Coastal marsh soils in Poland: characteristics and problems of classification

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Abstract

This paper presents the current state of knowledge concerning the genesis, properties and taxonomic position of soils developed from marine and marine-alluvial sediments in Poland, called “marsh soils”. They have not as yet been identified in the fifth edition of the Polish Soil Classification (2011). However, the author’s results demonstrate that, despite occupying only a small area along the Polish Baltic coast, these soils clearly show a distinct typological specificity. This confirms the need to include the marsh soils in the Polish classification system. Therefore, the creation a separate unit within the order of weakly-developed soils was proposed. This comprehensive proposal was fully compatible with the quantitative-genetic approach used in the fifth edition. However, this proposal may not be optimal in the context of a substantial modification of the Polish classification system, e.g. by the introduction of completely quantitative hierarchical key. Because of the close taxonomic relationships between marsh, alluvial and gley soils, it seems necessary to discuss the approach used in the current edition of the WRB classification (2015).

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