In a handful of fertile soil, there are more individual organisms than the total number of human beings that have ever existed.

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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.

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IUSS Alert 179 (May 2020)


IUSS News

IUSS Presidential Elections 2020 – last reminder on call for nominations

The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year. The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2021/22), President (2023/24) and Past-President (2025/26). The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines. Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists.

Full nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn (Email: rhorn@soils.uni-kiel.de) by June 1, 2020. A copy should also be sent to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at.

Procedure and guidelines: http://www.iuss.org/media/president_election_full_info_2020.pdf



Soil Science Annual - news

Soil Science Annual journal is a continuation of the “Roczniki Gleboznawcze” – the journal of the Soil Science Society of Poland first published in 1950. Soil Science Annual is a quarterly publishing original papers, review papers and short communications devoted to a broad spectrum of issues relating to the soil environment. The journal is published in the open access system.

Read more: http://www.soilsa.com/en



General News

GEO-BON call for proposals – deadline 5 June 2020

The GSBI is a proud partner of the Soil Biodiversity Observation Network (Soil BON) and their efforts to make soil biological and ecosystem observations available for researchers and policy-makers. Perhaps you might find some aspect of soil biodiversity to be incorporated in this Call for Proposals.  

Each grant recipient will receive:

• Up to US$100k in financial funding for up to one year
• Up to US$100k in Azure credits for up to three years
• Support resources through the AI for Earth grants program, including technical advice and online Azure training materials
• New: Esri software, data, and training to extend the creation, analysis, and open sharing of spatial data

Read more on Soil BON: https://geobon.org/bons/thematic-bon/soil-bon/

More information on the grant: https://geobon.org/geo-bon-microsoft-ebvs-on-the-cloud/ or contact info@geobon.org

[From GSBI note, dated 27 May 2020]



COVID-19 Global Science Portal

The ISC has launched an online hub for scientific commentary and analysis on responses to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic from its community of members and partners. The virus outbreak, and responses to it, have focused attention worldwide on the interaction between science, experts, society, policy making and politics, and have highlighted the vital importance of international scientific collaboration and open, accessible and reliable sources of information. The ISC's portal shares scientific commentary and analysis and provides access to information on various initiatives, highlighting the scale and scope of response, and encouraging ISC members and partners to collaborate and share best practices during this global emergency.

The ISC continues to collect inputs from community members and partners to populate the Global Science Portal with the latest scientific debates and institutional responses to the pandemic. Do continue to send your new initiatives and any updates on your current activities to be featured on the Portal.

Read more: https://council.science/covid19/

[From: The latest from the International Science Council, March & April 2020]

In addition, the following two items were posted on the COVID-19 Global Science Portal:

The article Soil science beyond COVID-19 written by IUSS Past President Rattan Lal, published in the Journal of Soil Science and Water Conservation, appears on the portal under the tab "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

Read more: https://council.science/covid19/scientific-debates/

Download the article: https://www.jswconline.org/content/jswc/early/2020/04/22/jswc.2020.0408A.full.pdf

The section Member Unions and Associations features under International Union of Soil Sciences Rattan Lal’s quarterly viewpoint reminding the international community about the “One Health” concept: the health of soil, plants, animals, people and environment. 

Read more: https://council.science/covid19/institutional-responses/



New edition of soil property estimates for the world with associated web platform released (SoilGrids250m)

Since the sneak preview on World Soil Day 2019, ISRIC - World Soil Information has been finalizing a new set of soil property maps for the world (SoilGrids250m), incorporating comments from many experts and organizations. Numerous improvements were implemented since publication of the `2017 version’, making this a completely new product. The GIS layers can be accessed using various services.

Read more: https://www.isric.org/explore/soilgrids/faq-soilgrids#How_can_I_access_SoilGrids 

The newly released webtool (http://soilgrids.isric.org/) offers visualization, querying and download facilities for enhanced user experience.

Read more: https://www.isric.org/news/new-edition-soil-property-estimates-world-associated-web-platform-released-soilgrids250m



Participate in the photo & video contest on soil biodiversity

Competitors can submit either HD pictures or short videos/time-lapse on soil biodiversity and win a cash prize of USD$ 500.

Submission closes: 30 June 2020

Read more: http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/soil-biodiversity-symposium/contest/en/

[From: GSP Special Announcement No. 24 | 29 April 2020]



Share your insights on Soil Biodiversity

You are welcome to share your insights with soil biodiversity top experts and contribute to the discussion on current knowledge gaps, challenges and opportunities to protect soil biodiversity across the world. 

