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Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261

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Climate vs. parent material — Which is the key of Stagnosol diversity

in Croatia?
Vedran Rubinić a,⁎, Lidija Galović b, Stjepan Husnjak a, Goran Durn c
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Svetošimunska 25, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Croatian Geological Survey, Sachsova 2, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, Pierottijeva 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Stagnosols are the most widespread soils in the Pannonian region of Croatia. In Croatia they are referred to as
Received 22 July 2014 Pseudogleys and considered to form primarily by normal (top–down) pedogenesis. However, the formation of
Received in revised form 21 November 2014 their non-calcareous loess parent materials probably involved different sources, transports, and depositional
Accepted 30 November 2014
environments. We aimed to determine the courses of soil formation and the characteristics of three Stagnosol
Available online xxxx
profiles studied along the mean annual precipitation (MAP) gradient (700–1100 mm) in the Pannonian region
of Croatia. We found that soil redoximorphic features formed in situ by ongoing pseudogleization. Vertical trends
Pseudogleys for the clay/silt and coarse/fine silt ratios pointed to top–down pedogenesis. However, high organic C content at
Loess-derived soils the bottom of one soil profile is the result of erosion/sedimentation processes, whereas high clay content in the
Forest soils subsoil of another profile was largely the result of sedimentation in a shallow paleo-lake. Therefore, some
WRB-2014 soil classification Croatian Stagnosols should be considered polygenetic. Each soil profile was classified using the WRB system,
Modal analysis and the new WRB-2014 version proved more suitable than the previous one (WRB-2006). However, suggestions
Pannonian region of Croatia for improvements are given. In line with the MAP gradient were several morphological and only two chemical
(pH and base saturation) soil characteristics. Organic C content did not correspond to MAP due to variability of
forest topsoils. Clay content and CEC did not agree with MAP due to variability of loess parent materials across
the Pannonian region of Croatia. The existence of more than one source of loess material (confirmed by the
modal analysis) and the differences in depositional paleo-environments resulted in slightly different mechanical
compositions of the investigated parent materials. We concluded that both climate and parent material must be
regarded as key factors for the formation and characteristics of Stagnosols in the Pannonian region of Croatia (and
the wider southwestern Pannonian Basin).
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction A common name in many national soil classification systems for

most Stagnosols is Pseudogley (IUSS Working Group WRB, 2014).
Stagnosols are soils characterized by a vertical texture contrast and the Such is the case also in Croatia, where Pseudogley represents a dis-
process of pseudogleization. In Croatia, pseudogleization occurs mainly tinctly diversified soil type, with climate and parent material as the most
due to periodic stagnation of the precipitation water on/in the poorly per- influential factors of its formation (see Rubinić et al., 2014, in review). As
meable subsurface soil horizon (e.g., Rubinić et al., 2014, in review). the second most widespread soil type in Croatia and the most widespread
Pseudogleization involves reduction and subsequent oxidation of Fe and/ soil type in the Pannonian region of the country (Bogunović et al., 1998;
or Mn (hydr)oxides, resulting in stagnic properties sensu IUSS Working see also Rubinić et al., in review), Pseudogley is found on flat and rolling
Group WRB (2014). In Schoeneberger et al. (2002) such properties are topography and on non-calcareous loess parent materials.
named redoximorphic features (RMF) and include the following: Given the wide occurrence of Pseudogleys as climax soils in the
a) redox concentrations (non-cemented Fe–Mn masses, cemented Fe– Pannonian region of Croatia, this region is notably convenient for inves-
Mn concretions and nodules), b) redox depletions (zones of Fe and/or tigations of these soils. Recently, Rubinić et al. (2014) analyzed morpho-
clay depletions), and c) reduced matrix (soil volume containing Fe2+- logical and micromorphological properties, mechanical and chemical
bearing minerals). compositions, and bulk/clay mineralogy of three Pseudogley profiles
across the Pannonian region of Croatia. Moreover, Rubinić et al. (in
⁎ Corresponding author.
review) analyzed mechanical compositions and basic chemical proper-
E-mail addresses: (V. Rubinić), (L. Galović), ties of 33 Pseudogley profiles across the same region. The former study (S. Husnjak), (G. Durn). comprised soils developed exclusively on plateaus, whereas the latter
0016-7061/© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261 251

