Spatial Estimation of Estonian Forest Landscapes’ Soil Cover Humus Status: Methods, Model Samples and Assessments

  • Raimo KõlliEmail author
  • Mait Lang
  • Reimo Lutter
  • Tõnu Tõnutare
  • Karin Kauer
  • Kaire Rannik
Part of the Innovations in Landscape Research book series (ILR)


Humus status of soil cover is of greatest importance in the formation and functioning of landscape. On the humus status of landscape soils (soilscape) depends in a great extent the floristic composition and diversity of forest ecosystems and its functioning peculiarities (level of annual productivity and litterfall, and as well the character of soil organic matter decomposition and the fabric of formed humus profile). The substantial part of this work is devoted to the evaluation of soil organic carbon (SOC) superficial densities (in Mg per ha) and its total stocks by the dominated Estonian forest soils and their different layers, as the most important quantitative indices of soil cover. The essential findings of this work are also the estimations of total SOC stocks (pools) in whole Estonian forested soil cover and in its main sublayers (humus cover and subsoil). Much attention is paid to the ecological aspects of humus cover type (pro humus form) formation and its profile fabric’s matching with soil properties. The humus cover type may be taken as the main qualitative index of forest soils’ humus status. Relevant are also the pedo-ecological analyses on the role of humus status indexes in the characterizing of SOC cycling and annual balance, and also in the formation of ecosystems biodiversity. Totally in the soil cover of Estonian forest land, 367 Tg of SOC is sequestrated. From the total SOC amount, 66.2% is located in the humus cover and 33.8% in subsoil layers. The mineral and peat soils role in sequestration of total SOC amount are accordingly 55.0% and 45.0%. For a better understanding to international audience, the used key terms of the study are elucidated and the soil names of the local classification are juxtaposed by the names of international classifications.


Humus status Soil cover Humus cover Soil organic carbon Forest soils Pedocentric approach Landscape Digital soil map 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raimo Kõlli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mait Lang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Reimo Lutter
    • 3
  • Tõnu Tõnutare
    • 1
  • Karin Kauer
    • 1
  • Kaire Rannik
    • 1
  1. 1.Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesTartuEstonia
  2. 2.University of Tartu, Tartu ObservatoryTartumaaEstonia
  3. 3.Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Forestry and Rural EngineeringTartuEstonia

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