Influence of Geomorphology and Land Use on Soil Formation – Case Study Maksimir (Zagreb, Croatia)


Factors of soil formation govern soil processes and determine soil properties. The aim of this study was to asses the influence of geomorphology (soil parent material, soil age, soil landscape position) and land use (vegetation) on soil properties in the southeastern part of the Maksimir district in Zagreb, Croatia. Representative profiles of Eutric Cambisol, Humofl uvisol, and Pseudogley soils (soil profiles P-1, P-2, and P-3, respectively) were studied on different parent materials (older Holocene sediments, younger fluvial sediments, and loess derivates, respectively), landscape positions (lowland, lowland next to the stream, and plateau, respectively), and land uses (abandoned plough land, urban park, and forest, respectively). Geomorphology influenced soil morphological properties (horizonation, structure and consistence, redoximorphic features), soil particle size distribution (including the coarse/fine sand ratio and the vertical trends of the silt/clay ratio), and soil chemical properties (pH and ΔpH, CaCO3 content). Land use (vegetation) primarily influenced the topsoils of the investigated profiles (soil structure, abundance of roots, humus content, and soil pH), but also the presence of artefacts in the profile P-1 and the properties of redoximorphic features in the profi le P-3. Soil profi les P-1, P-2, and P-3 were classified according to the WRB-2014 system as Eutric Relictigleyic Cambisol (Geoabruptic, Loamic), Calcaric Endogleyic Fluvisol (Loamic), and Dystric Retic Stagnosol (Loamic), respectively. We conclude that both geomorphology and land use had crucial impacts on soil formation in the southeastern Maksimir. Moreover, the recent regulations of the local streams significantly influenced properties of the profiles P-1 and P-2

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