Forest humus is one of the most interesting components of the forest environment. Its surface serves as a depository for leaf fall and needle fall, with successive depths marking stages of transmutation from the freshly fallen to the decomposed. And humus is responsive: humus type and depth are indicators of forest treatment and, to some extent, of site quality. Intrigued by these characteristics, foresters and soils men have examined them in detail and have published a wealth of scientific papers on the physical properties of humus, its classification, development, and nutrient content. Most of these papers were about basic studies; little practical application is involved. To date, forest managers have made little use of what is known about humus.
Trimble, G. R., Jr.; Lull, Howard W. 1956. The role of forest humus in watershed management in New England. Station Paper NE-85. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 34 p.