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The Foothills Fescue Soils

GrasslandsThe soils of the Foothills Fescue Subregion are predominantly Dark Brown and Black Chernozems. Solonetzic soils are not as common in the Foothills Fescue Subregion.

Chernozems are a typical prairie soil. They were formed only 100,000 years ago under aerobic conditions where water flowed freely through the upper layers. They were created by the sudden and rapid addition of organic matter, along with lots of humidification.

Chernozemic Soil If you were to look at a cross-section of a Chernozem, you might see things like earthworm tracks and animal burrows filled in with different types of soils. Animals like these aerated the soils and were crucial in the formation of Chernozems.

Although there are many different kinds of Chernozems, there is very little difference between them. It is interesting to note that Black Chernozems are formed when there are high levels of precipitation in a particular area.

Chernozems are generally dry, and as such, can only support vegetation like tall grasses. Sometimes, though, patches of deciduous woodlands can grow as well.

Information provided by and printed with the permission of Alberta Community Development, Parks and Protected Areas.

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