Taking care of soils since 1924
Soil science books published in 2005

Soil science books published in 2005

Ecosystems. J.E. Yang, T.M. Sa and J.J. Kim, editors. The Korean Society of Soil Science and Fertilizer, The Korean Society of Agriculture and Environment and the Rural Development Administration, 2005, 267 p. ISBN 89-954086-1-8. Softcover.

This publication contains the papers presented at a symposium under the title of the book, which was held in Seoul in September 2005. It is composed of thirteen chapters, covering the perspectives on the future direction of soil research, physical-chemical-biological interfacial reactions, soil organic matter in its quality an\d amendments, anthroscapes, roles of minerals and microorganisms for soil environment and productivity, and multifunctionality of the rice paddy and mountainous soils. Six papers are from Korean authors, the rest from around the world.

Orders to: The Korean Society of Soil Science and Fertilizer, 249 Seodun-dong, Kwonsun-gu, Suwon-si, South Korea. Email: ksssf249@hanmail.net. Internet: www.ksssf.or.kr

The end of poverty – economic possibilities for our time, by Jeffrey D. Sachs. Penguin Press, New York, 2005. Hardbound, 396 pp. US$27.95. ISBN 1-59420-045-9.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and keynote speaker at the 18th World Congress of Soil Science 9-15th July in Philadelphia. He has written a fascinating book about the poverty and this book should be read by soil scientists fascinated by big questions, global issues and readable books. Throughout the book there are many views on the role of the US in global politics and poverty alleviation.

The book title refers John Maynard Keynes from 1930 Economic possibilities for our grandchildren. But Sachs has less patience not for the grandchildren but in our time, that is: by 2025. And these he considers the economic possibilities for our time: to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015; to end extreme poverty by 2025; and to ensure that poor countries have stepped on the ladder of development by 2025. Sachs is the head of the MDG Project of the UN. The eight MDGs were unanimously agreed to in 2002 by all 191 UN member states. These goals are important targets for cutting poverty in half by the year 2015, compared with a baseline of 1990. Sachs is convinced: they are bold but achievable.

Prof. Jeffrey SachsThe end of poverty
The man and his book

The book is divided in three parts: introductory chapters on poverty, case studies of countries in which Sachs was involved, and synthesis pointing the way ahead to end poverty. Only one sixth of the global population has a high-income status through consistent economic growth; another two-third has middle-income status with moderate rates of economic growth; and one sixth of all people are stuck in extreme poverty with very low rates of economic growth. Sachs gives an overview of where the poverty occurs (mostly in Africa) and linking it to various factors; for example, crop yields are related to growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. What comes first: economic growth or high yields? But obviously high yields mean high inputs and that can only be done when money is earned and the economy is right. Successes include China where 64% of the population lived on an income below one dollar per day in 1981 but the number was reduced to 17% by 2001. By the year 2050, it is reasonable to suppose that China will reach around half of the Western Europe income average – that is how quickly it can go. For India, he shows how it changed from an impoverished country 25 years ago to high-tech information service country in the world economy in the 1990s. That is why poor countries should not despair, it can be done.

In the second section, Sachs describes his experiences as advisor to various national governments including Bolivia, Poland, Russia, China, India and Africa, mainly Kenya. He describes his approach in which he views countries with huge economic problems, like super inflation, as patients. He sees countries as individuals in trouble who need the help of their families, friends, counsellors and public programs. He has developed a clinical approach to cure the problem and his clinical economics are roughly as follows: countries are poor because they are in debt, are politically instable and have unfavourable environmental and socio-economic conditions. As a result, there is no economic development and they cannot get the first foothold on the ladder. With some help (debt cancellation and financial injections) they get the first foothold and the development may continue. Without that kick-start, development may not start at all. The end of extreme poverty is the beginning of economic progress. It is not quite as simple as that and Sachs shows in various examples that happenings and measures in one place cannot be viewed independently of what happens elsewhere on the globe. Just as in ecology it seems that the holistic view has arrived in economics.

In the latter chapters, examples are given of how poverty can be ended including the already infamous Millennium villages like Sauri in Western Kenya. Sachs demonstrates that five interventions are needed to lift the village out of poverty: 1. Agricultural inputs (e.g. inorganic fertilisers), 2. Investment in health, 3. Investment in education, 4. Power, transport and communication, 5. Safe drinking water and sanitation. Total costs would be about $70 per person per year and Kenya would require an annual investment in the order of $1500 million per year to provide all poor villagers with a similar package. Current donor support for Kenya is $100 million. Upscaling from villages to entire countries or continents seems to be easier in economics than in soil science where the problem is largely unsolved.

Sachs singles out myths and questions common reasoning in the development circuits. For example, he disposes of the idea that the rich have got richer because the poor have got poorer – it would only be plausible if gross world production had remained roughly constant but gross world production raised nearly fifty fold in the past two centuries. Sachs also reminds us that until the mid-1700s the world was very poor by any of today’s standards; in many regions in Western Europe and North America poverty was fairly common until the Second World War. Those that climbed out of poverty have thus a moral responsibility to help those that are still in it.

He also questions why some countries are poor (cultural, geography, governance etc.) and in the book there are various critical notes on donor behaviour. Not only critical – also quantitative. Aid per person in sub-Saharan Africa fell from $32 in 1980 to $22 in 2001, and Africa was poorer at the start of the 21st century than during the late 1960s when the IMF and World Bank first arrived in Africa. Often aid packages have not been delivered or as he notes: an endless stream of misleading announcements that come from rich countries vis-a-vis poor countries. Rich countries should give grants rather than loans just as was done under the Marshall Plan.

Politics play a role in this book and Sachs is a firm believer that politics cannot explain Africa’s prolonged crisis. Relatively well-governed countries such as Ghana and Senegal fail to prosper and it turns out that Africa’s per capita economic growth is significantly lower than in other developing countries with comparable levels of corruption and income. Sachs comes up with an array of explanations and an important one is the lack of sufficient aid: The biggest problem today is not that too many poorly governed countries get too much help but that well-governed countries get far too little. But not only aid, also trade, although trade reforms alone are not powerful enough to enable the poorest countries to escape from extreme poverty.

