Current issue: 53(4)
One-hectare plot in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest was systemically sampled for surface soil characteristics: humus layer thickness, soil carbon and nitrogen content, pH, electrical conductivity and respiration were determined from 106 samples. The effects of large trees on the plot were mapped and their joint influences at the locations of soil sampling were described as the influence potential, derived from the ecological field theory, and were calculated based on the locations and dimensions of trees.
The range of variation of soil characteristics was from three to sevenfold; no spatial autocorrelation was detected. The calculated influence potential of trees, as determined by their size and spatial distribution, was related to the spatial variation of top soil properties. Top soil properties were also related to thickness of the humus layer but they were poorly correlated with underlying mineral soil characteristics. Humus layer thickness, with the calculated influence potential of trees, may provide a means to predict top soil characteristics in specific microenvironments in the forest floor.