Humusica 1, article 4: Terrestrial humus systems and forms-Specific terms and diagnostic horizons

Augusto Zanella*, Jean François Ponge, Bernard Jabiol, Giacomo Sartori, Eckart Kolb, Jean Michel Gobat, Renée Claire Le Bayon, Michael Aubert, Rein de Waal, Bas van Delft, Andrea Vacca, Gianluca Serra, Silvia Chersich, Anna Andreetta, Nathalie Cools, Michael Englisch, Herbert Hager, Klaus Katzensteiner, Alain Brethes, Cristina De NicolaAnna Testi, Nicolas Bernier, Ulfert Graefe, Jérôme Juilleret, Damien Banas, Adriano Garlato, Silvia Obber, Paola Galvan, Roberto Zampedri, Lorenzo Frizzera, Mauro Tomasi, Roberto Menardi, Fausto Fontanella, Carmen Filoso, Raffaella Dibona, Cristian Bolzonella, Diego Pizzeghello, Paolo Carletti, Roger Langhor, Dina Cattaneo, Serenella Nardi, Gianni Nicolini, Franco Viola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of a little number of specific terms is necessary to investigate and describe humipedons. This "new vocabulary" allows individuating and circumscribing particular diagnostic horizons, which are the fundamental bricks of the humipedon. Few "components" defined by specific terms characterize a specific "humipedon horizon"; few "humipedon horizons" compose a given "humus form" and some similar "humus forms" are grouped in a functional "humus system". In this article, specific terms and humus horizons are listed and explained one by one. Field difficulties are illustrated and resolved. The aim of the article is to present in a manner as simple as possible how to distinguish in the field the soil structures allowing a morpho-functional classification of terrestrial (aerated, not submerged) humipedons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-74
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Humic component
  • Humipedon
  • Humus
  • Humus classification
  • Humus diagnostic horizon
  • Humusica
  • Recognizable remains
  • Terrestrial humus
  • Zoogenically transformed material

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