LFH Presence

LFH Presence


I am a little confused about the appearance of the LFH horizon in soils. In some of the 'identify the soil order' questions, there is no LFH horizon present, which confuses me. In my understanding, every well-drained soil with any biological activity on it should have some sort of an LFH horizon where organic litter decomposes into humic substances. Can someone explain to me what is wrong with my understanding? Is it just that the LFH layers in these soils are negligibly thin and are therefore ignored?

BlaiseMatlock (talk)21:00, 26 April 2020

LFH horizons are ONLY present in forest ecosystems. Hence, soils that form in other type of ecosystems (eg grasslands, wetlands, tundra) will not have LFH horizons.
In real-life, on substantially disturbed forest sites, LFH horizons might not be present due to that disturbance. But we do not include those examples in the questions that are on our assignments or exams.

MajaKrzic (talk)21:07, 26 April 2020

Why are LFH horizons only present in forest ecosystems? Is there insufficient litter for LFH horizons to form in non-forest ecosystems?

BlaiseMatlock (talk)21:28, 26 April 2020

In forest ecosystems litter input is high and decomposition < input, thus litter accumulates forming LFH horizons

SandraBrown (talk)21:44, 26 April 2020

That makes sense, thank you!

BlaiseMatlock (talk)21:56, 26 April 2020