Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
SOIL, 1, 117–129, 2015

Special issue: An introduction to SOIL

SOIL, 1, 117–129, 2015

Editorial 16 Jan 2015

Editorial | 16 Jan 2015

The interdisciplinary nature of SOIL

E. C. Brevik1, A. Cerdà2, J. Mataix-Solera3, L. Pereg4, J. N. Quinton5, J. Six6, and K. Van Oost7 E. C. Brevik et al.
  • 1Department of Natural Sciences, Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND, USA
  • 2Departament de Geografia, Universitat de València, Valencia, Spain
  • 3GEA-Grupo de Edafología Ambiental , Departamento de Agroquímica y Medio Ambiente, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Avda. de la Universidad s/n, Edificio Alcudia, Elche, Alicante, Spain
  • 4School of Science and Technology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
  • 5Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • 6Department of Environmental Systems Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, Tannenstrasse 1, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 7Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Abstract. The holistic study of soils requires an interdisciplinary approach involving biologists, chemists, geologists, and physicists, amongst others, something that has been true from the earliest days of the field. In more recent years this list has grown to include anthropologists, economists, engineers, medical professionals, military professionals, sociologists, and even artists. This approach has been strengthened and reinforced as current research continues to use experts trained in both soil science and related fields and by the wide array of issues impacting the world that require an in-depth understanding of soils. Of fundamental importance amongst these issues are biodiversity, biofuels/energy security, climate change, ecosystem services, food security, human health, land degradation, and water security, each representing a critical challenge for research. In order to establish a benchmark for the type of research that we seek to publish in each issue of SOIL, we have outlined the interdisciplinary nature of soil science research we are looking for. This includes a focus on the myriad ways soil science can be used to expand investigation into a more holistic and therefore richer approach to soil research. In addition, a selection of invited review papers are published in this first issue of SOIL that address the study of soils and the ways in which soil investigations are essential to other related fields. We hope that both this editorial and the papers in the first issue will serve as examples of the kinds of topics we would like to see published in SOIL and will stimulate excitement among our readers and authors to participate in this new venture.

Special issue
Short summary
This paper provides a brief accounting of some of the many ways that the study of soils can be interdisciplinary, therefore giving examples of the types of papers we hope to see submitted to SOIL.