Current issue: 56(4)
No agreement has yet been reached about formation of podzols, and their distribution in Finland has not been studied. It is, however, known that most of the forest soils are leached. The compacted ortstein is relatively rare in Southern Finland, but common in the gravely soils in Lapland. This study focuses on whether ortstein formations facilitate paludification. The study is based on observations in drained peatlands in Toivakka and Multia. Ortstein can rarely be found under the actual peatlands. It is often formed in mineral soil threshold areas, where it can be up to one meter thick. The ortstein formation was stronger in poorer soil types. Also, it is compacted into a harder layer in gravely soils than in sandy soil. These formations seem to be caused by humus-rich water flowing from the peatlands.
The soil is not leached, and ortstein is not formed in wet, low-lying peatlands, and has, therefore, no role in their paludification. In drier peatlands, especially in slopes, an A horizon can be found. However, ortstein seems not to have a marked effect on paludification. When ortstein is formed in mineral soil threshold areas, their formation seems to be caused by water flow from the peatland. It may make the threshold area more compact, and thus further facilitate paludification.
The PDF includes a summary in German.