Read more: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfUBQbYoY9uQL0acJ_AYM6-yXdEqR_pI26pObXWcXPelBILBw/viewform

[From: GSP Special Announcement No. 24 | 29 April 2020]



Soil biodiversity and a sustainable future

Humanity is transforming our world in unprecedented ways, including ways that are likely to impact humanity’s ability to thrive in the future. Recognition of the need to sustain life on Earth, both human and non-human, has led to global agreements to guide actions now for a better future. These agreements include the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by member nations of the United Nations (UN) in 2015, and an emerging Biodiversity Strategic Plan for 2030 to carry forward the UN Convention on Biodiversity’s strategic plan for 2020.

Read more: https://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/blog-beneath-our-feet/2020/4/14/soil-biodiversity-and-a-sustainable-future

[From: GSBI Newsletter - May 2020]



Floods, Droughts & The Soil

Turning soils into sponges: Opportunities to reduce flood and drought risks. You may think that the common factor between drought and flood in many places in Kenya is water, especially lately. Other than the lack or abundance of rain, the major reason for droughts and floods is the soil’s health status and its inability to absorb, store and release water.

Read more: https://cropnuts.com/floods-drought-soil-relationship/



Farmers measuring more to boost efficiencies

Farmers are taking an increasingly measured approach to their grassland and manure management, helping to cut costs and improve efficiencies.

A new survey carried out by the organisers of the Grassland & Muck Event – the third such survey since 2011 – has revealed that more farmers are analysing inputs and outputs, enabling them to better target management decisions.

Read more: https://www.agri-hub.co.uk/2020/05/farmers-measuring-more-to-boost-efficiencies/



Soils Store Huge Amounts of Carbon, Warming May Unleash It

Higher temperatures and wetter weather may spur soil microbes to release more carbon into the atmosphere.

Read more: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soils-store-huge-amounts-of-carbon-warming-may-unleash-it/



Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

The outbreak of the Corona virus is clearly a rapidly evolving situation. The organizers of the meetings listed below are constantly reviewing the situation in the light of global and country-specific advice to inform decisions to minimize the additional risks to attendees, their communities and those living in the meeting’s host country.

The IUSS will also continue to monitor the situation, and advise that prior to attending meetings our members review up to date information from their country’s government, the WHO and from the host country to ensure that everyone’s health and wellbeing remains a priority.

2020

8th Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly

3-5 June 2020

Virtual format (Zoom) from 12:00 to 14:30 pm CEST

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/about/plenary-assembly/eight-session-2020/en/



School of Soil Biodiversity and Bioindication XII cycle

SOIL MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY IN THE ERA OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE INTENSIFICATION

16-18 June, 2020

Online event

Registration deadline: 5 June 2020

1st announcement: https://www.iuss.org/media/1st_announc_remote_last.pdf

Download: https://www.iuss.org/media/registration_form_sissbiobioschool2020.docx



2nd Summerschool “Certificate in Archaeological Soil Micromorphology and Phytolith Analysis”

3-8 August 2020, Brussels, Belgium

!Postponed to 2021, dates will be announced soon!

If you would like to stay updated, please send an email to summerschool@ulb.be.

Read more: Summer School - Certificate in Archaeological Soil Micromorphology and Phytolith Analysis - Formation Continue



2020 Soil Biology Lab Skills Course

31 August 2020 to 4 Sept. 2020, Wageningen University, Netherlands

!Postponed from June 2020!

Deadline for registration: 27 February 2020

Website: www.wur.eu/lab-skills-course



WRB Workshop Summer 2020

20-25 Sept. 2020, Toruń, Poland

!Postponed from June 2020!

Regular fee payment deadline: 15 May 2020

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/summerwrb/home



IX National Symposium on Control of Soil Degradation and Recovery

30 Sept. 2020 to 2 Oct. 2020, Elche, Spain

!Postponed from May 2020!

Deadline for abstract submission: 29 February 2020

Website: https://condegres.es



VI International Soil Classification Congress in 2020 in Mexico – new dates

11 - 20 8-16 October 2020, Mexico

Field Workshop - Cuatro Ciénegas-Querétaro: October 4-10 8-13, 2020

Congress - Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 11-13 14-16, 2020

XII International Workshop of Soil Classification Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 14-20 19-24, 2020

V International Course-Workshop of Soil Quality Indicators Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro: October 14-20 19-24, 2020

Congress website: http://iscc2020.org/



GSS 2020 – 4th Global Soil Security 2020 Conference - "Global Soil Security: Beyond the Soil to Human Health."

12- 15 Oct 2020, Seoul, Korea

!Postponed from June 2020!

Abstract submission deadline: July 13, 2020

Website: http://www.globalsoilsecurity2020.org/



International Conference Contaminated Sites 2020

October 26-28, 2020, Trnava, Slovak Republic

!Postponed from June 2020!

