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Tropical soils: reassessing their qualities to enhance global sustainability
Convener: Cristine Carole Muggler 
Wed, 26 Apr, 08:30–10:00

Tropical soils are commonly considered poor and bad, as well as easily compacted and highly susceptible to erosion. As a result their management has been done to mitigate their poor chemical properties and to attenuate or avoid the breakdown of their fragile physical attributes. The results have been strong degradation and contamination not only of the soils but also of watersheds. Considering that the tropical environments are the richest in biomass and biodiversity in the world, the question that naturally should arise is: how are the underlying soils poor? What is to be poor and bad? Under which perspective, are they considered poor?
The proposed short course will revisit the genesis and properties of tropical soils and their understanding in the historical context of development of Soil Science. Next, it will discuss each of their properties considered as limitations and how management has been adapted to them, as well as their role as drivers of soil functions. Bringing together those two lines, it will approach how the consideration of those properties as potentials can enhance the quality of the soils and contribute to a more sustainable use and management of tropical soils under agricultural production.
The course has a format of a workshop where participants will be actively involved by observation and discussion to unravel soil characteristics and interpret their functioning under different perspectives in the context of tropical environments.

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