The aim of this study was to investigate rendzinas diversity on the area of the Ojców National Park (ONP), southern Poland. Moreover, the paper aims to identify the relation between relief and soil cover slope position and its influence on classification as well as the occurrence of lithological discontinuity. The studied soils were classified as brown and chernozemic rendzinas. Rendzinas in the area of the ONP are located mainly in the middle slope position where Upper Jurassic limestones regolith is mixed with loess sediments. This situation leads to vertical heterogeneity of soil texture (and formation of rendzinas with lithological discontinuity) within the soil profile. Surface horizons were mainly characterized by silty texture while in deeper horizons there was a more clay-like texture, which was the result of weathering Jurassic limestones located in deeper parts of soil profile. In turn, uniform shallow rendzinas occurred only on exposed rocks composed of limestones, where loess cover was absent. The character of ONP’s soils is also the result of parent material heterogeneity conditioned by long-term changes e.g. denudation processes and/or weathering. In order to assess soil heterogeneity, ‘lithological discontinuity indices’ as well as ‘uniformity values’ have been applied.
The primary objective of this study was to characterise the edaphic conditions of forest areas in the Pieniny National Park (PNP), and to describe the dependencies between properties of forest soils and types of forest plant communities. The “Soil Trophic Index” (SIGg) for mountainous areas was applied. The evaluation of the trophism for 74 forest monitoring employed the soil trophic index for mountainous areas SIGg or SIGgo. Plant communities in the forest monitoring areas were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet’s phytosociological method. Soils of PNP present in the forest monitoring areas were mostly classified as eutrophic brown soils (72.9%), rendzinas (10.8%), brown rendzinas (5.41%), and rubble initial soils (5.41%). Pararendzinas, dystrophic brown soils, and gley soils were less common (total below 5.5%). In the forest monitoring areas of PNP, eutrophic soils predominate over mesotrophic soils. High SIGg index of the soils is caused by high values of acidity and nitrogen content. The Carpathian beech forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum and thermophilic beech forest Carici albae-Fagetum associations are characterised by high naturalness and compatibility of theoretical habitats. The soils of the Carpathian fir forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum abietetosum subcommunity is characterised by a higher share of silt and clay particles and lower acidity as compared to the Carpathian beech forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum typicum subcommunity. The soils of the forest monitoring areas in PNP stand out in terms of their fertility against forest soils in other mountainous areas in Poland.