Specifics of bulk chemical composition of virgin forest cambisols within the Ukrainian Carpathians

Keywords: bulk chemical composition, cambisols, virgin forests, sesquioxides, leach factor, constitutional water, ratio of change in the siliceous soil part, intra-soil weathering


Material composition is one of the most vital components of soil analysis and it which allows to determine the bulk or elemental composition, to get an insight into the total content of chemical elements per the genetic horizons of a soil profile against the soilforming rock, and to identify the direction of soil formation processes, that is, to establish the genesis of soils. The study objective supposed both the identification of bulk chemical composition (BCC) specifics peculiar to cambisols (acc. the WRB) located beneath different virgin forest ecosystems and the change caused by the composition of soil-forming rock, specifics of mountainous terrain and climatic conditions. The study subject is cambisol of virgin (beech and coniferous) ecosystems formed at the eluvium-deluvium flysch with prevailing sandstones, argillites and siltstones. The study scope is bulk chemical composition of beech and coniferous forest cambisols within the Ukrainian Carpathians and its transformation. Comparative-geographical, comparative-profile, analytical and statistical methods have been used accounting for the above objective. The bulk chemical composition has been determined under the method devised by E.V. Arinushkina. Recalculations and ratios have been used to analyse data on the bulk chemical composition of soils. Our article provides the results of the study of bulk chemical composition of cambisols located beneath beech and the coniferous virgin forests. Changes occurred in this, one of the most conservative, soil substance, under the influence of phytocenotic diversity of virgin forest ecosystems and soil species, are analysed, the nature and direction of changes as well as their main regularities are identified. Molecular ratios for the genetic soil horizons are calculated since they testify the removal of elements outside the soil profile boundaries and are the main factor used to assess the direction of cambisols soil-forming process. The article considers the content of constitutional water and the ratio of change in the siliceous soil part. Results obtained allow suggesting intrinsic weathering in the soils under study. Major reasons of changes in the bulk chemical composition of virgin forest cambisols are caused by the character of vegetation, its aggressiveness with respect to the soil mineral content, by climatic features that affect processes of soil formation in mountainous areas depending on the vertical zonality, and by the composition of soil-forming rocks being the substrate for the studied soils. SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3 oxides form the predominant bulk chemical composition of virgin forest cambisols in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Their total content ranges from 65.59 to 87.56 %. The mineral base of virgin forest cambisols is SiO2 and its content in virgin forest cambisols amounts up to 63.46 - 75.03 %, Al2O3 sesquioxide content is 13.16 - 17.14 %, Fe2O3 content is 4.25 - 6.83 %. Molecular ratios in cambisols located beneath the beech virgin forests postulate the removal of sesquioxides out from a soil profile. For instance, the ratios of SiO2/Fe2O3 in beech virgin forests cambisols are 42.8 - 44.61 and they decrease sharply at the soil profile bottom to 26.35, i.e. the removal of Fe2O3 sesquioxide out from a soil profile is observed. The molar ratio of SiO2/R2O3 in cambisols located beneath coniferous virgin forests is narrower than in beech virgin forest cambisols and amounts up to 5.64 - 5.81, which is due to the lower content of SiO2 oxide and higher number of Fe2O3 and Al2O3 sesquioxides. The analysis of leach factor indices shows that leaching of Calcium and Magnesium oxides is observed in these soils. However, leaching in cambisols located beneath the beech virgin forests is less intense than in cambisols located beneath the coniferous virgin forests. Leaching of Sodium and Potassium oxides in cambisols located beneath the beech virgin forests is minor, and in cambisols located beneath the coniferous virgin forests is weakly expressed.

Author Biographies

Petro S. Voitkiv
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Yevhen A. Ivanov
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv


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How to Cite
Voitkiv, P., & Ivanov, Y. (2020). Specifics of bulk chemical composition of virgin forest cambisols within the Ukrainian Carpathians. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 29(2), 422-430. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15421/112038