IUSS Alert 163 (January 2019)
Memories of 21WCSS
The Brazilian pedology team led by Professor Carlos Schaefer, from UFV, prepared a beautiful video with highlights of the unforgettable post-congress Excursion 9, which was part of the program of the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (21WCSS). The excursion covered about 1,450 km, beginning with the tectonic depression of Rio de Janeiro, passing through the mountainous highlands of Itatiaia (2700 meters), reaching the largest area of iron mining worldwide, the so-called Ironstone Quadrangle (Quadrilátero ferrífero). After intense observations and discussions on benchmark soils, the field trip ended in EMBRAPA Research Station of Maize and Sorghum, in Sete Lagoas, where the participants had the opportunity to see how deep weathered Latosols are now cultivated using high technology, allowing high productivity. The last part was a visit to the gorgeous limestone cave “Rei do Mato”, which shows remarkable Karst features. During the trip, Latosols developed from deep saprolites of shales, gneisses, limestones and itabirite were studied, across the dissected Brazilian highlands and the Brazilian Plateau, in the States of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.
We thank all participants from 21 different countries, and the excellent work by Professor Schaefer and his team to enable that fantastic journey along the rolling highlands of Brazil.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QejEGFGRJ_s&feature=youtu.be
SSSA seeking input into survey
The Soil Science Society of America wants your input. SSSA is interested in learning what they can do to better serve soil scientists and the soil science profession and are conducting a brief survey about meetings, membership, and SSSA. They are seeking input from SSSA non-members via an online survey and all answers will be kept completely confidential by their research company and only used in tabulation with others. As a thank you, survey participants can enter into a drawing to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by Friday, February 8. Thank you!
Access the survey: https://www.soils.org/2019-survey
2019 Japan Prize Winner is Pioneer in No-Till Agriculture and Soil Carbon Sequestration
The Japan Prize is awarded annually to scientists and engineers from around the world who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology, thereby furthering the cause of peace and prosperity of mankind.
Rattan Lal, IUSS Past President and Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. is being honoured for his work in identifying technological options adapted to various ecosystems through his intensive basic and applied research on processes and factors of soil degradation caused by inappropriate biological production, as well as in evaluating recommended agricultural practices which reduce risks of soil degradation and of anthropogenic climate change while improving the environmental quality and addressing the critical issues of feeding the earth’s population, which is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050.
The Japan Prize recognizes original and outstanding achievements in science and technology and the winners receive cash award of 50 million Japanese yen (approximately $450,000 USD), a medal and certificate to recognize their achievements.
Read more: http://www.japanprize.jp/en/
Lawrence Paul Wilding (1934-2019)
An inspiration to family, friends and colleagues throughout the world, Lawrence “Larry” Paul Wilding passed away on January 12, 2019 after an unexpected brain aneurysm while surrounded by the family he loved, served, and led.
His career focused on pedology with over forty years of teaching and research experience in near-surface Earth processes. In 1976, he joined the Soil and Crop Science department at Texas A&M University, where he worked until his retirement in 2003, after which he was bestowed the title of Professor Emeritus. While with Texas A&M Larry spent time around the world serving for several summers in Africa, traveling and speaking in China, and serving and leading national and international soil science societies. More specifically, he served as president of SSSA, member of several NRC/NAS Committees, and as co-chair of the 18th World Congress of Soil Science during which amazing friendships developed. Larry was extremely active in IUSS. He was a member of the committee which developed the structure for IUSS and was an Honorary Member. He received numerous other honors and awards. His rich career included innumerable awards and writings in journals and books. He was known as a leader in the field of Pedology.
In the last few years, the Wildings established a scholarship to demonstrate the importance of international experiences by providing international travel scholarships to full-time students pursuing a degree in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Donations to the Larry and Gladys Wilding International Student Travel Scholarship (#35065) can be made at: https://www.txamfoundation.com/give.aspx
Larry was a well renowned soil scientist, loving family man, serving husband, and great teacher to all. He walked this earth with incredible generosity and love for others. He will be deeply missed.
[From the obituary on https://www.hillierfuneralhome.com/tributes/Lawrence-Wilding amended by Donald Sparks, Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Marine Science and Policy Director, Delaware Environmental Institute]
Funding opportunities in the framework of COST Action SAGA
This is a new international network project supported by COST Association that brings together archaeologists, geophysicists, soil scientists and other experts. SAGA will focus efforts to keep moving forward on developing field survey procedures, data interpretation and training opportunities. Please find more information about SAGA’s goals in the proposal that was published in RIO journal (doi: 10.3897/rio.4.e31648). Information about current SAGA participants and organisation can be found here.
