Soil chemistry, as a subdiscipline of soil science, dates back to the classic ion exchange studies of H.S. Thompson and J. Thomas Way, in the 1850s. Thompson and Way's studies initiated more than 120 years of important research on macroscopic, equilibrium aspects of soil chemical reactions and processes including ion exchange, soil acidity and salinity, sorption, redox and precipitation-dissolution phenomena. These studies primarily focused on the chemistry of plant nutrients and involved the past giants of soil chemistry: Bradfield, Kelley, Mattson, Jenny, Coleman, Low, Rich, Babcock, Marshall, and Peech, to name a few.
In the 1970s the environmental quality of soils and waters became a major leitmotif in soil chemistry. Studies ensued on the chemical interactions of trace elements, radionuclides, plant nutrients, and organic chemicals in soils, sludges, and soil components. It soon became evident that in addition to understanding equilibrium processes, one must determine the kinetics and mechanisms of soil chemical reactions.
In the past two decades, major advances have occurred in soil chemistry by employing: state-of-the-art molecular scale spectroscopic-microscopic techniques that often enable one to study soil chemical processes in situ; kinetic techniques that provide information on reaction rates over time scales of milliseconds to years; and, advances in computational chemistry. Many unanswered questions remain, and arguably, the above techniques, and yet to be discovered advances, will be employed in the next millennium to help unlock the remaining mysteries of soil chemical phenomena. Such research, which is discussed in this book, is imperative to preserving our planet, feeding the world's rapidly rising population, and enhancing the quality of life for humankind.
This excellent treatise, which contains contributions from leading soil chemists, discusses past and present research achievements, but focuses on future research needs and innovations. Other important topics that are discussed include trends in graduate education and training, interdisciplinary research and funding opportunities in environmental soil chemistry, and interactions of soil chemists with colleagues in the physical and life sciences. This special publication will wisely serve scientists, students, policy makers, and funding agency personnel for years to come.
Gary W. Petersen
An impressive amount of progress has been made in soil chemistry research and education over the years. It is time to look back, to review current progress, and to identify future directions in this increasingly important area of Soil Science.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has recently created a new section named
The symposium “Whither Soil Chemistry” was sponsored by Division S-2 Soil Chemistry of SSSA and cosponsored by Working Group MO Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms of the International Society of Soil Science, and Division S-3 Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Division S-4 Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, Division S-9 Soil Mineralogy, and Division S-11 Soil and Environmental Quality of SSSA. The SSSA Executive Committee approved the proposed special publication and appointed the Editorial Committee on 16 June 1995. The objective of this special publication is to address the issue of future prospects of soil chemistry development in terms of (i) fundamentals, (ii) innovations in organization, funding, education, and placement, and (iii) impacts on global scientific community and humankind. It is hoped that this publication will: (i) provide new information on the prospects of soil chemistry development pertaining to research funding, education, placement, and the impacts on humankind, (ii) foster communications on scientific developments of soil chemists to potential users of soil science information in other scientific disciplines, and (iii) promote the soil science profession on a global scale.
P.M. Huang, Editor
D.L. Sparks, Co-editor
S.A. Boyd, Co-editor
Affiliation of Editor and Co-Editors
Affiliation of Members of the Organizing Committee
Stanley A. Barber, John B. Peterson Distinguished Professor of Agronomy Emeritus, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Paul M. Bertsch, Director, Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences, and Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802
Paul R. Bloom, Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108
Winfried E.H. Blum, Professor of Soil Science, Institut für Bodenforschung, Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna, Austria
Maryellen Cameron, Executive Officer, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230
K.M. Catlett, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
Margaret A. Cavanaugh, Program Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230
S.B. Feldman, American Colloid Co., 1500 W. Shore Dr., Arlington Heights, IL 60004
P.M. Huang, Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8
Douglas B. Hunter, Chemical Spectroscopist, Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802
W.L. Lindsay, Emeritus University Distinguished Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
Terry J. Logan, Professor of Soil Science, School of Natural Resources, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210
P.F. Low, Professor Emeritus of Soil Chemistry, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150 (deceased)
Wayne P. Robarge, Senior Researcher, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695
Morris Schnitzer, Emeritus Distinguished Research Scientist, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A OC6
H.-R. Schulten, Professor, Institute for Soil Science, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
Donald L. Sparks, Distinguished Professor of Soil Chemistry, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-1303
M.E. Sumner, Regents' Professor of Environmental Soil Science, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7272
Brian J. Teppen, Assistant Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325
L.W. Zelazny, Thomas B. Hutcheson Jr. Eminent Scholar, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061