Update: 21.09.2017

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.

The three favourite soil science books of:

Alain Ruellan (France)

I am a pedologist, mainly interested by the study and understanding of soil morphology. I have been formed and influenced by teachers and researchers that have worked, all around the world, about soil mantle constituents and structures at the diverse scales of their organization and functioning. As examples I can underline three books that I consider significant of the main steps of soil morphology studies and use, since forty years.

The first one is the French book of G. Bocquier (Orstom, 1973): “Origin and evolution of two Chadian tropical soil toposequences Biogeodynamic interpretation”. This book is a masterly demonstration about the existence of space and time relationships and dynamics inside soils covers: soil cover organizations and functioning are vertical and lateral; the history of a soil cover is a succession of soil minerals and structures, that we can discover looking at the space scale. Reading this book we learn very much about how to use together morphological and biogeochemical methodologies.

The second example is the book of D. Nahon (John Wiley & Sons, 1991): “Introduction to the petrology of soils and chemical weathering”. This book was written on the base of many scientific studies made, mainly, in Africa, but also in Brazil, Australia, France…. From rocks to soil, vertically and laterally, the aim of this book is to explain how to study and interpret, macro and micro alterites and soils morphologies: transformation of the mineral constituents, disappearance and appearance of old and new structures, dynamical interpretations. This book is a large demonstration about the soil systems existence: how to discover and how to understand the soil systems, base for the good use of the soil covers.

The third book is quite different, but also very important for the future of soil use: it is the “World Reference Base for Soil Resources Introduction” written by J.A. Deckers, F.0. Nachtergale, 0.C. Spaargaren (Eds.)” (Acco, 1998). This book is a nice demonstration that it is possible to construct a real international soil reference base where we can find all the soils of the world, presented first by their morphology. WRB represent an important step for soil science and soil use. My “dream”, for the next future, is that the WRB construction will be continued with a more important introduction of the soils covers existence : that is, how to use the knowledge presented in the two first books, for the future construction of a “WRB for Soils Covers”?