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Revista de Ciências Agrárias

Print version ISSN 0871-018X


MONTEIRO, Fernando; MARQUES, Paulo  and  MADEIRA, Manuel. Are Podzols dominant in sand formations of the Portuguese Litoral?: The case of the Leiria National Forest. Rev. de Ciências Agrárias [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.4, pp.455-472. ISSN 0871-018X.

The knowledge on the Podzols which occur in Portugal is scarce. Besides its morphological characterization, their actual extension and distribution are unknown, and its taxonomy is controversial. Therefore, 22 pedons formed under conditions considered representative of those in which Podzols mostly occur in the country were selected in the Mata Nacional de Leiria, and their morphological, physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics were studied. Soils developed in such conditions are both Podzols and Arenossolos sensu WRB 2006, but the latter are clearly predominant. The Podzols frequently show thick albic horizons and incipient spodic horizons; the latter are dusky, but show organic matter (OM) contents close the minimum threshold considered as diagnostic criteria for spodic horizons, and low content in Al and Fe. A wide spectrum of characteristics is observed in the Arenosols. Some of them present profils with morphology close to that of the Podzols, but with a low illuvial acumulationb of OM (and Fe e Al components), and the others (the predominant Arenosols in the study area) do not present intergrade characteristics, although they can show expressed albic horizons. The former Arenosols correspond to intergrades of Podzols which are not satisfactorily fit into the recent WRB versions. The characteristics of Podzols are strongly dependent on the low weatherability and high permeability of the lithological substrate (non consolidated quartzeous sediments).

Keywords : Arenosols; free aluminium and iron; organic carbon; soil classification; spodic horizon.

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