International Union of Soil Sciences

IUSS Alert 78 (December 2011) 


New IUSS Bulletin

A new IUSS Bulletin is now available on the IUSS Website. In this bulletin a report of the IUSS Executive Committee meeting from October 2011, an article on N. Sibirtsev, Five questions to Lucia Anjos and Jock Churchman and obituaries of Wilford Gardner, Arieh Singer and Keith Syers. And as usual, a list of New Publications and a report of a meeting in the Philippines. The IUSS Bulletin is freely available on

Spanish Journal of Soil Science now out

The Spanish Journal of Soil Science is an international, peer-reviewed journal, lauched by the Spanish Society of Soil Science and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. It is published quarterly by Universia, mainly in English, but Spanish and Portuguese manuscripts are also accepted. It is an open-access journal published under a Creative Commons license and free of charge for authors. The journal publishes original research papers of high scientific quality on all fields of soil science and related areas. The first issue of SJSS can already be accessed at: Editor-In-Chief: Prof. Rosa M Poch.

Soil science teaching principles

From a recent article in Geoderma: The teaching of Soil Science requires principles that reflect the nature of soil and the practices of soil scientists. Because no discipline-specific teaching principles could be found for Soil Science in the literature, an iterative approach was used to develop them, which involved input from students, academics, employers, graduates in the workplace, as well as published generic teaching principles. The synthesis of these perspectives was achieved via a series of cycles that first involved student feedback on Soil Science teaching from five Australian universities, combined with academic reflections on learning and teaching. The outcome of this activity was subject to perspectives provided by employers of soil scientists and practising soil scientists in the workplace. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of these sources and published generic teaching materials were blended into a set of 11 teaching principles of Soil Science that reflect the unique nature of soil and the outcomes required of graduates who have majored in Soil Science. Further info click here or contact Damien Field at

Conferences, Symposia, Meetings

The Soil Science Society of Nigeria in collaboration with the University of Nigeria Nsukka will host the 36th annual conference of the society from 12th – 16th March, 2012. The conference theme is Climate Change, Soil Management Alternatives and Sustainable Food Production. The Sub theme of the conference are: Inventory of Nigeria Soil Resources, Biological interaction in Soils and Food Security, Soil-water Management and Climate Change, Integrated Nutrient Management Alternatives, Socio-Economic Implication of Climate Change on Soil Resources Management. More than 300 Soil Scientists are expected to be in attendance to present and discuss more than 200 papers on the latest results and breakthroughs in soil research in Nigeria. The conference will also provide a forum for Nigeria Soil Scientists, interested stakeholders and policy makers to evaluate progress made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly Goal 1 (Poverty/Hunger alleviation) and Goal 7 (Environmental Protection), and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) sectoral priorities: Agriculture and the Environment. For more information please contact: Professor C.L.A. Asadu (Chairman LOC) Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. E-mail: Society’s website:

Soil Science Society of Pakistan – a representative of professional and experts working in soil science and allied disciplines, is holding 14th Congress of Soil Science, as its ritual, during 12-15 March 2012 with the theme “Soil Science: Service to Mankind and Environment”. The Executive Council of the Society feels great pleasure to invite you to this important scientific and social event to be held in Lahore; known as heart of Pakistan and rich in cultural and heritage. Organizing biennial Congresses of Soil Science is a major activity of the Society and so far, the Society has successfully organized 13 Congresses, since 1985.\congress\congress.htm

Remote Sensing and Soils -  European Geoscience Union General Assembly, to be held in Vienna, Austria,  on 22-27 April, 2012. Within the field of Soil Science, Remote Sensing has a wide range of applications at various scales. In this session we will focus on soil mapping and soil property prediction beyond the plot scale. Research has shown that remote sensing provides data (1) supporting the segmentation of the landscape into rather homogeneous soil-landscape units whose soil composition can be determined by sampling or that can serve as a source of secondary information, (2) allowing measurement or prediction of soil properties by means of physically-based and empirical methods, and (3) supporting spatial interpolation of sparsely sampled soil property data as a primary or secondary data source. However, so far most methods for spectral and spatial prediction of soil properties have only proven to work under laboratory conditions or on plot scale. The next step would be to see how these methods can be extended to larger extents. This will require integration of different products and methods. The ability to apply remote sensing methods and improve coherence in soil and terrain mapping at various scales, is expected to be of great benefit to the soil science community. Therefore, in this session we aim to bring together scientists working on state of the art research related to using the full range of remote sensing techniques available for soil science. Within the Soil System Sciences programme group we will communicate recent advances in this field to the soil science community. Any questions about the session can be directed to the conveners:


New Publications

Handbuch des Bodenschutzes – Bodenökologie und Bodenbelastung, Vorbeugende und abwehrende Schutzmaßnahmen. Edited by Hans-Peter Blume, Rainer Horn and Sören Thiele-Bruhn. Wiley-VCH, Hardcover, 757p., 2011, ISBN 978-3-527-32297-8.This book has long been and still is a standard reference dealing with all aspects of soil use and soil protection. The fourth completely revised edition is subdivided into five sections. The first section deals with natural soil properties and functions in the light of soil conservation and protection for sustaining future society needs. In section two the various types of stresses imposed on soils and their impacts are discussed beginning with physical threats like sealing, compaction, erosion, irrigation and drainage followed by chemical aspects related to fertilization and contamination and finally problems particularly associated with urbanization (waste deposits, gas contamination, modification of soil temperature). A brief chapter at the end of this section specifically treats effects of global warming on soils. Section three introduces the use of soil inventories (geographical information systems, thematic maps, etc.) as a basis for soil protection and to develop sustainable site specific management systems. Protection strategies encountering the various soil threats through technical solutions, laws and regulations are focused on in section four. Particularly the German Federal Soil Protection Act but also regulations and guidelines applied in Switzerland, Austria and on the European level are outlined. Tools for thorough planning to ensure sustainable soil use and to prevent irreversible negative impacts are explained in detail specifically for each soil threat. Finally, the fifths and last section discusses possibilities to restore natural soil functions by recultivation, remediation, and renaturation of sealed, degraded, contaminated and drained soils. This book is a very comprehensive reference on virtually any soil protection aspect and highly recommended not only for soil scientists but every professional and non professional involved with soils in one or the other way.

World Soil Resources and Food Security Edited by Rattan Lal, B.A. Stewart.Published September 13th 2011 by CRC Press – 574 pages. Series: Advances in Soil Science. ISBN-13: 978-1439844502. World Soil Resources and Food Security takes an in-depth look at the availability and status of soil resources in the context of the growing demands of an increasing world population and rising expectations of living standards. This timely reference presents current information on the soil resources available for food production. Presenting innovative strategies for soil and water management, it discusses how to maintain or improve the world’s soil resources in order to increase food production. With the majority of the world’s 1.02 billion food-insecure people concentrated in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, several chapters focus on soil resources in these regions.Contributions from renowned scientists deal with topics including:global food situations, world soil resources, soil resources of humid Asia and their acidification, soil resources of South Asia, properties and management of vertisols, use of radioisotopic techniques in soil management, the potential of rain-fed agriculture in the semiarid tropics, the status of land degradation, and nutrient balance in sub-Saharan Africa.This volume is a useful resource for those interested in the state of the soils of the world in relation to food security and environmental quality.

Best Management Practices for Saline and Sodic Turfgrass Soils Assessment and Reclamation. By Robert N. Carrow, Ronny R. Duncan. Published September 12th 2011 by CRC Press – 480 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1439814741. A comprehensive, science-based approach to understanding the various salinity stresses on turfgrass, landscape plants, and soils, this book covers the causes, problems, and characteristics of saline and sodic sites. It discusses site assessments for each type of salinity stress, including laboratory and field methods, and soil and water quality report interpretations. Presenting options for the development and implementation of best management practice (BMPs), it considers whole ecosystem site assessment for environmental issues such as soil quality/sustainability, salt disposal, and potential to affect surface and ground waters.

Handbook of Molecular Microbial Ecology II: Metagenomics in Different Habitats, By Frans J. de Bruijn. ISBN: 978-0-470-64719-6. Hardcover. 640 pages. September 2011, Wiley-Blackwell. Other Available Formats: E-Book. The Handbook of Molecular Microbial Ecology is the first comprehensive two-volume reference to cover unculturable microorganisms in a large variety of habitats, which could not previously have been analyzed without metagenomic methodology. It features review articles as well as a large number of case studies, based largely on original publications and written by international experts. This second volume, Metagenomics in Different Habitats, covers such topics as: viral genomes, metagenomics studies in a variety of habitats (including marine environments and lakes, soil, and human and animal digestive tracts, other habitats, including those involving microbiome diversity in human saliva and functional intestinal metagenomics; diversity of archaea in terrestrial hot springs; and microbial communities living at the surface of building stones), biodegradation, biocatalysts and natural products. A special feature of this book is the highlighting of the databases and computer programs used in each study; they are listed along with their sites in order to facilitate the computer-assisted analysis of the vast amount of data generated by metagenomic studies. Such studies in a variety of habitats are described here, which present a large number of different system-dependent approaches in greatly differing habitats.

Handbook of Soil Sciences Resource Management and Environmental Impacts, Second Edition Edited by Pan Ming Huang, Yuncong Li, Malcolm E. Sumner. CRC Press, 2011. 830 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1439803073. Handbook of Soil Sciences: Resource Management and Environmental Impacts, Second Edition is the second of two volumes that form a comprehensive reference on the discipline of soil science. Completely revised and updated to reflect the current state of knowledge, this volume covers interfacial interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological regimes within the soil; the factors that control the availability of plant nutrients and microelements; interdisciplinary aspects of soil science, including salinity, sodicity, and soil erosion; and soil databases for assessing worldwide soil resources. Critical elements addressed in each section include: descriptions of concepts and theories, definitions, approaches, methodologies, procedures, data in tabular and figure format, and extensive references.

Handy Dictionary of Soil Science English-Polish & Polish-English. Charzynski P, Switoniak M. 2011. Nicolaus Copernicus University Press, Torun. ISBN 978-83-231-2690-4. This dictionary is intended to appeal to a wide audience, not only to scientists working in the field of soil science and related disciplines, but also to students of environmental and agriculture sciences. A rapid increase in knowledge has brought many new terms and concepts to soil science International cooperation and exchange of scientific ideas require precise and unambiguous communication in English. The authors have devoted themselves to compiling as complete a set of terms and phrases as possible, which complemented the professional language as a result of soil science development within over 30 years from the date of the previous similar dictionary in Polish. For details:


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