IUSS Alert 198 (December 2021)
Download the IUSS Soilutions Calender (59MB)
IUSS Season's Greetings 2021
Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year 2022!
Click here: https://youtu.be/IQ6WAjsZI4w
IUSS Bulletin 139 published
IUSS Bulletin 139 (85 pages) was uploaded to the IUSS website. IUSS Bulletin 139 contains the minutes of the IUSS Council Meetings during the IUSS Inter-Congress Meeting 2020 (online), an update on the preparations for the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS22), an abundance of news from national and regional Soil Science Societies, followed by an account of World Soil Day 2021 and the latest activities from ‘Stop Soil Degradation and the IUSS educative project to achieve it’. This is followed by conference and meeting reports, articles from the IUSS alerts, new publications and obituaries of outstanding soil scientists.
Read more: Download Bulletin 139
WASWAC-IUSS Position Paper on the Interlinkages of Soil and Climate Change presented at COP26
At the start of the COP 26 on October 31, 2021 the WASWAC-IUSS Position Paper with the logos of 50 Soil Science Societies and Institutions and the list of 805 individual supporters were sent to the President and the Executive Secretary of COP 26. The IUSS thanks all institutional and individual supporters for their engagement.
Download the position paper: https://www.iuss.org/index.php?rex_media_type=download&rex_media_file=waswac-iuss_position_paper_cop_26_20211031.pdf
The list of supporters can be downloaded from the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/newsroom/iuss-waswac/
IUSS expert panel at Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2022
The IUSS organizes the first expert panel of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). The panel is titled "Global perspectives on sustainable soil management towards food security" and will be held on Monday, 24 January 2022, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (CET), with a subsequent deep dive from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Panel guests will be:
- Dr. Lillian Øygarden, Researcher, NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
- Dr. Bruce Lascelles, UK Director Sustainable Land Use, Arcadis and President of the British Society of Soil Science.
- Dr. Christina Siebe, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Studies and Soil Science, Institute of Geology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
- Prof. Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor, Director of Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Facilitator: Dr. Edoardo A.C. Costantini, Senior Researcher, CNR- Institute of Bioeconomy, Florence, Italy and President Elect of the International Union of Soil Sciences
The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is an international conference in a virtual format on central issues of vital importance for global agricultural and food policies. The GFFA is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany. The five-day forum features a large number of events that provide an international audience of experts from the worlds of politics, industry, science, and civil society with an opportunity to address and reach consensus on issues and challenges relating to global agricultural policy and food security. In the past, high-level keynote speakers such as António Guterres, Josefa Sacko, Angela Merkel, Ban Ki-moon, and Prince Charles joined the GFFA line-up. The 2022 GFFA will address the issue “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”.
Read more: https://www.gffa-berlin.de/en/fachpodien_2022/iuss/
2022 Guy Smith Medal Award – Invitation to propose nominees
The IUSS Guy Smith Medal Award Committee is pleased to invite you to propose nominees for the forthcoming Guy Smith Medal award. The next award will be handed over during the Glasgow 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (https://22wcss.org/), to be organized from the 31st of July to the 5th of August, 2022 by the British Society of Soil Science.
Criteria for selection:
The nominee should have the following qualifications:
- She/he must have made a significant scientific contribution that has advanced the field of soil classification, and
- Be a published author in the field of soil classification; and
- Be an active member, Honorary member, or formerly active member of a national or international soil science professional society, and
- The medal is not invested posthumously, and
- Present officers of IUSS Commission IUSS cannot be nominated.
The proposal for nomination should comprise a short text, including the main steps of the scientific career of the nominee, her/his most relevant scientific publications and major contribution to the development of soil classification.
For more information, please refer to the web-link of the IUSS Commission 1.4 (Soil Classification):
We look forward to receiving your proposals by February 26th 2022 by e-mail.
CVs of the nominees and a motivation letter should be sent to: with copy to and to
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/awards-prizes/guy-smith-medal/
Call for Nominations for the Richard Webster Medal 2022
The Richard Webster Medal is an award by the Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences. The award is for the best body of work that has advanced the discipline of pedometrics: the application of mathematical and statistical methods to problems in the understanding of soils in space and time, and the provision of information for their better management.
The Richard Webster Medal will be awarded at the 2022 World Congress of Soil Science. The award is judged by the Pedometrics Commission Awards Committee on the basis of nominations received.
Nominations should be sent to the Committee Chair, Professor Murray Lark at . Anyone considering sending a nomination should examine the guidelines for the award carefully at http://pedometrics.org/the-richard-webster-medal/ and make sure that their proposed candidate is eligible, and is willing to be nominated. Note that the requirements for the written evidence will be strictly adhered to, and any nomination which consists only of a curriculum vitae for the candidate, with no covering statement as requested, will be discarded.
