PROCESSES OF HUMUS FORMATION AND TRANSFORMATION IN SOILS OF THE CANADIAN GREAT PLAINS

Authors


Summary

A study of the A horizons of cultivated soils from Saskatchewan, Canada showed that the organic carbon contents were in the sequence semi-arid Dark Brown soils (1.7 per cent), < Black soils (2.55–2.8 per cent), < sub-humid Dark Gray soils (4.5 per cent). The relative proportions of humic acids and the ratios of humic acid: fulvic acid increased in a similar sequence. There were accompanying increases in extinction values at 280 nm, and in levels of nonhydrolyzable nitrogen suggesting more extensive polycondensation of humic materials. These observations are discussed in terms of a working hypothesis for humus formation and transformations, that gives particular emphasis to the soil environment and to interactions between organic and inorganic components.

Ancillary