Paper No. 6-2
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM
DEFINING POINT ZERO OF PEDOGENESIS – WHAT ABOUT THE LEGACY OF PRE-INDUSTRIAL LAND USE?
During the Late Pleistocene and the Early Holocene, soils evolved solely under natural conditions and without any evidence of anthropogenic influence. The introduction of land use during the Neolithic, particularly deforestation and farming, strongly affected soil properties and soil distribution. A major consequence of these human impacts has been soil erosion and colluvial sedimentation on the slopes and alluvial deposition of fine-grained sediments in the floodplains. These causally linked processes resulted in a redistribution of soil material (solum). At sites of erosion pedogenesis can fall back into initial stages and at sites of deposition soils may show a more intensive soil development that is caused by soil properties originating from „older“ pedogenetic processes and deriving from a quite different geological environment.
This paper presents research approaches from landscapes in Central Europe where pre-industrial land use played an important role for the formation of shallow subsurface structures which are a crucial part of the so-called Critical Zone (CZ). Understanding the genesis of the CZ architecture is essential for interpreting recent and future ecosystem processes and behaviour. The results prove that parent material – which is one of the soil forming factors – is strongly controlled by human legacies of former land use.