Soil carbon is the largest terrestrial pool of carbon.

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

International Symposium on Soil and Plant Analysis, Mexico

The 9th International Symposium on Soil and Plant Analysis (ISSPA) was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, January 30-February 4, 2004 (Theme: “Soil, Plant, and Water Analysis: Quality Analytical Tools for an Era of Ecological Awareness”). It was organized by the Soil and Plant Analysis Council, Colegio de Postgraduados, and the Mexican Soil Science Society. This is the first time that this event was held in Mexico. It continued a successful series of symposia held biennially since 1989. The purpose of the symposium was to bring together agricultural and natural resource scientists from around the world to disseminate information on methodology, terminology, interpretation and application of soil, plant, and water analyses for the purpose of efficient resource management, sustainable production, and environmental protection. A 168-page Program and Abstracts book was given to all the registrants at the beginning of the symposium. The Welcome Reception on January 31 was a unique opportunity to renew old friendships and make some new ones. The symposium was officially opened by Mark Flock, President, Soil and Plant Analysis Council, on February 1. The program included tours, training workshops, instrument expo, and plenary and poster sessions. A number of highly regarded keynote speakers from six continents presented oral papers in the plenary sessions. Poster presentations were an integral component of the symposium. The oral and poster papers will be published in a proceedings as a special issue of the Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis after a scientific review (Neil Christensen, editor). Malcolm Sumner, an internationally acclaimed soil scientist from Athens, Georgia, USA, received the prestigious J. Benton Jones, Jr. Award for his significant contributions in the development and advancement of soil testing and plant analysis. The pre-symposium tour on January 29 included a trip to the Xcaret Park: Eight archaeological sites and ruins, museum, orchid farm, wild bird aviary, coral reef aquarium, caverns, papantla flyers, Mayan village, folkloric Mexican shows, native bees, tropical jungle path (botanical garden), 630-m underground river, etc. The mid-symposium tour on February 2 to Tulum and Chichin Itza gave an opportunity to view the soils, agriculture and forests of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Local Organizing Committee included Jorge Etchevers (Chair) and Claudia Hidalgo Moreno. Other members of the Symposium Organizing Committee were Edna Alvarez (Mexico), Bob Beck (USA), Andries Claassens (South Africa), Peter Csatho (Hungary), Bob Deutsch (USA), Mark Flock (USA), Roger Hill (New Zealand), Yash Kalra (Canada), Robert Miller (USA), George Rayment (Australia), John Ryan (Syria), Byron Vaughan (USA), and Arri van Vuuren (South Africa). Anette Palm (Germany) was the symposium manager. The 10th International Symposium on Soil and Plant Analysis will be held in Budapest, Hungary in 2007 (Tamas Nemeth, Chair, Local Organizing Committee). Further information will be posted on our web site (

Yash P. Kalra
Canadian Forest Service
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada