Japanese Society of
Soil Science and Plant Nutrition


About the Society                                      

The Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (JSSSPN) was established in 1927, to construct modern theories and technical structures in the study of soil science and plant nutrition that are deeply related to the production of food and feed. Since then, we have evolved also to the aspects of environmental science for the conservation of land resources. Our Society currently has over 3,000 members, and has expanded into numerous areas of research and technology.
The cronicle of the society can be downloaded here.


The JSSSPN is composed of a diverse group of researchers from universities, and public and private institutes, and technical administrators of national and local government levels. Thus, questions and information are actively exchanged from many viewpoints.

Common global concerns include sustainable yield facing the increasing population and environmental problems such as soil degradation, acid deposition and global warming. Domestically, it is expected that environmental friendly agriculture and efficient production in harmony with soil, water, air, plant and landscape conservations play big roles in the future. The purposes of our Society are to solve these concerns and contribute to the stable development of the human community in the 21st century. This responsibility is huge, and our Society expects to contribute in the abovementioned fields.

Organization (Year 2017-2018)

President: INUBUSHI, Kazuyuki
Vice President: HATANO, Ryusuke
Vice President: KIMURA, Takeshi
Executive Director: HARADA, Yasuo
Executive Director: ANZAI, Tetsuo

Editor in Chief: SENOO, Keishi

Editor in Chief: HIGUCHI, Kyoko



The Society concentrates on academic researches which are segregated into the current 9 divisions as follows.

〇 Division 1: Soil physics

Group 1-1. Nutrient cycle and dynamics.

This group researches water, energy and nutrient dynamic cycles at different scales ranging from inside of the soil to regional scale. The nutrient cycles are related to the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil.


〇 Division 2: Soil chemistry and soil mineralogy

Group 2-1. Soil Organic and inorganic components, its mechanism and dynamism

This group conducts basic research on chemical characteristics, formation, accumulation, change and decomposition of organic and inorganic compounds that comprises the soil. In addition, this group develop new methodologies how environmental change and cultivation methods influence those mechanism, and how soil organic and inorganic compounds contribute to plant production, nutrient cycling and environmental conservation.

〇 Division 3: Soil biology

Group 3-1. Ecology and mechanism of soil organisms

This group conducts basic research on soil organisms from ecological to molecular scales about community or biomass change, diversity, molecular studies on enzyme and gene that influence nutrient cycling, interactions among soil organisms, including plants, animals and microbes involved in symbiosis and parasitism (e.g. diseases).

Group 3-2. Application and control of soil organisms

This group conducts applied research on soil organisms that is related to agricultural production and environmental preservation such as; relationships between soil organisms and soil fertility, crop growth, nutrient use efficiency, disease and its control, environmental purification, and greenhouse gas emission and its mitigation, and environmental change on dynamics and function of soil organisms.

a) TEM picture of leguminous nodule,     b) Genome comparison of rhizobium

〇 Division 4: Plant nutrition

Group 4-1. Plant macronutrients.

This group researches on the adsorption, translocation, accumulation, metabolism and function of macronutrients, defined as plant essential nutrients, and related nutrients (including silicon and sodium) through physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and ecology.

Group 4-2. Plant micronutrients.

This group researches the adsorption, translocation, accumulation, metabolism and function of micronutrients of plant essential and beneficial microelements through physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and ecology.

Group 4-3. Harmful elements of plants.

This group researches the metabolism and biological reactions of toxic elements and contents. The physiological responses and tolerance are studied via physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and ecology.

Group 4-4. Metabolites of plants and quality of crops.

This group researches the influences of plant production, metabolism mechanism and its relationship to nutrients and environment, influence of nutrients and environment on yield, metabolites and quality.

a) Root of barley (left) and rice (right)       b) Phosphate deficient tomato leaf  c) Boron surplus in rice

〇 Division 5: Soil genesis, classification and survey

Group 5-1. Soil formation and classification.

This group researches the relationship between chemical, physical and biological weathering and formation processes of soil in view of parent materials, biology, climate, topography and time), and evaluation of soil characteristics all over the world. This group deals with “pedology”, and therefore, covering from physiochemical and mineralogical phenomenon on the clay particle surfaces (micro level) to macro phenomenon such as dynamics of nutrients and water that are largely influenced by biological interactions. This group also deals with soil classification systems such as US-Soil Taxonomy, World Reference Base for Soil Resources, classification of cultivated soils and forest soils in Japan.

Group 5-2. Land classification and its utilization, and landscape evaluation.

This group deals with the preparation of land use classification maps and planning of land uses by utilizing the basic soil map, LANDSAT data, and GIS system databases. Recent additions to this group include the evaluations of soil-vegetation-water system of a wide variety of terrestrial ecosystems and landscape produced by regionality and humanity, and the consideration of existence or orientation of communal society from the environment and ecosystem globally and locally. Key words are evaluation, conservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of the terrestrial environment, closely related with soils. Besides, world environmental problems consist of natural ecosystem devastation, and desertification of land resources due to human activities. It is important to analyze the vegetation cover changes from past to present, and to provide necessary data for predictions, and future preventions and amendments.

Sustainable utilization of soil resources is also studied through mapping of soil units and evaluation of potential utility for agriculture and forestry.

a) Degraded wetland in Central Kalimantan,  b) Terrace fields in North Vietnam,     c) Making of soil monolith

〇 Division 6: Soil fertility

Group 6-1. Soil fertility of paddy fields.

This group researches paddy field soil functions for production and environmental conservations, and develops soil management technology for sustainable increase of high quality yields in rice and/or fields converted to soybean and other crops. The focus areas are influences of the dynamic state of soil nutrients, paddy growing in different diagnostic approaches of nitrogen dynamics and native nitrogen, and cultivation methods (such as no-tillage, organic and direct sowing of paddy field applied organisms). The influence on growth and/or quality (due to temperature discrepancies, poor sunshine and application of silicates and green manure), and soil fertility and its management in converted fields are also studied.

Group 6-2. Soil fertility of dry fields.

This group seeks to develop field soil management technology for sustainable and high quality yields by conducting researches on water dynamics in soil and environment conservation. Field soils are utilized for cultivating common crops such as wheat, soybeans, etc., using a variety of cropping systems, and also crops such as sugarcane, vegetables and feed crops.

The focus areas are effects on soils and crops from chemical fertilizer, compost and green manure applications, cropping systems and tillage methods, analysis of phosphate and nitrogen fertility, and variety of forms analysis lead to develop diagnostic measure, also research about use of accumulation of phosphor in soil, organic soil, soil carbon storage and variety of field soil. A mini symposium on solution of high molecular organic nitrogen relationship nitrogen fertility and research poor fertility soil in Africa was organized.

Group 6-3. Soil fertility of horticulture

This group researches the dynamics of soil nourishing water in soil that is influenced by application of fertilizers and organic matter or irrigation, and promotes development of soil irrigation management technology for environment conservation and stable production of high quality crops in farms which cultivate fruits, vegetables and flowers except for paddy rice and common crops. Specific subjects are for example the soil nourishing water dynamics by cultivation managements, influence of environment and soil nourishing water on crop quality and yield. Basic researches are conducted that deals with diagnosis methods of soil and crop, and applied researches are conducted such as effective methods to decrease fertilizer based on soil nutrient concentration and balance, and application methods of organic matter.

Group 6-4. Soil fertility of grass fields.

This group researches on the dynamics of water in soil in grass and feed crop fields, and promotes soil development management for environmental conservation and stable production of high quality feed crops.

The focus areas are influences of fertilization management and nutrient balance in increasing production, amending perennial grass quality for grazing, and amending physical and chemical characteristics of soil. The biogas plant digestive fluid use for feed crop cultivation, development of livestock manure use and environmental impact assessments are also being studied.

a) Testing Si amendment under heat stress  b) Field trial in Thailand        c) Monitoring of soil condition and plant growth

〇 Division 7: Fertilizers and soil amendments

Group 7-1. Fertilizer and application methods.

This group develops fertilizer materials such as chemical and organic fertilizers. The focus areas also comprise of investigation of physical, chemical and biological effects of fertilizers on the dynamics and plant growth in soil-plant systems, and research on methods of fertilizer application for effective environmental conservation.

Group 7-2. Soil amendment materials.

This group researches on the maintenance and improvement of soil fertility, which involve chemical, physical and biological amendments of soil by applying a variety of materials, including those made from agricultural by-products.

Group 7-3. Greening technology.

The focus areas are development of planting ground’s soil management, plant growing base materials, dynamics and control, artificial ground and evaluation method for urban greening. The focus areas also include the formulation and use of initial erosion inhibitor in slopes and amendments.

a) Slow release fertilzier under cabbage seedling    b) Manure formed into pellet

〇 Division 8: Environment.

Group 8-1. Environmental conservation.

This group researches the relationship between soil environment with food production, aquatic conservation and reclamation, and researches on the treatment of environmentally polluting materials such as livestock wastes. The focus areas are monitoring of polluted soils due to potentially harmful materials such as heavy metal and/or persistent organic pollutants and the impacts, and study of amendments for crops. For the aquatic environment, to monitor nutrient salts efflux and groundwater quality, develop amendments, analyze nutrient salts, and predict environmental load through modeling and monitoring. For livestock wastes, to research on potential environment loads of fertilizer components such as nitrogen and heavy metals from livestock manure application, composting and application technologies for effective use of fertilizer components, energy use via biogas, and treatment of pollution.

Group 8-2. Global environment.

This group investigates the effects of acidification, eutrophication, global warming and ozone depletion on soil and organisms on a global scale. The focus areas are prediction analysis based on evolution mechanism and greenhouse gas modelings (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) in soil, and quantitative evaluations of each greenhouse gas yield with global warming potential. In view of the importance of soil organic carbon on a global scale, soil respiration, farm management of soil carbon, long-term cumulative dosage and its accumulation mechanism are also studied. Furthermore, researches on the amount of efflux of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, monitoring of wet and dry depositions, and impact assessments on the forest ecosystems are also being conducted.

a) Chemical remediation of Cd polluted soil     b) Automatic greenhause gas monitoring system

〇 Division 9: Socioculture and soil science

Group 9-1. Soil education.

This group aims to increase social recognition about the importance of soil, and develop the soil education system. To achieve these aims, scientific knowledge, educational experience, and teaching materials and methods, relating soil with environmental education, are promoted among teachers and the public.

Group 9-2. Cultural agrology.

This group researches about the relationship of culture (lifestyle, technology, education, art and religion, history and regionality) with soil over time. The objectives are to analyze, evaluate and increase knowledge on the relationship between soil and culture, for the future development of soil, fertilizer and plant nutrition.

Booklet "How to teach soil"

▲Go to the top of the page