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This article in SSSAJ

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


    * Corresponding author(s): jean-francois.ponge@wanadoo.fr
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2002.1996

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

Abstract

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.

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