The European morpho-functional classification of humus forms, based on the detailed description of the morphology of organogenic soil horizons, has been applied to the assessment of soil biological properties in the zone of impact from a copper smelter in the southern taiga of the Middle Urals. It has been shown that, as the distance from the polluter decreases, zoogenic mull-type humus forms are replaced by nonzoogenic mor-type forms. The shift in the spectrum of humus forms along the pollution gradient is closely connected with increase in the thickness (stock) of forest litter and reduction in the abundance of large soil saprophages. The high information value and low labor intensity of measurements, compared to other methods, allow us to recommend the humus index (the ordinal number of a humus form in their ordered total list) as a tool for environmental monitoring and assessment.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 5, 2016
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