How is forest floor created

Forest floors

The formation of soils begins with the mining of rock. Important factors for this weathering are temperature, wind and water. The speed of soil formation depends on the climate and the parent rock. On average, one centimeter of soil takes at least 100 years to form.
Weathering leads to Formation of horizonsthat run parallel to the earth's surface. They stand out from each other due to the different degrees of weathering. Depending on the type of soil, the forest soil is divided into an organic edition and a different number of horizons. The organic layer consists of the litter layer, i.e. dead but still largely undecomposed plant components (leaves, needles, twigs, etc.), and the humus layer consisting of decomposed material. Due to the high water and nutrient storage capacity, the humus layer is of central importance. Different qualities of humus can be distinguished. These depend on the climate and weather as well as the decomposability of the vegetable raw material. For example, alder and ash leaves decompose faster than oak or beech leaves. Leaf litter is generally much more easily decomposed than needle litter. As a rule, three main types of horizons can be distinguished:

•      A horizon: Top soil with humus from partially degraded organic substances
•      B horizon: Characterized by weathering and fouling (browning)
•      C horizon: Base rock that has not yet or only marginally weathered

Our soils differ greatly from one another due to the variety of parent rocks. Soil type (sand, silt, clay or loam), thickness of the humus layer, water availability and pH value are just a few indicators that can be used to differentiate between the different soils.

Podzol (Photo: SDW)

Rendzina (Photo: SDW)

Pseudogley (backwater bottom, soil of the year 2015) (Photo: SDW)