Inceptisols

Authored by: Wayne H. Hudnall

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b11267-60

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Abstract

Inceptisols serve two important functions in Soil Taxonomy. First, they group soils with incipient soil development (L. Inceptum, beginning), and second, they ensure that the classification system is fully bifurcated, that is, all soils fall within some taxa of the classification system. Because of the latter, Smith (1986) referred to Inceptisols as the wastebasket order. They are the repository for all soils that do not meet class differentiae of other orders. While the central concept of Inceptisols is that of soils in cool, very warm humid and subhumid regions that have weekly developed subsoil horizon (cambic) and a light colored surface horizon (Ochric), the order contains a wide variety of soils (Soil Survey Staff, 1998). In some areas, they contain soils with minimal development, while in other areas they represent soils with well-expressed diagnostic horizons that fail the criteria of other orders. All soils that have a plaggen epipedon are Inceptisols (Soil Survey Staff, 1999).

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