Soils

National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is one of the largest forests of Europe plains, which has preserved to this day in a relatively untouched state. Its territory is divided by the state border into two parts - Belarusian and Polish.

Soil mosaic on the territory of the Pushcha is strong and has a complex genesis. The systematic list includes 270 names of soil phases which are combined in 8 types of soils in accordance with the regional association: brown forest soils, sod-podzolic soils, sod-pale-yellow-podzolic soils, sod soils, peat-bog lowland soils, peat-bog upland soils, floodplain soils (Soil map ..., 1982; Tolkach and others, 1996).

Sod-podzolic sandy soils prevail under the pine forests.

Clay loams are occupied by subors and spruce forests. Composite pine forests, spruce forests, oak forests occupy mainly brown forest weakly-podzolized binomial and polynomial soils with glacial clay lying at a depth of 0.5 to 1.5 m. On the watershed areas the groundwater table is at a depth of 12 to 7 m, on the watershed slopes - 7 to 4 m, on degradations – 3 to 2 m, on the areas adjacent to swamps - 1.5 to 0.9 m.

Hydromorphic soils are represented mainly by peaty-gley soils, peaty-gley and peaty shallow lowland soils, less often by transitional soils, occupied by black-alder, bushy-birch and grass-sedge aggregations. High moorlands are found in comparatively small areas in closed or wet hollows. The thickness of the upper peat bogs is 2-3.5 m, the maximum thickness is 5 m.