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Soil Care Network Newsletter
July 2023
by Nicola Wynn, Jamie Nix, Clement Boyer, Charlotte Chivers, Michiel van de Pavert, and Anna Krzywoszynska

Academic Papers

What does good soil protection legislation look like? This multidisciplinary paper uses qualitative and quantitative data to understand the impacts of the current land protection legislation in Chile, and  to identify the legal criteria for establishing a national land use regulation


In this recent article, Potapov et al. recall 30 years of Soil food web research, highlighting current gaps in empirical data, they point to new tools and cross-disciplinary work needed to connect empirical studies and soil food-web modelling


Studies show corn takes up the majority of its nitrogen — about 67% on average — from sources occurring naturally in soil, not from fertilizer


In this meta-analysis, Beaumelle et al. quantified pesticide effects on natural soil fauna communities across a wide range of environmental contexts. They highlights that pesticide use has significant detrimental non-target effects on soil biodiversity, more than abundance, eroding a substantial part of global biodiversity and threatening ecosystem health

New article from the Sustainable Food Trust about the potential links between soil degradation and mental health


In Nature, a large study across 24 European and 715 sites found lowest bacterial and fungal diversity in less-disturbed environments (woodlands) compared to highly disturbed environments (grassland and croplands). The latter have less beneficial fungal plant symbiots.


A recent paper offers an insight into the role of soil science in colonial tea plantations in India, and its role in critiquing monocropping and questioning the idea of ‘forever fertile’ soils in the colonies 


Soil & Policy


On 5th July 2023, the EU Commission released its proposal for a directive on soil monitoring and resilience - the Soil Monitoring Law - to protect and restore soils and ensure that they are used sustainably


The Soil Monitoring Law has been already critiqued for lacking ambition. Caroline Heinzel, Associate Policy Officer for Soil at the European Environemental Bureau, said: ''Renaming the 'Soil Law' suggests the focus has switched to simply observing soil health rather than ensuring its improvement.''

Holisoils, a H2020 project (2021-2025) studying holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils, published its first policy brief in 10 languages. Dedicated to summarising state-of-the-art research results and providing policy recommendations on issues related to forest soils and their key role in climate change mitigation

We missed it! in February, the Soil Mission Support published the Soil and Land management ontology reference document. It proposed a common ontology for soil health and land management across Europe to support taxonomy harmonization and the engagement of stakeholders in such management


The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) together with the European Environmental Agency (EEA) is looking for contributing authors for the preparation of its Assessment of the State of Soil Health in Europe. It will also serve as a basis for the European Chapter of FAO's Status of the World's Soil Resources (SWSR) report planned for 2025. Applications are expected until 7 July and welcome early career researchers

Soil & Public Domain


The International Union of Soil Sciences published its Annual Report from the World Congress of Soil Science, which sets out our key achievements during and post-event

The European Healthy Soils Conference, 1st Edition, Soil Fertility will be hosted by the School of Life Sciences at the FHNW Campus Muttenz in Switzerland 13-15th September 2023

Ahead of the Centennial IUSS congress in Florence (19-21 May 2024), a call for session proposals was open to build the scientific programme. The Soil and Humanity theme gathered 17 submissions!


The second summer school of the ARTEFACT project will be hosted by gloknos, the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. 24-28 July on the following theme: After the Green Revolution: The Science and Politics of Sustainable Food-Systems in the Anthropocene. The application deadline is 14 July at midnight


A Soil Health Evidence Mini-Conference will take place on 12th July 2023 (10:00 -17:00) at the Birmingham and Midlands Institute, in central Birmingham


Soil Art, Entertainment, and Outreach

Three webinars on how to set up soil living labs and lighthouses were held by NATI00NS are to be found here. They also offer Soil Living Labs Online Matchmaking Event - 13 March 2023 – 31 October 2024

Reconnecting Humans to the Earth with Marina Tsaplina’s Soil and Spirit. Eco-artist, disability culture activist, Duke 2022-2023 artist-in-residence Marina Tsaplina developed Soil and Spirit, a project including a variety of community events, lab visits, movement workshops, and engineering and puppetry classes gathering people with diverse lineages to transform the disconnected relationship with the living world

The Art of Soil: How One Scientist Uses Dirt to Make Art. Vaughan is a scientist, paint maker, educator, mom, and artist. The soils she studies and learns from and with during her day job as an associate professor of pedology (the study of soil formation) have woven their way into her journey as an artist

Palestinian Artist Khaled Jarrar Offers Ramallah Soil as a non-fungible token. Artist Khaled Jarrar is selling soil from Ramallah to protest Israel's creeping annexation of Palestinian land. 'I'm trying to preserve the memory of this land before we are not allowed in again,' he said


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