Variability of morphological, physical and chemical properties of soils derived from carbonate-rich parent material in the Pieniny Mountains (south Poland)

Joanna Kowalska 1 , Bartłomiej Kajdas 1  and Tomasz Zaleski 1
  • 1 University of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science and Soil Protection, Al. Mickiewicza 21, 31-120 , Kraków, Poland

Abstract

Carbonate-rich soils are characterized by great diversity in content of carbonate and non-carbonate mineral substances in soil substrate which largely influences soil properties. The study presents the analysis results of four soil profiles located at the area of Pieniny National Park. The aim of this study was to characterize and classify the soils developed from the mixture of carbonate and carbonate-rich rock material, formerly classified as pararendzinas. It was achieved by determination of morphological, physical, and chemical properties, as well as mineralogical composition of selected carbonate-rich soils occurring in the Polish part of the Pieniny Mts. Soils were classified as typical chernozemic rendzina (P1), typical eutrophic brown soils (P2, P4), as well as typical pararendzina (P3) according to Polish Soil Classification (2011).

The parent material of studied soils P1, P2 and P4 were slope covers, with a dominant share of sandstone and minor share of limestone, whereas soil P3 was formed from variegated shale cut with multiple calcite veins. Soils were characterized by stable aggregate structure: crumby, angular blocky and subangular blocky. They were medium or strong skeletal, mostly with loam texture with great share of silt fraction. CaCO3 content in genetic horizons ranged from 0.0 to 703.0 g·kg-1. The reaction of studied soils was from weakly acidic to alkaline. Analysed soils were characterized by very high base saturation. Among determined exchangeable cations, Ca2+ ions had the biggest share in all analysed profile. High base saturation, as well as high content of calcium carbonate was accompanied by content of organic matter and percentage content of clay fraction. Taking into consideration determined chemical and physical properties, it can be found that investigated soils were influenced by not only the in-situ weathering material but also by rock material which have been transported and deposited as a result of slope processes. Furthermore, the lack or lower content of CaCO3 in surface and middle part of analysed soil profiles was most likely a result of the impoverishment of rock material during the transport on the slope.

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