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SOIL An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
SOIL cover
Executive editors: Jorge Mataix-Solera, Lily Pereg, John Quinton, Johan Six & Kristof Van Oost

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.).

Recent articles

Highlight articles

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


Obituary for Dr Barry Rawlins

10 Oct 2017

SOIL readers and EGU members will be sad to learn that Dr Barry Rawlins died on Friday 29th September two years after being diagnosed with cancer.

Update of publication policy

04 Jul 2017

The updated publication policy now is extended by the journal's open access statement, its archiving and indexing scheme, and explicit policies on corrections and retractions.

Revision of editors', referees', and authors' obligations

29 Jun 2017

The general obligations for editors, referees, and authors have been revised to give advice for the appropriate handling of literature suggestions.

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