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  • Author: Łukasz Musielok x
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Classification of mountain soils in a subalpine zone – a case study from the Bieszczady Mountains (SE Poland)

Abstract

The aim of the study was to test the suitability of the 6th edition of Polish Soil Classification (SGP6) in reflecting the typical features of subalpine Bieszczady Mts. soils in comparison with the 5th edition of Polish Soil Classification (SGP5) and the newest version of World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB). Five soil profiles located in differentiated in terms of the parent material, topography and vegetation conditions of the natural environment were investigated. On the basis of described morphology and determined properties soils were classified according to different soil classifications. All soils under study were featured by presence of thick A horizons and high content of soil organic carbon accumulated even very deep in the profiles. Some of the mineral topsoil layers were classified as umbric/umbrik horizons. Moreover cambic/kambik horizons were present and in some cases also weak redoximorphic features occurred. The SGP6 enabled to distinguish soils with a thick, organic carbon-rich A horizons as umbrisols, a newly created subtype of grey soils. Furthermore, the soil taxonomic position according to SGP6 was more detailed in relation to the soil trophic status (in case of brown soils) and occurrence of weak redoximorphic features. That was reflected in number of subtypes to which analyzed soils were classified – 4 in SGP6 vs 2 in SGP5.

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Deciphering the history of forest disturbance and its effects on landforms and soils – lessons from a pit-and-mound locality at Rogowa Kopa, Sudetes, SW Poland

Abstract

The historical dimension of pit-and-mound topography has been studied at the Mt Rogowa Kopa locality, Stołowe Mountains, SW Poland. This site represents one of the best developed regional examples of hummocky forest floor relief due to widespread tree uprooting and subsequent degradation of root plates. Through map analysis and dendrochronology the disturbance history was traced to at least the 1930s and, most likely, a strong wind episode from 1933 was the reason for the forest calamity that resulted in the nearly total destruction of the original stand. However, the affected forest was a planted Norway spruce monoculture, introduced and managed until at least the beginning of the 20th century, and not a natural forest. The windthrow niche was then used by beech, whose individuals preferentially chose mounds to grow, conserving the hummocky microtopography. Changes in soil evolutionary pathways brought about by wind-driven disturbance include both haploidisation (rejuvenation) and horizonation (differentiation). Evidence of soil rejuvenation includes a decrease in organic carbon content and an increase in pH in the upper parts of soils developed on mounds relative to the pH of undisturbed references soils. Soil texture was relatively homogenised in pits and mounds. Dating of the pit-and-mound microrelief by means of soil properties (organic carbon content, iron forms) was only partly successful. Although the young age of pits and mounds is evident, the actual age inferred from soil properties was underestimated by a few tens of years. Evaluation of factors potentially controlling the propensity to widespread treethrow suggests that the type of forest is a far more important variable than local abiotic factors of bedrock geology, regolith characteristics, and slope inclination.

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Polish Soil Classification, 6th edition – principles, classification scheme and correlations

Abstract

The sixth edition of the Polish Soil Classification (SGP6) aims to maintain soil classification in Poland as a modern scientific system that reflects current scientific knowledge, understanding of soil functions and the practical requirements of society. SGP6 continues the tradition of previous editions elaborated upon by the Soil Science Society of Poland in consistent application of quantitatively characterized diagnostic horizons, properties and materials; however, clearly referring to soil genesis. The present need to involve and name the soils created or naturally developed under increasing human impact has led to modernization of the soil definition. Thus, in SGP6, soil is defined as the surface part of the lithosphere or the accumulation of mineral and organic materials permanently connected to the lithosphere (through buildings or permanent constructions), coming from weathering or accumulation processes, originated naturally or anthropogenically, subject to transformation under the influence of soil-forming factors, and able to supply living organisms with water and nutrients. SGP6 distinguishes three hierarchical categories: soil order (nine in total), soil type (basic classification unit; 30 in total) and soil subtype (183 units derived from 62 unique definitions; listed hierarchically, separately in each soil type), supplemented by three non-hierarchical categories: soil variety (additional pedogenic or lithogenic features), soil genus (lithology/parent material) and soil species (soil texture). Non-hierarchical units have universal definitions that allow their application in various orders/types, if all defined requirements are met. The paper explains the principles, classification scheme and rules of SGP6, including the key to soil orders and types, explaining the relationships between diagnostic horizons, materials and properties distinguished in SGP6 and in the recent edition of WRB system as well as discussing the correlation of classification units between SGP6, WRB and Soil Taxonomy.

Open access