It can take more than 1000 years to form a centimeter of topsoil.

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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.

The three favourite soil science books of:

Darwin Anderson (Canada)

Competence in a language other than English was a requirement was of my PhD program in the Department of Soils at Oregon State University in 1967. The usual way to competence was to select a book and practise translation until ready for the examination. I chose Precis de Pedologie by Philippe Duchaufour, published by Masson in 1965, a wonderful book, clearly written and with colour photographs. Duchaufour s treatment of pedology was familiar enough to connect to my field experience in Manitoba and Oregon, with new ideas that helped to organize that knowledge. The exam was informal, at the home of a professor who was certainly a lady, and followed by tea. I have read Duchaufour s later books, even the English translations, and appreciate his writing and comprehensive knowledge.

Saskatchewan Soil Survey Report Number 12 (1944), written by pioneer pedologists John Mitchell and Harold Moss covers most of the immense area of agricultural land in this Canadian Province. Their knowledge of the land and farming adds much to the text. The report begins with a highly readable section on the factors that have determined the kinds of soil, including a great section on geology by FH Edmunds. The mapping units, soil associations, are described in a straightforward way that makes reading informative and enjoyable. The report is completed by a section on productivity in which each association is given a comparative, numerical rating. The ratings and the association names became part of the vernacular concerning land sales among farmers. All in all, the Number 12 report is a great pedology, still relevant even with more detailed maps accessible electronically.

Developing a new course in pedology with a focus on boreal ecosystems was my responsibility in 1980. The search for a suitable reference text led to a recent book, Soil and Vegetation Systems , by Stephen T. Trudgill, Oxford University Press. It s not strictly pedology, but the examples discussed and descriptive graphics provide the right balance of ecosystem processes and soil science. Several of the graphics illustrating processes became parts of overhead transparencies that connected them to local ecosystems. It was gratifying, and a bit humbling, to see original concepts that were taking shape in my mind so well illustrated and discussed. It s a great book, concise and clear, and a good read for any pedologist wanting a more system-based treatment of soils and ecosystems.