Abstract submission before March 20, 2020

Conference website: http://contaminated-sites2020.sazp.sk/



SUSTREM2020 Conference - Empowering Sustainable Land Management for the Future

29-30 October 2020, Cape Town, South Africa

!Postponed to Oct 2021!

Read more: https://nicola-org.com/save-the-date/



2020 ASA, CSSA & SSSA Annual Meeting

November 8-11, 2020, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Annual Meeting Theme: "2020: Translating Visionary Science to Practice". In these confusing times where “fake news” is competing with facts, it has never been more important, nor more urgent, to develop the skills and tools needed to translate scientific knowledge for the public good and to do so with absolute transparency, clarity and 2020 Vision.

Abstract submission deadline: May 27 to receive the discounted rate, final deadline June 9, 2020

Website: https://www.acsmeetings.org/



Cancelled meetings:

PRSSS 2020 Soil ID Course

9-11 June 2020, William's Lake, British Columbia (BC), Canada

!Cancelled due to concern surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic!

Read more: https://www.prsss.ca/events/event/2020-summer-soil-id-course-williams-lake/

8th International Crop Science Congress

21-25 June 2020, Saskatoon, Canada

!Cancelled due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 global pandemic!

Congress website: https://www.icsc2020.com/

4th International Organic Phosphorus Workshop

7-11 September 2020, Björkliden, Sweden

!Cancelled!

Read more: https://www.arcticcirc.net/our-projects/organic-phosphorus2020



2021

Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI20)

2-4 February 2021, FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy

!Postponed from June 2020!

Read more: http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/resources/highlights/detail/en/c/1263718/



3rd ISMC Conference – Advances in Soil Systems Modeling

24-27 September 2020, Tianjin, China

!Postponed to May 2021 due to the unpredictable safety conditions and travel restrictions under Covid-19!

Conference website: https://soil-modeling.org/ismc-conference/ismc-conference



100 years of agricultural experimentation at the Faculty of Agriculture and Biology at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Warsaw

27-28 May 2021, Warsaw and Skierniewice, Poland

!Postponed from May 2020!

Conference website: http://sggw2020.pl



17th International Clay Conference 2021 (17th-ICC) - New interfaces: bridging continents and cultures with clays

11-16 July, 2021, Istanbul, Turkey

Call for thematic sessions: open until July 2020

Conference website: www.icc.aipea.org

Invitation letter: https://www.iuss.org/media/invitation_letter_of_17th_icc_2021.pdf

2nd call for thematic sessions: https://www.iuss.org/media/icc2021_2._call_for_thematic_sessions.pdf



Eurosoil 2020, Connecting people and soil

23- 27 August 2021, Geneva, Switzerland

!Postponed from Aug. 2020!

Pre-Program: https://www.iuss.org/media/eurosoil_2020_pre-programm.pdf Early Bird Registrations deadline: 27 May 2021

Website: http://eurosoil2020.com/



1st International Joint Congress on “Sustainable Management of Cultural Landscapes in the context of the European Green Deal”

9-13 September 2021, Santo Stefano di Camastra, Italy

!Postponed from October 2020!

Deadline of abstract submission: 31 May 2020

Contact: Prof. Carmelo Dazzi, carmelo.dazzi@unipa.it

Website: https://www.ecocycles.net/essc2020

Download: media/2nd_circular_essc-eurecys_2020.pdf



International Symposium on Forest Soils (ISFS2020) - Forest Soils under Global Change: Processes, Biodiversity and Ecological Services

17-20 October 2021, Hangzhou, China

!Postponed from October 2020!

Deadline for abstract and poster submission: May 30, 2021

Conference website: http://isfs2020.csp.escience.cn/dct/page/1



9th International Acid Sulfate Soils Conference - Acid Sulfate Soils: Progress, Policy and Prospects

November 21 to 26, 2021, Adelaide, Australia

!Postponed from Nov. 2020!

Abstract Submission and Conference Registration opens: 1st November, 2019

Abstract Submission and Early Registration closes 1st February, 2020

Read more: https://biological.adelaide.edu.au/acid-sulfate-soil/iassc



For the complete list of upcoming events, please see the event calendar on the IUSS website: https://www.iuss.org/meetings-events/



New publications

Soil Analysis: Recent Trends and Applications

Edited by Rakshit, A., Ghosh, S., Chakraborty, S., Philip, V., Datta, A. 1st ed. published by Springer 2020, 338 p. 104 illus., 80 illus. in color, ISBN 978-981-15-2039-6, price hardcover 159.99 € | £139.99 | $199.99; eBook: 128.39 € | £111.50 | $149.00.

