Gray forest soils characteristics, definition, zone, profile, relief

For different climatic conditions and locations of the regions, certain types of soil are characteristic. Due to the unique composition of the soil in a particular area, plants typical of the region grow. The layer that forms between the chernozem steppes and podzolic soils is called gray forest lands. Both in terms of location, properties, and nutrients, the soil occupies a middle place. At the moment, geographers cannot agree on the origin of gray forest soils.

General characteristics and location of soils

In most cases, gray forest soils are formed in a dry temperate continental climate. The processes of soil podzolization are very slow, since in these regions there is an insignificant amount of precipitation and sunny days prevail. At the same time, gray forest lands contribute to the acceleration and intensification of the sod formation process.

Soils spread in deciduous-forest zones. They are acidic or slightly acidic in the upper levels and neutral or slightly alkaline in the lower levels. The composition of the soil includes an important element of humus, its content reaches 3-8%.

Morphological soil profile

Gray forest soils have a peculiar structure consisting of five layers:

  • A0 is a forest litter formed from browned forest litter; layer thickness varies from 2 to 5 cm;
  • A1 humus-accumulative horizon extending from 10 to 55 cm; the layer may have a gray, dark gray, brownish-dark gray tint, the structure is lumpy-powdery with living plant roots;
  • А1А2 – humus-eluvial horizon of grayish-whitish or grayish-brownish shade; thickness is no more than 15 cm, the structure is lumpy-platy, it can be layered;
  • A2B transition layer, which may have a brown, dark brown, brown tint with whitish spots, powders, tongues; the structure is nutty, lumpy-nutty, acute-angled-small nutty;
  • B illuvial horizon of a dark brown or dark brown hue; the structure is dense;
  • BC a transitional layer of a light shade, which often contains carbonate segregations.
  • In order for soils to please with fertility, they must be properly used. You also need to choose one of the subtypes of soil for growing crops. Despite the fact that soil varieties are similar in composition and properties, they have striking differences and opportunities.

    Gray soil types

    The subtype of gray soils is directly affected by the podzolization process. The following types of forest lands are distinguished depending on its flow:

  • lightgray in this subgroup of soils, the highest processes are the highest. Slightgray lands contain a small amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, they should be additionally fed and increased increased acidity. Humus is 2.5-7% of the total mass;
  • Gray have a minimum podzolic layer and slightly acidic reaction. The content of humus in the gray lands reaches 4-9%. The soil is saturated with bases by 90-95% at the lower levels and at 70-80% at the upper;
  • Dark gray-this type is characterized by a high humus content-up to 12% (even in deep horizons). A large amount of humus is formed as a result of the decomposition of herbaceous plants and leaf opada. Earth is saturated with humic acids and calcium. The percentage of bases reaches marks 95-99.
  • Gray soils are fertile, but it is recommended to feed them with organic and mineral fertilizers, as well as liming and deepening the arable layer. On such lands, agricultural crops can be grown, for example, corn, beets, potatoes.

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