In various sections, Sachs refers to soil management and particular soil fertility and nutrient management. For example, he refers to the poor inherent soil conditions in African countries: ..soils have been long depleted of nutrients as the result of repeated harvests without the benefit of chemical or organic nutrient inputs. He also suggests how these adverse conditions could be improved: nitrogen-fixing trees, agroforestry and inorganic fertilizers. As a means to let household income grow, he mentions that technology can play a role: an agricultural extension officer teaches the farm household how to manage the soil nutrients in a new and improved manner by planting special nitrogen-fixing trees that replenish the vital nitrogen nutrients of the soil… He also mentions that new agroforestry techniques can triple food crops in the N-depleted soils of Africa. As we know, N-fixing trees are beneficial but cannot do the full job of soil fertility restoration, apart from problems with adaptation of planting trees by farmers. Inorganic fertilisers remain indispensable, as Sachs notes, and he favours fertiliser subsidies like the farmers in Western Europe receive.

Sachs, like Jared Diamond, is fascinated by the influence of environmental conditions on a nation’s wealth. Some countries are landlocked, very mountainous and have poor inherent conditions that hinder economic development. Nonetheless, he states that .it is time to banish the bogeyman of geographical determinism . That is somewhat contradictory to his view elsewhere in the book (page 208 …geography have conspired with economics to give Africa a particularly weak hand.the combination of Africa’s adverse geography and its extreme poverty cause creates the worst poverty trap in the world; or on page 312: slower growth [in Africa] is best explained by geographical and ecological factors). Areas where soils are inherently poor are areas where people are poor. But poor soils and people have always existed, also in Western Europe and the USA. Hundreds of years of inorganic and organic inputs and other soil improvements (liming, drainage etc.) have made many poor soils highly productive and the people rich. So the inherently poor soils can be made rich but it needs inputs, and the will to make those inputs. It is unfortunate that there are influential people in rich countries who think that inorganic fertilisers are pesticides, and that organic agriculture can feed the world. It can not, and it is pleasing to read that Sachs has no chemophobia in fact he suggests that the use of DDT, where appropriate, can help to reduce the burden of malaria in Africa (page 262).

All in all, it is a bit unusual to read about soils and economic development in economic works. It shows that Sachs has an open eye for an important cause of low agricultural productivity in many poor countries. He provides no spatial or quantitative link between poor soil conditions and poverty (do we have the data?) but his point is well-made. It can only be hoped that his plea for the provision of free or cheap anti-malarial measures and Aids medicines go hand-in-hand with necessary investments in soil nutrient capitals an idea that has fruitlessly floated around in Africa for more than 10 years.

As a soil scientist, I enjoyed reading this book, I even think that I understood most of it. Here is a man who can write and has a message. The message is that poverty can end in our time that is not a forecast, nor a prediction, it is merely an explanation of what is possible. Throughout the book Sachs refers to soils wherever appropriate and that in combination with the historical links and insights makes this book worth reading for many soil scientists. You may also pick up a few ideas of where to focus your next research project or pick and choose convincing arguments to slot into your grant proposal. The world is better off if the Millennium Goals are being met, and if soil science plays the role it deserves.

Sachs thinks bottom-up: he believes that poverty can be reduced by helping the rural poor; give them inputs, health, education, safe water and a good road for transportation to buy and sell goods and economic development may start. True as it may be, in some countries rural poverty was reduced because money was flowing in from family members working in the cities (off-farm income). That is, and has always been, a way of integrating people in the cash economy and getting the first foot on the ladder of economic development. Sachs advocates good science and the upscaling of successes. That is refreshing to read it has worked in most parts of the world so why not use it in the extreme poor areas. But many development agencies and donors somehow think that science has no role to play.

I don’t know enough of macro economics to tell whether Sachs ideas and experiences (lifting debt, good governance, financial injections, liberalising markets, etc.) are as glorious and celebrated as described in this book. But I have seen enough poverty rooted in poor environmental conditions to understand that the plea of Sachs for ending poverty is extremely necessary. In a world preoccupied with terror, security and Wall Street and Nikkei indices, compassion and help for the poor is not only noble and humane but also sensible. We can only hope that a soil scientist would be able to write a similar book, as readable, passionate and persuasive as Sachs book. Something like: The end of poor soils and their management ecological possibilities in our time.

The book is amply illustrated with graphs and maps, which I guess is fancied by most soil scientists with a spatial and quantitative mind. The foreword is by Bono the singer of U2, an Irish rock band. Bono is the man behind the gigantic pop music spectacle Live8 that was held in the summer of 2005. More importantly, he is one of the most dyed-in-the-wool advocates of Sachs ideas. They travel jointly through Africa, share the same ideas but they target a different audience. Obviously Sachs is highly influential in the policy arena whereas Bono appears to be the mobilizer and inspirator for many (young) people throughout the world. That might be a successful combination and it can only be hoped that political changes will follow public opinion as they mostly do. To some extent people listen to politicians, but increasingly politicians have started to listen to the people they serve.

Bono Vox and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs
Brother in arms: Bono and his professor

At last something about the author. There are some biographic elements and we find out a little about the man Jeffrey Sachs, which increases the readability of the book. We learn how he changed his views over time, how perseverance and persistence pay and how he observes the smoking habits and full ash-trays of a Polish finance minister. Sachs was professor at Harvard before becoming the head of the MDG projects. Sachs has his critics. With this book he aims to convince them of the possibilities to end poverty. I cannot help thinking of various gloom and doom books (Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, Lester Brown etc.) that have predicted Malthusian catastrophes which have proved wrong, so far. The state of the world and its progress is a difficult thing to influence, but without hope and high aims to influence and change its future course we might as well do nothing and simply enjoy. Time will tell; let’s influence time. Sachs gives important leads and follows Thomas Malthus’ code of belief: Evil exists not to create despair but activity.

Alfred E. Hartemink

ISRIC – World Soil Information

e-mail: alfred.hartemink@wur.nl

(This an extended version of a review that has appeared in Geoderma)

Slash-and-Burn Agriculture. The search for alternatives. C.A. Palm, S.A. Vosti, P.A. Sanchez and P.J. Ericksen, editors. Columbia University Press, New York, 2005, xxiv + 463 p. ISBN 0-231-13451-7, softcover; 0-231-13450-9, hardcover.

This book is a synthesis of the first decade of the work of the Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn (ASB) initiative. Every year about 130.000 km2 of humid tropical rain forest is destroyed. Caused in part by the slash-and-burn practices of both large- and small-scale farmers the environmental implications of tropical deforestation and its threat to biodiversity and carbon emissions remain a worldwide concern. Yet, the small-scale farmers who use slash-and-burn agriculture depend on it to produce food and make a living for their families. Balancing the legitimate interests of rural households and global concerns about tropical deforestation is one of the major challenges of the coming decade.