Soil analysis is critically important in the management of soil-based production systems. In the absence of efficient methods of soil analysis our understanding of soil is pure guesswork. Ideally the pro-active use of laboratory analysis leads to more sustainable soil productivity. Unfortunately, most of the world’s agriculture is still reactionary, waiting for obvious yield declines to occur before taking action to identify the reasons.

This book provides a synopsis of the analytical procedures used for soil analysis, discussing the common physical, chemical and biological analytical methods used in agriculture and horticulture. Written by experienced experts from institutions and laboratories around the globe, it provides insights for a range of users, including those with limited laboratory facilities, and helps students, teachers, soil scientists and laboratory technicians increase their knowledge and skills and select appropriate methods for soil analysis.

Read more: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811520389



Climate Change and Agriculture

Edited by Dr. Delphine Deryng. Published 28 April 2020 by Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. 404 pages, ISBN-13: 9781786763204, price hardback £150.00. Also available as eBook (VitalSource).

It has been suggested that agriculture may account for up to 24% of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) contributing to climate change. At the same time climate change is threatening to disrupt agricultural production. This collection reviews key research addressing this challenge.

Climate change is the biggest challenge agriculture faces. Part 1 of this collection reviews current research on the impacts of climate change on agriculture, such as the effects of increased temperatures, as well as the ways these impacts can be modelled. Part 2 assesses what we know about the contribution of agriculture to climate change, including the impacts of both crop and livestock production as well as land use. Part 3 surveys mitigation strategies to achieve a more ‘climate-smart’ agriculture such as the role of integrated crop-livestock and agroforestry systems.

Read more: https://shop.bdspublishing.com/store/bds/detail/workgroup/3-190-84056



The Role of Agriculture in Climate Change Mitigation

By Lucjan Pawlowski, Zygmunt Litwińczuk, Guomo Zhou. 1st Edition published by CRC Press on 28 May 2020, 136 Pages, 20 B/W Illustrations, ISBN 9780367433727, price hardback GBP 74.39, eBook VitalSource 6 Month Rental GBP 46.50.

According to IPCC reports, one of the greatest threats to the Earth ecosystems is climate change caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide, mainly from the combustion of fossil fuels, cement production and land-use change which leads to an excessive temperature rise. Agriculture and forestry are responsible for quiet big emissions of greenhouse gases: CO2, CH4 and N2O, and have significant potential to reduce these emissions mainly through enhancement of CO2 absorption by terrestrial ecosystems. To evaluate the impact of agriculture on climate change, ruminant farming should be also taken into account.

The methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through appropriate management of terrestrial ecosystems and animal husbandry are widely discussed in this book, which will be of interest to academics, professionals and policy makers in environmental sciences.

Read more: https://www.routledge.com/The-Role-of-Agriculture-in-Climate-Change-Mitigation/Pawlowski-Litwinczuk-Zhou/p/book/9780367433727



Soil and Fertilizers - Managing the Environmental Footprint

By Rattan Lal. 1st Edition published by CRC Press on 27 May 2020, 358 Pages , 10 Color & 96 B/W Illustrations, ISBN 9781138600072, price hardback GBP 124.00, , eBook VitalSource 6 Month Rental GBP 21.00.

This tome presents strategies to improve soil health by reducing the rate of fertilizer input while maintaining high agronomic yields.

It is estimated that fertilizer use supported nearly half of global births in 2008. In a context of potential food insecurity exacerbated by population growth and climate change, the importance of fertilizers in sustaining the agronomic production is clear. However, excessive use of chemical fertilizers poses serious risks both to the environment and to human health.

Highlighting a tenfold increase in global fertilizer consumption between 2002 and 2016, the book explains the effects on the quality of soil, water, air and biota from overuse of chemical fertilizers. Written by an interdisciplinary author team, this book presents methods for enhancing the efficiency of fertilizer use and outlines agricultural practices that can reduce the environmental footprint.

Read more: https://www.routledge.com/Soil-and-Fertilizers-Managing-the-Environmental-Footprint/Lal/p/book/9781138600072?utm_source=crcpress.com&utm_medium=referral



KEYSOM Handbook on Methods "Soil Fauna: Key to soil organic matter dynamics and modelling"

Edited by Juan J. Jiménez and Juliane Filser, Feb. 2020.

The KEYSOM handbook of methods as a deliverable of COST Action ES1406 is finally published. This manual will help to interested readers the different techniques that were used in the Action to address the role of soil organic matter and soil fauna.

Read more: http://www.keysom.eu/files/resource/document/30/Handbook_%20COST%20Action%20ES1406%20Soil%20fauna%202020.pdf



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