Update: 13.07.2018

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.

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IUSS Alert 155 (May 2018)


Contributions to the next IUSS Bulletin 132

The IUSS Secretariat (iuss@umweltbundesamt.at) would like to thank all IUSS members for their contributions to our next IUSS Bulletin 132 which shall be published in June 2018.

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IUSS Special Alert on personal data protection – Reminder

According to the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 coming into force on May 25, 2018, the IUSS Secretariat located in Vienna, Austria, is obliged to ask all subscribers to the IUSS Alert for their explicit consent to further use their personal data (name and email address) for the purpose of sending them the Alert after May 25, 2018. IUSS has prepared an online tool asking all subscribers to provide their name and email address for the subscription list. A special Alert was sent out in the beginning of May, and a reminder was sent on 20 May.

Please click this link to subscribe if you have not done so already.

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Progress with the IUSS book on Global Soil Proverbs

In 2018 – on World Soil Day (5th Dec.) – IUSS intends to publish a book on Global Soil Proverbs which is part of the book series launched during the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024. At the time of writing this Alert, 34 letters of intent to submit a chapter on proverbs have been submitted. We are very much appreciating this engagement and look forward to receive the chapters until June 30.

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General News

Call for Entries – Best Film on the Topic of Soil 2018

During the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival (INFF), an international film competition on nature and environment held from October 9-12 in Innsbruck (Austria), a special prize worth 2.000 € will be awarded for the best film on the topic of soil. All films submitted to the INFF with contributions to the following topics will be assessed: soil quality, soil function, land use, land consumption, land grabbing, soil threats, protection of soil, soil ecology, soil biodiversity and food security.

The deadline for applications is: July 15, 2018.

Read more: http://www.inff.eu/en/

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Report sounds alarm on soil pollution

Soil pollution poses a worrisome threat to agricultural productivity, food safety, and human health, but far too little is known about the scale and severity of that threat, warns a new FAO report released at the start of a global symposium. Industrialization, war, mining and the intensification of agriculture have all left a legacy of soil contamination across the planet, while the growth of cities has seen soil used as a sink for ever greater amounts of municipal waste, says Soil Pollution: A Hidden Reality. But even though agricultural intensification, industrial output, and urbanization continue at a rapid pace, no systematic assessment of the status of soil pollution at global level has ever been undertaken, FAO’s new report notes.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1126971/icode/

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Land degradation threatens millions, according to first-ever land health report

Most climate science focuses on the atmosphere and the ocean, but a new report puts the health of Earth’s land front and center – and the diagnosis isn’t good. According to the first-ever land health report, produced by scientists with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, some 75 percent of the planet’s land areas are significantly degraded. The land’s ill health threatens billions of people and the ecosystem services those people rely on.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Land-degradation-threatens-millions-according-to-first-ever-land-health-report/8311522156604/

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Copper distribution in European Union topsoils

Copper (Cu) distribution in soil is influenced by climatic, geological and pedological factors. Apart from geological sources and industrial pollution, other anthropogenic sources, related to agricultural activity, may increase Cu levels in soils, especially in permanent crops. In a recent publication, we developed a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) using 21,682 soil samples from the LUCAS topsoil survey to investigate copper distribution in the soils of 25 European Union (EU) Member States. Regression analysis shows the importance of topsoil properties, land cover and climate in estimating Cu concentration. A regression model confirms our hypothesis that different agricultural management practices have a relevant influence on Cu concentration. Besides the traditional use of copper as a fungicide for treatments in several permanent crops, the combined effect of soil properties (high pH, soil organic carbon and clay), with humid and wet climatic conditions favours copper accumulation in soils of vineyards and tree crops. The data are available in ESDAC.

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/copper-distribution-topsoils

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Update on European Landslide Susceptibility Map version 2 (ELSUS v2)

In addition to the landslide susceptibility map and the related confidence level map previously available, ancillary datasets prepared for the spatial multi-criteria evaluation model used to produce ELSUS v2, including climate-physiographic regions, slope angle, lithology, and land cover, are now available for download from the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC).

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/european-landslide-susceptibility-map-elsus-v2

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Can Dirt Save the Earth?

Agriculture could pull carbon out of the air and into the soil — but it would mean a whole new way of thinking about how to tend the land.

