Chemical properties and pedogenesis of yellowish/yellow brown forest soils in the submontane and mountain zones of Kyushu district, southwestern Japan




This study aimed to clarify pedogenetic processes and classification of yellowish Brown Forest Soils according to the Classification of Forest Soils in Japan and the Yellow Brown Forest soils according to the Unified Soil Classification System of Japan in the warm and cool temperate forest of Kyushu district, Japan. In addition, the study aimed to clarify a problem with the Unified Soil Classification System of Japan. Thirty-six soil profiles of Brown Forest Soils, including 13 yellowish Brown Forest Soils and 15 Yellow Brown Forest soils, were compared with regard to their chemical properties and the relationship with climatic conditions was assessed. The yellowish Brown Forest Soils had thin A horizons, low pH and low levels of free oxides in the B horizons, and a low amount of silica and a high aluminum and iron to silica ratio. These features were related to the paleo reddish weathering. The immaturely developed A horizon of the yellowish Brown Forest Soils was caused by these weathered, low-activity substances. The Yellow Brown Forest soils had low levels of active iron oxides and a low activity ratio of free iron oxides compared with the Haplic Brown Forest soils in the same thermal climatic conditions. The activity ratio of free iron oxides was correlated to mean annual air temperature with the carbon stocks and with many other chemical properties. Accordingly, classification of Brown Forest Soils was clearer according to thermal climatic conditions. The activity ratio of free iron oxides can become an effective index that distinguishes Yellow Brown Forest soils under warm temperate lucidophyllous forest and Haplic Brown Forest soils under cool temperate broad-leaved deciduous forest with considerable vertical soil zonality.


  • Soil science and plant nutrition

    Soil science and plant nutrition 54(3), 424-433, 2008-06-01


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