Update: 19.01.2018

A handful of soil can contain billions of soil microorganisms.

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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 62 (June 2010)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New IUSS Bulletin

IUSS Bulletin 116IUSS Bulletin 116 contains a report on 19th World Congress of Soil Science (1-6 August 2010, followed by Divisional Reports of all four divisions. There are 4 articles on: Pedogeographogenetic and Pedomorphogenetic Concepts in Soil Surveys (Stelian Cirstea); Implications of The Knowledge Paradox for Soil Science (Johan Bouma ;Comments  on  Soil  Memory  and  Paleo-Environmental Reconstruction  for  Soil  Evolution (Dan Yaalon); Trends in Soil Degradation Publications (Rogier De Jong). The Five Questions to a Soil Scientist are answered by David Rossiter (Netherlands), Pavel Krasilnikov (Russia), John Ryan (Syria), Susan Ikerra (Tanzania), Yash Kalra (Canada) and Jim Gauld (UK) whereas Eric Brvik (USA) discusses his Favourite Soil Science Books. Reports of Meetings are included as is a list New Publications, and the IUSS Honorary Members.

New Publications

The Architecture and Biology of SoilsThe Architecture and Biology of SoilsThe Architecture and Biology of Soils : Life in Inner Space. Edited by K Ritz, Cranfield University, UK, I M Young, University of Abertay, Dundee, July 2010. Hardback, 400 Pages. 9781845935320UK $95.00, $135.00. Soil is a fundamental and critical, yet often overlooked, component of terrestrial ecosystems. It is an extremely complex environment, supporting levels of diversity far greater than any ecosystem above ground. This book explores how soil structure develops and the consequences this has for life underground. The effects of spatial arrangement, of soil's physical and biological components on their interaction and function are used to demonstrate their roles in ecosystem dynamics. Bringing together existing knowledge in the areas of soil biology and physics, this book explores the key characteristics of soil spatial architecture.


Soil Ecology and Management.Soil Ecology and Management. By J K Whalen, McGill University, Canada, L Sampedro, Centro de Investigacion Forestal de Lourizan Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain December 2009. Paperback, 304 Pages. 9781845935634. $37.50 $55.00. Soil Ecology and Management describes the organisms inhabiting the soil, their functions and interactions and the dimensions of human impact on the activity of soil organisms and soil ecological function. Chapters discuss basic soil characteristics and biogeochemical cycling, key soil flora and fauna as well as community-level dynamics (soil food webs). Unlike other soil biology and ecology textbooks, this text also conveys a better understanding of how human activities impact upon soil ecology in a section on ecosystem management and its effects on soil biota. The authors provide a unique perspective on the utility of soil organisms by exploring the biodiversity of soil food webs, how they are impacted by human activities and intervention and their management.

Radionuclides in the Environment.Radionuclides in the Environment. David Atwood (Editor). ISBN: 978-0-470-71434-8. Hardcover, 522 pages. Wiley, May 2010 $150.00 / $172.50. The global growth of the nuclear power industry will require a complete understanding of the impact of radionuclides in the environment. A great deal is known about the sources of radionuclides and their occurrence in the environment. However, the basic chemistry of these elements is a continually growing area of research. There is no single resource for obtaining a holistic understanding of radionuclide environmental chemisty. The proposed book will provide this resource with an element-specific coverage of the occurrence, chemistry, and speciation of environmental radionuclides written by experts in the area. The coverage for each element will be presented in a standard format, which will make it easier for the user to find all relevant information:  1. Occurrence. 2. Chemistry and Speciation with regards to: a) soil (with adsorption or reactions on humic matter and mineral phases); b) water (may include biological uptake where this information is known); c) air  3. Separation Techniques; 4. Analytical Characterization Techniques; 5. Remediation (potential techniques or existing technologies).

Trace Elements in SoilsTrace Elements in Soils. Peter Hooda (Editor). ISBN: 978-1-4051-6037-7. Hardcover, 616 pages. April 2010, Wiley-Blackwell. $125.00, $143.80 Trace elements occur naturally in soils and some are essential nutrients for plant growth as well as human and animal health. However, at elevated levels, all trace elements become potentially toxic. Anthropogenic input of trace elements into the natural environment therefore poses a range of ecological and health problems. As a result of their persistence and potential toxicity, trace elements continue to receive widespread scientific and legislative attention. Trace Elements in Soils reviews the latest research in the field, providing a comprehensive overview of the chemistry, analysis, fate and regulation of trace elements in soils, as well as remediation strategies for contaminated soil. The book is divided into four sections: (i) Basic principles, processes, sampling and analytical aspects: presents an overview including general soil chemistry, soil sampling, analysis, fractionation and speciation. (ii) Long-term issues, impacts and predictive modelling: reviews major sources of metal inputs, the impact on soil ecology, trace element deficient soils and chemical speciation modelling. (iii) Bioavailability, risk assessment and remediation: discusses bioavailability, regulatory limits and cleanup technology for contaminated soils including phytoremediation and trace element immobilization. (iv) Characteristics and behaviour of individual elements.


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