conference field trip.We also welcome proposals for pre-conference activities, the activities can be for 1 to 3 days and should be related to digital soil mapping.

Soils in Space in Time - First Divisional 1 Conference of IUSS, to be held at Ulm/Danube, Germany. September 30th – October 4th 2013. Lecture Building of the University of Ulm. Contact: Karl Stahr ( ) Chairman Division 1. Under the name of the Division we will have a first divisional conference of Division I including Soil Mineralogy, Com. 2.4. It is planned that all commissions Soil Morphology including Micro Morphology, Soil Genesis, Soil Cartography, Soil Classification, Pedometrics and Paleopedology will take part with Symposia and Cross Commission Symposia. There will be also Working Groups, especially Working Groups on WRB and Universal Soil Classification to take part in this event. There will be for days of lecturing and on the 3rd October there will be a special event downtown Ulm because of the German National Holiday. Small excursions on carbon sequestration to the Danube Fens and Paleopedological Excursion are planned before and after the conference. Everybody may propose themes for Symposia and for Workshops and Site events during the conference until February 2012. Then the 1st Circular will appear.

Symposium on “Soil Science Through History” at the European Geosciences Union meeting. A symposium devoted to the theme “Soil Science Through History” will be held at the 2012 European Geosciences meeting in Vienna, Austria from April 22-27. The symposium is open to all aspects of soil science history, including the history of soil science in various countries, the history of soil science societies, major ideas and advances in soil science, important international exchanges through history, and historical soil scientists. Abstracts can be submitted by going to  and clicking on the “Abstract Management” link. This session is found under the “General Soil Science” heading, session SSS1.2. Any questions about the session can be directed to the conveners:  Eric Brevik at

VI Congress of  the Dokuchaev Soil Science Society. Petrozavodsk, 13-17 August 2012The congress will be held at the Institute of Forests and the Institute of Biology Karelian Research Center of Russian Academy of Sciences. Congress program includes plenary sessions, symposia, sessions of commissions, subcommissions, working groups, scientific field trips. The themes of Symposia are: 1. The soils in the biosphere and human life. 2. Soil and biogeochemical cycles of elements. 3. Biotic-abiotic soil system: the interaction of biotic and abiotic components. 4. Modeling in soil science: impact, challenges and prospects.5. Soil formation, soil and ecological processes in extreme environmental conditions. 6. Information Resources in Soil and their use in certification, standardization, evaluation and monitoring of land. 7. Ecological-agrochemical evaluation of the dynamics of changes in soil fertility. 8. Soils and modern farming systems. 9. Anthropogenically transformed soils and soil covers: the structure, function, genesis  and evolution. Before and after the congress the scientific field trips will be held. For more information email


New Publications

Soil Genesis and Classification, 6th Edition. Stanley W. Buol, R.J. Southard, R.C. Graham, P.A. McDaniel. ISBN: 978-0-8138-0769-0. Hardcover. 560 pages. Wiley-Blackwell. Soil Genesis and Classification, Sixth Edition, builds on the success of the previous editions to present an unparalleled resource on soil formation and classification. Featuring a color plate section containing multiple soil profiles, this text also includes information on new classification systems and emerging technologies and databases with updated references throughout. Covering the diverse needs of both the academic and professional communities, this classic text will be a must have reference for all those in soil science and related fields.

Soil and Environmental Chemistry. By William F. Bleam. 496 pages. Elsevier. 2012. USD 89.95, Hardcover. Soil and Environmental Chemistry emphasizes the problem solving skills students will need when they enter their chosen field. Combining valuable soil chemistry concepts into the "big picture" by discussing how other soil and environmental factors affect the soil chemical concepts being discussed makes the text relevant to today's soil science curriculums. Use of computer modeling for water and soil chemistry provides students with the models used by practicing environmental chemists. Examples and complex problems with worked solutions included throughout the text. Examples based on real data provide exposure to the real problems and data students will face in their careers.

Soil Carbon in Sensitive European Ecosystems: From Science to Land Management. Robert Jandl, Mirco Rodeghiero, Mats Olsson (Editors). ISBN: 978-1-1199-7001-9. Hardcover. 296 pages. January 2012. Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Dynamics in European Ecosystems is a comprehensive overview of the latest research in this field drawn together by a network of scientists, currently working for the European research programme, COST Action 639 BurnOut(; 2006-2010). COST Action 639 emerged from a demand from policy makers in Europe for more detailed information on soil carbon dynamics. The cooperation between experts for reporting and experts for soil dynamics is the focus of the book. This book seeks to provide an up-to-date account on the state-of-the-art research within this topical field. This book focuses primarily on ecosystems and their soil carbon stocks. The book identifies three key sensitive ecosystems within Europe: Mediterranean Forest and Agricultural Systems; Mountains; and Peatland.

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics. Thomas J. Sauer, John Norman, Mannava V. K. Sivakumar (Editors). ISBN: 978-0-470-95857-5. Hardcover. 264 pages. 2011. Sustaning Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change is a two-part text bringing together the latest research in soil science and climatology and the ethical, political and social issues surrounding the stewardship of this vital resource. Chapters include scientific studies on microbial function, maintaining fertility, and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ethical issues ranging from allocation of land use to policies needed for conservation. Based on topics presented by speakers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's conference, this text is internationally contributed to by experts in the field.

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