comprised soils on both plateaus and slopes. In both studies, soils were investigated transect. Given that studies of climate impact on soils
studied to about one meter depth and on loess parent materials. are often used for predicting possible biogeochemical mechanisms
Loess in Croatia formed during the Pleistocene, when aeolian sedi- responding to the global climate changes (see Dahlgren et al.,
ments were deposited on land, in lakes, pools, and shallow marshes in 1997; Isard et al., 2007; Egli et al., 2008; Griffiths et al., 2009;
the Croatian lowland (Bačani et al., 1999). Part of these sediments was Wanhong and Yao, 2006), we expect our paper to provide relevant
subsequently eroded (by wind, rain, or the Danube, Drava, and Sava riv- data concerning the issue.
ers) and re-deposited downstream as alluvial and/or aeolian sedi-
ments. According to Haase et al. (2007), loess in Croatia comprises 2. Materials and methods
mostly loess derivates, and sporadically brown loess and typical
loess. 2.1. Investigated area and locations
Because the formation of Stagnosols is closely related to the for-
mation of vertical texture contrast, the paths for the formation of Pannonian region of Croatia is located on the north of the country
this feature are further outlined. Vertical texture contrasts are gen- (Fig. 1), representing the southwestern part of the Panninian Basin. It
erally ubiquitous in soils and occur even where they cannot be ex- has a moderately warm rainy climate, largely humid. Mean annual tem-
plained by inheritance from parent material or erosion/deposition perature is largely around 11 °C, while MAP increases from the east to
processes (Phillips, 2007). Hence, Phillips (2004) suggested that the west (roughly from 600 mm to 1100 mm). During summer, evapo-
such texture contrasts form in response to a combination of the transpiration is often lower than potential evapotranspiration and
following ubiquitous mechanisms: downward translocation by droughts occur. As the typical climax vegetation, regarding both climate
water, erosional winnowing, soil mixing by bioturbation (see also and Stagnosols, the forest community of sessile oak and hornbeam
Phillips, 2007), the tendency for surface clay additions to be mobi- (Epimedio-carpinetum betuli) dominates the area (where not cleared).
lized while subsurface clays are more likely to remain in place, and The Pleistocene terrace (loess sediments) and the Holocene terrace
biological facilitation of moisture flux. Furthermore, no element (alluvial sediments) represent the two dominant geomorphic units of
alone is sufficient to create a vertical texture contrast, but not all the Pannonian region of Croatia. Almost all Stagnosols in the Pannonian
are necessary in any given regolith (Phillips, 2004). Therefore, region of Croatia are found on the Pleistocene terrace (out of flood and
although one mechanism may be recognized as the main creator of groundwater reach). The Pleistocene terrace consists mostly of loess
a vertical texture contrast in a particular soil, other mechanisms derivates, with brown loess and typical loess found only in the
may be (or may have been) also present. Consequently, the forma- most eastern part of Croatia (see Haase et al., 2007). Because the
tion of soils with a vertical texture contrast is often the result of stratigraphically youngest loess from Zmajevac section (eastern part
polygenesis (Phillips, 2004). of the Pannonian region of Croatia), by giving IRSL ages from 16.7 ±
That said, Stagnosols in Croatia largely formed in situ, by normal 1.8 to 20.2 ± 2.1 ka, indicated significant accumulation of aeolian dust
(top–down) pedogenesis (Rubinić et al., 2014, in review). Such soil during the Last Pleniglacial/Late Glacial (Galović et al., 2009), it can be
formation implies downward translocation by water (i.e., eluviation/ assumed that the formation of recent soils on loess in the Pannonian re-
illuviation processes) as the main mechanism during the creation of gion of Croatia started after 16–20 ka BP. According to Renssen and
the vertical textural contrast (sensu Phillips, 2007). However, the for- Vandenberghe (2003), Pannonian region of Croatia was not affected
mation of loess parent materials on which these Stagnosols developed by permafrost during the Last Glacial. According to Bognar (1978),
most likely involved different sources of the initial material, different thicknesses of loess deposits in the Pannonian region of Croatia range
mechanisms of transportation, and different depositional environments from about half meter to tens of meters.
(see Fitzsimmons et al., 2012; Mutić, 1990; Smalley and Leach, 1977). Three representative Stagnosol profiles were opened at three loca-
Consequently, Rubinić et al. (2014, in review) observed slight heteroge- tions (profiles P-T, P-L, and P-GK at locations Trnava, Lipovljani, and
neities in mechanical compositions of the loess parent materials studied Gornja Kupčina, respectively) across the Pannonian region of Croatia
across the Pannonian region of Croatia. (Figs. 1 and 2). Their GPS coordinates (Gauss–Krüger system) and eleva-
Therefore, the primary goal of this research was to investigate the tions were as follows: a) P-T: X = 6,522,627 m, Y = 5,017,303 m, 191 m
probable courses of soil formation for three representative Stagnosol asl; b) P-L: X = 6,419,172 m, Y = 5,030,523 m, 128 m asl; and c) P-GK:
profiles, while providing a detailed insight into their parent materials. X = 5,543,794 m, Y = 5,056,990 m, 174 m asl. Each location was found
Each investigated profile formed under natural forest vegetation on on a plateau, thereby featuring level terrain (slope b 1%). Each location
non-calcareous loess parent materials across the Pannonian region of also featured a vegetation cover of closed forest dominated by oak and
Croatia. Parent materials were analyzed up to the depth of two meters, hornbeam trees with only sporadic understory above the forest litter. Pro-
and qualitative and semi-quantitative mineral compositions of their files P-T, P-L, and P-GK are situated within the MAP zones of 700–800,
heavy and light mineral associations were determined. 800–900, and 1000–1100 mm, respectively (Fig. 1). Because the in-
After obtaining data on soil properties, we wanted to correlate vestigated locations were distant from the nearest weather stations,
the three soil profiles using the third edition of the World Reference no detailed data on local precipitation, air temperature, and evapo-
Base for soil resources international soil classification system (IUSS transpiration is provided.
Working Group WRB, 2014). In respect to the previous edition (WRB- At each location, soil parent materials were loess sediments. These
2006, corrected 2007), the WRB-2014 features several changes that parent materials are further described according to Haase et al.
concern the Reference Soil Group (RSG) of Stagnosols. Unfortunately, (2007). Profiles P-GK and P-L developed on loess derivates and profile
correlations among soil classifications are often misunderstood and P-T on brown loess. Due to modification by syngenetic and/or postgenetic
interpreted as simple translations of soil names from one system to processes, both loess derivates and brown loess are non-calcareous and
another (Làng et al., 2013). Therefore, we wanted to test in detail the ap- have increased clay content compared to the typical loess. However,
plicability of the WRB-2014 on typical Pseudogleys of Croatia (and the whereas loess derivates were in situ pedogenetically modified, brown
wider southwestern Pannonian Basin). loess is formed from an aeolian material that was deposited in a humid
The final goals of the study were as follows: a) to determine environment and was thereby less affected by pedogenesis. Both loess
the degree of uniformity between the parent materials of the inves- derivates and brown loess are relatively thin and discontinuous across
tigated soil profiles and to assess their influence on present soil Croatia. Nevertheless, given that the investigated locations were situated
characteristics; and b) to asses to which degree the characteristics at stable geomorphic positions (plateaus), no sediments other than loess
of the investigated soil profiles reflect the actual climate conditions, were observed within the investigated soil profiles (i.e., within two meter
i.e., the mean annual precipitation (MAP) gradient along the depth).
252 V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261

Fig. 1. Locations of the investigated Stagnosols in Croatia (soil profiles P-GK, P-L, and P-T at the locations Gornja Kupčina, Lipovljani, and Trnava, respectively). Map is modified after http:// Dotted lines are isohyets representing mean annual precipitation in mm (simplified according to Perčec Tadić, 2008).

Fig. 2. Photographs of the investigated Stagnosol profiles (P-GK, P-L, P-T). Dotted lines roughly represent boundaries between soil horizons.
V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261 253

Soil mechanical composition was obtained by pipette-method,

with wet sieving and sedimentation after dispersion with sodium-
pyrophosphate (Na4P2O7, c = 0.4 M). Soil pH in H2O and in KCl (c =
1 M) was determined in 1:2.5 suspensions. The content of soil organic
carbon (SOC) was obtained by acid potassium-dichromate (K2Cr2O7,
c = 0.4 M) digestion. Contents of exchangeable cations and cation ex-
change capacity (CEC) were determined at pH 8.2 using BaCl2 (c =
0.1 M) and MgSO4 (c = 0.02 M) solutions, respectively.
Soil samples collected by auger were used to determine the qualita-
tive and semi-quantitative mineral compositions of heavy and light
mineral associations of the parent materials by modal analysis. These
samples were extracted after disaggregation in an ultrasonic bath and
sieved to the 0.09–0.125 mm size fraction (Romić et al., 2014). This frac-
tion was selected for the analysis because it includes all mineral species
in proportions representative for the bulk sample (Tarvainen, 1995).
The heavy mineral fraction (HMF) was separated using bromoform
(CHBr3) at 2.85–2.88 g cm−3 density. Slides of the heavy and light min-
eral fractions (LMF) were examined in plane-polarized light (ppl) and
crossed-polarized light (xpl). Qualitative and semi-quantitative compo-
sition of a sample was established after the determination of 300–400
grains and the percentage of each mineral was calculated. Canada bal-
sam was used as the mounting medium.
The core samples were used to gravimetrically determine soil bulk
density (SBD) and soil particle density (SPD) with average values calcu-
lated from triplicate samples (only averages are shown in the paper).
Values for SPD (not shown in the paper) were used to calculate soil poros-
ity (SP) as (1 − SBD / SPD) ∗ 100.