- 1st Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM): STSM facilitates researchers from COST Countries participating in COST Action SAGA to go to an institution, organisation or research centre in another participating COST Country to foster collaboration and to perform empirical research. Participation of “Early Career Investigators” (ECI) in STSM is particularly encouraged. An applicant can be considered as being an ECI when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicant’s PhD and the date of the applicant’s first involvement in COST Action SAGA does not exceed 8 years. PhD students are also eligible to partake in STSM.
The deadline for applications is January 28, 2019.
Click here to find out which countries are signatory of COST Action SAGA.
Read more https://www.iuss.org/media/1_first_stsm_call_gp1_cost_action_saga.pdf
- 1st Call for Applications for ITC Conference Grants: these grants are to support PhD students and Early Career Investigators (ECI) with a primary affiliation in an institution located in Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC, see below) that want to attend a conference to present research related to SAGA’s topic. For this first call, the conference dates must take place before April 20, 2019.
The deadline for applications is February 1, 2019.
The following countries are considered ITC (in bold, ITC currently signatory of SAGA): Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.
Read more https://www.iuss.org/media/2_first_itc_conference_grant_gp1.pdf
Eurosoil 2020 – Call for session organization
We are pleased to inform you that the call to organize sessions and workshops for Eurosoil 2020 is now opened on the Eurosoil 2020 web site. The call structure is based on the sustainable development goals. The forms and contents are very flexible and will be defined based on the contributions received. We look forward to receiving exciting proposals.
The real challenge is to stimulate the involvement of other scientific disciplines and stakeholders. Together with a good soil science conference, this achievement would be the true benchmark of our common capability to make the soil voice loud and to “connect people and soil”. Therefore, we hope each of us will not only think of the best soil science sessions, but also stimulate contributions from our partners.
Read more: https://eurosoil2020.com/
World Soil Day 2018
Over 300 pins on the World Soil Day interactive map. This year, the campaign called for increased action across sectors and continents to achieve #StopSoilPollution. Along with the official celebrations in Rome, New York, Katowice and Bangkok, the call for action spread from Santiago de Chile to Saint Petersburg with more than 300 breathtaking events in 90 countries. A significant increase in outreach, also thanks to FAO offices and partners worldwide, and a substantial escalation of a pro-bono advertising effect across the world, contributed to the success of the day.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/worldwide-events/en/
COP24 | Katowice, Poland
Black Soils for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (2 – 14 Dec. 2018). On World Soil Day 2018 during the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) a side event on Black soils was organized by FAO/GSP together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland and the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG). It succeeded in raising awareness on the importance of black soils for food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation
Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1173759/
Latest updates on the International Network of Black Soils
Black soils are the most productive soils, but also the most endangered soil resources of the world and their degradation has a serious impact on global food security, climate change, and biodiversity. In September 2018, 26 countries decided to join efforts against their degradation through the International Network of Black Soil (INBS). The INBS has made great progress since its establishment: starting from its launch in March 2017, the International Symposium on Black Soils that was held in Harbin (China) in Sept. 2018 and the upcoming meeting in Moldova in Oct. 2019.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1153703/
Contribution to the Healthy Soils Facility
The European Commission, the Republic of Germany, the Swiss Confederation, the Russian Federation, The Netherlands and PhosAgro donate financial resources to promote sustainable soil management. During December 2018, resource partners committed to the implementation of the Global Soil Partnership activities through the provision of financial resources. This constitutes the major financial contribution to the GSP activities since the establishment of the Healthy Soils Facility. The supported activities vary from normative work, including the global assessments of soil pollution, soil biodiversity; implementation of the VGSSM; global soil erosion, soil salinity and soil organic carbon sequestration maps and GLOSIS; international networks with a focus on GLOSOLAN; global symposiums on soil erosion and soil biodiversity; the Global Soil Doctor Programme; strengthening of soil laboratories including fertilizer quality sections; soil management for nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and support to Regional Soil Partnerships.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1173809/
Launch of the Centre of Excellence for Soil Research in Asia on WSD18
On WSD18, the Kingdom of Thailand launched the Centre of Excellence for Soil Research in Asia (CESRA), in Nakhton Ratchasima’s Pak Chong district, Thailand. In compliance with the implementation plan of the Asian Soil Partnership, CESRA will foster targeted research on regional priorities as well as technical and scientific cooperation between Asia and the rest of the world. CESRA’s results will provide guidance for decision-making and the center itself will constitute the hub for capacity development on sustainable soil management in the Asian region.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1174871/
Sub-regional workshop on sustainable land and soil management
13 – 15 Nov 2018, Tunis, Tunisia. A workshop on the implementation of sustainable soil and land management (SSM/SLM) in the Maghreb region was organized by FAO Tunisia on 13-15 November 2018. The Global Soil Doctors Programme, the Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN), GSP tools for soil organic carbon management, mapping, monitoring and sequestration potential as well as the Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS) and its related National Soil Information Systems were presented. Ultimately, a regional plan of action for promoting the use of these and other tools in the framework of implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management was developed by participating countries.
