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The aim of the study was to compare the properties of soils developed from the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein sediments in the north-western part of the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland). These are deposits of continental genesis and unique features such as red beds. Two representative soil pedons - the Bartków profile (pBK) developed from clay and the Góra Czerwona profile (pGC) developed from sandstone were selected for detailed analyzes. The morphology of profiles, their micromorphological features, mineralogical composition, and physico-chemical properties were examined. Most of the properties of the soils are a consequence of the original parent rock lithology. A specific feature of the morphology of the soils are the presence of red color (about 10R by the Munsell color scale) related to the presence of hematite. As shown by the XRD data, hematite is not the product of the current soil-forming processes, but it is a lithogenic component, which was inherited from the parent rock. Under the influence of climatic factors primary rock structure has been transformed into a new pedogenic one. Soils developed from clays have a characteristic angular blocky structure. Micromorphological analysis showed that an important role in the formation of soil structure involves geogenic susceptibility of Triassic clays to specific cuboid disintegration. This is indicated by the pore system of planes as an orthogonal nets visible in thin section. The soils developed from sandstone have a weak (unstable) subangular blocky structure. The main reason is the insufficient dispersion of the clay-ferruginous fraction from the sandstone matrix. Microscopic observations indicate that fine factions occurs as loose microaggregates, which results in a feature that smaller rock fragments and individual quartz grains are not bonded into soil aggregates. The studied soils are characterized by specific physical-chemical properties. Some of them strongly depend on the mineralogical properties of the soil substrate. Strong acidity (pH 3-4) and a very low content of base cations (below 1.0 cmol(+) kg-1) are due to a lack of carbonate minerals in sandstones and weak weathering of aluminium silicate. High exchangeable Al content in clay (16.5 cmol(+) kg-1) should be related to the geochemical properties of the red bed-type rocks such as the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein deposits. Soils developed from the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein clays have a sequence of genetic horizons: Ap, Bw, Bw/C, C and fulfill the criteria assigned to dystrophic typical brown soils (BDt) in the Polish Soil Classification (PSC 2011), whereas in the WRB they were classified as Endoeutric Chromic Cambisols (Loamic). Soils developed from the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein red sandstone can be classified as dystrophic humus brown soil (BDpr) in the PSC (2011). Within the WRB classification that soil can be assigned to Epidystric Chromic Endoleptic Cambisols.


The aim of this study was to establish the fractionation of copper and zinc in a small apple orchard using the revised (four-step) Bureau Communautaire de Reference (BCR) sequential extraction procedure and assess their potential mobility in soil. Soil samples were collected at the depth of 10 cm to 25 cm, sixteen from the orchard and five control samples from a meadow located some 200 m away from the orchard. As the distribution of trace-element concentrations in the control samples was normal, they were used for comparison as background levels. We also determined soil mineralogical composition, carbonate content, soil pH, cation exchange capacity, and soil organic matter. The extraction yields of Cu and Zn from the control soil were lower than from the orchard soil (25 % vs. 34 % and 47 % vs. 52 %, respectively), which pointed to natural processes behind metal bonding in the control soil and greater influence of man-made activities in the orchard soil. Compared to control, the orchard soil had significantly higher concentrations of total Cu (P=0.0009), possibly due to the application of Cu-based fungicides. This assumption was further supported by greater speciation variability of Cu than of zinc, which points to different origins of the two, Cu from pesticides and Zn from the parent bedrock. Copper levels significantly better (P=0.01) correlated with the oxidisable fraction of the orchard soil than of control soil. Residual and organically bound copper and zinc constituted the most important fractions in the studied soils. However, the use of Cu-based fungicides in the apple orchard did not impose environmental and health risk from Cu exposure.

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