The three favourite soil science books of:
Florence Carre (France)
Soil science gathers a lot of disciplines and provides many models dedicated to environmental solutions. It is then difficult to tackle very deeply all the disciplines and understand every model. The book Sols et Environnement. Cours et Etude de cas. Dunod, coll. Sciences Sup. 832 p (MC Girard, C. Walter, J. Berthelin, J.C. Remy, JL Morel, 2005) is very interesting to read since it clarifies soil science basis, presents soil landscapes (particularly French ones, sorry for this bias) and provides methods for answering specific issues related to environmental problems. It allows for getting a first sight on a specific problem and for searching afterwards, other publications which are describing more deepen concepts and methodologies. This book is always on my desk. Thanks to all the contributors who did a great job. Actually, most of them were my teachers-I can then put a face on their name and can hear them speaking. It is facilitating the learning!
To go deeper in the functioning of soil and particularly soil key properties like Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen and their relations with global environment, I particularly recommend the book Carbon and Nitrogen in the Terrestrial Environment. Kluwer Academic Publishers Springer, 432 p. (R. Nieder and D.K. Benbi, 2008). This book is clear, the carbon and nitrogen cycles are well explained, and at the same time it goes deepens in relations between environment and soil functions without forgetting global change issues. It presents models for estimating green house gases fluxes with their plus and minus. It provides then a good overview of the different impacts of environmental compartments on soil carbon decrease, nitrogen release. This is nowadays for me, an unavoidable book.
The third book I have in mind is also recent and more related to my daily work. It is the Guidelines for Surveying Soil and Land Resources, 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing.557 p. (N.J. McKenzie, M.J. Grundy, R. Webster, A.J. Ringrose-Voase, 2008) . This book is very complete in the domain of Soil Survey and Land Resources Assessment. All the steps of soil surveying are present. Moreover, this book stresses the fact that quantitative assessment of soil properties and deriving environmental issues is now necessary and affordable by people working in this domain. The tools are then described but also their way of provision, the quantitative models for soil mapping, land evaluation and land management. Of course, the authors did not forget a section dedicated to communication. Although communication is necessary to describe, it is seldom explained. I then particularly appreciate it here. I encourage all the people working in this domain to read this wonderful book.