Update: 24.09.2017

Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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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:

Artemi Cerda (Spain)

I selected the three main soil science books following the ones that were relevant in my research, and that influenced in the way I do science.

My first book in soil science was the “Précis de Pédologie”. The contribution of professor Duchaufour (1970) with his worldwide known handbook was definitive to understand the complex soil system as part of the Earth. The view of Philippe Duchaufour contributes to a new generation of soil scientists. This is the main reason why the Medal to the best Soil Scientist at the European Geosciences Union is the Duchaufour Medal. I am one of those that decided to be a soil scientist following the “Precis de Pédologie”

The second book open my mind to understand that soil science should be open to study the soil at different scales and approaches. The processes that take place at slope scale interact with the soil development and the soil degradation and erosion of the skin of the earth: the soil. The human impact on the soil system can be only understood if we understand the men’s impact on slope forms and processes. This is true also for Geomorphologist, which should know the impact of humankind on soil properties and processes. Them, to understand the soil processes we need to understand the slope processes and this was shown by professors Carson and Kirkby (1972) in a masterpiece of science. This publication influenced me to develop my research in the frontier between the traditional Soil Science and Geomorphology, and still is a source of inspiration and the understanding of the soil and slope processes. When reprinted, in 2009, no one word was changed.

Both books, the one from Duchaufour and the one from Carson and Kirkby are still useful for future generation of soil scientist. Please, young scientists read them and look for your way to develop the best science. I did, and now I can recognize that the influence of the Duchaufour handbook on my career as scientist is completed with the handbook of professor Carson and Kirkby (1972).

And the last one is a book developed as a Ph D. by Merche Bodí (2012). She developed a review and interesting research on the impact of ash from forest fires. This contribution is an example that Duchaufour and Carson and Kirkby book’s still are key contribution to the development of Soil Science. The contribution of Merche Bodí is a fruitful collaboration with the ideas of Stefan Helmut Doerr on the importance of Water Repellency in the Soil System, and the view of Jorge Mataix-Solera on the Soils as a key component of the Mediterranean ecosystem. This book show a new approach to see the fire and his effect on the soil system.

The three best books by Artemi Cerdà

Bodí, M.B. (2012). Ash and water repellency effects on soil hydrology in fire-affected Mediterranean ecosystems. University of Valencia, Ph D. Dissertation, Valencia, 84 pp.

Carson, M.A. y Kirkby, M.J. (1972). Hillslope Form and Process. Cambridge, University Press, 475 pp.

Duchaufour, P. (1970). Précis de Pédologie, Masson & Cia, París, 481 pp.