Update: 27.05.2018

Five tonnes of animal life can live in one hectare of soil.

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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 136 (October 2016)


Request for Contributions to the next IUSS Bulletin

The IUSS Secretariat kindly invites all IUSS members to submit their contributions to the next IUSS Bulletin (to be published in December) at their earliest convenience, but no later than 15 November 2015. The Secretariat would welcome conference/meeting reports and any other information on activities initiated within the framework of the International Decade of Soils; answers to the “Five Questions to a Soil Scientist” (for ideas and the list of questions go to the IUSS website), your three favourite soil science books and any other information you would like to share with the international soil science community. Please make sure to send high-resolution photos only.

Read more: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=308 or http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=433

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IUSS at EGU 2017

At the EGU General Assembly in Vienna from April 23-28, 2017, the IUSS will again have a booth at the venue. A medium-sized booth at the main level was reserved which will be shared with the Brazilian, British and Italian Soil Science Society. This offers the opportunity to present the IUSS to approx. 12,000 geoscientists from all over the world. The Secretariat will support the presentation of the IUSS at the venue.

Furthermore, together with other organisations dealing with soil, IUSS is organising the session ‘The contribution of the Soil Science Societies to scientific knowledge, education and sustainability’ in the programme ‘SSS1 – History, Education and Society of Soil Science, Taxonomy’ of the Division SSS – Soil System Sciences. Contributions demonstrating good examples of capacity building, soil awareness and knowledge transfer to different target groups are welcome.
In particular contributions that show new educational approaches, cooperation with other disciplines and efforts to improve sustainability are of interest. The call for abstracts is open until 11 January 2017.

Read more: http://egu2017.eu/home.html

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Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand (1927-2016)

It is with enormous sadness that we hear of the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In addition to his outstanding leadership of Thailand, he was globally recognised as a leader in the promotion of sustainable soil management.
Following the World Congress of Soil Science held in Bangkok in 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences proposed, in recognition of the outstanding leadership provided by King Bhumibol in promoting practices of sustainable soil management to ensure Food Security, the international celebration of World Soil Day on December 5th, His Majesty’s birthday. It was through King Bhumibol’s enthusiastic encouragement that the United Nations formally adopted December 5th as World Soil Day and furthermore pronounced 2015 to be The International Year of Soils. Through his leadership soil scientists globally and in particular in South East Asia were provided with encouragement in the development of soil management strategies which are both sustainable and relevant to the farmers who use them. The passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is a great loss for Thailand, but also to Soil Science. The IUSS Secretariat has dispatched a letter of condolences to the Royal Family, the Land Development Department of Thailand and the Soil and Fertilizer Society of Thailand.

   

Bhumibol Adulyadej condolence letter

Download   bhumibol_web.pdf - 346 kB
   

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Survey on Global Soil Biodiversity Data

A survey on global soil biodiversity data to assess what data currently exist is conducted, as an initial step towards developing a global soil biodiversity database. The results will allow to identify key gaps in knowledge and issues for database development. Please participate by filling out the survey. Your contribution is much appreciated. This project is led by sDiv’s sWORM working group, the JRC and the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative.

Survey: https://globalsoilbiodiversity.typeform.com/to/GM9ETm

Contacts: erin.cameron@helsinki.fi and alberto.orgiazzi@jrc.ec.europa.eu

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Visual assessment of sulfate reduction to identify hydric soils

Wetlands are recognized as an important source of biodiversity, recreation, and ecosystem services. The protection and delineation of wetlands which encompass hydric soils, wetland hydrology, and hydrophytic vegetation, is not only ecologically important, but also mandated by federal law. Requirements for the identification of hydric soils mainly involve observable features generated as result of oxidation-reduction reactions. In a recent issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal, researchers demonstrated the observation of SO 4 2– reduction as black staining of FeS on Indicator of Reduction in Soil (IRIS) panels is a viable method for determining hydric soil status and ultimately performing wetland identification and delineations.

Read more: https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/story/2016/sep/mon/visual-assessment-of-sulfate-reduction-to-identify-hydric-soils

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The Soil Colors of the National Parks - 100 Years of Conservation & Soil Science

August 25th, 2016 marked the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service in the United States. In celebration of this historic event, we continue the efforts of others to drawn attention to the importance soil plays in the vitality of these parks. By showcasing the beautiful soil colors of the parks, we can better understand and appreciate the soils surrounding us. Soil color is not just an indicator of the makeup of the soil in a certain region, it can also help to indicate what the soil can be used for, whether it be for food production, maintaining, restoring or rebuilding ecosystems, conserving and promoting biodiversity, viability for water systems, classification of artefacts and more. Soil is the often overlooked “skin of the earth,” so let us “dig” deep and discover.

Read more: http://munsell.com/color-blog/soil-colors-national-parks-anniversary/

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Noted astronomer urges viewers to unlock the secrets in the soil

Dr. Laura Danly of California’s Griffith Observatory is helping USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service promote its “healthy soils” campaign. But why is an astronomer talking about soil, rather than the stars? “Studying Earth is just like studying the planets. Earth is a planet, and it’s the most amazing planet we know. It’s the only one we know that has life on it, so it’s a natural for me to want to talk about Earth and share some important messages with people about how we can make Earth healthier,” Danly says.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tJIkAjDjjo&index=6&list=PL4J8PxoprpGZ-uMTxScBBn9nYT6CMX8aD

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Ethiopia soil map arms farmers with new fertilizers in climate fight

A comprehensive digital map charting soil fertility in Ethiopia is proving an important tool in tackling the country’s low farm productivity, a challenge made more acute by climate change. The nationwide mapping effort was launched by the Ethiopian Soil Information System (EthioSIS) in 2012, and is due to be finished this year. The project in the Horn of Africa nation is already achieving results, with new fertilizer combinations boosting wheat yields from around 1 tonne to 3 tonnes per hectare on more than 40 percent of its agricultural land last year.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-climatechange-agriculture-idUSKCN11Z197

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Storing and filtering capacity in EU for cations, anions, solids …

ESDAC has published 2 new datasets. One dataset contains 4 maps related to predicting the preservation of cultural artefacts and buried materials in soils in the EU: Preservation capacity for ‘bones, teeth and shells’, ‘organic materials’, ‘metals (Cu, bronze and Fe)’ and ‘stratigraphic evidence’. The maps produced demonstrate how soil provides an extensive but variable preservation of buried objects.
Another dataset contains 10 maps that show the soil’s storing and filtering capacity in EU for cations, anions, solids and pathogenic microorganisms, non-polar organic chemicals and non-aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPL). Both datasets are available after registration.

Read more: http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/maps-related-predicting-preservation-cultural-artefacts-and-buried-materials-soils-eu-0
Read More: http://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/maps-storing-and-filtering-capacity-soils-europe

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IUSS publication Task Force: Soil Matters - Solutions Under Foot henceforth available from Schweizerbart Science Publishers

Since Catena has been taken over by Schweizerbart, Task Force: Soil Matters – Solutions Under Foot is now available from Schweizerbart Science Publishers. Also the next IUSS book which will deal with urban soils will be published by Schweizerbart, probably by the end of the year.

Read more: http://www.schweizerbart.de/publications/detail/isbn/9783510653928

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Conferences, Meetings and Workshops 2016

IUSS Inter-Congress Meeting 2016

November 20-25, 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Inter-Congress Meeting of the Council is held every 4 years at the venue of the upcoming World Congress of Soil Science 2 years before the Congress. The major purpose of this meeting is a business meeting of the Council. This time, the host country will propose a symposium to discuss and plan the WCSS theme: SOIL SCIENCE: Beyond Food and Fuel. Latest registration until November 15, 2016. Online registration is available.

Read more: http://www.21wcss.org/ic2016/index.php?lang=en_US

Launch of Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas in France

November 28, 2016, Paris, France. The French Academy of Agriculture and the European Commission symposium aims at launching this unprecedented Atlas. It will be an opportunity to present European and world initiatives on soil biodiversity and to illustrate advances in knowledge, study strategy and monitoring of soil microbes and fauna in a variety of environments by European and world experts, some of them having contributing to the Atlas.

Read more: http://www.academie-agriculture.fr/colloques/launch-france-global-soil-biodiversity-atlas

African Soil Seminar

November 28-30, 2016, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, Nairobi. Organized by Global Soil Week.

Read more: http://globalsoilweek.org/african-soil-seminar/save-the-date

Conferences, Meetings and Workshops 2017

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017

23–28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria. Abstract submission: 20 Oct 2016–11 Jan 2017

Conference website: http://www.egu2017.eu/

GlobalSoilMap 2017 International Conference

July 4-6, 2017, Moscow, Russia. The Conference theme is “Trends in Digital Soil Mapping development, and last achievements of DigitalSoilMap Project”. Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: December 31, 2016. Deadline for Early Bird Registration: April 15, 2017.

Read more: http://globalsoilmap2017.ru/en/Home/

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New publications

The soil organic matter: organic residues, humus, compost, & carbon sequestration (“La materia orgánica del suelo: Residuos orgánicos, humus, compostaje, captura de carbono”).

By Gallardo J.F. 2016. Prologue by G. Almendros. S.i.F.yQ.A., Salamanca (Spain). ISBN: 978-84-937437-7-2, 392 pages. This book is an attempt to approach the study of soil organic matter (SOM) using an easy-to-read language; it is addressed to people with some technical training in agricultural or environmental issues. Starting out with an introduction, the 12 chapters of the book describe different aspects of SOM from different perspectives; the final chapter (Epilogue) summarizes all chapters and establishes the final conclusions.

Read more: http://www.sifyqa.org.es/publicaciones.php

Soil Fertility Management in Agroecosystems

By Dick, W. A., S. W. Culman, A. Chatterjee, and D. Clay. 2016. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI. doi:10.2134/soilfertility.2014.0007. In Soil Fertility Management in Agroecosystems, Editors Amitava Chatterjee and David Clay provide a thoughtful survey of important concepts in soil fertility management and relevant recommendations. Topics covered include crop-specific nutrient management, program assessment, crop models for decision making, optimization of fertilizer use, cover crops, reducing nitrous oxide emissions, natural abundance techniques, tile-drained conditions, and soil biological fertility.

New Scientific Journal

Plant Production Science

is an Open Access journal that publishes original research reports on field crops and resource plants, their production and related subjects. It covers a wide range of sciences such as soil science, physiology, biotechnology, morphology, ecology, cropping system, production technology and post harvest management and more.
The journal is the official English journal of the Crop Science Society of Japan and has an impact factor of 0.612, ©2016 Thomson Reuters, 2016 Journal Citation Reports®.
You can view all the research published in Plant Production Science for free and also find out how you can submit a paper to the journal via the journal’s homepage on Taylor & Francis Online.

Read more: http://bit.ly/tandfonline-PPS

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