Update: 27.05.2018

Soil carbon is the largest terrestrial pool of carbon.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

IUSS Alert 95 (May 2013)


Newsletter Commission Soil Morphology and Micromorphology

The April-2013 Newsletter of Commission 1.1 contains the obituary for Nicolas Fédoroff, a French/Russian great soil scientist and micromorphologist, Kubiëna medal 2010, who passed away last February. It was prepared by Irina Kovda and Maria Gerasimova. It also announces the decision about the Kubiëna Medal 2014, that will be awarded to Rienk Miedema and will be presented at the International Soil Congress in Korea next year. Several courses and meetings (Micromorphology Archaeological Workshops, Geoarchaeology Conference, Soils and Space and Time – Divisional Conference) are also announced, together with several publications and research notes. Information about the state-of-art of the ongoing publications of selected papers of the last Soil Micromorphology Meeting, in the Spanish Journal of Soil Science and in Quaternary International is provided. The last page gives a link to a fragment of a Disney movie that shows the usefulness of soil micromorphology. See www.iuss.org under IUSS Newsletters


Vacancy: IUSS Treasurer 2014

The IUSS seeks a new treasurer per 2014. The treasurer (i) provide the IUSS President’s Committee with audited accounts (ii) undertake efficiently and promptly all IUSS President’s and Executive Committee Business, liaises with the Chair or the Budget and Finance Committee on budgetary details and financial matters, and (iv) undertakes miscellaneous items regarding investments. A full description of the Treasurer’s activity is here. The IUSS is looking for a candidate with outstanding financial skills, and who combines prompt service and the capability for setting a vision of the IUSS finances. Your application letter should contain a short CV and be sent to the IUSS Secretary General (   hartemink@wisc.edu). Closing date: 15th May 2013


IUSS Conference and Meetings

3-6 June 2013.  IUSS Global Soil C Conference. Madison, USA.  http://iuss-c-conference.org

4-6 September 2013. IUSS Commission 3.6 conference Utilization and protection of halophytes and salt-affected landscapes. Kecskemét, Hungary  http://members.iif.hu/tot3700/salinityconferencehungary2013.html

30 September-5 October 2013. Soils in Space and Time. IUSS Division 1 conference. Ulm, Germany.  https://iuss-division1.uni-hohenheim.de

7-9 October 2013. IUSS Digital Soil Mapping Working Group GlobalSoilMap meeting. Orleans, France  https://colloque.inra.fr/globalsoilmap2013

26-28 March, 2014. Soil Change Matters. Combined meeting of the IUSS Working Groups on Soil Change, Soil Monitoring, and Proximal Soil Sensing. Bendigo, Australia. Further information contact:   Richard.MacEwan@dpi.vic.gov.au


New Publications

Pedodiversity, by J.J. Ibáñez & J.G. Bockheim (Eds). 2013, CRC Press. 256 Pages. ISBN 9781466 582774. Soil diversity (pedodiversity) is part of our natural and cultural heritage. The preservation of the pedosphere is essential for the protection of the biosphere and the Earth’s systems, the regulation of climate, and for world food security. In this book, reputed international experts discuss the state of the art of pedodiversity analysis—analyzing the relationships among biodiversity, pedodiversity, landform diversity, lithodiversity, and land use diversity. The first of its kind, the book is intended to be a combined handbook, historical account of pedodiversity research, and essay on its future challenges. Contents: Pedodiversity: State of the Art and Future Challenges; Measuring Diversity of Environmental Systems; Nonlinear Dynamics, Divergent Evolution and Pedodiversity; Fractals and Multifractals in Pedodiversity and Biodiversity Analyses; Pedodiversity and Landscape Ecology; Pedodiversity and Landforms; Repercussion of Anthropogenic Landscape Changes on Pedodiversity and Preservation of the Pedological Heritage; Soil Endemism and its Importance to Taxonomic Pedodiversity; Pedodiversity Studies in China.

Waldböden (Forest Soils, in German). By E Leitgeb, R Reiter, M Englisch, P Lüscher, P Schad, KH Feger. 2013, Wiley-VCH, ISBN 978-3-527- 32713-3. 387 pages, price 59 Euros. The most important soil types of Central European forests are presented with 67 examples. For every example, profile, topsoil and forest pictures are shown, a detailed field description is given, and laboratory data for over 40 soil characteristics are presented for each horizon. Every example soil is classified according to the Austrian and the German system and according to the international system WRB. The book is suitable for teaching, learning and for obtaining practical information. Recommendations for forest use are given for every example. The introductory chapters explain laboratory methods, forest ecology and soil genesis.

Sustainable Soil Management. Deirdre Rooney (Ed.). Apple Academic Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-926895-21-5. Hardcover, 246 pages. Price $99.95. Changing land-use practices and the role of soil biological diversity has been a major focus of soil science research over the past couple of decades—a trend that is likely to continue. The information presented in this book points to a holistic approach to soil management. The first part looks at the land use effects on soil carbon storage, and considers a range of factors including carbon sequestration in soils. The second part of the book presents research investigating the interactions between soil properties, plant species, and the soil biota.

Dune Worlds: How Windblown Sand Shapes Planetary Landscapes. Series: Springer Praxis Books. Subseries: Geophysical Sciences. By Lorenz, Ralph D. & Zimbelman, James. Jointly published by Praxis Publishing, UK and Springer, 2013. ISBN: 978-3-540-89724-8. Hardcover, 300 pages. Price $129.00. This book describes how sand dunes work, why they are the way they are in different settings, and how they are being studied. Particular attention is paid to their formation and appearance elsewhere in the solar system. New developments in knowledge about dunes make for an interesting story – like the dunes themselves, dune science is dynamic – and the visual appeal of Aeolian geomorphology ensures that this is an attractive volume.

Ecosystem Services and Carbon Sequestration in the Biosphere. Lal, R., Lorenz, K., Hüttl, R.F., Schneider, B.U. & von Braun, J. (Eds.). Springer, 2013. ISBN: 978-94-007-6454-5. Hardcover, 495 pages. Price $209.00. This book describes comprehensively potential, co-benefits and drawbacks of carbon (C) sequestration for ecosystem services. Soil generates numerous ecosystem services for human wellbeing and ecological functions. The services discussed include provisional (feed, food, timber, biofuel), regulating (carbon sequestration, pests, diseases), cultural, and supporting (soil formation, nutrient cycling) services. Recarbonization of the biosphere is a potential strategy to redistribute C among global pools, and to enhance ocean but most importantly land-based C sinks with possible feedback on soil-based ecosystem services. Land use and soil management can degrade soil quality, and either reduce quantity and quality of ecosystem services or lead to disservices and create large ecological footprint. Thus, trade-offs between carbon sequestration and ecosystem services must be considered when incentivizing land managers through payments for ecosystem services. Together with sustainable management of land-based C sinks for climate change adaptation and mitigation this will minimize the risks of recarbonization of the biosphere for ecological functions and human wellbeing.