3. Results and discussion

3.1. Soil morphological features

Each soil profile featured a succession of five mineral horizons, with

an organic horizon above them (Fig. 2). The organic horizon (O horizon)
largely consisted of undecomposed litter of Quercus petraea and
Carpinus betulus leaves, twigs, and fruits, and its thickness varied within
individual profiles roughly from one to five centimeters. Given the
strong bioclimatic influence on soil organic matter (SOM) in forests
(e.g., Pernar et al., 2009), the thickness of the A horizon also varied with-
in soil profiles (Table 1 and Fig. 2). In spite of the generally positive in-
fluence of MAP on SOM content (e.g., Alvarez and Lavado, 1998;
Fig. 3. A: Redoximorphic features (redox concentrations, redox depletions and reduced
Dahlgren et al., 1997; Wanhong and Yao, 2006), the A horizon thickness
matrix) in the Btg horizon of the P-L Stagnosol profile. Reduced matrix is identified by did not increase from the P-T profile to the P-GK profile and its color
the appearance of red-pink color after applying 0.2% α,α-dipyridyl solution in 10% acetic remained constant (2.5YR 2/1 moist) along the MAP gradient (Table 1
acid. White bar is 1 cm long. B: Prismatic structure and retic properties (sensu IUSS Work- and Fig. 2). Nevertheless, the P-GK profile featured more roots in the
ing Group WRB, 2014) in the P-L Stagnosol profile, observed during core sampling. (For in-
topsoil than the P-T and P-L profiles (Table 1 and Fig. 2). Although
terpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the
web version of this article.) roots in each profile grew dominantly in horizontal directions, this phe-
nomenon was most visible in the P-GK profile (Fig. 2), suggesting the
most prolonged and most frequent periods of water stagnation at the
site with the highest MAP.
2.2. Investigation methods Below the A horizon, eluvial (Eg) and illuvial horizons (Btg) have
formed in each soil profile (Fig. 2). The former was characterized by
Soil characterization and sampling were done according to FAO the loss and the latter by the gain of clay and sesquioxides, and both
(2006) and/or Schoeneberger et al. (2002). Reduced matrix was identi- horizons were characterized by stagnic properties. The thickness of
fied in the field by the appearance of red-pink color on a freshly broken, the Eg horizon was notably smaller in the P-T profile (22 cm) than in
smoothed soil surface using 0.2% α,α-dipyridyl solution in 10% acetic the P-L and P-GK profiles (35 cm and 38 cm, respectively). Hence, the
acid (Fig. 3A). Soil samples were collected from all horizons within the smallest thickness of the Eg horizon in the P-T profile seems to indi-
soil pit (up to the depth of 120 cm), with additional sampling beneath cate the least pronounced eluviation within the zone of the lowest
the soil pit by auger (up to the depth of 200 cm). All soil samples MAP. Rubinić et al. (2014) obtained similar results for the Eg hori-
were put in plastic bags and later air-dried, crushed, and sieved through zon thickness across the Pannonian region of Croatia.
a 2 mm sieve. Clay coatings were not detected in the field because the subsoil
Additionally, soil samples were taken in 100 cm3 cores (as triplicates). horizons featured stagnic properties (Fig. 2), which often mask clay illu-
Due to abundant roots in the topsoil, we core-sampled each but the A soil viation features in hydromorphic soils (e.g., Sauer et al., 2009). Never-
horizon. In order to disturb the soil structure as little as possible, cores theless, B horizons of all three profiles may be considered argic sensu
were not hammered into the soil, but pushed in using a soil core holder IUSS Working Group WRB (2014). Namely, Rubinić et al. (2014) ob-
mounted onto the auger handle (Fig. 3B). served N1% clay coatings in thin sections from the subsoil horizons of
254 V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261

Table 1
Morphological features of the investigated Stagnosols.

Soil profile Soil Soil horizon Prevailing Horizon Soil color — dry Structure c Aggregate Soil RMF RC Root
(MAP zone a) horizon depth soil lower (moist) Primary size d texture species quantity f abundance g
cm horizon boundary b (Munsell Soil (secondary) Primary e

thickness Color Chart, 2000) (secondary)


P-T A 0–12 (4) 12 A, W 10YR 2/2–3/1 (2/1) GR VF–FI Silt – N C–M

(700–800 Eg (4) 12–34 22 G, S 2.5Y 5/4 (4/4) GR FI Silt loam RC N–F C
mm) (30–37)
Btg (30–37) 34–63 29 G, S 2.5Y 6/4 (4/4) N80% BL ME Silt clay RC, RD F–C V
(57–69) 2.5Y 7/1 (6/1–6/2) loam
10YR 6/8 (5/8)
BCtg (57–69) 63–155 92 – 2.5Y 6/4 (4/4) MA–PR VC–EC Silt clay RC, RD, C–M V–N
40–80% (BL) (CO–VC) loam RM
2.5Y 7/1 (6/1–6/2)
10YR 6/8 (5/8)
Cg 155–200 45 – – – – Silt clay – – –
P-L A 0–11 (7) 11 A–C, W 10YR 2/2–3/1 (2/1) GR VF Silt – N C–M
(800–900 Eg (7) 11–46 35 G, S 2.5Y 6/4 (4/4) GR FI–ME Silt loam RC, RD, C C
mm) (41–51) RM
Btg (41–51) 46–81 35 G, S 2.5Y 6/4 (4/4) N80% BL ME (VF–FI) Silt loam RC, RD, C–M V
(76–86) 2.5Y 7/1 (6/1–6/2) (GR) RM
10YR 6/8 (5/8)
Cg1 (76–86) 81–120 39 – 2.5Y 6/4 (4/4) MA–PR VC–EC Silt loam RC, RD, M V–N
40–80% (BL) (ME–CO) RM
2.5Y 7/1 (6/1–6/2)
10YR 6/8 (5/8)
Cg2 120–200 80 – – – – Silt loam – –
P-GK A 0–11 (2) – A, W–I 10YR 2/2–3/1 (2/1) GR VF–F Silt loam – N M
(900–1100 Eg (2) 11–49 38 G, W–I 2.5Y 6/4 (4/4) GR FI–ME Silt loam RC F–C C–M
mm) (43–55)
Btg1 (43–55) 49–78 29 G, W–I 2.5Y 7/3–7/4 (5/3) BL ME Silt loam RC, RD C–M V
(72–84) 40–80%
2.5Y 7/1 (6/1–6/2)
10YR 6/8 (5/8)
Btg2 (72–84) 78–150 72 – 2.5Y 7/3–7/4 (5/3) MA–PR VC–EC Silt clay RC, RD M V–N
15–40% (BL) (ME–CO) loam
2.5Y 7/1 (6/1–6/2)
10YR 6/8 (5/8)
2Cg 150–200 50 – – – – Silt clay – – –
MAP — mean annual precipitation zone in which the soil profile is situated.
A — abrupt, C — clear, G — gradual, D — diffuse; W — wavy, I — irregular, S — smooth (FAO, 2006).
GR — granular, BL — blocky, MA — massive, PR — prismatic (FAO, 2006).
VF — very fine, FI — fine, ME — medium, CO — coarse, VC — very coarse, EC — extremely coarse (FAO, 2006).
RMF — redoximorphic features; RC — redox concentrations (Fe, Fe–Mn and Mn masses/nodules/coatings), RD — redox depletions, RM — reduced matrix (modified according
to Schoeneberger et al., 2002).
RC — redox concentrations; F — few, C — common, M — many (modified according to Schoeneberger et al., 2002).
M — many, C — common, F — few, V — very few, N — none (FAO, 2006).