The ASB consortium was formed in 1992 by a group of concerned national and international research institutions to address the global and local issues associated with this form of agriculture. With contributions from agronomists, foresters, economists, ecologists and anthropologists, this book synthesises the first decade of ASB’s work. The first paper provides the introduction to slash-and-burn activities and the overall framework used by ASB. The second section focuses on the different environmental, agronomic and socioeconomic dimensions, including chapters on carbon dynamics, greenhouse gas emissions, aboveground and belowground biodiversity, agronomic sustainability and macroeconomics. The third section focuses on specific alternatives for slash-and-burn, including community forest management, rubber agroforests, shade coffee, and reclamation of degraded grasslands. The fourth section provides the perspective of the main countries involved: Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon, Peru and Thailand. The final section compares the different sites and assesses the tradeoffs among the environmental, agronomic, and economic functions of the forest and alternatives to slash-and-burn systems.

Price: USD 39.50, softcover; USD 79.50 hardcover.

Orders to: In Europe, South Africa and Middle East: Columbia University Press, c/o John Wiley & Sons, 1 Oldlands Way, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO22 9SA, UK. Fax: +44-1243-820-250. Elsewhere: Columbia University Press, Order Department, 136 South Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533, USA. Fax: +1-914-591-9201. Internet: www.columbia.edu/cu/cup.

Sustainable Use and Management of Soils – Arid and Semiarid Regions – Advances in Geoecology 36. A. Faz Cano, R. Ortiz Silla and A.R. Mermut, editors. Catena Verlag, Reiskirchen, 2005, 602 p. ISBN 3-923381-49-2; US ISBN 1-59326-244-2. Hardcover.

This book contains a wide range of papers presented at the Symposium on Sustainable Land Use and Management of Soils in Arid and Semiarid Regions, held in Cartagena, Spain, in September 2002 and attended by more than 250 scientists. It was part of the activities of Division 1, Soils in Space and Time, of the IUSS. Drylands are in the high-risk areas. Erratic rainfall, land degradation, inadequate technologies used, and inappropriate inputs result in unpredictable crop production. The objective of the workshop was to widen our understanding of the nature and dynamics of vegetation growth and resilience and encourage the practice of sustainable management in the susceptible drylands. This book provides very useful up-to-date information for researchers, educators, graduate students, policymakers and those interested and concerned in the many issues related to land degradation and sustainable use of soils in the vast arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world.

Price: EUR and USD 169.00.

Orders to: Catena Verlag, Armelgasse 11, D-35447 Reiskirchen, Germany. Fax: +49-6408-64978. Email: catenaverl@aol.com Internet: www.catenaverlag.de Or: HSU Bookstore, Catena Verlag Distribution, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521, USA. Internet: www.humboldt.org/bookstore.

Nutrient Management in Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Soil Use and Management, volume 21, March 2005, Supplement, pp. 75-166. L. Bergstrom and S. Dahlin, guest editors. CABI Publishing. ISSN 0266-0032.

Effective management of plant nutrients is one of the most important factors regulating crop yields and environmental problems caused by agricultural activities. In temperate regions of the world, such as central and northern Europe and large parts of North America, this has resulted in ambitious efforts to develop practices that improve efficiency of nutrient use. This has been one of the focal points within the multidisciplinary Swedish research programme FOOD21, in which scientists have analysed sustainability issues of the agricultural food chain. Research related to N, P, K and trace elements was carried out within the programme for eight years. Because far less was done to make a holistic analysis of the interactions among the different plant nutrients and how this affects management practices, and a project aimed at compiling state-of-the-art knowledge on nutrient management in sustainable agricultural systems was initiated. It was the aim to produce a publication with information on: (1) key processes in nutrient cycling and how they are affected by soil, climate, management practices, and spatial and temporal variability in the landscape; (2) measures for improving the efficiency of use of individual nutrients; and (3) the options for, and feasibility of, improving the efficiency of nutrient use in specific agricultural systems. Different systems were selected: low input meat production based on grazing; mixed farming combining meat and milk production and arable crops; exclusively arable cropping; and concentrated indoor animal production In addition, scaling issues related to nutrient losses, and recycling of nutrients in municipal waste were identified as important topics. The results of these efforts are contained in this supplement.

Orders to: CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK. Fax: +44-1491-829292. Email: orders@cabi.org. In USA: CABI Publishing North America, 875 Massachusetts Avenue, 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Fax: +1-617-354-6875. Email: cabi-nao@cabi.org Internet: www.cabi-publishing.org

Characterization of Contaminated Land. Soil Use and Management, volume 21, December 2005, Supplement, pp 439 – 540. S. Young and P. Nathanail, guest editors, B. Davies, editor. CABI Publishing. ISSN 0266-0032.

The need for improved characterization of contaminated land has never been greater. This is partly due to the requirements of urban development and partly to more widespread concerns over human health and demands for improved environmental stewardship. The speed of development in all areas of chemical and biological research related to risk from contaminants has greatly increased. This supplement reviews the current state of characterization of contaminates land and soils. It is presented in three parts which loosely follow the sequence of operations required to characterize soil, viz. sampling, analysis, and (risk) assessment, with respect to the major classes of potentially toxic contaminants: metals and metalloids, radio nuclides and organic contaminants.

Orders to: CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK. Fax: +44-1491-829292. Email: orders@cabi.org. In USA: CABI Publishing North America, 875 Massachusetts Avenue, 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Fax: +1-617-354-6875. Email: cabi-nao@cabi.org Internet: www.cabi-publishing.org

Soil Abiotic and Biotic Interactions and the Impact on the Ecosystem and Human Welfare. P.M. Huang, A. Violante, J.-M. Bollag and P. Vityakon, editors. Science Publishers, Enfield and Plymouth, 2005, xviii + 439 p. ISBN 1-57808-344-3. Hardcover.

Physical, chemical and biological processes are not independent, but rather interactive processes in soil environments. Therefore, a new Commission has been created in the scientific structure of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) to deal with physical/chemical/biological interfacial interactions, i.e., abiotic and biotic interfacial interactions in the soil and related environments. These fundamental interactive processes have an enormous impact on ecosystem productivity, services and integrity, and on human welfare. The book is divided in five parts. Part I overviews the subject and addresses abiotic and biotic interactions and the impact on restoration of terrestrial ecosystems and human welfare. Parts II, III and IV deal with the roles of abiotic and biotic interactions in the transformations of (a) natural organics and xenobiotics; (b) nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur and boron; and (c) metals and metalloids, respectively. Part V addresses the issue of rhizosphere processes, the bottleneck for sustaining biological productivity and protecting the human food chain. The book is an important reference for chemists and biologists studying environmental systems, as well as for earth, soil, environmental scientists.

