Update: 19.01.2018

There are over 100,000 different types of soil in the world.

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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 58 (February 2010)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New Newsletter

History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Soil Science NewsletterThe latest issue of the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Soil Science Newsletter has been released. This issue includes information on the value of historical studies to scientists, a student writing contest, symposium plans for the 2010 WCSS in Brisbane, recent books and articles, and much more. The newsletter is available on the IUSS website by clicking on the 'IUSS Newsletters' link and scrolling down to 'Commission for History, Philosophy and Sociology of Soil Science' to 'Number 17 - January 2010'.



Some Soils in the News

ScienceDailyScienceDaily is a popular science news website. Since 1995, the site has been used by students, researchers, healthcare professionals, government agencies, educators and the general public around the world. It has more than 3 million monthly visitors, and ScienceDaily generates nearly 15 million page views a month. Occassionaly there are 'soils' items on this news website, like, for example:  Is Iron from Soil a Factor in Algal Blooms?; Spreading Antibiotics In The Soil Affects Microbial Ecosystems; From the Ancient Amazonian Indians: 'Biochar' as a Modern Weapon Against Global Warming; Changing Climate May Lead To Devastating Loss Of Phosphorus From Soil; Landfill Cover Soil Methane Oxidation Underestimated; Microorganisms Cited as Missing Factor in Climate Change Equation.

New Publications

Les principaux sols du monde. Voyage - travers lepiderme vivant de la planete Terre. Les principaux sols du monde. Voyage - travers lepiderme vivant de la planete Terre. Mathieu, Clement. 2009, 233 p., 388 illus. in colour. 42 fig., in French. Hardcover, ISBN: 978-2-7430-1196-3. Increasing food production to meet the requirements of 9 billion people in 2050 commands to better adjust soil use to soil properties. This book by Clement Mathieu not only describes the many soil types encountered on planet Earth, but, more importantly, gives the rational of their distribution. It is thus a key document to better tailor soil use. The reader feels that he can understand the reasons for soil spatial variability in each particular ecosystem. What makes the book fascinating is the 388 colour photographs, mainly from soil profiles, that allow the reader to visualize the different soil types described in the text. Clement Mathieu travelled extensively the world during his career, so he knows by himself what he is talking about. The last chapter of the book gives a good overview of the many dangers threatening the soil in a very comprehensive way. Throughout the book the author refers to both the old French classification (CPCS) and the WRB.

Manual of Methods for Soil and Land Evaluation.Manual of Methods for Soil and Land Evaluation. Edoardo A.C. Costantini (Editor). CRA-Centro di ricerca per l'agrobiologia e la pedologia, Florence, Italy ISBN 978-1-57808-571-2. 2009. 600 pages. US$119.95  The goal of the manual is to supply an operational tool for pedologists, agronomists, environmentalists, and all of the other specialists who carry out land evaluation for agriculture and forestry or, more generally, stakeholders and policy makers who make decisions at the local level based on the knowledge of the nature of soil. Discussion of the topics is not only technical and operational, but also in-depth and didactic; therefore, the text may also be used as a valid complement for students majoring in subjects that involve soil use, management and conservation.  The literature offers a wide choice of possible soil and land evaluation methods, while knowledge of the relationships existing between the physical characteristics of lands, particularly those of soils, and the requirements of specific uses is limited.

Micronutrient Handbook - from research to practical application.Micronutrient Handbook - from research to practical application. by Dr HLS Tandon. 2009. ISBN: 81-85116-60-1. Pages 212 +x. Fertiliser Development and Consultation Organisation,204-204A Bhanot Corner, 1-2 Pamposh Enclave,New Delhi 110 048 (India),E.mail: fdco@airtelmail.in, fdco@vsnl.net, Price Price:US$ 60 (inclusive of airmail delivery). The book provides latest researched based practical information on the eight micronutrients, namely boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel and zinc.Over the years, there has been a virtual explosion in the published literature on micronutrients. Much of the technical information has been processed and presented by the author from practical use point of view. This handbook is divided into 12 chapters supported by over 40 tables, 10 diagrams, a list of about 200 references.The various chapters cover the role of micronutrients and their deficiency/toxicity symptoms; micronutrients in soils:micronutrients in plants; micronutrient uptake and removal by crops; micronutrient fertilizers; the multi-micronutrient scenario: crop-wise practical recommendations; guidelines for efficient management  micronutrients and a self-test  by which a reader can judge his/her knowledge of micronutrients. The author has estimated the current annual micronutrient uptake (not removal) by crops in India to be 180,000 tonnes. Out of this, the share of iron is 68%, manganese 13%, zinc 8.5%, boron 7.5%, copper 2.1% and molybdenum 0.04%.This micronutrient handbook will be of direct interest and use to all those who are interested in balanced fertilizer use in general and micronutrients in particular.

oil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT): Global Application.Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT): Global Application. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is one of the most widely used and flexible watershed-scale water quality models in the world, as chronicled in the sixteen chapters included in the three main sections of this informative volume. Part 1 of the book provides both an overview of the model components as well as a comprehensive review of over 200 SWAT applications that were reported in the peer-reviewed literature by early 2007. Part 2 presents 10 key SWAT studies that span a wide range of different regions, application scales, environmental problems, and data availability issues. These studies range from a SWAT application for a small 200 ha watershed on the Filipino Island of Mindanao to the entire African continent and cover topics such as blue and green water availability in Iran and Africa, supporting needs within the European Water Framework Directive, simulating the hydrologic balance of the conterminous United States, and other applications for watersheds in Chile, China, India, Japan, Philippines, and South Korea. Part 3 is split into four chapters that provide descriptions and application guidance for several key SWAT support software including MWSWAT, a public domain interface that is particularly attractive for regions with limited data. The book, published as the Special Publication No. 4 of WASWAC (World Association of Soil and Water Conservation http://waswac.soil.gd.cn/) and supplied with a DVD that contains necessary software and other SWAT and WASWAC information, is available from Manuel Reyes ( mannyreyes@nc.rr.com) for readers in USA/Canada and from Samran Sombatpanit ( sombatpanit@yahoo.com) for orders from the rest of the world.


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