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Journal Articles (Review Article) Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science Year : 2022

The contribution of Friedrich Albert Fallou to modern soil science

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This article deals with Friedrich Albert Fallou (1794-1877), a lawyer by education with a strong interest for soil and geology who published "Pedologie oder allgemeine und besondere Bodenkunde" in 1862, that is, 20 years before Dokuchaev's (1883) "Russian Chernozem." He is known for having coined the term of "pedology" but his role in the development of the soil science needs recognition, the opinions diverging this far with regard to his importance in terms of pedogenesis, soil profile, soil classification and influence on Dokuchaev. The authors of the present article have translated into French and analyzed in detail each of the chapters constituting the first part ("Allgemeine Bodenkunde" 198 pp.) of his book. These pages include many precise descriptions of the soils in a small area near Fallou's place of residence in a hilly part of Saxony (NE Germany) and bear evidence for his remarkable skills as nature observer. His field experience led him to strongly recommend that soils should be studied in situ, using existing cuts, either natural or artificial. He was first to strive for the "Earth" to be recognized as a "Kingdom" of its own and for the study of the soils to be established as an independent natural science for the benefit of a wide range of potential stakeholders. The present review is intended to demonstrate that despite some shortcomings due to his sticking to a few outdated basic scientific conceptions, Fallou fully deserves to be regarded as an important forerunner of modern soil science.
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hal-03952390 , version 1 (23-01-2023)


Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0



Christian Feller, Jean‐paul Aeschlimann, Emmanuel Frossard. The contribution of Friedrich Albert Fallou to modern soil science. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 2022, 185, pp.766 - 772. ⟨10.1002/jpln.202200306⟩. ⟨hal-03952390⟩
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