Croatian Pseudogleys, and the illuvial character of an argic horizon is generally featured Fe–Mn masses with diffuse boundaries
best established using thin sections (IUSS Working Group WRB, 2014). (Fig. 3A), pseudogleization may be considered an active process
Furthermore, Rubinić et al. (2014) interpreted the vertical trends of in each investigated soil.
both the Ti/Al ratio and the chemical index of alteration (CIA) within In each soil profile, redox depletions were mostly depleted of both Fe
each studied Pseudogley as evidence of lessivage. and clay and found in the subsoil (Table 1 and Fig. 2). In line with the
In the P-GK profile, redox concentrations in the lower horizons preferential flows of stagnant soil water, most redox depletions were
comprised a large share of Fe–Mn and Mn concretions/nodules on/near ped faces and in the dead root channels (whereas most redox
(Fig. 2), as possibly relict formations. Such redox concentrations concentrations were inside the peds). Throughout the subsoil of the
were observed only sporadically in other soil horizons of the P- P-L profile and in the Btg2 horizon of the P-GK profile, albic material
GK profile. They were only sporadic throughout the remaining between soil prisms (retic properties sensu IUSS Working Group WRB,
two soil profiles, as well. Given that the P-GK, P-T, and P-L profiles 2014) was observed (Figs. 2 and 3B).
V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261 255

Generally, the P-GK profile featured the highest percentages of soil ratios with depth of the investigated Pseudogleys. Due to the low
colors pointing to both redox depletions and redox concentrations amounts of sand (Fig. 4A), variations in the coarse/fine sand ratio
(2.5Y 6/1–6/2 moist and 10YR 5/8 moist, respectively), whereas the (Fig. 4B) were not considered as indicators of possible lithic discontinu-
P- T profile featured the lowest percentages of redox concentrations ities (see WRB IUSS Working Group, 2014). Although the results for soil
among the three profiles (Table 1). These observations accorded to mechanical composition did not point to any lithic discontinuities, the
the MAP gradient along the investigated transect, i.e., to the typical pro- lowermost soil horizon in the P-GK profile was designated as 2Cg
longation of Stagnosol wet phase in a more humid climate (with other (Table 1) due to its SOC content (Section 3.3) and its mineralogical com-
factors being equal). The fact that reduced matrix was not dipyridyl- position (Section 3.5).
detected only in the P-GK profile (Table 1) is not considered to oppose In the lowermost soil horizon, the P-L profile had higher content of
the above statement because reduced matrix merely points to reducing silt (72.9%) compared with both the P-T profile (63.1%) and the P-GK
conditions in the moment of field investigation and in the field-wet soil profile (63.3%). The coarse/fine silt ratio in the lowermost soil horizon
(whereas the description of the P-GK profile took place during the dry was 0.57 in the P-GK profile, 1.57 in the P-L profile, and 1.12 in the P-T
season). Hence, reducing conditions in the P-GK profile are considered profile (Fig. 4D). Similar trends for the coarse/fine silt ratio across the
present in some time during the year. Pannonian region of Croatia were determined by Rubinić et al. (2014, in
In each soil profile, parent material was pedogenetically altered to a review). Therefore, no progressive increase of the coarse/fine silt ratio
great depth (Fig. 2 and Table 2). These findings agree with Tandarich across the study region was observed, neither in the westerly nor in the
et al. (1994) (according to Schaetzl and Anderson, 2005), who distin- easterly direction (Fig. 1).
guish the pedogenetically unaltered part of the parent material (D hori- Although the differences concerning the silt content across the
zon) from the pedogenetically (chemically and/or physically) altered investigated soil profiles may not be great in absolute terms, they may
part (C horizon). The cited authors emphasize that D horizons do not indicate that loess materials from two distinct sources overlap in the
refer to bedrocks but to unconsolidated materials (such as loess), and central Pannonian region of Croatia (see Schaetzl and Attig, 2013).
that in deeply weathered soils the D horizon might be difficult, if not im- On the other hand, Rubinić et al. (2014) interpreted the almost identical
possible, to identify. La/Ce and Sm/Nd ratios in C horizons across the investigated
Pseudogleys as indicators of the same provenance of the loess parent
3.2. Soil physical properties materials across the Pannonian region of Croatia. However, La, Ce, Sm,
and Nd are relatively abundant rare earth elements in most potential sil-
Given their mechanical compositions, most analyzed soil horizons icate parent materials (see Sheldon, 2006). Moreover, Thamó-Bozsó
were silt loams, several were silt clay loams and only few were silts et al. (2014) and Újvári et al. (2010) identified NNW and WSW winds,
(Table 1). The amount of total sand was very low in each soil profile, respectively, as important for the supply of aeolian material in the
reaching its maximum in the A horizon of the P-GK profile (6.2%), and Pannonian Basin. Many researchers also considered multiple sources
largely staying between 1.9% and 4.4% (Fig. 4A). Hence, our further dis- of loess in this region (e.g., Mutić, 1990; Smalley and Leach, 1977).
cussion is based much more on the contents of silt and clay than on the Hence, we think that loess in the Pannonian region of Croatia originated
contents of sand. from more than one source.
The content of silt ranged from 63.1% to 84.1% in the P-T profile, from Clay content increased with depth in each soil profile (Fig. 4E).
72.9% to 85.2% in the P-L profile, and from 63.3% to 77.7% in the P-GK Namely, the content of clay increased from 10% to 33.7% in the P-T pro-
profile (Fig. 4C). The fact that each horizon largely comprises the silt file, from 9.3% to 23.8% in the P-L profile, and from 16.1% to 33.2% in the
fraction corresponds to loess being the parent material of the investigat- P-GK profile. In each soil profile, the vertical increase in clay content
ed Stagnosols. The coarse/fine silt ratio varied only slightly with depth generally agreed with the simultaneously decreasing silt content
in each soil profile (Fig. 4D), indicating in situ soil formation by top– (Fig. 4C). These depth-related trends for the two fractions are well pre-
down pedogenesis in a material which was initially (after its deposi- sented by the clay/silt ratio, which generally increased with soil depth
tion) vertically homogeneous in its mechanical composition. Rubinić (Fig. 4F). Given the depth-related trends observed for the coarse/fine
et al. (2014, in review) also determined rather uniform coarse/fine silt silt ratio (Fig. 4D), the highest amounts of clay in the lowermost horizon
of each soil profile should be due to pedogenesis, and not due to sedi-
mentation/erosion processes.
Table 2 Tonkonogov (2008) stressed that lessivage often does not result
Soil bulk density (SBD) and soil porosity (SP) of the investigated Stagnosols. with the maximum clay content in the argic horizon and that parent
Soil profile Soil horizon Soil horizon depth SBD b SP b material may feature the highest clay content within the profile. More-
(MAP zone a) cm g cm−3 % over, Bockheim (1980) and Shaw et al. (2004) found that parent material
P-T A 0–12 –c –c clay content is generally positively correlated with both the intensity of
(700–800 mm) Eg 12–34 1.3 49.2 clay increase from the eluvial to the illuvial horizon and the soil (solum)
Btg 34–63 1.5 40.1 depth. High content of clay in C horizon may be considered the result of
BCtg 63–155 1.6 38.9
the downward percolation of precipitation water along the cracks in the
Cg 155–200 –d –d
P-L A 0–11 –c –c parent material (see Bockheim, 1980; Shaw et al., 2004).
(800–900 mm) Eg 11–46 1.4 45.8 One can note that the lowermost horizon of the P-L profile has less
Btg 46–81 1.5 42.2 clay (23.8%) than the lowermost horizons of the remaining two soil
Cg1 81–120 1.6 40.6 profiles (33.7% and 33.2%) (Fig. 4E). Although mechanical composition
Cg2 120–200 –d –d
and degree of soil development on loess can vary over short ranges
P-GK A 0–11 –c –c
(900–1100 mm) Eg 11–49 1.3 52.0 (e.g., Muhs et al., 2004), it seems that the mechanical compositions of
Btg1 49–78 1.4 47.6 the loess deposits along which the investigated Stagnosols developed
Btg2 78–150 1.5 44.7 were only partially homogeneous prior to soil formation. Moreover, in
2Cg 150–200 –d –d
spite the generally positive relations between soil clay content and
MAP — mean annual precipitation zone in which the soil profile is situated. MAP (e.g., Alexandrovskiy, 2007; Alvarez and Lavado, 1998; Jenny,
SBD — values for each soil horizon represent means calculated from three values 1941 reprinted 1994), clay contents in the lowermost horizons of the
(samples taken as triplicates).
Core samples could not be taken because of abundant roots in the topsoil.
investigated Stagnosols do not increase with the increase in MAP
Core samples not taken because soil pits were dug to 120 cm depth (augering was along the study region (Fig. 4E). Such was the case also in Rubinić
performed up to 200 cm depth). et al. (2014, in review). Hence, this result is further elaborated.
256 V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261

