Canadian Forest Service Publications

Calcareous soils, their properties and potential limitations to conifer growth in southeastern British Columbia and western Alberta: a literature review. 2000. Kishchuk, B.E. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-370.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18226

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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Abstract

This report is a review of published literature on calcareous soils and their role in the productivity of coniferous forests in southwestern British Columbia and western Alberta. Definitions, origins, and properties of calcareous soils are described. Processes contributing to growth limitations on calcareous soils are reviewed. Chemical properties of calcareous soils may give rise to tree nutrition problems or other metabolic disturbances. Physical properties of calcareous soils may also affect tree growth through compacting or cementing effects. Factors controlling productivity on calcareous soils are discussed with particular reference to coniferous species in western Canada. Depth to carbonates in the soil profile appears to be an important factor in the establishment and productivity of coniferous stands in western Canada. Forest practices resulting in displacement of calcareous subsoils and implications of calcareous soil displacement are identified. Although instances where decreases in forest productivity on calcareous soils have been identified, calcareous soils do not appear to have a consistently adverse effect on productivity. Attributes of soils and other site factors must be identified to determine the role of calcareous soils in stand establishment and productivity.