The Research Center on Volcanic Soils was created in early 2012 from the “Program of R+D+i Virtual Centres” of the Research and Development Office of the Universidad Austral de Chile, an initiative looking to support the development of transdisciplinary research teams.
In the world, the soils derived from volcanic ashes (Andisols) are less than 1% of soil resources. However, in Chile they constitute about 60% of arable soils, being located mainly from the Maule Region to Aysen Region and they are the most important edaphic resource for agriculture and forestry activities, also contributing to a number of ecosystem services (e.g. water storage for crop production, filter of nutrients and pollutants, etc.). These soils can be found under a wide range of environments and uses, from those pristine native forest ecosystems to others under cultivation, grassland and forest and fruit plantations.
Andisols present very particular natural characteristics that distinguish them from other soils in the world. Because of this and their infrequency at global level, the Research Center on Volcanic Soils (CISVo) of the UACh was created. CISVo has a virtual character since it is made up of researchers from different Universities and Research Centres in Chile, Germany, New Zealand and Belgium.
Based on interdisciplinary work, our mission is to generate knowledge on the functions of soils derived from volcanic materials under various uses in south-central Chile, considering pristine environments and those affected by human intervention. To transfer knowledge for sustainable use of volcanic soils and associated vegetation in order to contribute towards the recognition and appreciation of their functions. To contribute to the formation of human capital.
To be an international leader in research on volcanic soils through interdisciplinary work, involving social connectedness to allow the transfer of knowledge to promote their sustainable use.