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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Dominant Soils of the Redwood — Douglas-fir Region of California


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 16 No. 2, p. 163-167

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  1. R. Earl Storie and
  2. A. E. Wieslander1



More than three million acres of the upland area of the Redwood-Douglas-fir Region of California have been mapped and classified to obtain information for use in the management of forest, grazing, and watershed land, as well as basic data on the soils of this important area. In this survey the soils have been classified as to soil series and depth classes.

The dominant soil series are divided into six groups according to association with natural vegetation cover and productivity for timber and grass. Groups 1 and 2 are associated with conifer timber forests; groups 3 and 4 with grass and oak-grass types; and groups 5 and 6 with chaparral. Group 1, the best for timber, includes soils of podzolic character, represented by such series as the Hugo and Josephine; Group 2, those of alkaline character, represented by the Cornutt and Dubakella series; Group 3, the best for grass, those classed as prairie soils, generally treeless and associated with perennial grasses and represented by the Los Osos and Kneeland series; Group 4, those classed as noncalcic brown, associated with annual grasses and open stands of oak, and represented by the Laughlin series; Group 5, lithosols of low site quality for grass and represented by the Los Gatos series; and Group 6, lithosols of very low site quality for grass and represented by the Maymen and Henneke series.

Data from profiles typical of the six groups of soils are presented showing soil characteristics, vegetational cover, and ratings of suitability for timber and for grass. These data point out that timber does best on medium textured deep (more than 4 feet to bedrock), permeable, well-drained soils where the annual rainfall exceeds 40 inches; that grass, in contrast, does best on finer textured, less permeable, and less well-drained — although shallower soils (between 2 and 3 feet deep) — which are typically less acid or more basic with depth; and that chaparral can grow on very shallow soils (less than 1 foot deep).

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