Nominations must be received by the Committee Chair no later than midday British Summer Time on 31st May 2022.
News from national soil science societies
News from the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS)
Join Us in Glasgow!
Join us at the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow from 31 July to 5 August as a delegate, Sponsor or Exhibitor!
Tickets are available for delegates attending the event either face-to-face or virtually, with early-bird tickets available until 15 March, and the tour programme is now also open for registration.
A number of organisations have expressed an interest in hosting a fringe event during WCSS22. We are now accepting applications to host events, alongside our sponsorship opportunities, and please submit the form outlining your interest by 31 January 2022.
Read more: https://22wcss.org/
Zoom into Soil: Regenerative Agriculture
The next in our lunchtime webinar series, Zoom into Soil: Regenerative Agriculture will take place on Wednesday 12 January from 12:00 – 1:00pm. Supported by ADAS and in collaboration with the British Ecological Society, we are delighted to welcome Dr Anne Bhogal and Professor Richard Bardgett to present their expert knowledge on the topic of regenerative agriculture. The webinar is free to attend and please register in advance.
Register here https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5813734122182749707
EJSS Special Virtual Issue: STARS
Following on from the Zoom into Soil webinar held in June, we are delighted to announce that a special open-access virtual issue has been published in the European Journal of Soil Science. STARS: Innovations in Soil Science to Address Global Grand Challenges presents a collection of papers to celebrate the UK Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in soil science known as STARS. The issue highlights the work of emerging UK soil scientists.
Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/13652389
Outreach: School Soil Workshops
Can you help? Soil Voices, an outreach programme funded by the International Union of Soil Sciences, is seeking international schools to participate in workshops aimed at bringing soil education to the classroom. For more information, please get in touch via
[All four articles above are from Digging Deeper with BSSS: Issue 4, December 2021]
Newsletter of the Soil Science Society of China
In order to promote and strengthen the communications and exchanges between soil scientists in China and the rest of the international soil science community, the Soil Science Society of China (SSSC) has launched its first Newsletter on the 8th World Soil Day. It is a window for Chinese soil scientists to present the latest content concerning progress and achievements and also a link to connect with global soil researchers, to take an active role in preparation for the 23rd WCSS to be held in China in 2026.
The SSSC Newsletter will be published every two months.
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/newsroom/newsletters/soil-science-society-of-china-sssc-newsletter/
Journal of Soil Science Society of Iran launched
The Iranian Soil Science Society (a member of IUSS) have just launched an international English language scientific journal (Journal of Soil Science Society of Iran, in short JSSSI).
JSSSI will be published twice a year focusing on basic and applied research in soil biology and biotechnology, soil chemistry and fertility, soil physics and conservation, soil pedology and classification, and hydrology in agricultural, rangeland and pasture, desert, forest, wetlands, and urban settings.
Read more: https://jsssi.iut.ac.ir
International Symposium on Managing Land and Water for Climate-Smart Agriculture – Request to submit abstracts
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is organizing an International Symposium on Managing Land and Water for Climate-Smart Agriculture in Vienna from 25 July 2022 to 29 July 2022. Approximately 400 participants from IAEA Member States and invited international organizations are expected to attend this event.
The purpose of the event is to review recent development of nuclear, isotopic and related techniques to improve land and water management practices, provide information on the development of tools and technology packages to build soil resilience, adapt farming practices to the impact of climate change, as well as to nuclear or radiological emergencies; and to identify knowledge gaps, research needs and new opportunities to develop climate-smart agricultural practices to build capacities and transfer of technologies to Member States. The event is aimed at scientists, academics, research managers and laboratory personnel, policy makers from governmental, non-governmental and international organizations, donor agencies and potential partners.
Please note that IUSS will chair one of the sessions, e.g. on soil conservation, and exhibit during the symposium.
IUSS members are encouraged to submit abstracts according to the requirements set out in https://conferences.iaea.org/event/270/
Anthony Roger (Tony) Dexter (1942 – 2021)
Born on 30 December 1942 in Bedford, UK, Tony Dexter completed his BSc in physics (electronics) at City University, London in 1965 before being awarded a PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Essex in 1970 for a thesis titled “The high-frequency mechanical response of super-cooled liquids”.
In 1973 Tony and his family emigrated to Adelaide where Tony had accepted the post of lecturer in soil physics. A few years later Tony joined ISTRO working on plant roots and soil friability. Tony’s work on plant roots was acknowledged through the Department of Botany at the University of Adelaide with the award of a DSc in 1988. In August 1990 Tony returned to the UK to head a group on soil physics. Later on, Tony took a sabbatical to the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG) in Puławy, Poland. Tony was appointed a full professor by President Lech Kaczyński in October 2007. He retired in 2012 although he continued to publish until at least 2019.