Read more: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/18/magazine/dirt-save-earth-carbon-farming-climate-change.html

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We have no idea how much microplastic is in Australia’s soil (but it could be a lot)

Microplastics in the ocean, pieces of plastic less than 5mm in size, have shot to infamy in the last few years. Governments and businesses targeted microbeads in cosmetics, some were banned, and the world felt a little better. Dealing with microbeads in cosmetics is a positive first step, but the reality is Microplastics in soil may be a far greater problem. Norwegian research estimates that in Europe and North America, between 110,000 and 730,000 tonnes of microplastic are transferred to agricultural soils each year.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/we-have-no-idea-how-much-microplastic-is-in-australias-soil-but-it-could-be-a-lot-96858

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6000 farmers can’t be wrong on how to end climate war politics

And Australia’s National Soils Advocate Major General Michael Jeffery says more than 6000 farmers have so far agreed with his theory on how to call a truce on the so called decade-long ‘climate wars’. His battle-plan to broker political peace involves starting with the grass roots impacts that schemes like a carbon tax can have on Australia’s farmers; rather than making them an afterthought of public policy, and to then wear the brunt of increased costs. A strategic map to political victory has been detailed in Major General Jeffery’s latest report, ‘Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation’.

https://www.farmonline.com.au/story/5378121/6000-farmers-cant-be-wrong-on-how-to-end-climate-war-politics/?cs=5373

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Why This Dust Storm in India Turned Deadly,

Dust storms are an annual weather pattern seen in northern part of India. The scale and intensity of this most recent storm, however, surprised officials on the ground. It stretched from the western state of Rajasthan to the eastern state of Uttar Pradesh and hit Delhi, which lies between them.

Read more: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/india-dust-storm-wind-fatalities-science-spd/

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Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

2018

10th International Symposium on Plant-Soil Interactions at Low pH 2018 (10th PSILPH2018)

June 25-28, 2018, Palm Garden Hotel, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya, Malaysia. In line with the symposium theme “Achieving Sustainable Food Production on Acid Soils, the 10th PSILPH2018 aims to gather researchers, scientists, experts and academicians in the field of soil science, plant physiology and others to share and discuss the latest research findings and thoughts on current status of agriculture production and practices; thus, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.

Registration deadline: 31st May 2018

Read more: www.psilph2018.com

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Second International Young Scientists Forum on Soil and Water Conservation

27-31 August 2018, Moscow. This forum will address challenges/actions of soil and water management in the changing world, Climate change and human impacts as drivers of erosion, sediment dynamics, and river morphology transformation.

Read more: http://www.eng.geogr.msu.ru/IYFSWC/home.php

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British Society of Soil Science 2018 Annual Conference “Soils and Sustainable Development Goals”

4-5 September 2018, Lancaster, United Kingdom. Soils are crucial for sustainable development, and healthy soils are central to achieving many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Featuring keynote speakers addressing issues including Soils and Food Security, Climate Change and Health and Water Quality the conference will provide an opportunity to focus on soils and sustainable development.

Abstract submission deadline: midnight Sunday 10th June 2018

Registration is now open

Read more: https://www.soils.org.uk/node/1175

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Soil Security and Planetary Health Conference – 3rd Global Soil Security Conference

4-6 December 2018, the University of Sydney, Australia. Soil security refers to the maintenance and improvement of the world’s soil resource to produce food, fibre and fresh water, while also contributing to energy and climate stability, maintaining biodiversity and protecting natural systems and human wellbeing more generally. Planetary health is about safeguarding the health and wellbeing of current and future generations through good stewardship of Earth’s natural systems, and by re-thinking the way we feed, move, house, power and care for the world.
Abstract submission deadline: 14 May 2018.

Read more: https://globalsoilsecurity.com/

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New publications

The Soils of Ireland

Edited by Creamer, Rachel and O’Sullivan, Lilian. Published in the World Soils Book Series, 1st ed. 2018, XIX, 300 pages, 188 illustrations, 178 illustrations in colour, ISBN 978-3-319-71189-8, price hardcover: 119,99 € | £109.99 | $149.99; e-book: 101,14 € | £87.50 | $109.00.

This book provides a comprehensive overview of pedology in Ireland. It describes the main soil types of the country, their functions, ecological use, and the conditions to which they were subjected associated with management over time. In addition, it presents a complete set of data, pictures and maps, including benchmark profiles. Factors involved in soil formation are also discussed, making use of new, unpublished data and elaborations. The book was produced with the support and sponsorship of Teagasc, The Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more: https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783319711881

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Soil Carbon Storage Modulators, Mechanisms and Modeling

Edited by Brajesh Singh. 1st Edition published in April 2018 by Academic Press, 340 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9780128127667, eBook ISBN: 9780128127674, price paperback: € 100.05, price eBook: €130.90.

