Saturday, 15 July 2006

Mediteranean Forest Soils of Croatia.

Boris Vrbek, Forest Research Institute, Jastrebarsko, Trnjanska 35, Zagreb, AZ 10000, Croatia

Research of forest sites have been going on since 1963. Their basic aim was to determine the most favourable stand form, optimal production and investment priorities on the basis of ecological conditions and management potentials for individual site complexes. One of the main components in data gathering was forest soil. Mapping of forest and non-forest soils was carried out by the elaboration of soil maps in a 1:50 000 scale. Maps in 1:25 000 and 1:10 000 scales were done for more intensive and detailed researches. In the typological distribution of Croatia, the region of the Mediterranean is divided to eu-Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean regions. Basic unit of soil classification in Croatia is soil type defined by one-type profile composition with a characteristic horizon sequence, one-type matter transformation and migration processes and one-type physical and chemical horizon properties. Main forest soil types on the territory of Croatian Mediterranean are calcocambisol (cambisols) and rendzinas (Rendzic, leptosols). Calcomelanosols (Molic, leptosols) and colluviums (Colluvium) are distributed on bigger heights above sea level and on steeper sites, while terra rossa (Chromic cambisol) is very rare present under the forest cover. There has been intensive research of soil-vegetation sequence on this area and each vegetation unit is associated with a specific soil type, expressed in a particular percentage. The interest of soil scientists for the investigation of the relation between vegetation and soil began in 1948. The survey of main elements of soil-vegetation sequence of forests in Croatia has been made on the basis of extensive scientific-research materials. The most widespread soils under the forests on the territory of the Mediterranean part of Croatia are calcocambisols on limestone and dolomite. Depending on height above sea-level, they can be more or less humose. Rendzinas are spread on dolomites and marl substrates. Terra rossa is spread in lower regions on lower heights above sea-level and, as a rule, do not appear above 400-500 meters. Terra rossa is less spread under forest vegetation and its major portion is anthropogenized and used for food production. Calcomelanosols is spread on steeper inclinations and bigger heights above sea-level, as well as colluvial soils which are spread on material deposited from surrounding slopes. Rhegosols are undeveloped soils, as well as arenosols and are spread to a lesser percentage on the mediterranean part of Croatia. Rhegosols follow loose carbonate substratum and arenosols follow several localities on sand.Key words: Forest soils, Croatian Mediterranean coast, carst region

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