The Natural Processes Which Shaped Polish Soils
Poland is located in the humid climate zone, where precipitation is larger than evaporation. As a result, constant soil washing and movement of mineral components from the surface into deeper layers takes place.
As a result of this process, which in the past took place mainly in coniferous forests, podsolization of the soil occurred. In forest conditions the podsolic soils were formed mainly on poor sandy deposits. These soils are very acidic, they lack minerals, humus and have poor buffer properties. In spite of the improvement of some of soil properties thanks to agrotechnical measures, they are the poorest ploughland. They occupy over 30% of the farmland. They are easily devastated.
Brown soils are the second largest group. In this group large areas are occupied by leached and deluvial soils. A common feature of these soils is the transfer of mineral elements and colloidal loam from the surface into deeper layers. This is caused by natural soil formation processes. Leaching is not as strong here as in the case of podsolic soils, but some mineral elements are leached away from the surface, which is often quite acidic. In spite of this they are good forest habitats and when farmed they gain the features of high culture and can become average or sometimes even high quality ploughland. Other types of mineral soils like: black-earths, rendzinas and alluvial soils are usually very good, but they occupy a rather small acreage.