Soils are truly wonderful. They are the major support systems of human life and welfare. They provide anchorage for roots and hold water and nutrients long enough for plants and micro-organisms to make use of it. In fact, most of the land’s biodiversity lives in the soil, not above ground. Without soils the Earth’s landscape would be as barren as Mars.
Read more about soils and their fascinating diversity
World Soil Museum
In the World Soil Museum of ISRIC, visitors can learn about the role of soils in life and ecosystems and get an impression of the enormous variation of soil types in the world, from the colourful volcanic ash soil from Indonesia to the man-made Terra Preta soil from the Amazon. The museum displays soil monoliths with accompanying data including a full profile description, soil chemical and physical data, and information on the landscape and land-use.
The World Soil Museum welcomed its 2000th visitor October 8th last. The visitor was among a group of former staff members of the Geography and Landscape group (formerly the Soil Science and Geology Department) of the WUR.
How does it affect the soil when tropical rain forest is converted to paddy field or to palm oil plantation? The World Soil Museum is putting together a collection of soil profiles from the Indonesian island of Borneo that will illustrate the differences in land use.