Update: 21.09.2017

Five tonnes of animal life can live in one hectare of soil.

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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:

Christian Walter (France)

I always liked books and despite all the digital resources, I still pay special attention to update the textbooks of our library in order to integrate the most recent publications in French or English. Choosing favourite books may be done using several criteria, e.g. personal profit, teaching interest, quality of the illustrations, etc. In my selection, I paid special attention to books which may introduce young people to soil.

My first choice is Regards sur le sol from A. Ruellan and M. Dosso, published first in 1993 (Foucher-Aupelf). This book is devoted to soil morphology and includes a large collection of beautiful pictures from soil and landscapes from all over the world. This book explains to beginners how to observe, describe and interpret morphological features. What I particularly appreciated was the clear methodological approach which is especially useful for students. Electronic versions of this book have been later published and are still available.

Le sol vivant by Gobat et al. (Presses Polytechniques et universitaires Romandes) is a textbook first published in 1998, translated as the living soil in 2004 (Sciences Publishers). I find it a seminal introduction to soil biology and related processes. This book is remarkably illustrated and integrates step by step new knowledge and methods on soil biology in a more general framework of soil knowledge. Together with the book of Lavelle and Spain Soil Ecology published in 2001 (Kluwer), they constitute an in-depth contribution suitable for disseminating knowledge well beyond the community of soil biologists and ecologists.

My third choice is Geostatistics for environmental Scientists published by Webster and Oliver in 2001 (Wiley), which is an upgraded version of a previous textbook published in 1990. This book is a good introduction to statistical methods applied to soil studies, with a particular emphasis on spatial issues. I learned personally a lot studying this book and I still strongly recommend as a reference to my students.