Price: USD 99.50.

Orders to: Science Publishers, P.O. Box 699, Enfield, NH 03748, USA. Email: sales@scipub.net Internet: www.scipub.net

Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil. Problems and Remedies. I. Ahmad, S. Hayat and J. Pichtel. Science Publishers, Enfield and Plymouth, 2005, x + 252 p. ISBN 1-57808-385-0. Hardcover.

Contamination of soil with heavy metals is a significant problem on numerous industrial and other sites worldwide. Heavy metal releases to the environment have been increasing in many locations as a result of industrial, agricultural and defence-related activities and technological developments, posing serious threats to public health and to local and regional environments. Land application of wastewater from municipal sources, including those mixed with industrial effluent, is one means of disposal of metal-containing waste and for recycling plant nutrients and organic matter for crop production. Such land application practices are becoming increasingly significant as the availability of safe drinking water and adequate quality of irrigation water is declining in many areas. Although land application may provide a cost-effective method of disposal such wastes, the practice requires strict monitoring to regulate and to minimize environmental problems.

This book contains papers in the areas of heavy metal pollution, behaviour of heavy metals in soils, impacts of metal contamination on soil characteristics, and modern biotechnological approaches for decontamination/remediation o0f metal-contaminated soil.

Price: USD 85.00.

Orders to: Science Publishers, P.O. Box 699, Enfield, NH 03748, USA. Email: sales@scipub.net Internet: www.scipub.net

Monitoring for impact: Evaluating 20 years of soil and water conservation in southern Mali. Tropical Resource Management Papers 71. F. Bodnar. Department of Environmental Sciences, Erosion and Soil & Water Conservation Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 2005, viii + 218 p. ISBN 90-8504-281-X. Softcover. Also published as thesis.

A soil and water conservation (SWC) project has been going on in southern Mali since 1986. No final evaluation was undertaken to learn lessons from this long-term and large-scale experience. The objective of the present research was to find out how to evaluate impact, what the in Mali has been, and which recommendations could be made for monitoring and evaluation of SWC projects. A reconstructed logical framework made it possible to find out what was needed for the impact evaluation, what was available from project monitoring and external monitoring, and what additional data and analyses were required. Missing data were substituted by reconstructed baselines and virtual time series.

Between 1988 and 2003, agriculture has expanded and intensified, but crop yields have declined and nutrient balances are still negative. Further intensification is needed to halt and reverse the yield decline. The cause-effect chain between project activities and impact showed that the SWC extension approach was effectively increasing farmer adoption of SWC measures. Farmer adoption steadily increased, spread to neighbouring villages and continued after project withdrawal. Erosion control measures reduced erosion with 50-70% and improved crop yields with 5-12%. Current annual farmer benefits of increased cotton production largely outweigh the annual SWC extension costs during the project. SWC projects are recommended to complete the logical framework and monitor accordingly, and to collaborate with external monitoring for a more efficient evaluation of impact. Achieving impact may take longer that the project life span. Therefore, project activities should be embedded in a long-term national program. It also implies that to assess impact after a short project period requires proxy impact indicators that reflect a continuing change, rather than an end-status.

Orders to: Erosion and Soil & Water Conservation Group, WUR, Nieuwe Kanaal 11, 6709 PA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Fax: +31-317-486103. Email: jolanda.hendriks@wur.nl Internet: www.dow.wau.nl/eswc

Adoption of terraces in the Peruvian Andes. Tropical Resource Management Papers 72. H. Posthumus. Department of Environmental Sciences. Erosion and Soil & Water Conservation Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 2005, viii + 202 p. ISBN 90-6754-957-6. Softcover. Also published as thesis.

Soil erosion is a serious constraint for agriculture and rural development in developing countries. Many efforts are made to promote soil and water conservation (SWC) among farm households. However, adoption of SWC practices is often disappointing. The study analyses the benefits of terraces and the adoption behaviour of farm households in the Peruvian Andes. The main beneficial effect of terraces is the increased water availability in the soils. However, terraces will only result in increased production if it is combined with intensified crop management or with crops with high market value. The decision to participate in a SWC-oriented program plays a key role in the adoption process. Programs with a top-down approach have a strong influence on the adoption decision. Participants of these programs installed SWC practices on the rainfed and degraded fields with steep slopes that are used for extensive agriculture or pasture. Participants of a participatory program have more individual control on the adoption decision, and they installed terraces on the less degraded fields in order to intensify agricultural production. Production functions revealed that terraces do not result in a significant increase of agricultural output at household level, but labour productivity did increase. The functioning of factor markets explained the effect of terraces on the marginal product of land and labour. Terraces have the potential to increase agricultural production and factor productivity, but whether this is of interest of a farm household, depends on the existing markets. Therefore, programs have to take into account the scarcity of production factors and the opportunities of local markets. As conditions differ per region, SWC interventions should be decentralised.

Orders to: Erosion and Soil & Water Conservation Group, WUR, Nieuwe Kanaal 11, 6709 PA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Fax: +31-317-486103. Email: jolanda.hendriks@wur.nl Internet: www.dow.wau.nl/eswc

Optimisation of nutrient cycling and soil quality for sustainable grasslands. S.C. Jarvis, P.J. Murray and J.A. Roker, editors. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, 2005, 450 p. ISBN 90-7699-871-X. Hardcover.

This book brings together two aspects of grassland soil management which, by and large, have hitherto been considered separately. Issues related to nutrient cycling and soil quality have dominated research directed towards aiding broad and local scale policy issues for improving land use. Protecting the environment and maintaining/preserving natural habitats and biodiversity, tend to be considered separately. In this book, the editors attempt to bring what are, in reality, inseparately aspects of grassland soil characteristics together and consider physical, chemical and biological components of soils, their interrelations and the way that they influence nutrient transformations and flows and soil quality. Bringing together international expertise and experience does much to progress understanding and points ways forward to maintain what is abase resource, our soils, whether it be for production targets, environmental benefits or for maintenance of natural ecosystems for future generations. This volume is useful to all those interested in soils and their function, and all grassland managers, whether their aims are directed at producing food, forage or fibre of sustainable quantity and quality or at maintaining, restoring or encouraging above and below ground biodiversity.

