Update: 19.01.2018

Soil stores 10% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.

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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.

IUSS Alert 67 (November 2010)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New IUSS Bulletin 117

In this new IUSS Bulletin: an editorial by the outgoing IUSS Secretary General Stephen Nortcliff; various reports from the World Congress of Soil Science; minutes from the IUSS Council meetings in Brsibane; information on the new IUSS officers; the winners of the IUSS Awards Don Sparks and Dan Yaalon; new IUSS honorary members; Five questions to soil scientists answered by Jan Mulder (Norway), Jean Paul Legros (France), Allan Hewitt (New Zealand) and Zueng-Sang Chen (Taiwan); The favourite soil science books of Paul Hallett (UK) and Victor Asio (Philippines); 2010 report on IUSS Working Group on Global Change; Revised Statutes and Bye-laws of the IUSS; Reports of meetings; New publications, and a list of all IUSS Honorary members. Happy reading!

New IUSS Newsletters

Commission 1.1 Soil Morphology & Micromorphology October 2010, vol. 7

In this newsletter:  Report of the 19th WCSS, Courses: Tubingen 2011, London 2010, Awards: Kubi?na Medal, Philippe Duchafour Medal, Young Micromorphologist, Publication Award. Research notes: Julie Bell and Zeng-Yei Hseu write about their research projects. Publications: Stoops, Marcelino and Mees 'Interpretation of micromorphological features of soils and regoliths.' News from the Archaeological Soil Micromorphology Working Group. Future meetings, workshops and congresses: Pisa 2011, Reading 2011, Vienna 2011, Lleida 2012

Commission 1.6 Paleopedology Vol. 22

In this newsletter: Change of commission officers, Dan Yaalon receives Dokuchaev Award, Commission activities at the WCSS 2010 in Brisbane, Commission events scheduled for the period 2011-2014, Information on INQUA Congress 2011 in Bern, Switzerland, Information on Joint Meeting of the Commissions on Paleopedology and Soil Geography in 2011, Report: First International Field Summer School on Paleopedology, August 3-7, 2010, Western Siberia, Russia, Report: Second International Geochronology Summer School, September 5-10, 2010, Switzerland, Papers presented at the 19th WCSS in 2010 in Brisbane

Both Newsletters are available on www.iuss.org  under <IUSS Newsletters>

Conferences and Meetings

9th International Conference, Humic Substances in Ecosystems (HSE9), connected with 15 anniversary of Polish Chapter of the IHSS (International Humic Substances Society), to be held May 26-29 2011 in Karpacz, West Sudety Mts., Poland. The main hosts of the conference are Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Science, Institute of Soil Science and Environment Protection and Polish Humic Substances Society. Main topics of the conference are: instrumental methods in humic substances analysis; structure and properties of humic substances; transformation and role of NOM in terrestrial and water ecosystems; carbon sequestration and role of humic substances in components transfer among ecosystems; organic wastes and their utilization; humic substances in strategy for soil protection. Invited speakers with lectures as well as poster and field sessions will be good opportunity to discuss the role of organic matter in environment. Details of the conference, important dates, fee - visit the website


European Geosciences Union

General Assembly 2011, Vienna, Austria, 03 - 08 April 2011

SSS2.5 - Soil and irrigation sustainability practices. Convener: Leonor Rodriguez-Sinobas. Co-Conveners: Jose Manuel Rato Nunes, Giuseppe Provenzano, Rafael Munoz-Carpena, A.M. Tarquis. Irrigation and fertilizers are key factors to feed world population in the next decades. Within this framework, best management irrigation practices will play an important role to maintain and improve soil sustainability and to meet the standards dictated by the European Directive. Despite the increased production and diversification, the sustainability of irrigation is questioned. This is largely due to its sometimes detrimental effect on the environment and associated economic costs. In consequence, we need: to understand and assess the effect of irrigation and fertirrigation practices in soil sustainability; to promote better irrigation practices and to design energy-saving irrigation systems.

For more details http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/7789

SSS2.6/HS12.12/NP3.12. Spatial and temporal scaling in soil erosion: measurements, theory and modeling. Convener: Mike Kirkby. Co-Conveners: A.M. Tarquis, Yves Le Bissonnais, Olivier Cerdan, Nikolaus J. Kuhn, Anthony Parsons, Klaudia Oleschko, Anne Gobin, Jose A. Gomez. Land degradation and soil erosion are perceived as important problems facing. Many spatially distributed soil erosion models have been developed for small spatial units (e.g. individual plots or fields). Their application at a regional scale (e.g. large drainage basins) was hitherto not very successful since most models are 'scale-time-specific'. In most cases the lack of input data is a limiting factor for an appropriate model application at a regional scale. Therefore, complexity of erosion and sediment system in catchments is a key issue.

For more details http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/7790

NP3.8/SSS5.7 Complexity and nonlinearity in soils. Convener: A.M. Tarquis,Co-Conveners: Edith Perrier, R M Lark, Ruth E Falconer, Daniel Gimenez. Soil is not only a support for vegetation, but it is also the zone of numerous interactions between the mineral material of the original and added rock, soil life (micro-organisms, plants, animals), climate (water, air, temperature), and its position in the landscape. Due to these various processes associated to its formation and genesis soil dynamics reveals high complexity that creates several levels of structure using this term in a broad sense.

In this session, we invite contributions related to the modeling and quantification of these systems that provide an improved understanding. We especially encourage studies using an integrated, cross-disciplinary approach.

