Trace elements such as zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and boron (B), are important micronutrients for crop production. Their bioavailability is essential to crops yield quantity and quality in tropical soils from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Studying the environmental micronutrient availability is an important first step for the future development of fertilizer recommendation schemes that include micronutrients and forms the starting point for this thesis research. First, the content, composition and reactivity of the most important reactive surfaces for micronutrient adsorption were studied in soils from the tropics. Next, the interaction of Zn, Cu and B with metal (hydr)oxides was studied based on molecular orbital calculations and surface complexation modeling. Finally, these results were used to study the soil chemical processes that control the micronutrient environmental availability in tropical soils and translated into accessible prediction tools to predict soluble micronutrient concentration in soils, based on the current existing spatial soil information.