Price: EUR 70.00; USD 93.

Orders to: Wageningen Academic Publishers, Sales Department, P.O. Box 220, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands. Email: sales@wageningenacademic.com. Internet: www.wageningenacademic.com. In USA and Canada: Enfield Publishing, P.O. Box 699, Enfield, NH 03748, USA. Email: info@enfieldbooks.com. Internet: www.enfieldbooks.com.

Nutrient management in agricultural watersheds: a wetlands solution. E.J. Dunne, K.R. Reddy and O.T. Carton, editors. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, 2005, 250 p. ISBN 90-7699-861-2. Softcover.

Nutrient enrichment of water resources by inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can lead to eutrophication, is still a water quality problem in agriculturally dominated watersheds around the world. Internationally, wetlands both constructed and natural are increasingly being used to help reduce both point and non-point source nutrient and contaminant loss from agricultural practices. This publication contains papers presented at the symposium on Nutrient Management in Agricultural Watersheds: A Wetlands Solution, which was held in May 2004 in Wexford, Ireland. The proceedings cover aspects of water quality within agricultural watersheds; management practices to mitigate contaminant and nutrient loss from agriculture, wetland biogeochemistry; wetland functions and values within agricultural dominated landscapes; case studies of wetlands used to retain nutrient and contaminant loss from agriculture; and finally some management and policy issues concerning wetlands are presented. The book provides an interdisciplinary synthesis of experiences in Europe and the USA on the use of wetlands within agricultural watersheds.

Price: EUR 44.00; USD 59.00.

Orders to: Wageningen Academic Publishers, Sales Department, P.O. Box 220, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands. Email: sales@wageningenacademic.com. Internet: www.wageningenacademic.com. In USA and Canada: Enfield Publishing, P.O. Box 699, Enfield, NH 03748, USA. Email: info@enfieldbooks.com. Internet: www.enfieldbooks.com.

La mesure de la conductivite hydraulique dans les sols. Choix des methods. J.-C. Chossat. Editions Tec & Doc, Lavoisier, Londres, Paris, 2005, 720 p. ISBN 2-7430-0653-6.

Cet ouvrage rassemble et presente, de facon non exhaustive, la plupart des methodes utilises en France et dans le monde pour realiser des mesures de conductivite hydraulique, au champ et au laboratoire, en milieu sature ou non. Chaque methode est decrite avec son principe, le materiel necessaire – sa realisation et la resolution qui permet deacceder la valeur de la conductivite hydraulique. Ses avantages et ses inconvenients sont examines. Les equipes ayant travaille au moyen de chaque technique presente sont clairement indiques afin de permettre au lecteur de les consulter. Pour les methodes les plus utilises, un exemple chiffr est donn et des fiches de relevs de resultats sont proposes. Des tableaux de synthise permettent de comparer les methodes et faliciteront le choix entre les differentes mesures, selon leobjectif fix et lnvestissement en temps et en materiel. Ce guide saverera incontournable pour les technicians et les ingenieurs en environnement et en particulier pour ceux qui abordent les techniques de remediation des sols. Il seadresse galement directement aux bureaux d’etudes privs et aux organismes d’etat qui se penchent sur les ressources en eau et leur utilisation. Il sera procieux pour les enseignants et les etudiants en geologie, geotechnie, en hydrologie et en genie civil.

Prix: EUR 150.00.

Commandes : Editions Tec & Doc, Lavoisier, 14, rue de Provigny, F-94237 Cachan cedex, France. Fax: +33-1-47406702. Email: info@lavoisier.fr Web: www.lavoisier.fr

Nitrate, Agriculture and the Environment. T.M. Addiscott, with contributions from A.J. Gold, C.A. Oviatt, N. Benjamin and K.E. Giller. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, 2005, xi + 279 p. ISBN 0-85199-913-1. Softcover.

There is widespread public concern about the effects of nitrate derived from farming on water quality and public health. But research on nitrate during the past decade has revealed wide discrepancies between pubic perceptions and reality. The idea that nitrate is a threat to health has been discredited and current limits on nitrate in potable water are therefore unnecessarily stringent. Phosphate, rather than nitrate, is the nutrient that limits algal blooms in freshwater. The main problems from nitrate are ecological changes in coastal and estuarine waters and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. This gas, largely derived from nitrate, is a threat to the ozone layer in the stratosphere and is also a greenhouse gas. This book builds on Farming, Fertilizers and the Nitrate Problem by Addiscott, Whitmore and Powlson (CABI, 1991), but has been reconstructed to take account of new developments and to bring out more clearly the role of politicians and economists in the nitrate problem. This book will be of significant value to students of soil, crop, environmental and pollution sciences.

Price: GBP 29.50; USD 55.00.

Orders to: CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK. Fax: +44-1491-829292. Email: orders@cabi.org. In USA: CABI Publishing North America, 875 Massachusetts Avenue, 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Fax: +1-617-354-6875. Email: cabi-nao@cabi.org. Internet: www.cabi-publishing.org

Soil Erosion and Carbon Dynamics. E. Roose, Chr. Feller, B. Barths, R. Lal and B.A. Stewart. CRC Press, 2005, 376 p. ISBN 1-56670-688-2. Hardcover.

In addition to depleting nutrients necessary for healthy cops, soil erosion processes can affect the carbon balance of agroecosystems, and thus influence global warming. While the magnitude and severity of soil erosion are well documented, fluxes of eroded carbon are rarely quantified. The present volume brings together a diverse group of papers and data from the perspectives of sedimentologists, soil scientists and agronomists to resolve whether soil erosion on carbon is a beneficial or destructive process. The book collects quantitative data on eroded carbon fluxes from the scale of the agricultural plot to that of large basins and oceans. It quantifies the magnitude of eroded carbon for different management practices as compared to normal carbon sequestration and discusses the fate of the eroded carbon and whether or not it is a source or sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Finally, the book offers data reflecting the impact of soil erosion on soil, water and air quality. Other important topics include solubilisation, the determination of mineralization rates, carbon transfer and sediment deposition, as well as carbon dioxide emissions, global warming potential, and the implications of soil erosion on the global carbon cycle and carbon budget.

The book is based on the presentations at the International Colloquium Land Uses, Erosion and Carbon Sequestration, held in Montpellier, France.

Price: USD 129.95; GBP 74.99.

Orders to: In the Americas: CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA. Fax: +1-561-361-6018. Email: orders@taylorandfrancis.com. Elsewhere: CRC Press/ITPS, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants.cSP10 5BE, United Kingdom. Email: international.tandf@thomsonpublishingservices.co.uk. Internet: www.crcpress.com

Soil Sampling, Preparation, and Analysis. Second edition. K.H. Tan. CRC Press, 2005, 680 p. ISBN 0-8493-3499-3. Hardcover.

As with the first edition, the purpose of the present second edition is to assist students, technicians and scientists in the performance and understanding of soil sampling and analysis. It gives information about the most commonly used methods used in modern soil laboratories around the world. All methods are lucidly illustrated with original results gathered during many years of hands-on experiments conducted by the author and his students. The text has been extensively revised and expanded. New to second edition are three new chapters on soil and plant test methods, new information about electron microscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Price: USD 129.95; GBP 49.99.

Orders to: In the Americas: CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA. Fax: +1-561-361-6018. Email: orders@taylorandfrancis.com. Elsewhere: CRC Press/ITPS, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants.cSP10 5BE, United Kingdom. Email: international.tandf@thomsonpublishingservices.co.uk. Internet: www.crcpress.com

Water Flow in Soils. Second edition. T. Miyazaki. CRC Press, 2005, 440 p. ISBN 0-8247-5325-9. Hardcover.

This book bridges the fields of soil physics – where descriptions of water flow tend to be microscopic and hydrology where they tend to be macroscopic. This book conveys the fundamental concepts of water flow in soils with clear and essentially nonmathematical explanations. Using more than 750 illustrations, figures and equations, the author introduces soil water flow, taking both a phenomenological and analytical approach. The second edition contains revised information on the inverse analyses of infiltration and water flow in deep soils; up-to-date subjects relating to fingering flows; ponding times of slopes; water flow under temperature gradients in field and in open soil columns; recent progress on the effects of microbiological factors on water flow in soils; and other recent research topics.

Price: USD 189.95; GBP 109.00.

Orders to: In the Americas: CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA. Fax: +1-561-361-6018. Email: orders@taylorandfrancis.com. Elsewhere: CRC Press/ITPS, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants.cSP10 5BE, United Kingdom. Email: international.tandf@thomsonpublishingservices.co.uk. Internet: www.crcpress.com

Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Second edition, in 2 volumes and online. R. Lal, editor. CRC Press, 2005, 1600 p. ISBN 0-8493-3830-1. In two volumes. Hardcover.

Upholding the high standard of quality set by the first edition, this second edition is comprised of a vast array of new and updated articles showcasing the latest research and practices in the chemistry and analysis of soils, agricultural and sustainable development, environmental quality, natural resource management and ecology. A valuable reference for anyone seeking information on all aspects of soil science, this resource presents hundreds of entries on tillage, irrigation, erosion control, minerals, groundwater, degradation. It outlines the agricultural, environmental, industrial, and cultural components that affect soil productivity. The book offers a quick access to peer-reviewed articles on al branches of soil science from mineralogy an physics to soil management and restoration, and it assesses the physical and hydrological properties of soil in natural and agricultural ecosystems.

Price: GBP 340.00.

Orders to: In the Americas: CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA. Fax: +1-561-361-6018. Email: orders@taylorandfrancis.com Elsewhere: CRC Press/ITPS, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants.cSP10 5BE, United Kingdom. Email: international.tandf@thomsonpublishingservices.co.uk Internet: www.crcpress.com For information on online access, email: reference.online@tandf.co.uk

Handbuch des Bodenschutzes. Bodenkologie und belastung. Vorbeugende und abwehrende Schutzmassnahmen. 3. Auflage. H.-P. Blume, Herausgeber. Ecomed Biowissenschaften, Landsberg am Lech, 2005, xix + 914 S. ISBN 3-609-65853-3.

Die Neuauflage des Handbuches des Bodenschutzes bietet das gesamte aktuelle Wissen zum Bodenschutz. Das Buch berecksichtigt alle Aspekte der Bodennutzung, meglicher Bodenbelastungen sowie deren Vermeidung oder Behebung. Das Buch ist in fonf Teile gegliedert. Im ersten Teil werden die Funktionen der Boden als Naturkerper, als Lebensraum von Organismen und Wurzelraum for Natur- und Kulturpflanzen, als Regulatoren des Landschaftswasserhaushalts, als Filter, Puffer und Transformatoren for sauberes Grundwasser und Gewsserwasser etc. dargestellt. Der zweite Teil befasst sich mit den vielfoltigen Vernderungen und Belastungen, die Boden bei ihrer Nutzung durch den Menschen erfahren. Hier werden Bodenverbrauch durch Versiegeln, Abgraben and Verdecken ebenso behandelt wie bewusste Vernderungen als Nutzpflanzenstandort durch Bearbeiten, Bewossern, Entwossern, Dengen sowie den Einsatz von Pflanzenschutzmitteln. Der dritte Teil ist der Bodeninventur als Grundlage des Bodenschutzes gewitmet. Hier werden Bodeninformationssysteme sowie Techniken der Bodeninventur, Stand der Erstellung von Bodenkarten in Deutschland und Aussagemglichkeiten von Bodenarten behandelt. Im vierten Teil wird die Schutz von Boden im engeren Sinne dargestellt. Die derzeitigen gesetzlichen Mglichkeiten werden ebenso behandelt wie deren Berocksichtigung in der Landschaftsplanung. Der finfte Teil befasst sich mit der Sanierung bzw. der Sicherung sowie der Naturierung belasteter bzw. vernderter Boden. Neben der erforderlichen und meglichen Techniken werden auch die einzelnen Planungsschritte sowie Rechtsgrundlagen behandelt. Das Buch wendet sich an Bodenkundler, Land- und Forstwirte, Gartner, Obst- und Weinbauern, Landschaftsplaner, kologen, Kulturtechniker, Hydrologen, Limnologen, Geowissenschaftler, Chemiker, Biologen und Umweltrechtler, Umwelttechniker, Abfallwissenschaftler und Landschaftsbauer.

Preis: EUR 128,00. Sonderpreis for Mitglieder der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft.

Bestellungen an: Ecomed Medicin, Justus-von-Liebigstrasse 1, D-86899 Landsberg, Deutschland. Email: info@ecomed.de Internet: www.ecomed-medicin.de

Symposium of Arsenic in Aquifers, Soils and Plants: Implications for Management. IDB Bhaban, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 16-18 January 2005.

This CD contains the Abstracts and Power Point Presentations of the 36 papers delivered at the symposium. Information is given about the distribution, content, movement and redistribution of arsenic, potential of contamination of crops, health hazards. Interesting presentations for anyone concerned about arsenic in water, soil and crop systems.

For a copy, contact Dr. Alfred Hartemink ( alfred.hartemink@wur.nl)

World Spatial Metadata Standards: Scientific and Technical Descriptions, and Full Descriptions with Crosstable. H. Moellering, editor. Published on behalf of the International Cartographic Association by Elsevier, Amsterdam, Boston, 2005, xix + 689 p. ISBN 0-08-043949-7. Hardcover.

During the last decades we have witnessed a tremendous growth in the building of geographical datasets. The transition from manual to digital systems for mapping, and for registration of real properties, population and natural resources resulted in a series of not compatible data. In 1980s work on standardization was initiated, first in the United States and then country by country until the work became coordinated by ISO. Nowadays, it is obvious that a geospatial data infrastructure in needed, where data can be integrated both horizontally between themes and vertically from the local level to the entire world. The first big breakthrough was the development of national and international spatial database transfer standards, which resulted in the book Spatial Data Transfer Standards 2 (1997, ISBN 0-08-042433-3). The current work examines all National and International spatial metadata standards existing in the world, and should be seen as a companion volume. The new book utilizes a detailed set of assessment characteristics divided into 12 initial groups, 58 secondary classes and about 278 tertiary characteristics. Each National and International standard, plus a few application profiles are examined in great detail. Also included with many of the characteristics are Obligation Parameters, which specify whether a characteristic is Mandatory, Conditional or Optional. Together these characteristics and obligation parameters recognize almost every possible capability that a spatial metadata standard might have. The book is intended for all those interested in spatial data standards, including analytical cartography, GIS, photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying, geodesy, biology, geology, demography and related subject matter sciences.

Price: USD 176.00, GBP 110.00; EUR 160.00.

Orders to: In Europe, Middle East and Africa: Elsevier, Customer Service Department, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford, OX2 8DP, UK. Email: eurobkinfo@elsevier.com Elsewhere: Elsevier, Customer Service Department, 11830 Westline Industrial Drive, St. Louis MO 63146, USA. Email: usbkinfo@ elsevier.com Internet: www.elsevier.com

The Biology of Soil. A community and ecosystem approach. Biology of Habitats series. R. Bardgett. Oxford University Press, 2005, 256 p. ISBN 0-19-852503-6, softcover; 0-19-852502-8, hardcover.

Soil science has undergone a renaissance in recent years with an increasing awareness of the importance of soil organisms and below-ground biotic interactions as drivers of community and ecosystem properties. This book is unique amongst texts of its type in its explicit consideration of above-ground/below-ground feedback, herbivores, and the functional significance and regulation of soil biodiversity. This book is written for students taking courses in soil ecology and ecosystem science, as well as professional researchers in the field of ecology and environmental biology requiring a modern overview of the topic.

Price: GBP 24.99, USD 45.00, softcover; GBP 55.00, USD 95.00, hardcover.

Orders to: Direct Sales Department, Oxford University Press, Saxon Way West, Corby, NN16 9ES, UK. Fax: +44-1536-454518. Email: bookorders.uk@oup.com Internet: www.oup.com. In the United States: Customer Service Department, Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513, USA. Fax: +1-919-677-1303. Email: custserv@oup-usa.org

Assemblage of cutans in texturally differentiated soils (case study for Albeluvisols of the East European Plain). M.A. Bronnikova, V.O. Targulian Moscow: PBMC Akademkniga, 2005.  197 p.: il. (In Russian, supplied with English title, extended summary (8 pages) and contents, ISBN 5-94628-199-2

The whole diversity of illuviation cutans within the four pedons of the texturally differentiated soils developed on loess-like silty loams were studied. This cutans diversity is considered by authors as a single assemblage of cutans and was perceived as one of important blocks of soil memory for these soils. The detail macro-, mezo-, micro-, and submicromorphological and analytical characteristics of the cutans assemblage in the Albeluvisols were obtained. Basing on these data the combination, depth distribution and time-dependant sequences of the eluvial-illuvial processes in these soils were described: translocation of clay, silt and sand particles in suspensions, humus and Fe- Mn oxides in solutions. It was concluded that the illuvial formation of cutans started on early stages of the Holocene pedogenesis but still it is the currently active process in Albeluvisols under investigation. The set of post-illuvial processes transforming cutanic material after its deposition was identified: gleyzation, mechanical and chemical degradation, cracking and structuring, humus enrichment in situ, etc. The role of cutans as microbarriers and membranes within the soil body and their effect on the soil system functioning is briefly discussed. The book is addressed to pedologists, paleopedologists, soil micromorphologists, physicists and hydrologists as well as to environmental geochemists. It can also be used for teaching in order to demonstrate the very complex and intrinsic arrangement of soil systems. For more information, please contact authors: Maria Bronnikova mbmsh@mail.ru and Victor Targulian targul@centro.ru

Phosphorus: Agriculture and the Environment. Agronomy Monograph No. 46. J.T. Sims and A.N. Sharpley, co-editors. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 2005, xxiii + 1121 p. ISBN 0-89118-157-1. Hardcover.

This publication builds upon the scientific understanding of phosphorus (P) in agricultural settings presented in the 1980 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Monograph The Role of Phosphorus in Agriculture, edited by Khasawneh, Sample and Kamprath. In the 25 years that have passed, we have seen major advances in the understanding of how to best manage P for agricultural production, vitally important given the increased pressures agriculture faces to provide food for a rapidly growing world population. We have also seen growing concern about the impacts of agricultural P on our environment, particularly surface waters where accelerated euthrophication is now a worldwide environmental issue. Crop production in vast areas of the world is limited by P-deficient soils and new strategies are required to remove this limitation and provide an adequate food supply. In contrast, in many developed countries, we often find agricultural P surpluses that have led to the accumulation of P in soils, and to P losses in runoff and leaching which, in turn, degrade our surface waters, threatening habitats, fisheries, and even human health. The problem facing animal agriculture, often concentrated geographically in a manner that leads to large P surpluses on farms and in watersheds, is especially acute today. These challenges have led to a greater emphasis on the integration of multi-disciplinary science into agri-environmental policy, as we seek to increase agricultural productivity while protecting, or remediating, our water supplies. The present monograph provides a comprehensive, systematic review of the varied aspects of P use in crop and livestock production and of the relationships between agricultural P management and water quality. The book, which is well illustrated with figures and tables, presents a contemporary analysis of the forms and cycling of P in soils and the agricultural and environmental management practices used today to optimise crop production while preventing nonpoint P pollution of our surface ground waters. The book has the following sections: I. Phosphorus sources for agriculture: production and characteristics (2 papers); II. Phosphorus reactions and cycling in soils (8 papers); III. Phosphorus: plant nutrition and crop management (7 papers); IV. Phosphorus and animal nutrition ((4 papers); V. Agricultural management practices for phosphorus (6 papers); VI. Phosphorus and the environment (5 papers). All papers have extensive up-to-date lists of references.

Price: USD 155.00, plus 10% for orders to outside the United States.

Orders to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Headquarters Office, Book Order Department, 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711-1086, USA. Email: books@soils.org Internet: www.asa-cssa-sssa.org

Chemical Processes in Soils. Soil Science Society of America Book Series no. 8. M.A. Tabatabai and D.L. Sparks, co-editors. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 2005, xix + 723 p. ISBN 0-89118-843-6. Hardcover.

This book provides and authoritative review of the principles governing some of the most important chemical reactions and behaviour in soils. It contains 15 chapters. Soil organic matter is one of the most complex and reactive fractions of soils. A major chapter on the chemistry of soil organic matter covers carbon in the environment, the genesis and fractionation of soil organic matter, isolation of humic substances, and considerations of their structural composition, soil saccharides, and soil peptides. The details of the reactions involved and the techniques and methods used are described. Other chapters explore in detail the chemistry of phosphorus, potassium sulphur and micronutrients in soils. Other important topics include the kinetics and mechanisms involved in biogeochemical processes, cation exchange reactions, soil acidity, chemistry of redox processes, equations and models describing adsorption processes, sorption and desorption rates of neutral organic compounds, metal complexation by soil humic substances, speciation of metal in soils, chemistry of speciation of trace elements in soil solution, and the chemistry of salt-affected soils. The chapters have many illustrative tables and figures, and have extensive lists of references.

Price: USD 90.00, plus 10% for orders to outside the United States.

Orders to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Headquarters Office, Book Order Department 677, South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711-1086, USA. Email: books@soils.org Internet: www.asa-cssa-sssa.org

Principles of Soil and Plant Relations. M.B. Kirkham. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Boston, 2005, xvii + 500 p. ISBN 0-12-409751-0. Hardcover.

This textbook is developed from lectures for a graduate class in soil-plant-water relations. The book follows water as it moves through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, focusing on water in the soil and whole plant, combining soil physics, plant physiology, and microclimatology. The well-written text, suitable for a variety of graduate students in plant and soil sciences programs and interested scientists, deals with principles and is not a review of recent literature. This book, well-illustrated with figures and tables, has 27 chapters, combining theory and practice. Interesting is the inclusion of a variety of appropriate instrumentation examples and research proposals to measure soil and plant water status. At the end of each chapter are biographies of scientists that helped to develop the concepts discussed.

Price: GBP 44.99.

Orders to: In Europe, Middle East and Africa: Elsevier Customer Service Department, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK. Email: eurobkinfo@elsevier.com. In North America: Elsevier, Customer Service Department, 11830 Westline Industrial Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146, USA. Email: usbkinfo@elsevier.com Internet: www.elsevier.com

Soil-Water-Solute Process Characterization. An Integrated Approach. J. lvarez-Bened and R. Munoz-Carpena, editors. CRC Press, Boca Raton, London, 2005, xxxv + 778 p. ISBN 1-5667-0657-2. Hardcover.

The development and application of methods for monitoring and characterizing soil-water-solute processes are among the most limiting factors in understanding the soil environment. Experimental methods are a critical of scientific papers, and their design and implementation are usually the most time-consuming tasks in research. When selecting a method to characterize a property governing a soil process, the practitioner or researcher often faces complex alternatives. In many cases these alternatives are bypassed in favour of recommendations from colleagues on well-established methods that might not be the most suitable for the specific conditions of the study. An integrated approach for soil characterization in needed that combines available methods with the analysis of the conceptual model used to identify the governing property of a soil process, its intrinsic nature (variability), and the ultimate use of the values obtained. This holistic approach should be applied to the selection of methods to characterize energy and mass transfer processes in the soil, sorption, transformation, and phase changes, including microbiological processes. The book applies this integrated approach to present a comparative discussion of alternative methods, their practical application for characterization efforts, and an evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, and trade-offs. This book is not a laboratory or field handbook. It has six sections. The first section defines the basis for the strategy that will be developed (i.e., need and use, issues of spatial and temporal variability, and modelling as an integral part of the process). Sections two to four present the critical evaluation of methods available for energy and water transfer, chemical transport, and soil microbiological processes. Different methods of characterization are presented and compared using numerous tables and diagrams to help the users identify the most suitable option for their application. Section five discusses tools and applications to account for the intrinsic temporal and spatial variability and scale of soil processes. The last section is devoted to modelling aspects including uncertainty, inverse modelling, and practical recommendations.

Price: USD 169.95; GBP 97.00.

Orders to: in the Americas: CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA. Email: orders@crcpress.com Rest of world: CRC Press/ITPS, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants, SP10 5BE, UK. Email: international.tandf@thomsonpublishingservices.co.uk Internet: www.crcpress.com

Soil Sampling, Preparation, and Analysis. Second edition. Books in Soils, Plants, and the Environment. CRC Press, Boca Raton, London, 2005, 680 p. ISBN 0-8493-3499-3. Hardcover.

The second edition of this popular hands-on guide to soil sampling and analysis describes the most common as well as the more recently devised methods used in modern soil laboratories. Extensively revised, updated and expanded by over two hundred pages to reflect recent advances and shifting interest in the field, it covers principles of soil sampling, sources of errors and variability, as well as common procedures for extraction and analysis in soil instrumentation. New chapters on electron microscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance have been added. The book is well-illustrated.

Price: USD 129.95; GBP 74.99.

Orders to: in the Americas: CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487, USA. Email: orders@crcpress.com Rest of world: CRC Press/ITPS, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover, Hants, SP10 5BE, UK. Email: international.tandf@thomsonpublishingservices.co.uk Internet: www.crcpress.com

State of the World 2005. Redefining Global Security. M. Renner, H. French and