[All articles above from Global Soil Partnership Newsletter #22, 21 December 2018]
International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is calling for award nominations in two categories. The $40,000 Award for Digitalization and Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems recognizes innovations that impact more than one level of the supply chain and strengthen the link between farmers and consumers. The $20,000 Award for Innovations that Empower Youth in Agriculture and Food Systems recognizes innovations that strengthen the role of youth (under 35) in agriculture and food systems. The International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture is funded by the Federal Government of Switzerland.
Nominations are due February 28.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/innovation/en/
[From ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report, 23 January 2019]
Microbial aromas might save crops from drought
If you’ve ever walked in a forest following the first rainfall after a dry spell, you would recall a sweet, fresh and powerfully evocative smell. This earthy-smelling substance is geosmin, a chemical released into the air by soil-dwelling bacteria called actinomycetes. You may also recall the tangy scent of the sea, evoking memories of crashing waves, sandy beaches and the cry of seagulls. This smell is thanks to dimethyl sulfide, a rather stinky sulfurous compound produced by bloom-forming algae.
But microbial scents can also protect plants. Agricultural crops can wither and die under drought conditions. Microbes — thanks to the scents they release — can help plants better tolerate these stressful conditions, an important service in a warming climate. As a microbial ecologist, my work focuses on understanding how microbes and plants work together, and which microbial scents help crops.
Conferences, Meetings and Workshops
Joint workshop for Digital Soil Mapping and GlobalSoilMap
12 to 16 March 2019, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Deadline for abstract submission: January 15, 2019
Read more: https://sites.google.com/view/mapsoil2019/home
Soil Science Conference of Malaysia (SOILS 2019)
April 16-18, 2019, Hotel Equatorial Melaka, Malaysia
In line with the symposium theme “Sustainable Soil Management and Conservation”, SOILS 2019 aims to gather researchers, scientists, experts and academicians in the field of soil science to share and discuss the latest research findings and thoughts on the current status of sustainable soil management practices and conservation; thus, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.
Read more: https://soils2019.wixsite.com/soils2019
Global Symposium on Soil Erosion
15 – 17 May 2018, FAO HQ, Rome. What is the state of soil erosion globally? What type of soil erosion data are available at the global and national level? How are these made available and used by land managers, farmers, and decision makers? Which investments on soil erosion prevention, management and remediation pay back and which ones do not? What are the environmental policies already in action with a focus on soil erosion prevention? The Global Symposium on Soil Erosion (GSER19) is under preparation, so book your agenda and stay tuned!
Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/events/detail/en/c/1170344/
BAGECO 15 – 15th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology
26 – 30 May 2019, Lisbon, Portugal. BAGECO 15 aims to highlight the pivotal roles that microorganisms play in the functioning of natural and man-made environments. Beyond the acknowledged and acute pressures that natural biomes face due to modern climate change, the way in which we perceive ourselves and the natural world is as well changing rapidly. Our greater understanding of the assembly and functioning of microbiomes in nature, and improved ability to harness the diverse metabolism of cultured and uncultured microorganisms, are expected to have a profound impact on how we manage and mitigate problems of environmental, societal and public health concern within a future circular economy framework.
Deadline for abstract submission: January 31, 2019
Read more: https://www.bageco.org/
SUITMA 10 – Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas
June 16-21, 2019, Seoul, Korea. On behalf of the organizing committee, it is our great pleasure to invite you to the 10th conference of the IUSS Working Group on Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMA10). The theme of SUITMA10 is SUITMA+20; visioning the future by reflecting on 20 years of SUITMA since its birth in 1998. SUITMA has progressed significantly. Sincere enthusiasm in sharing knowledge with its membership family is the ongoing legacy from its founding fathers. Understanding the properties, functioning, impacts and long-term evolution of soils from major human influences has given insights to the role of anthropogenic change whilst enabling improved management of urban ecosystems.
