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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657


TELLES, Tiago Santos; DECHEN, Sonia Carmela Falci  e  GUIMARAES, Maria de Fátima. Institutional landmarks in Brazilian research on soil erosion: a historical overview. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2013, vol.37, n.6, pp.1431-1440. ISSN 1806-9657.

The problem of soil erosion in Brazil has been a focus of agricultural scientific research since the 19th century. The aim of this study was to provide a historical overview of the institutional landmarks which gave rise to the first studies in soil erosion and established the foundations of agricultural research in Brazil. The 19th century and beginning of the 20th century saw the founding of a series of institutions in Brazil, such as Botanical Gardens, executive institutions, research institutes, experimental stations, educational institutions of agricultural sciences, as well as the creation and diversification of scientific journals. These entities, each in its own way, served to foster soil erosion research in Brazil. During the Imperial period (1808-1889), discussions focused on soil degradation and conserving the fertility of agricultural land. During the First Republic (1889-1930), with the founding of various educational institutions and consolidation of research on soil degradation conducted by the Agronomic Institute of Campinas in the State of São Paulo, studies focused on soil depletion, identification of the major factors causing soil erosion and the measures necessary to control it. During the New State period (1930-1945), many soil conservation practices were developed and disseminated to combat erosion and field trials were set up, mainly to measure soil and water losses induced by hydric erosion. During the Brazilian New Republic (1945-1964), experiments were conducted throughout Brazil, consolidating soil and water conservation as one of the main areas of Soil Science in Brazil. This was followed by scientific conferences on erosion and the institutionalization of post-graduate studies. During the Military Regime (1964-1985), many research and educational institutions were founded, experimental studies intensified, and coincidently, soil erosion reached alarming levels which led to the development of the no-tillage system.

Palavras-chave : historiography; soil conservation; land degradation; soil science.

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