Humusica 1, article 4: Terrestrial humus systems and forms — Specific terms and diagnostic horizons

Augusto Zanella, Jean-François Ponge, Bernard Jabiol, Giacomo Sartori, Eckart Kolb, Jean-Michel Gobat, Renée-Claire Le Bayon, Mchaël Aubert, Rein De Waal, Bas Van Delft, Andrea Vacca, Gianluca Serra, Silvia Chersich, Anna Andreetta, Nathalie Cools, Michael Englisch, Herbert Hager, Alain Brêthes, Christina De Nicola, Anna TestiNicholas Bernier, Ulfert Graefe, Jérôme Juilleret, Damien Banas, Adriano Garlato, Silvia Obber, Paolo Galvan, Roberto Zampedri, Lorenzo Frizzera, Mauro Tomasi, Roberto Menardi, Fausto Fontanella, Carmen Filoso, Raffaella Dibona, Christian Bolzone, Diego Pizzeghello, Paolo Carletti, Roger Langohr, Dina Cattaneo, Serenella Nardi, Gianni NIcolini, Franco Viola

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Knowledge of a little number of specific terms is necessary to investigate and describe humipedons. This “new vocabulary” allows individuating and circumscribing particular diagnostic horizons, which are the fundamental
bricks of the humipedon. Few “components” defined by specific terms characterize a specific “humipedon horizon”; few “humipedon horizons” compose a given “humus form” and some similar “humus forms” are
grouped in a functional “humus system”. In this article, specific terms and humus horizons are listed and explained one by one. Field difficulties are illustrated and resolved. The aim of the article is to present in a manner
as simple as possible how to distinguish in the field the soil structures allowing a morpho-functional classification of terrestrial (aerated, not submerged) humipedons.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Pages (from-to)56-74
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2018

Thematic list

  • Forest management
  • Naure and forest reserves
  • Woods and parks
  • Oak- and beechwoods

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B270-plant-ecology


  • woodland protection
  • soil protection

Geographic list

  • Europe


  • identification

Free keywords

  • forest floor
  • humus forms

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