Abstract submission deadline: January 31, 2019
Read more: http://www.suitma10.org/
International Soil Congress 2019
“Successful Transformation toward Land Degradation Neutrality (Future Perspective)”
17-19 June 2019, Ankara, Turkey. The International Conference on “Successful Transformation toward Land Degradation Neutrality (Future Perspective)” in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will take place in June 2019, in Ankara. The second announcement for the international Soil Congress 2019 is now available.
Congress website: https://soil2019.gidatarim.edu.tr/tr
ISMOM 2019 – 8th International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms
“Understanding Soil Interfacial Reactions for Sustainable Soil Management and Climatic Change Mitigation”
23-28 June, 2019, Seville, Spain. It is a pleasure to invite you to participate in the 8th ISMOM (International Symposium on Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms). This symposium is part of a series of international symposia organized by Commission 2.5 (Soil chemical, physical and biological interfacial reactions) of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and aims to provide a platform for fruitful discussions between scientists and students from soil sciences, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physics, ecology or environmental sciences.
The ISMOM 2019, “Understanding Soil Interfacial Reactions for Sustainable Soil Management and Climatic Change Mitigation” follows successful 4-yearly meetings in Canada, France, Italy, China and Chile. There will not be parallel sessions, and generous periods will be allotted to poster presentations, discussions and social events.
Deadline for abstract submission: 1st February 2019
End of Early bird registration fees: 1st April 2019
Download the symposium flyer: https://www.iuss.org/media/flyer_final-7-2018.pdf
Read more: https://www.ismom.2019.org
Global Soil Proverbs – Cultural Language of the Soil
Ed.: Jae E. Yang; M. B. Kirkham; Rattan Lal; Sigbert Huber. Published in the CATENA series GeoEcology essays in December 2018; 275 pages, 165 figures, 10 tables, 17×24cm, 720 g, US-ISBN: 1-59326-271-X, ISBN 978-3-510-65431-4, price paperback EUR 34.90 (plus shipping costs); reduced price for IUSS members: EUR 30.00 (plus shipping costs). The book can be ordered from the IUSS Secretariat: .
Proverbs are truths that link one generation to another. They have been passed down through millennia to provide advice about how to live life. Every country has a vast archive of proverbs that have been handed down orally from generation to generation. The very name “proverb” indicates that they originated “before” (Latin, pro) the written “word” (Latin, verbum). Ever since our ancestors settled down and started to farm the soil, proverbs have been used to communicate knowledge. Many proverbs about soils are available globally, but no effort has been made within the soil science community to compile and integrate them into a comprehensive book.
Therefore, the International Union of Soil Sciences has published this book on soil proverbs worldwide. The objective of the book is to compile such soil proverbs and, through them, share insights about philosophy, culture, and life in each country, as they relate to soils. The book features 32 chapters from 29 different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania.
The authors of the individual chapters provide soil proverbs in both English and their native language. Chapters are illustrated with pictures related to the respective proverbs. Some themes are common, such as the need to sustain the soil to sustain humanity, while other themes are particular to a country due to its geography and climate, such as “The peas may be sown when the first swallows come” (Russia) or “If you want to store wheat, plow lowland areas” (Tunisia).
The book addresses both soil scientists and the general public. Readers will see the diversity of proverbs from the different countries, but each one is written in its own beautiful language, and that humankind is united by its dependence on soils, the veritable foundation of their existence.
Read more: https://www.schweizerbart.de/publications/detail/isbn/9783510654314
Global Symposium of Soil pollution: from assessment to remediation – Updates from the working groups
Based on the GSOP18 Outcome Document recommendations, two new Working Groups were created. The first one is developing contextualized guidelines for measuring, mapping, monitoring and reporting on soil pollution, while the second focuses on the creation of a database on the best available techniques for the management and remediation of polluted soils. In addition, to better understand the problem of soil pollution globally, an assessment of the global status and regional trends of soil pollution is under preparation following a data collection process led by member countries.
Read more: http://www.fao.org/3/ca0362en/CA0362EN.pdf
On soil scientists and where to find them in Africa: Assessment of Human Capital: Assessment of Human Capital
By Andrei Rozanov and Liesl Wiese, published in 2018 by the Eurasian Center for Food Security, Moscow, Russia, IBSN 978-5-6040425-1-9.
