A European morpho-functional classification of humus forms

Publication year: 2011
Source: Geoderma, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

A., Zanella , B., Jabiol , J.F., Ponge , G., Sartori , R., De Waal , …

In Europe an abundance of humus taxonomies exists starting with early approaches in the late 19th century. Frequently used in an international context, they do not cover all site conditions in the European area. Although having basic concepts and general lines, the European (and North American, Canadian) classification systems differ in important parameters used for the description and classification of humus forms. These discrepancies result in incongruities, so they require adjustments when exchanging partially compatible soil data, even between nearby countries. In 2003, 26 European specialists in humus forms met in Trento (Italy) and decided to formulate rules of classification…

► European specialists conceive principles of a new classification of humus forms. ► Only morphological characters with evident functional effects were considered. ► Ten basic humus forms were circumscribed, available in a wide array of ecosystems. ► Environmental factors determine the structure of the classification tree.