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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-57
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
09 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
The hidden ecological resource of andic soils in mountain ecosystems: evidences from Italy
Fabio Terribile1,2, Michela Iamarino1, Giuliano Langella3, Piero Manna3, Florindo Antonio Mileti1, Simona Vingiani1,2, and Angelo Basile2,3 1Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici (Napoli), Italy
2Interdepartmental Research Centre CRISP, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici (Napoli), Italy
3CNR ISAFOM, Via Pata cca 85, 80056 Ercolano (Napoli), Italy
Abstract. Andic soils have unique morphological, physical and chemical properties that induce both considerable soil fertility and great vulnerability to land degradation. Moreover they are the most striking mineral soils in terms of large organic C storage and long C residence time; this is especially related to the presence of poorly crystalline clay minerals and metal-humus complexes. Recognition of these soils is then very important. Here we attempt to show, through the combined analysis of 35 sampling points chosen, throughout the Italian non volcanic mountain landscapes, in accordance to specific physical and vegetation rules, that soils rich in poorly crystalline clay minerals have an utmost ecological importance.

More specifically, in various non-volcanic mountain ecosystems (> 700 m) and in low slope gradient locations (< 12°), in agreement to recent findings, we found the widespread occurrence of soils with andic features having distinctive physical and hydrological properties including low bulk density and remarkable high water retention. Furthermore, we show a demonstration of the ability of these soils to affect ecosystem functions by analysing their influence on the timescale acceleration of photosynthesis estimated by NDVI measurements.

Our results are hoped to be a starting point for better understanding the ecological importance of andic soils and also possibly to better consider pedological information in C balance calculations.


Citation: Terribile, F., Iamarino, M., Langella, G., Manna, P., Mileti, F. A., Vingiani, S., and Basile, A.: The hidden ecological resource of andic soils in mountain ecosystems: evidences from Italy, Solid Earth Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2017-57, in review, 2017.
Fabio Terribile et al.
Fabio Terribile et al.
Fabio Terribile et al.

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Short summary
Andic soils have unique morphological, physical and chemical properties that induce both considerable soil fertility and great vulnerability to land degradation. Here we attempt to show that soils rich in poorly crystalline clay minerals have an utmost ecological importance. Our results are hoped to be a starting point for better understanding the ecological importance of andic soils and also possibly to better consider pedological information in C balance calculations.
Andic soils have unique morphological, physical and chemical properties that induce both...
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