This report was first presented in St. Petersburg on the 5th of December 2018 – the World Soil Day. The Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS) has brought to the attention of the World Bank the seemingly diminishing capacity in soil expertise and stagnant or shrinking job market for soil experts within the countries of Africa. This study aims to understand the role that soil science plays in the continent’s changing landscape of agriculture, land development, and conservation from the perspective of individuals working as or with soil scientists on the continent. It also analyses the soil expertise available in the countries concerned, as well as the perceived sufficiency of human capital to support decisions at farm, provincial, national, and regional levels as well as industrywide.
Read more: http://ecfs.msu.ru/sites/default/media/node/publication/18/11/africa_report_web.pdf
Special report n°33/2018: Combating desertification in the EU: a growing threat in need of more action
The European Commission does not have a clear picture of the challenges presented by the growing threats of desertification and land degradation in the EU, according to a new report by the European Court of Auditors. The steps taken so far by the Commission and Member States to combat desertification have limited coherence, say the auditors, and the Commission has not assessed progress towards its goal of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030.
Desertification describes human- and climate-related processes leading to problems affecting dry areas, such as diminished food production, soil infertility, decreases in the land’s natural resilience, and reduced water quality. Projections of climate change in Europe show that the risk of desertification is increasing. Hot semi-deserts already exist in southern Europe and the phenomenon is extending northwards. Desertification is a consequence, but also a cause of climate change: soil degradation emits greenhouse gases, and degraded soils have a lower capacity to retain carbon.
Read more: https://www.eca.europa.eu/en/Pages/DocItem.aspx?did=48393
Environmental Pollution of Paddy Soils
By Hashmi, Muhammad Zaffar, Varma, Ajit (Eds.), 1st ed. 2018, Springer, Series Soil Biology, 271 p., 40 illus., 30 illus. in color. ISBN 978-3-319-93671-0, Price (hardcover) 149,99 Euro.
This book provides an overview of our current understanding of paddy soil pollution, addressing topics such as the major types of pollutants in contaminated paddy soil ecosystems; factors affecting the fate of pollutants in paddy soil; biomonitoring approaches to assess the contaminated paddy soil; the impact of chemicals on soil microbial diversity; and climate change. It also covers arsenic and heavy metal pollution of paddy soils and their impact on rice quality. Further, new emerging contaminants such as antibiotics and antibiotics resistance genes (ARGs) in paddy soil and their impact on environmental health are also discussed. The last chapters focus on the bioremediation approaches for the management of paddy soils.
Read more: https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783319936703#aboutBook
Fire Effects on Soil Properties
By Paulo Pereira, Jorge Mataix-Solera, Xavier Úbeda, Guillermo Rein, Artemi Cerdà, Guillermo Rein, 1st Edition on January 15, 2019, CRC Press, 400 pages. ISBN 9780367186555, Price (hardback) £ 103.99.
Fire Effects on Soil Properties brings together current research on the effects of fire on the physical, biological and chemical properties of soil. Written by over 60 international experts in the field, it includes examples from fire-prone areas across the world, dealing with ash, meso and macrofauna, smouldering fires, recurrent fires and management of fire-affected soils. It also describes current best practice methodologies for research and monitoring of fire effects and new methodologies for future research. This is the first time information on this topic has been presented in a single volume and the book will be an important reference for students, practitioners, managers and academics interested in the effects of fire on ecosystems, including soil scientists, geologists, forestry researchers and environmentalists.
Applied Soil Hydrology
By Novák, Viliam, Hlaváčiková, Hana, 1st ed. 2019, Springer, 342 p. 130 illus. ISBN 978-3-030-01806-1, Price (hardcover) 109,99 Euro.
This state-of-the-art book clearly explains the basic principles of soil hydrology and the current knowledge in this field. It particularly highlights the estimation and application of measurements and evaluation of soil-hydrophysical characteristics using simulation models, with a focus on elucidating the basic hydrophysical characteristics of soil, such as soil water potential and hydraulic conductivity, as well as the methods of measurement. It also addresses topics such as stony soil, water repellent soils, and water movement modeling in those media.
The book presents soil hydrology in a simple way, while quantitatively expressing the soil water state and movement. It clearly and precisely describes basic terms of soil hydrology with a minimum of mathematics. It also includes the latest research findings in the field as well as the basics of the mathematical modeling of water movement in the soil-plant-atmosphere system (SPAS), using original research results to illustrate these issues.
This book is of interest to all scientists and professionals in soil hydrology, including beginners, as well as those interested and working in hydrology in general and soil hydrology in particular. In addition, it can also be used by specialists and students in related fields like agronomy, forestry, meteorology, hydrology, environmental engineering, environmental protection, and geography.
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