Richter, 2019


Game Changer in Soil Science. The Anthropocene in soil science and pedology

Richter, Daniel D. (2019)
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science  


The venerable science of pedology, initiated in the 19thcentury as the study of the natural factorsof soil formation, is adapting to the demands of the Anthropocene, the geologic time during whichplanet Earth and its soils are transitioning from natural to human-natural systems. With vastareas of soils intensively managed, the future of pedology lies with a renewed science that canbe called anthropedology that builds on the pedology of the past but proceeds from ‘‘human asoutsider’’ to ‘‘human as insider.’’ In other words, the human in pedology must shift from being asoil-disturbing to soil-forming agent. Pedology is well prepared to respond to the challenges ofthe Anthropocene, given the decades of research on human-soil relations throughout human his-tory and throughout the period of the Great Acceleration (Steffenet al., 2015). However, quantita-tive understanding of soil responses to the diversity of human forcings remains elementary andneeds remedy.


Richter, Daniel D. (2019): Game Changer in Soil Science The Anthropocene in soil science and pedology. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201900320