|Main authors:||Gergely Tóth (Joint Research Centre), Xiaodong Song (Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Tamás Hermann (University of Pannonia), Brigitta Tóth (University of Pannonia)|
|Source document:||Tóth, G.. et al. (2016) Hierarchical and multi-scale pedoclimatic zonation. iSQAPER Project Deliverable 2.1 125 pp|
A great variety of climatic, topographical and geological conditions, together with the diverse anthropogenic influences has resulted in a diverse soil cover in Europe. The fact that twenty-three out of the total of thirty Reference Soil Groups (WRB 1998) of the world have representative in the the continent shows the magnitude of this diversity. However, not all soil types have the same share in the soil coverage. While the most widespread Reference Soil Group – Cambisols – has a proportion up to 56 % of the total area in the Sub-Oceanic belt, Solonetz soil can be found on very limited areas in two climatic zones. The table shows the summarized extent of pedoclimatic zones as defined by Reference Soil Groups in the continent by climate zones. There are 133 different pedoclimatic zones in Europe.
Table: Spatial share of pedoclimatic zones (by Reference Soil Groups; WRB 1998) under different climates in Europe
|Reference Soil Group||Boreal to Sub-Boreal||Atlantic||Sub-oceanic||Northern sub-continental||Southern sub-continental||Mediterranean semi-arid||Mediterranean
(temperate and sub-oceanic)
The three most commonly occurring Reference Soil Groups for each climate zone are highlighted in green.
- Cambisols are the most widespread Reference Soil Group.
- In second place are Luvisols, Podzols and Leptosols. Luvisols, like Cambisols, can be found in all parts of the continent in associations with other Reference Soil Groups. Podzols have similar area to Luvisols but they are mainly concentrated in northern Europe. Leptosols have smaller shares in the northern regions.
- Following these, Histosols, Regosols, Fluviols, Gleysols and Arenosols are the next most common. However, while Histosols, Gleysols and Arenosols are predominantly soils of the Northern regions, most of Regolols can be found in the southern parts of Europe. Fluvisols are predominant in the river basins in all parts of the continent.
- Less common are Albeluvisols, Chernozems and Phaeozems, which have fundamentally different pedological features. The least common Reference Soil Groups include soils with special abilities for performing important soil functions.
Note: For full references to papers quoted in this article see