Fig. 4. Mechanical composition of the investigated Stagnosol profiles (P-T, P-L, P-GK). Each soil profile is found in a different mean annual precipitation (MAP) zone. Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
connect values for the analog soil horizons (the greater the number of the line, the greater the depth of the horizon — line 1 represents the uppermost mineral horizon within the profile
and line 5 represents the lowermost horizon within the profile). Line RCC connects values of the ratio of clay content (clay content of the soil horizon 3 as the numerator and the clay
content of the horizon 2 as the denominator). Sizes of soil mechanical fractions are as follows: coarse sand 2.0–0.2 mm, fine sand 0.2–0.063 mm, coarse silt 0.063–0.02 mm, fine silt
0.02–0.002 mm, clay b0.002 mm. Total sand comprises coarse sand and fine sand, total silt comprises fine silt and coarse silt.

Although multiple lines of evidence are often needed to reliably de- MAP (P-T profile) and most pronounced at the location with the highest
tect lithic discontinuities (Schaetzl, 1998) and we found none within MAP (P-GK profile).
the P-T profile, we postulate that the clay contents in the Btg (31.8%), To try to confirm the increasing rate of lessivage along with the in-
BCtg (33.1%), and Cg (33.7%) horizons of this soil profile are only partial- crease in MAP, we calculated the ratio of clay content (RCC), in which
ly due to pedogenesis, and dominantly due to specific post-depositional the Btg clay content was the numerator and the Eg clay content was
conditions at the site. Namely, we think that because the aeolian material the denominator. The obtained RCC values were as follows: 1.21 (P-
from which the P-T profile formed has been deposited in an aqueous en- GK profile), 1.34 (P-L profile), and 1.80 (P-T profile). Thus, this ratio
vironment during the Pleistocene (see Section 2.1), the submerged part of pointed to the most intense clay illuviation at the site with the lowest
the deposit was post-sedimentary enriched with clay (see Mutić, 1990; MAP and the least intense clay illuviation at the site with the highest
Rubinić et al., 2014). With the onset of the Holocene, the uplift of the MAP. Similar results concerning the RCC trends across the Pannonian
loess plateau exposed the whole P-T profile to pedogenesis, leaving the region of Croatia were noted by Rubinić et al. (2014, in review). Because
pronounced change in clay content between the top two and the bottom the results for RCC were not in line neither with the MAP gradient nor
three soil horizons (Fig. 4E) as a remnant of sedimentation in a shallow with the depths of Eg horizons (see Section 3.1), we assumed at this
water body. point that clay migration from the Eg horizon to the Btg horizon
In spite of the presumably different clay contents of the parent ma- depended more on soil pH and/or clay mineralogy than on MAP.
terials along which the investigated soil profiles developed, the uneven Rubinić et al. (2014) found that contents of smectites, chlorite-vermic-
vertical trends of clay content among the investigated profiles may also ulite mixed-layer minerals, and vermiculites (as fine clay minerals sub-
reflect the uneven MAP along the study region. Namely, the vertical jected to lessivage) vary significantly across Pseudogley profiles in the
increase in clay content was significant up to the depth of 34 cm (Btg Pannonian region of Croatia.
horizon upper limit) in the P-T profile, 46 cm (Btg horizon upper Analyzes of the core samples revealed that SBD and SP of the three
limit) in the P-L profile, and 78 cm (Btg2 horizon upper limit) in the Stagnosol profiles generally correspond to those of loess-derived soils
P-GK profile (Fig. 4E and Table 1). These data are in line with both the (see Table 2). As expected given the decrease in soil aggregation and
MAP gradient along the study region and the thicknesses of Eg horizons root penetration with depth (Table 1), SBD increased and SP decreased
across the studied soil profiles (see Section 3.1). Namely, they indicate with depth in each soil profile (Table 2). Such trends were also consis-
that lessivage was least pronounced at the location with the lowest tent with the vertical trends for SOC content (see Section 3.3).
V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261 257

3.3. Soil chemical properties in the P-T profile (Section 3.2) should not be due to the soil pH in its Eg
horizon (Fig. 5A).
As a result of soil acidification, pH generally increased with depth in Averaged along profile depth, soil pH was the lowest in the P-GK
each profile (Fig. 4A and B). Such trend in Croatian Pseudogleys was de- profile (3.7 and 5.1 in KCl and H2O, respectively), and the highest in
termined also by Rubinić et al. (2014, in review). The pH(H2O) varied the P-T profile (4.1 and 5.6 in KCl and H2O, respectively) (see Fig. 5A
from 4.6 to 6.5 (P-T profile), from 4.8 to 6.2 (P-L profile), and from 4.2 and B). This is in line with the MAP gradient along the investigated tran-
to 6.0 (P-GK profile). At the same time, pH(KCl) varied from 3.4 to 4.7 sect, i.e., with the increasing rates of soil leaching and soil acidification
(P-T profile), from 3.7 to 4.2 (P-L profile), and from 3.3 to 4.0 (P-GK pro- along the increasingly humid environments (e.g., Alexandrovskiy,
file). The high pH values obtained in the A horizon of the P-T profile 2007; Dahlgren et al., 1997).
(Fig. 5A and B) may be considered a micro-local anomaly resulting In each profile, SOC content was the highest in the A horizon (7.3%,
from biocycling, i.e., from the strong bioclimatic influence in forest 4.9%, and 9.7% in the P-T, P-L, and P-GK profiles, respectively) and de-
soils (e.g., Dahlgren et al., 1997; Pernar et al., 2009). creased with depth (Fig. 5C). This was not the case only in the P-GK pro-
The pH(KCl) increased with depth only slightly compared with file, in which an unusually high SOC content was determined in the
the pH(H2 O) (Fig. 5A and B). Such trends resulted in the increase lowermost horizon (8.4%). The notably high SOC content in the A hori-
of ΔpH (H2 O − KCl) values with depth. Consequently, ΔpH zon of each investigated profile is an outcome of pedogenesis under
amounted up to 1.8, 2.0, and 1.9 in the bottom soil horizons of the the forest vegetation, with oak as the dominant species. Namely, oak
P-T, P-L, and P-GK profiles, respectively. Similar ΔpH trends with trees are rich in tannins (e.g., Makkar, 2003), which are substances
depth were noted in pseudogleyic soils by Khan et al. (2012). that promote SOM formation, i.e., inhibit its decomposition (Kraus
Beery and Wilding (1971) explained this phenomenon with the de- et al., 2003). The high SOC content in the lowermost horizon of the P-
crease in SOM content with depth, i.e., with the K + ions more GK profile is further discussed.
strongly held on clay minerals, than on SOM. Besides, pH values as Even though tree uprooting can lead to redistribution of SOM within
low as in the investigated soil profiles usually indicate exchangeable a soil profile (Phillips and Marion, 2004; see also Šamonil et al., 2013),
Al as an important factor governing soil pH. the SOC content in the bottom horizon of the P-GK profile could not
Under the presented pH conditions, the Al3+ concentrations in soil so- have resulted from such action. Namely, the abovementioned SOC con-
lution are considered high enough to keep clay flocculated and lessivage tent was extremely high and present over 150–200 cm soil depth
inhibited (e.g., Sauer et al., 2009). Therefore, the highest RCC established (Fig. 5C and Table 1). Furthermore, at the Gornja Kupčina location two

