Pedogenesis and root development in a complex geomorphologic setting of the Faroe Islands

Anita Veihe, Mie Thers

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Studies of pedogenesis in basaltic soils within the cool, temperate zone were fairly limited. This study looked at pedogenesis and root development in Norðradalur of the Faroe Islands. To a large extent, soil physical and chemical characteristics were determined by sedimentological rather than pedological processes. Wind erosion plays an important role, and in spite of the homogeneity of the parent material, soil pedogenesis is highly varied. Soils were high in cation exchange capacity (CEC) and generally have a low base saturation, and the major soil-forming processes were strong weathering, intensive leaching, gleying, and humification. Decomposition of the organic material was good overall. Nitrogen content was low to medium in the mineralogic horizons but high in the peaty horizons. Total phosphorus was within the range typical of soils with a high organic fraction, and previous theories explaining the low carrying capacity regarding grazing as a result of a low nutrient content do not seem to apply. Root densities were as expected for grazing areas, but there was a huge variation in the root diameters as a consequence of microclimatic differences and associated differences in vegetation.
TidsskriftCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Udgave nummer3-4
Sider (fra-til)293-314
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2007

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