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Podzol

PODZOL

Podzols are subarctic soils of the cold, humid northern coniferous forest (taiga ), found between the mixed forests of the temperate zone and the tundras of the arctic zone. Known as spodosol in the Seventh Approximation Soil Classification system, podzol derives from the Russian terms pod, or "under," and zol, or "ash." Very infertile because of the leaching of basic soil nutrients (calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and so on), podzols are composed of layers known as horizons. The A-horizon comprises a shallow needleleaf litter zone, a narrow strongly acidic humus zone, and a broader ash-grey to chalky leached (A-2) horizon made up of silica, or sand. Beneath this infertile horizon is the zone of illuviation, or B-horizon, in which the leached nutrients of the A-horizon accumulate. Beyond the B-horizon is a totally inorganic C-horizon composed of weathered bedrock. Without substantial fertilization, podzols are suitable only for the growing of berries and root crops.

See also: climate; geography

bibliography

Strahler, Arthur N. (1969). Physical Geography, 3rd ed. New York: Wiley.

Victor L. Mote

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podzol

podzol (pŏd´sŏl) or podzolic soil, member of a group of soils that are gray in color, have an ashy appearance, and extend immediately south of the tundra regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Although characteristically capped with an abundant surface accumulation of organic matter, these soils are often severely leached and highly acid. They are thus generally low in agricultural value, forests being their most common and practical coverage. South of the podzolic soils, prairie soils are sometimes found. These dark semipodzolic soils have unusual fertility owing primarily to a vegetative cover of grass rather than forest. They are generally leached free of carbonate but retain mineral fertility.

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podzol

podzol (podsol) A soil profile formed at an advanced stage of leaching by the process of podzolization, and identified by its acid mor humus, eluviated (see ELUVIATION) and bleached E horizon, and an iron-coloured B horizon, enriched with a variety of translocated materials. True podzols usually support heathland or coniferous forest. See also SPODOSOLS.

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podzol

podzol (podsol) Soil profile formed at an advanced stage of leaching by the process of podzolization, and identified by its acid mor humus, eluviated and bleached E soil horizon, and an iron-coloured B horizon, enriched with a variety of translocated materials. See also SPODOSOLS.

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podzol

podzol(podsol) A soil profile formed at an advanced stage of leaching by the process of podzolization, and identified by its acid morhumus, eluviated and bleached E soil horizon, and an iron-coloured B horizon, enriched with a variety of translocated materials. See also Spodosols.

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