14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 124 Above the timberline in the Alpine zone microtopography dominates the soil pattern Accordingly the differing soil charac teristics of pro les B and C are mainly due to topography while those of pro le D are probably due to allochthon aeolic sedi ments Pro le A represents a thick organic layer Tangelhumus which in patches covers calcareous bedrock in higher eleva tions often developing beneath stocks of Pinus mugo Photos C Geitner 2009 after Baruck et al 2016 The knowledge of soil properties and soil pattern is an essential prerequisite for sustainable land use management and should be mainstreamed into spatial planning processes The mosaic like juxtaposition of soil types is a relevant issue at all scales as the high spatial variability also determines soil functions and therefore also soil related services for the society FAO 2015 Source Geitner C adapted from Baruck et al 2016 Figure 15 Shows a plot of around 100 metres by 100 metres at the largely treeless dolomite hilltop Gaisberg 1 750 metres Brixen Valley Tyrol Austria illustrating small scale variability of soils and their features in particular organic matter content and distribution grain size and stone content as well as degree and depth of weathering 2015 Geitner 2007 Hagedorn et al 2010 Kilian 2010 Theurillat et al 1998 Veit 2002 typical elevation gradients of some soil proper ties by and large the portions of ne grain sizes pH values exchange capacity stability of aggregates and the incorporation of organic matter decreases with altitude multi layered soil pro les and buried soils which are quite common in this environment especially at geomorphologically active sites FAO 2015 Geitner et al 2011a Veit et al 2002 Based on these conditions speci c problems arise when surveying but especially when modelling and interpreting soils in the Alpine environment The ap propriate extrapolation from point to area from the pro le site to a cartographic unit remains challenging Baruck et al 2016 This fact as well as some typical soil features in the Alps and their high spatial variety can be seen from Figure 15

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