SOIL is an international scientific journal dedicated to the publication and discussion of high-quality research in the field of soil system sciences.
SOIL is at the interface between the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. SOIL publishes scientific research that contributes to understanding the soil system and its interaction with humans and the entire Earth system. The scope of the journal includes all topics that fall within the study of soil science as a discipline, with an emphasis on studies that integrate soil science with other sciences (hydrology, agronomy, socio-economics, health sciences, atmospheric sciences, etc.).
We discuss pathways towards better soil protection in the 21st century. The efficacy of soil conservation technology is not a fundamental barrier for a more sustainable soil management. However, soil conservation is generally not directly beneficial to the farmer. We believe that the solution of this conundrum is a rapid, smart intensification of agriculture in the Global South. This will reduce the financial burden and will, at the same time, allow more effective conservation.
Gerard Govers, Roel Merckx, Bas van Wesemael, and Kristof Van Oost
For this study we systematically investigated the molecular pattern of leaf waxes in litter and topsoils along a European transect to assess their potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Our results show that leaf wax patterns depend on the type of vegetation. The vegetation signal is not only found in the litter; it can also be preserved to some degree in the topsoil.
Imke K. Schäfer, Verena Lanny, Jörg Franke, Timothy I. Eglinton, Michael Zech, Barbora Vysloužilová, and Roland Zech
Soil records provide information about 5 millennia of heath management in cultural landscapes on sandy soils. Deforestations and the introduction of the deep, stable economy in the 18th century resulted in sand drifting and heath degradation. After the introduction of chemical fertilizers more than 90 % of the heaths were transformed into productive arable field or forests. Currently the last heaths are preserved as part of the cultural heritage.
M. Doorenbosch and J. M. van Mourik
The Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils has completed the first State of the World’s Soil Resources Report. The gravest threats were identified for all the regions of the world. This assessment forms a basis for future soil monitoring. The quality of soil information available for policy formulation must be improved.
L. Montanarella, D. J. Pennock, N. McKenzie, M. Badraoui, V. Chude, I. Baptista, T. Mamo, M. Yemefack, M. Singh Aulakh, K. Yagi, S. Young Hong, P. Vijarnsorn, G.-L. Zhang, D. Arrouays, H. Black, P. Krasilnikov, J. Sobocká, J. Alegre, C. R. Henriquez, M. de Lourdes Mendonça-Santos, M. Taboada, D. Espinosa-Victoria, A. AlShankiti, S. K. AlaviPanah, E. A. E. M. Elsheikh, J. Hempel, M. Camps Arbestain, F. Nachtergaele, and R. Vargas
The study of soil N cycling processes has been, is, and will be at the centre of attention in soil science research. The importance of N as a nutrient for all biota; the ever-increasing rates of its anthropogenic input in terrestrial (agro)ecosystems; its resultant losses to the environment; and the complexity of the biological, physical, and chemical factors that regulate N cycling processes all contribute to the necessity of further understanding, measuring, and altering the soil N cycle.
J. W. van Groenigen, D. Huygens, P. Boeckx, Th. W. Kuyper, I. M. Lubbers, T. Rütting, and P. M. Groffman
Eric Brevik leaves the editorial board of SOIL as of today. Please read his farewell address.
EGU and Copernicus Publications carefully investigated the editorial and reviewing activities of all eight scientists accused in the anonymous "McDonald" report about an alleged "citation cartel". The report is available for download.
Recently we have become aware of a case of scientific malpractice by an editor of two of our journals (SOIL and SE) who used the position as editor and reviewer to disproportionately promote citations to personal papers and associated journals. Please read the published editorial.