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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Physical and Chemical Characteristics of the Major Types of Forest Humus Found in the United States and Canada1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 17 No. 2, p. 155-158
    Received: Dec 6, 1952

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  1. Donald L. Mader2



In order to broaden the existing classification of forest humus, a systematic analytical study was undertaken as a co-operative project including specialists from forestry and agricultural colleges, U. S. forest experiment stations, and private forestry enterprises. To date the project received support of forty collaborators from forty-one states and two provinces of Canada. All humus samples forwarded were subjected to the following analyses: weight of forest litter per acre, bulk density of F plus H and A1 horizons, their texture, reaction, lime deficit, exchange capacity, exchangeable bases and degree of base saturation, specific conductance, contents of total nitrogen and carbon, C/N ratio, and catalytic capacity.

Classification of humus samples was made in accordance with suggestions of collaborators or on the basis of the proposals made in the course of the last five years. Results of analyses suggest that humus layers of different morphological makeup maintain certain distinguishing physical and chemical characteristics over an enormously wide territory.

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