About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions



This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 6, p. 1996-2001
    Received: May 14, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): jean-francois.ponge@wanadoo.fr
Request Permissions


Humus Index

  1. Jean-François Ponge *a,
  2. Richard Chevalierb and
  3. Philippe Loussotc
  1. a Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire d'Écologie Générale, 4 avenue du Petit-Chateau, 91800 Brunoy, France
    b Cemagref, Unité de Recherche et d'Expertise Écosystèmes Forestiers et Paysages, Domaine des Barres, 45290 Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France
    c Maison de l'Agriculture de Seine-et-Marne, 418 rue Aristide-Briand, 77350 Le Mée-sur-Seine, France


A quantitative assessment of forest humus forms is suggested, on the basis of a scale ranging from 1 (Eumull) to 7 (Dysmoder) which is called the humus index Regression analyses showed that this index was well-correlated with several morphological as well as chemical variables describing forest floors and topsoil profiles: thickness of the Oe horizon, depth of the crumby mineral horizon, Munsell hue, pHKCl and pHH2O, H and Al exchangeable acidity, percentage base saturation, cation-exchange capacity, exchangeable bases, C and N content and available P of the A horizon. The suggested humus index could be used as a cheap and rapid method for the bulk assessment of organic matter accumulation, soil acidity, and soil biological activity.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:1996–2001.