Update: 24.09.2017

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.

Division 3, Soil Use and Management and Commission 3.3, Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition


Takashi Kosaki, Chair, Division 3 and Toru Fujiwara, Vice-Chair, Commission 3.3


The 13th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements (ICOBTE 2015)

When & Where

July 12 through 16, 2015, Fukuoka International Congress Center, Fukuoka, Japan

Soil Message

The ICOBTE 2015 was organized by International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry (ISTEB) and the Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (JSSSPN) in Japan where the heavy metal induced health problems, i.e. Itai-Itai and Minamata diseases, were discovered and thus the first environmental research on bioavailability of cadmium and mercury started. The conference was attended by more than 500 participants and provided them with a forum to exchange ideas on and discuss about the mechanisms of trace element biogeochemistry and their environmental significance. Division 3 and Commission 3.3 of IUSS supported and convened the following two symposiums together with local and international members of ISTEB and JSSSPN

1) Division 3 and Commission 3.3 co-convened the symposium on “Remediation of Heavy Metal-contaminated Soils: Novel practical approach based on state-of-art science”. The invited papers, i.e. “Alternate wetting and drying irrigation reduces total and inorganic As, but increases Cd in rice grain” by Rufus Chaney, USDA, USA, “Organoarsenical biotransformations” by Barry Rosen, Florida International University, USA, and “Impact of biochar on metal mobility and microbial community in contaminated soil” by Yong Sik Ok, Kangwon National University, Korea, were followed by 23 oral and 23 poster presentations from Sweden, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, UK, Japan and others.

2) Division 3 supported the symposium on “Application of synchrotron radiation (SR)-based methods to biogeochemistry and environmental geochemistry of trace elements”. The invited papers, i.e. “Synchrotron-based study on arsenic remediation and biotransformation” by Chuanyong Jing, Chinese Academy of Sciences, “”and followed by 6 oral and 12 poster papers presentations from Japan, Australia, France, Italy and others.

The topics presented in the above symposiums deal mainly with methodological development using novel analytical tool and instruments, aiming at establishing remediation strategy on the environment contaminated with a variety of heavy metals. Further research and discussion should contribute to solving the issues to be handled in Division 3 of IUSS. The next ICOBTE conference will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2017.