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    As part of the Vermont Long-Term Soil Monitoring Project, five 50 x 50 m plots were established on protected forestland across Vermont. In 2002, ten randomly selected subplots at each monitoring plot were sampled. The 10 pedons sampled at the high-elevation spruce-fir “Forehead” plot on Mount Mansfield were found to include soils of four taxonomic Orders: Entisols, Histosols, Inceptisols, and Spodosols. Soil forming factors such as climate, vegetation, and time are uniform, and podzolization is the major soil forming process, but small variations in parent material thickness and microtopography result in the presence of four orders. A 1-cm difference in the thickness of a horizon can affect the placement of a soil in one of these orders.

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    Villars, Thomas R.; Bailey, Scott W.; Ross, Donald S. 2015. Four soil orders on a Vermont mountaintop—one-third of the world’s soil orders in a 2500-square-meter research plot. Soil Horizons. 56(6): 1-5.


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