Fig. 5. Chemical properties of the investigated Stagnosol profiles (P-T, P-L, P-GK). Each soil profile is found in a different mean annual precipitation (MAP) zone. Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 con-
nect values for the analog soil horizons (the greater the number of the line, the greater the depth of the horizon — line 1 represents the uppermost mineral horizon within the profile and
line 5 represents the lowermost horizon within the profile).
258 V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261

more soil pits were dug within the 50 m radius from the P-GK profile and P-GK were correlated with Stagnosols (Loamic), Retic Stagnosols
(data not presented in the paper) and they both featured high SOC con- (Siltic, Hypermagnesic), and Endoretic Stagnosols (Siltic, Magnesic,
tents below one meter depth (8.1% in one and 9.7% in the other soil pro- Endoruptic), respectively.
file). Therefore, it appears that the bottom horizon of the P-GK profile In the top 50 cm from the mineral soil surface, each soil profile
represents a paleosoil overlain by the recent soil (A, Eg, Btg1, and Btg2 featured the following: a) stagnic properties with areas of reductimorphic
horizons). Consequently, this soil horizon is designated as 2Cg (Table 1). and oximorphic colors occupying N50% (Fig. 2 and Table 1) and
The A horizon SOC content was the lowest in the P-L profile and the b) reducing conditions for some time during the year in the major
highest in the P-GK profile (Fig. 5C). Thereby, although MAP generally part of the soil volume that has reductimorphic colors (Table 1 and
influences types and amounts of vegetation and therefore the SOM con- Fig. 3A; see also Section 2.2). Thereby, each soil profile was correlat-
tent itself (see Alvarez and Lavado, 1998; Griffiths et al., 2009; Wanhong ed with the Stagnosols RSG.
and Yao, 2006), the SOC contents in our A horizons were not consistent Concerning the principal qualifiers listed in the Key of the IUSS
with the MAP gradient. Given that Rubinić et al. (2014) found SOC con- Working Group WRB (2014), the appropriate one among the Acric/
tent of Pseudogley A horizons to agree with the MAP gradient along the Lixic/Alic/Luvic and between the Dystric/Eutric options could not be
Pannonian region of Croatia and given that properties of forest topsoils added to the RSG because these qualifiers involve data on soil CEC.
often display significant variability, additional research is needed. Namely, IUSS Working Group WRB (2014) requires use of the
The BS values ranged from 56.8% to 94.9% in the P-T profile, from ammonium-acetate method for CEC determination at the pH 7.0,
51.4% to 85.5% in the P-L profile, and from 34.9% to 89.4% in the P-GK pro- whereas the standard procedure in our laboratory involves buffer-
file. In the P-T and P-GK soil profiles, BS was higher in the A horizons than ing at the pH 8.2 (Section 2.2). Given that the studied Stagnosols
in the underlying Eg horizons (Fig. 5E). This is probably due to high were acid, the results obtained for CEC (Fig. 5D) can be considered
amounts of SOC in the A horizons of the P-T and P-GK profiles (Fig. 5C). even more overestimated than they would have been if we had
Namely, given that SOM contributes to CEC even more than clay applied buffering at pH 7.0.
minerals (e.g., Wright and Foss, 1972), leaching of basic cations (especial- The fact that IUSS Working Group WRB (2014) requires an argic ho-
ly of Ca2+) was inhibited (e.g., Curtin et al., 1998; Shaw et al., 2001). This rizon to have at least 1.4 (RCC ≥ 1.4) instead of at least 1.2 (RCC ≥ 1.2)
was clearly observable in the P-T and P-L profiles, in which the ratios of times more clay than the overlying horizon (as was the case in the pre-
the exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions (Ca/Mg ratios) were distinctly vious WRB-2006 version of the manual) turned up inconvenient in our
higher in the A horizon compared with the lower soil horizons (Fig. 5F). case. Namely, although RCC was ≥1.2 in each soil profile, it was ≥1.4
The reason why in the A horizon of the P-GK profile the Ca/Mg ratio only in the P-T profile (Fig. 4F, see also Section 3.2). Given that Rubinić
was the lowest in the A horizon is not completely clear (Fig. 5F). Possibly et al. (2014) recognized lessivage as one of the main processes of
SOM in this horizon had a larger share of poorly decomposed fraction and Pseudogley formation in Croatia and that pH typically decreases during
thereby a lower exchange capacity (see Montecillo, 1983). This explana- formation of these soils, Btg RCC values lower than 1.4 can often be con-
tion would agree with the formation of the P-GK profile under more re- sidered a consequence of the subsequently inhibited lessivage (see
stricted drainage conditions (the highest MAP and the highest topsoil Section 3.3) accompanied with the progression of the formation of
clay content) compared to the remaining two profiles (Fig. 4E). In accor- clay-sized particles in the Eg horizon. Therefore, the value of 1.2 seems
dance with Khan et al. (2012), water stagnation can result in Mg2+ be- as the more appropriate RCC limit for argic horizons in Croatia (and
coming the dominant cation of the CEC. the wider southwestern Pannonian Basin).
In accordance with both the obtained pH values and the MAP gradi- Nevertheless, in respect to the edition from 2006, the new edition of
ent along the investigated transect, BS was the lowest in the P-GK the WRB system proved as a step forward, concerning the soil profiles
(54.7% averaged along profile depth) and the highest in the P-T profile classified in this study. Specifically, before the replacement of the
(78.1% averaged along profile depth) (see Fig. 5E). Similar MAP- Albeluvisols with the Retisols RSG and the exclusion of the criterion of
related trends for BS (and pH) were observed in Croatian Pseudogleys “no albeluvic tonguing starting within the 100 cm of the soil surface”
by Rubinić et al. (2014, in review). from the Stagnosols RSG and the introduction of the Glossic/Retic qual-
Soil CEC increased with depth in each profile, with negative anom- ifier into the Stagnosols RSG, Pseudogleys in Croatia often had to be cor-
alies observed in Eg horizons (Fig. 5D). Namely, CEC was the lowest in related with Stagnic Albeluvisols (e.g., Rubinić et al., 2014). Such would
Eg horizons (7.7, 4.4, and 2.9 cmol kg−1 in the profiles P-T, P-L and P- have been the case also in this study, concerning the P-L profile (Fig. 2).
GK, respectively) and the highest in C horizons (26.3, 16.7, and Given that the morphology of Pseudogleys in Croatia and the surround-
14.7 cmol kg−1 in the profiles P-T, P-L and P-GK, respectively). Such re- ing countries differs notably from that of the typical Retisols (former
sults agree with the contents of clay and SOC along depths of the three Albeluvisols) of the more humid regions of Europe, their correlation
profiles (Figs. 4E and 5C, respectively), i.e., with positive correlations with Retic Stagnosols is more appropriate.
established between CEC on one side and contents of clay and SOC on
the other (e.g., Beery and Wilding, 1971; Wright and Foss, 1972). 3.5. Modal composition of soil parent materials
Averaged along soil depth, CEC was distinctly higher in the P-T
profile (18.2 cmol kg−1) than in the P-L and P-GK profiles (10.1 and The modal composition was determined in three soil samples,
9.7 cmol kg−1, respectively) (see Fig. 5D). Because the P-T profile fea- collected from the deepest parts of the investigated soil profiles
tured slightly lower clay and SOC contents than the P-GK profile (Cg, Cg2, and 2Cg horizons of the P-T, P-L, and P-GK profiles,
(Figs. 4E and 5C, respectively), we infer that the high CEC in the former respectively).
soil profile most probably resulted from the mineral composition of its The results indicated significant dominance (N97%) of the LMF in
clay fraction (see Wright and Foss, 1972). Dahlgren et al. (1997) found comparison with the HMF (Table 3). Quartz was one of the most fre-
CEC to be influenced by clay mineralogy rather than by the gradients quent minerals in the LMF (N 50%). Feldspars were mostly colorless
of MAP and mean annual temperature. Accordingly, Rubinić et al. and fresh, rarely weathered. Fresh grains of K-feldspars occurred as
(2014) determined that clay content and clay mineralogy often have monocrystals with inclusions mostly represented by sanidine (Fig. 6A,
the key impact on the CEC of Croatian Pseudogleys. B, and C) and rarely by microcline. Differences between the fresh and
the weathered grains of quartz and feldspars indicate at least two
3.4. Soil classification sources of loess. This agrees with the results for the coarse/fine
silt ratio (see Section 3.2). Fresh grains are volcanogenic and
Based on the obtained results, we classified the three soil profiles ac- transported over a short distance, thereby lacking discernible abra-
cording to IUSS Working Group WRB (2014). Namely, profiles P-T, P-L, sion (Fig. 6D). This is confirmed by the presence of volcanogenic
V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261 259