For more details http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2011/session/6692

News from Wiley and how to write

Read "How to Write for European Journal of Soil Science and Soil Use and Management", a presentation given by the editors Steve Jarvis and Donald Davidson during the World Congress of Soil Science in Brisbane in August 2010, click here for their presentation. To buy a copy of Writing Scientific Research Articles by Margaret Cargill and Patrick O'Connor, go to wiley.com or click here

New Publications

Is it possible for the World Soils to feed 9 billions of Humans ? Les Sols du Monde pourront-ils nourrir 9 milliards d'humains. French publication By Yves Coquet and Alain Ruellan. Le Pommier Editions, Paris, 2010. ISSN 1625-1245 ISBN 978-2-7465-0463-9. Can the world soils feed 9 billion human beings? That is the question to which Yves Coquet and Alain Ruellan try to formulate an answer, in a small and short book, that is meant for a large public to discover, at the same time, what are the soils and their functions and how soils have to be better known and used. Why this book? First because it is clear that this question is an accute high preoccupation of the world. Secondly, because today more and more answers are given without taking the soils in consideration. Thirdly, it is urgent that soil scientists give their opinion about this question; to find solutions, soils and their diversity have to be taken in consideration.

The Soils of Southern South Australia. Hall, James (Ed); Maschmedt, David; Billing, Bruce. Government of South Australia. 2009, 446 pp. Hardcover. ISSN: 0016-7673; ISBN: 978-1-9215-2816-3. A comprehensive and beautifully presented reference on the geology, nature, distribution, management, use, conservation, potential and limitations of South Australian soils. The book contains previously unpublished information sourced from over two-decades of field-based scientific endeavour. It describes the soil resources of South Australia's non-arid zone; summarises concepts, issues and data specifically relating to soil type; and includes numerous colour maps, graphs and data tables, together with colour photographs of soil profiles and associated landscapes, an extensive introduction, and comprehensive appendices. The book is designed to complement Australian Soils and Landscapes (McKenzie et al. 2004) - providing more detail for a productive and diverse part of the Australian continent. Soils are categorised into 15 groups and 61 subgroups based on features of most importance to land use and management in South Australia. 61 representative soil profiles are shown with full classifications according to The Australian Soil Classification (Isbell 2002). The book is intended to build interest in, and knowledge and understanding of, our precious soil resources for improved natural resource management and land-use decision making; is designed to assist farmers, grape-growers, wine-makers, irrigators, planners, ecologists, researchers, policy-makers, educators and students; and should appeal to anyone with an interest in our key natural resource assets. To order see: www.environment.sa.gov.au/dwlbc/land/soil.

TUSEC - Technique for Soil Evaluation and Categorization for Natural and Anthropogenic Soils. By: Andreas Lehmann, Susanne David and Karl Stahr. Publisher: Hohenheim University, Institute for Soil Science and Land Evaluation, 2010. The "TUSEC-book" is an innovative manual for soil evaluation in the temperate zone, comprising an English and a German version in one volume. New and innovative are the explicit consideration of anthropogenic soils with the TUSEC-evaluation and the differentiation of the evaluation system into two evaluation methods for different levels of detail. The publication starts with a short retrospection on soil evaluation and an introduction to the background of soil functions. Moreover, the restrictions and possibilities of schematic methods for soil evaluation are highlighted in some detail. A glossary is also added to the text. According to the different levels of detail of the methods, the book is partitioned into two parts. The first part focuses on exact evaluation which requires the input of primary soil data and some additional information. The second part comprises a low input method for soil evaluation for overview purposes basing on the input of secondary soil data and further information. Such secondary data are e.g. information read out from hydrological maps, building ground maps, but also information about the transport of soil material.  Both, the part describing the detailed method and the part showing the overview method, are again divided in chapters with step-by-step descriptions of methods for the evaluation of the widely known soil functions. Every of these chapters are introduced with principal explanations on the according soil functions and descriptions of the specifities of the method are given. Thereby, details on the methodological extensions which are necessary for the evaluation of anthropogenic soils are highlighted.  The book comprising 217 pages is published as volume 86 in the "Hohenheimer Bodenkundliche Hefte" and could be ordered by mail to kstahr@uni-hohenheim.de or by fax to +49 711 4592 3117. The price including shipment is 10,50 EUR.

A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping is a FREE book by Tom Hengl. It uses R+gstat/geoR, SAGA GIS and Google Earth combo of software packages. It includes seven diverse data analysis exercises. Materials presented in this book have been used for the five-day advanced training course 'GEOSTAT: spatio-temporal data analysis with R+SAGA+Google Earth', that is periodically organized by the author and collaborators. Visit http://spatial-analyst.net/book/ to obtain a digital copy of the book and R scripts / data sets used. This is an Open Access Publication.

 Philip's Atlas of the World.  (RRP - 75), Published 4th October 2010, ISBN: 9781849071222. The world is facing a serious threat of a food shortage within the next 60 years, global food reserves are at their lowest for 30 years and with the population soaring, expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there will be an extra 2.5 billions people to feed. This combined with our demand for more meat and variety of fresh produce in our diet is putting a huge pressure on ever diminishing resources. The new Philip's Atlas of the World, published on October 4th in association with the Royal Geographical Society is the ultimate, top of the range atlas for personal and professional use. Completely updated and revised, it is packed with spectacular satellite images of the earth, a detailed and informative World Geography section, maps and city-centre plans for 69 of the world's largest and most economically important cities, plus world statistics and a glossary of geographical terms. It particular, it looks in detail at the increasing threat to Food Security in a fascinating article written exclusively for Philip's by a team led by Keith Goulding. To order see: www.philips-maps.co.uk


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