Tony’s scientific legacy is outstanding. He published more than 250 papers in refereed international scientific journals. He had deep understanding of the physical, chemical and biological principals controlling soil function and used this understanding to explain soil behaviour. Those of us lucky enough to have worked with Tony will certainly miss him as a friend, but his many published papers will be a lasting memorial to a great scientist.
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/iuss-history/obituaries-to-great-soil-scientists/anthony-roger-tony-dexter-1942-2021/
By Blair McKenzie, Chris Watts and Ewa Czyż (with help from Caroline, Tom and David Dexter).
Wageningen University Soil Science cluster website launched
The website was launched on the occasion of the World Soil Day on the 5th December 2021. The website will be a good opportunity to reach out to a broad audience showcasing our research (research lines, projects, publications..), education, collaboration and outreach. In addition, it will be an important place where you can find news and information about activities of the cluster including Research Lines working groups meetings and courses.
Link to the website: www.wur.eu/ssc
Snapshot of the FEBR Soil Data Repository
The Free Brazilian Repository for Open Soil Data (FEBR) published the snapshot of soil data. The dataset is standardized and harmonized and therefore ready for immediate use (analysis-ready) by the community.
The dataset can be downloaded from https://cloud.utfpr.edu.br/index.php/s/akjtYo6JWdHDkl4.
Read more: https://www.pedometria.org/en/postagem/december-2021-snapshot-of-the-soil-data-repository/
Global Soil Museum Network
The Global Soil Museum Network is a collection of organizations who display soil and teach about its properties and importance to the general public.
Please fill out this form to indicate your interest in joining the network: Global Soil Museum Registration Form
Read more: Soils exposed
Taking soils for granted: how over-exploitation of this non-renewable resource poses a grave threat to our future
This blog, in the backdrop of World Soil Day, 2021, is a gentle reminder of the importance of practicing sustainable land management. Well-framed policies and extension functionaries capable of educating farmers on sustainable soil management are absolutely necessary to protect soils, opine Trisha Roy, Gopal Kumar and M Madhu in this blog.
Read more: https://www.aesanetwork.org/blog-164-taking-soils-for-granted-how-over-exploitation-of-this-non-renewable-resource-poses-a-grave-threat-to-our-future/
Soil salinity in paddy fields of Sri Lanka and best practices to avoid crop failures due to soil salinity
‘Halt soil salinization, Boost soil productivity’ is the theme of this year’s World Soil Day (5 December). Increasing soil salinity is adversely affecting agricultural production in Sri Lanka. In this blog, DN Sirisena and WADP Wanigsundera discuss the challenges Sri Lankan farmers face due to increasing soil salinity, and ways of addressing these.
Read more: https://www.aesanetwork.org/blog-165-soil-salinity-in-paddy-fields-of-sri-lanka-and-best-practices-to-avoid-crop-failures-due-to-soil-salinity/
Adoption of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) to halt soil salinization in Bangladesh coastal region
“Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity” is the theme of this year’s World Soil Day (5 December). As a country with a large coastline, saltwater intrusion has significant adverse impacts in Bangladesh. To address the land degradation due to salinization, the country should adopt a strategy for sustainable land management, opine Dr Jalal Uddin Md. Shoaib.
Read more: https://www.aesanetwork.org/blog-166-adoption-of-sustainable-land-management-slm-to-halt-salinization-in-bangladesh-coastal-region/
More information on the AESA (Agricultural Extension in South Asia) Network https://www.aesanetwork.org/, which is a sub-regional network of GFRAS (Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services)
Halophytes are plants which can live, grow, and multiply in saline and sodic conditions. They can even rehabilitate salt-affected soils!
Learn more about soil salinity http://tiny.cc/jkemuz
What drives roots’ decomposition and carbon storage in grassland soils?
You most likely know that roots are important for grasses to grow, but the roots help do other things, too. They build soil carbon and support other life forms in soil. But did you know that various management tactics can force grass roots to break down, decompose, and add to the stored carbon pool in soil?
A ‘debt’ based approach to land degradation as an indicator of global change
"We propose a way to synthesize different approaches to global map land degradation by combining vegetation and soil indicators into a consistent framework for assessing land degradation as an environmental ‘debt’. Our combined approach reveals a broader lens for land degradation through global change, in particular, identifying hot-spots for the different kinds of land degradation."