Table 3
Modal composition of samples from the parent materials of the investigated Stagnosols.

Sample a Composition of light mineral fraction 100% Composition of heavy mineral fraction 100%

Total Q M K-f P Lithic Total op co b THM Transparent heavy minerals 100%


f w f w f w q ch Other ep–zt a py g cy st tu zr ru ti ap cr ZTR

P-T 98.19 61 18 4 5 1 1 + 6 1 3 1.91 17 1 2 80 45 4 16 10 3 6 3 1 8 3 1 0 12

(700–800 mm MAP)
P-L 97.47 38 15 22 8 5 1 0 6 + 4 2.53 14 11 1 74 38 13 20 12 2 4 5 1 3 1 1 0 9
(800–900 mm MAP)
P-GK 98.47 64 20 2 3 1 + + 7 1 + 1.53 40 0 38 22 18 3 20 23 8 14 2 3 9 0 0 0 14
(900–1100 mm MAP)

Q = quartz; K-f = K-feldspar; M = muscovite; P = plagioclase; f = fresh; w = weathered; q = quartzite; ch = chert; op = opaque minerals; co = chlorite; b = biotite; THM =
transparent heavy minerals; ep–zt = epidote–zoisite; a = amphibole; py = pyroxene; g = garnet; cy = kyanite; st = staurolite; tu = tourmaline; zr = zircon; ru = rutile; ti =
titanite; ap = apatite; cr = chromite; ZTR = zr + tu + ru.
Samples P-T, P-L, and P-GK represent the Cg, Cg2, and 2Cg soil horizons of the P-T, P-L, and P-GK soil profiles, respectively. Samples P-T, P-L, and P-GK were collected from the depths of
155–200 cm, 120–200 cm, and 150–200 cm, respectively. Soil profiles P-T, P-L, and P-GK are situated within the mean annual precipitation zones of 700–800 mm, 800–900 mm, and
900–1100 mm, respectively.

idiomorphic K-feldspar sanidine (Fig. 6A), sometimes characterized et al., 2009). On the other hand, Thamó-Bozsó et al. (2014) showed
with undulose extinction (Fig. 6C). Weathered grains with rough surface that NNW winds could supply the wider Transdanubian area, and
were exposed to long and/or multiple alluvial transports before their hence northern Croatia, with aeolian material of such mineral composi-
final resedimentation by wind (Fig. 6E). Rare plagioclase grains tion. The chlorite- and/or biotite-rich heavy mineral associations of
were basic in the P-T and acid in the P-L and P-GK profiles (Fig. 6F). loess from South Transdanubia are similar in their compositions to the
Lithic fragments, present in all samples up to 10%, were mostly rep- recent fluvial sediments of the Danube and other Transdanubian rivers
resented by quartzite, as the most probable source rock of weathered (Thamó-Bozsó et al., 2014) and could also be the source area for (re)
quartz grains with undulose extinction. Smaller portion of quartz grains sedimentation. Thus, beside the Danube, Drava and Sava river flood
in the P-L reflected the significantly higher portion of muscovite in this plains, part of the analyzed sediments could also originate from the
sample (Fig. 6G and Table 3). Muscovite is a flaky mineral, as well as nearby Slavonian Mountains (central Pannonian Croatia), which are
chlorite and biotite, which comprised significant portions in the P-L rich in granite (as a muscovite-bearing rock). This is supported by
(chlorite) (Fig. 6H) and P-GK samples (biotite) (Table 3). The behavior simulations of paleowind patterns in the Carpathian Basin during the
of these three minerals is very similar during transport (alluvial or aeo- Last Glacial, proposed by Újvári et al. (2010) and showing WSW wind
lian). Namely, due to high mobility of flaky minerals (higher than that of directions.
the isometric or elongated ones), it is very likely that they were In general, such heavy mineral association as in our samples is sim-
transported farther and from a more distal source (Thamó-Bozsó et al., ilar to the Danube flood plain sediments (Thamó-Bozsó and Kovács,
2014). Domination of flaky minerals was observed in several horizons 2007) and loess from Hungary (Thamó-Bozsó et al., 2014), but the
of some loess sections in the eastern Croatia (Banak et al., 2013; southern edge of the Pannonian basin was very likely influenced by
Wacha et al., 2013) that correlate to the Last Glacial period (Galović the nearby Dinaride Ophiolite Zone.