This tome takes a novel approach to the issue of soil carbon storage by considering soil C sequestration as a function of the interaction between biotic (e.g. microbes and plants) and abiotic (climate, soil types, management practices) modulators as a key driver of soil C. These modulators are central to C balance through their processing of C from both plant inputs and native soil organic matter. This book considers this concept in the light of state-of-the-art methodologies that elucidate these interactions and increase our understanding of a vitally important, but poorly characterized component of the global C cycle.

The book provides soil scientists with a comprehensive, mechanistic, quantitative and predictive understanding of soil carbon storage. It presents a new framework that can be included in predictive models and management practices for better prediction and enhanced C storage in soils.

Read more: https://www.elsevier.com/books/soil-carbon-storage/singh/978-0-12-812766-7

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The Future of Soil Carbon

Edited by Carlos Garcia, Paolo Nannipieri, Teresa Hernandez. 1st Edition published in April 2018 by Academic Press, 288 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9780128116876, eBook ISBN: 9780128116883, price paperback: € 100.05, price eBook: € 111.27.

The Future of Soil Carbon: Its Conservation and Formation provides readers with an integrative approach to understanding the important role of organic carbon in soil functioning and fertility. Terrestrial interactions between SOC and complex human-natural systems require new fundamental and applied research into regional and global SOC budgets. This book provides new and synthesized information on the dynamics of SOC in the terrestrial environment. In addition to rigorous state-of-the art on soil science, the book also provides strategies to avoid risks of soil carbon losses. Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a vital component of soils, with important and far-reaching effects on the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Human activities over the last several decades have significantly changed the regional and global balance of SOC, greatly exacerbating global warming and climate change.

Read more: https://www.elsevier.com/books/the-future-of-soil-carbon/garcia/978-0-12-811687-6

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Guidelines for Soil Description and Classification: Central and Eastern European Students’ Version

By Świtoniak M., Kabała C., Karklins A., Charzyński P., Hulisz P., Mendyk Ł., Michalski A., Novák T. J., Penížek V., Reintam E., Repe B., Saksa M., Vaisvalavičius R., Waroszewski J., 2018. Polish Society of Soil Science, Toruń: 1–286.

This book is divided into three parts. The first one – Site and soil description – follows the layout and content of professional edition of Guidelines for Soil Description, 4th ed., published by FAO (2006), simplified for educational purposes. The order of description has been modified to correspond to the layout of an original Soil description sheet. The second part – Soil classification – is a simplified WRB classification (based on a 2014/2015 edition) limited to reference soil groups known from Central Europe. The third part is an Illustrated explanatory guide that includes: i) examples of typical soil profiles for all Central European Reference Soil Groups; ii) morphological features important for soil description and identification in the field; iii) soil- landscape relationships. The photos have been enriched with graphical tips helpful at the recognizing of important soil features. PDF can be freely downloaded on Research Gate and Nicolaus Copernicus University repository.

Read more: https://repozytorium.umk.pl/bitstream/handle/item/5216/Switoniak_Guidelines.pdf?sequence=8

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Soil Sequences Atlas II

Edited by M. Świtoniak & P. Charzyński, Machina Druku ,Toruń: 248, ISBN: 978-83-949297-7-0

This is the second book in the series of Soil Sequence Atlases. The first volume was published in 2014. Main pedogeographic features are presented in the form of sequences to give a comprehensive picture of soils – their genesis and correlations with the environment in typical landscapes of Central Europe from Estonia furthest north, through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary to the southernmost Slovenia. Soils of natural landscapes – are presented, as well as those of plains of various origin, karst lands, low mountains, and anthropically modified soils. Each chapter presents soil profiles supplemented by landscape information and basic analytical data. Then, genetic interpretations of soil properties related to soil forming agents are given as schematic catenas. The main objective of this book is to present the diversity of relations between soil and landscape, climate, hydrology and human relations, and to present interpretations reflecting the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (2015) classification with comments on the choice of qualifiers. PDF can be freely downloaded on Research Gate and in Nicolaus Copernicus University repository.

Read more: https://repozytorium.umk.pl/bitstream/handle/item/5216/Switoniak_Guidelines.pdf?sequence=4

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