News from the International Science Council (ISC)
Under the ISC project ‘Science and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction’, the Global Risks Perceptions Report 2021 was launched, reporting on the global risk perceptions of leaders from business, economics, and government. The publication aims to contribute to the discourse that has been shaped through the respective work of the World Economic Forum and to spark dialogue, identify knowledge gaps, and support the growth of a multi-sectoral scientific community working to better understand and provide solutions to global risks.
Read more: https://council.science/current/news/global-risks-perceptions-report-2021-released/
Access and share the report: https://council.science/publications/global-risks-perceptions-report-2021/
Secondly, ‘A Framework for Global Science in Support of Risk-informed Sustainable Development and Planetary Health’ was published in early December. The document takes stock of recent developments in disaster risk science and provides a compelling set of directions for research and scientific collaboration for a more holistic and collaborative approach to understanding and managing risks.
Read more: https://council.science/publications/risk-informed-sustainable-development-planetary-health/
Launch of the ISC Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability
Political leaders, scientists, and influential personalities have issued an emergency warning on sustainability inaction by establishing a Global Commission to mobilize a $100 million a year global fund for Sustainability Science Missions - this will be a key priority for the ISC in the coming years, and is one of the outputs from the ISC Global Forum of Funders initiative and its report ‘Unleashing Science’. The Commission of more than twenty high-level committed thought leaders will be chaired by Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Director-General, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and previous administrator of the UNDP.
Access and share the press release: https://council.science/current/press/sustainability-missions/
Explore the multimedia portal ‘Unleashing Science - Delivering Missions for Sustainability’: https://stories.council.science/unleashing-science/
Read the report: https://council.science/Commission/Report
[From ISC Update on December 10, 2021]
Launch of the CFRS paper ‘A contemporary perspective on the free and responsible practice of science in the 21st Century’
We invite you to read a letter to ISC Members from the ISC Vice-President for Freedom and Responsibility in Science, Professor Anne Husebekk: https://council.science/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Letter-to-ISC-Members_10-December-2021.pdf
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day (10 December), the ISC’s Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS) has published the Discussion Paper “A contemporary perspective on the free and responsible practice of science in the 21st century”.
The Paper is intended for a broad readership, including researchers, research managers, policymakers, science diplomats, and those in the private sector. We invite all ISC Members to read, share and discuss the publication with all those in your network who have a role to play in upholding the free and responsible practice of science in contemporary society.
Access and share the press release: https://council.science/current/news/researchers-combat-new-threats-to-key-human-rights/
Access the paper and explore the multimedia portal: https://stories.council.science/science-freedom-responsibility/
[From ISC Update on December 10, 2021]
ISC 2022 – 2024 Action Plan published
We thank all of our Members for your input and feedback on the draft 2022 – 2024 Action Plan, which was adopted by the ISC membership at the 2nd ISC General Assembly in October. “Science and Society in Transition” sets out the framework of ISC activities over the next three years, outlining five priority domains. The document is now available online, including a print-friendly version, and we very much look forward to implementing the plan together with our Members.
Access the Action Plan: https://council.science/publications/action-plan-2022-2024/
[From ISC Update on December 10, 2021]
International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development proclaimed
On 2 December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2022 the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development to highlight the crucial role of basic sciences for sustainable development, and emphasize their contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The proposal for the Year was developed by ISC Member, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), with the encouragement and support of the ISC and you, our Members, as well as partner institutions and the UNESCO. Congratulations to the IUPAP on having this International Year endorsed by the United Nations.
Access the press release: https://council.science/current/press/international-year-of-basic-sciences-proclaimed-un/
[From ISC Update on December 10, 2021]
Conferences, Meetings and Workshops
Due to the Corona pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions many of the events planned for 2020 and 2021 had to be cancelled or postponed. For a current list of upcoming events, please consult the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/
Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) - Theme “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”
Monday, 24 January 2022 to Friday, 28 January 2022
IUSS expert panel "Global perspectives on sustainable soil management towards food security", 24 January 2022, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (CET)
Panel details: https://www.gffa-berlin.de/en/fachpodien_2022/iuss/
Read more: https://www.gffa-berlin.de/en/
16th International Conference on Soil Micromorphology (ICoSM), Kraków, 2022
September 4-8, 2022, Kraków, Poland. Venue: Jagiellonian University.
Registration and abstract submission now open.
