5.8 - Spodosols
Spodosols commonly form in sandy parent materials under coniferous forest vegetation. As a consequence of their coarse texture, they have a high leaching potential.
Spodosols are characterized by high acidity, and have a subsoil accumulation of organic matter, along with aluminum and iron oxides, called a spodic horizon. Typically low in natural fertility (basic cations, Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+) and high in soil acidity (H+, Al3+), these soils require extensive inputs of lime and fertilizers to be agriculturally productive.
Spodosols are most commonly associated with a cool and wet climate, but also occur in warmer climes such as in Florida, USA . Large areas of Spodosol are found in northern Europe, Russia, and northeastern North America .
Key Characteristics: Spodosols
- Form in sandy materials under coniferous forest vegetation
- Usually associated with a wet, cool climate
- Coarse texture, high leaching potential
- Have a Spodic horizon, composed of organic matter, Fe and Al oxides
- Acidic, with low natural fertility
- Require inputs of lime and fertilizers to be agriculturally productive.
- Commonly formed in northern Europe, Russia, and northeastern North America
- Extent of world ice-free land area: 4%