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Studies on the humus forms of forest soils part 5 elementary composition of soil organic matter of brown forest soils



Studies on the humus forms of forest soils part 5 elementary composition of soil organic matter of brown forest soils



Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 24(1): 27-40



The moisture content, pH value, and elementary composition of each layer and horizon of 29 brown forest soils from Chubu district [Japan], which had different vegetation and parent material and which belonged to either the dry type soil group (BA and BB type) or the wet type soil group (BD(d) and BD type), were examined. Soils belonging to the dry type group had thick Ao and thin A horizons and the reverse was the case with the wet type group. Moisture content of Ao horizons which increased from the L layer to the F or H layer, reached a mazimum within 1 profile, and afterward, decreased downward. For mineral horizons, the values varied according to locality. In the mineral horizons of Seto samples the moisture levels of wet type samples were evidently higher than those of dry type samples. Although pH values of L layers varied depending on the vegetation, they obviously decreased with increasing depth. The differences in pH value resulting from differences in the vegetation also decreased in the same manner. In consequence, pH values of H and H-A layers depended upon soil type rather than vegetation. Also, pH values of mineral horizons were higher in wet type than in dry type soils. According to the results of the elementary analysis, in Ao horizons, although the C, H and O contents of organic matter continuously decreased downward accompanied by an increase in ash content, a decrease in the C/N ratio, and nearly constant H/C and O/C ratios, only the N content decreased subsequently after increasing downward from the L layer. On the other hand, in mineral horizons, the organic matter content decreased downward and varied according to locality. Furthermore, in Seto only, the organic matter content was higher in wet type than in dry type soils. C/N ratios of mineral horizons were generally higher in dry type than in wet type soils. The organic matter contained in mineral horizons might have originated from the fine particle and water-soluble fractions of th Ao horizons because of their H/C ratios which were higher than those of the Ao horizons. Although the sequence of layers in the Ao horizons of dry type soils differed from that of wet type soils, the characteristics of organic matter in each layer of soil which differed in soil type, vegetation and locality were similar to those in its corresponding layer. The organic matter in mineral horizons showed different characteristics depending upon locality and soil type.

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