Read more: http://www.icosm2020.sggw.pl/
Download the circular http://www.icosm2020.sggw.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/1st_Circular_ICoSM_2022_Krakow.pdf
The optional micromorphological course is to take place on August 29 – September 3, 2022. All necessary information is available at http://www.icosm2020.sggw.pl/course/
The optional post-conference trip will take place from September 9th to 11th, 2022. The detailed information about the trip is available at http://www.icosm2020.sggw.pl/trips/
We offer three ICoSM 2022 Young Micromorphologist Awards, which are supported by the IUSS Stimulus Fund. Details at http://www.icosm2020.sggw.pl/scholarships/
For the complete list of upcoming events, please see the event calendar on the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/
A Visual Atlas for Soil Micromorphologists
By Eric P. Verrecchia, Luca Trombino. Springer, 2021. 177 pages, 1 b/w illustration, 81 illustrations in colour. Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-67805-0, softcover ISBN 978-3-030-67808-1, eBook ISBN 978-3-030-67806-7, DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-67806-7; price hardcover EUR 54.99, price softcover EUR 43.99.
This open access atlas is an up-to-date visual resource on the features and structures observed in soil thin sections, i.e. soil micromorphology. The book addresses the growing interest in soil micromorphology in the fields of soil science, earth science, archaeology and forensic science, and serves as a reference tool for researchers and students for fast learning and intuitive feature and structure recognition. The book is divided into six parts and contains hundreds of images and photomicrographs. Part one is devoted to the way to sample properly soils, the method of preparation of thin sections, the main tool of soil micromorphology (the microscope), and the approach of soil micromorphology as a scientific method. Part two focuses on the organisation of soil fragments and presents the concept of fabric. Part three addresses the basic components, e.g. rocks, minerals, organic compounds and anthropogenic features. Part four lists all the various types of pedogenic features observed in a soil, i.e. the imprint of pedogenesis. Part five gives interpretations of features associated with the main processes at work in soils and paleosols. Part six presents a view of what the future of soil micromorphology could be. Finally, the last part consists of the index and annexes, including the list of mineral formulas. This atlas will be of interest to researchers, academics, and students, who will find it a convenient tool for the self-teaching of soil micromorphology by using comparative photographs.
Read more: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030678050
Soil Organic Matter and Feeding the Future - Environmental and Agronomic Impacts
Edited by Rattan Lal. 1st edition published December 9, 2021 by CRC Press, series Advances in Soil Science. 428 pages, 32 color & 58 B/W illustrations. Hard cover ISBN 9780367609702; price GBP 120.00.
Soil organic matter (SOM) is the primary determinant of soil functionality. Soil organic carbon (SOC) accounts for 50% of the SOM content, accompanied by nitrogen, phosphorus, and a range of macro and micro elements. As a dynamic component, SOM is a source of numerous ecosystem services critical to human well-being and nature conservancy. Important among these goods and services generated by SOM include moderation of climate as a source or sink of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases, storage and purification of water, a source of energy and habitat for biota (macro, meso, and micro-organisms), a medium for plant growth, cycling of elements (N, P, S, etc.), and generation of net primary productivity (NPP). The quality and quantity of NPP has direct impacts on the food and nutritional security of the growing and increasingly affluent human population. Soils of agroecosystems are depleted of their SOC reserves in comparison with those of natural ecosystems. The magnitude of depletion depends on land use and the type and severity of degradation. Soils prone to accelerated erosion can be strongly depleted of their SOC reserves, especially those in the surface layer. Therefore, conservation through restorative land use and adoption of recommended management practices to create a positive soil-ecosystem carbon budget can increase carbon stock and soil health.
Read more: https://www.routledge.com/Soil-Organic-Matter-and-Feeding-the-Future-Environmental-and-Agronomic/Lal/p/book/9780367609702#
Interfacial Chemistry of Rocks and Soils
By Noémi M. Nagy, József Kónya. 2nd edition published October 28, 2021 by CRC Press. 272 pages, 14 color & 45 B/W illustrations. Hard cover ISBN 9780367856823, price GBP 96.00.
Knowledge of the basic interactions that take place between geological materials and different substances is the first step in understanding the effects of adsorption and other interfacial processes on the quality of rocks and soils, and on driving these processes towards a beneficial or neutral result. Interfacial Chemistry of Rocks and Soils examines the different processes at solid and liquid interfaces of soil and rock, presenting a complete analysis that emphasizes the importance of chemical species on these interactions. Furthermore it examines the role of these processes in environmental, colloid and geochemistry; and explores the effects on agricultural, environmental and industrial applications.
This Second Edition features novel results in the field and expanded coverage of the kinetics of interfacial processes. New content includes models of heterogeneous isotope exchange, sorption isotherms for heterovalent cation exchange, as well as sorption of anions by chemically modified clays.
Read more: https://www.routledge.com/Interfacial-Chemistry-of-Rocks-and-Soils/Nagy-Konya/p/book/9780367856823
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