Fig. 6. Micro-photographs of minerals in LMF (light mineral fraction) and HMF (heavy mineral fraction) of samples from the parent materials of the investigated Stagnosol profiles (Cg, Cg2,
and 2Cg horizons of the P-T, P-L, and P-GK profiles, respectively). All micro-photographs are in plain-polarized light, except the 5C, which is in crossed-polarized light. Red bar is 100 μm
long. A: Volcanogenic idiomorphic K-feldspar sanidine grain with zonal weathering; LMF from the P-L profile. B and C: Volcanogenic sanidine grain characterized with undulose extinction
and elongated and spherical inclusions; LMF from the P-L profile (B-ppl and C-xpl). D and E: Differences between the fresh and the weathered grains of feldspar; LMF from the P-T profile.
The fresh grain is lacking discernible abrasion (D), whereas the weathered grain has rough surface because of long and/or multiple transports (E). F: plagioclase grain with elongated and
spherical inclusions; LMF from the P-GK profile. G: muscovite flakes; LMF from the P-L profile. H: chlorite flake; HMF from the P-L profile. I: fresh kyanite grain; HMF from the P-GK profile.
J: V-shaped rutile twins; HMF from the P-GK profile. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)
260 V. Rubinić et al. / Geoderma 241–242 (2015) 250–261

Although HMF comprised only a small portion of the analyzed sam- pedogenesis and erosion/sedimentation-dominated pedogenesis (see
ples, significant differences in its composition were detected among the Phillips, 2004).
samples (Table 3). Since HMF composition is considered as a fingerprint
of clastic rock origin, these results are further elaborated in detail. Trans- 4. Conclusions
parent heavy minerals (THM) dominated the P-T sample (80%). In the
P-L sample, the domination of the THM, along with the abovementioned All studied Stagnosols developed on loess parent materials, which
11% of chlorite, was determined as well. On the contrary, the P-GK sam- are today altered by pseudogleization and/or lessivage. These two pro-
ple largely consisted of opâque minerals (40%) and biotite (38%), with cesses were found crucial for the formation of each investigated soil
no chlorites and only a small portion of the THM (22%). Comparing profile. Hence, we consider the investigated Stagnosols as formed pri-
the obtained THM compositions to those of the typical loess sections marily by top–down pedogenesis. However, high SOC content in the
in the eastern Croatia (Banak et al., 2013; Wacha et al., 2013) and north- lowermost horizon of the P-GK profile points to erosion/sedimentation
ern Adriatic (Mikulčić Pavlaković et al., 2011), the analyzed samples processes at the bottom of that particular profile. Moreover, high clay
were distinctly enriched in pyroxene and depleted in amphibole. content throughout the subsoil of the P-T profile is largely the result of
The predominance of garnet and epidote within the THM composi- sedimentation of aeolian material in a shallow paleo-lake, and subordi-
tion of all samples (Table 3) indicated the Danube flood plain region nately the result of lessivage. Therefore, some Croatian Stagnosols
(Thamó-Bozsó and Kovács, 2007) and redeposited loess from Hungary should be considered polygenetic.
(Thamó-Bozsó et al., 2014) as the main sources of the material. Since Investigated soil profiles were classified according to the WRB-2014
the Danube originates from the same (Alpine) region as the rivers international classification system. Adequate qualifiers were added to
Sava and Drava, their mineral compositions resemble. The abundant the RSG of Stagnosols. The 2014 edition of the system proved more suit-
pyroxenes (Table 3), beside from their flood plains, could also originate able than the previous one (WRB-2006) concerning the soils studied in
from the nearby Slavonian Mountains and/or from the Dinaride this paper. However, the new requirement for an argic horizon to have
Ophiolite Zone in Bosnia (Pamić et al., 2002; Robertson et al., 2009). at least 1.4 (instead of at least 1.2) times more clay than the overlying
Buggle et al. (2008) geochemically characterized the loess/paleosoil sec- horizon was not found appropriate. Namely, although each soil profile
tions of Batajnica/Stari Slankamen (Serbia), Mircea Voda (Romania), had ≥1.2 times more clay in the Btg horizon, only one had ≥1.4 times
and Stary Kaydaky (Ukraine) in order to identify the origin of southeast- more clay in the Btg horizon than in the overlying Eg horizon. Hence,
ern and eastern European loess deposits. They concluded that the Dan- the value of 1.2 appears as the more appropriate criterion for argic hori-
ube catchment area is most important for the Pleistocene delivery of zons in soils of Croatia (and the wider southwestern Pannonian Basin).
silt-sized alluvial sediments in the studied area. However, they also con- In line with the MAP gradient along the study region were several
sidered the rivers Drava and Sava as further important silt sources, sup- morphological (root abundance and growth direction, RMF abundance
plying glacio-fluvial sediments of the eastern Alps (given the elemental and differentiation, Eg horizon thickness) and only few chemical (pH
compositions and weathering products). and BS) soil characteristics. SOC content did not correspond to MAP pri-
The P-GK sample was enriched in pink garnet (almandine), fresh marily due to the variability of forest topsoils. On the other hand, clay
kyanite (Fig. 6I), rutile (Fig. 6J), and staurolite (Table 3), thus content and CEC did not correspond to MAP dominantly due to the in-
representing a mineral association typical for intermediate to high fluence of spatial variations in characteristics of loess parent materials
grade regional metamorphic rocks (gneiss and mica schist). More- across the investigated sites. Namely, the existence of more than one
over, the P-GK sample was depleted in minerals from epidote–zoisite source of loess material and the differences in depositional paleo-
group, characteristic for eruptive rocks and metamorphic rocks of low environments resulted in slightly different mechanical compositions
grade. These results pointed to the P-GK sample as a sediment of a dif- of the investigated parent materials. The different sources of loess
ferent source material (gneiss and/or mica schist), consequently with a were confirmed by the results of the modal analysis.
different mineral composition compared with those of the other two in- We conclude that both climate (MAP gradient) and parent material
vestigated samples. (loess heterogeneity) must be regarded as key factors of formation and
Almost all opâque grains in the P-GK sample were magnetite characteristics of the Stagnosols in the Pannonian region of Croatia.
(Table 3). Although the formation of pedogenetic magnetite is generally Thus, when studying loess-derived soils in the southwestern Pannonian
in positive correlation with MAP, this is not the case with poorly drained Basin, the influence of climate can seldom be taken into account without
soils (Grimley and Arruda, 2007; Maher et al., 2003). There is a negligi- the simultaneously varying influence of parent material, and vice versa.
ble possibility that the observed magnetite originated from the same
source as the rest of the P-GK sample (because primary magnetite crys- Acknowledgments
tallizes in eruptive rocks). It is more likely that the P-GK sample (2Cg
horizon) belongs to a paleosoil, developed in initially well-drained con- This research was funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and
ditions with high MAP and post-pedogenetically buried by younger Sports of the Republic of Croatia (project No. 178-1780692-2711). The
loess. In such case, secondary magnetite might have formed during authors hereby express their thankfulness to the editor and to the anon-
the process of rubification in the paleosoil, now representing a rudiment ymous reviewer for their constructive and highly valuable reviews that
of paleo-conditions (Galović et al., 2011). Such explanation would greatly helped to improve our manuscript.
correspond to the SOC content determined in this sample (Fig. 5C, see
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