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Department of Soil and Water Systems

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2340
Moscow, ID 83844-2340

Phone: 208-885-0111

Email: cals-sws@uidaho.edu

Web: uidaho.edu/cals/sws

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Mollisols

Mollisols (from Latin mollis, "soft") are the soils of grassland ecosystems. They are characterized by a thick, dark surface horizon. This fertile surface horizon, known as a mollic epipedon, results from the long-term addition of organic materials derived from plant roots. Mollisols are among some of the most important and productive agricultural soils in the world and are extensively used for this purpose. They are divided into eight suborders: Albolls, Aquolls, Rendolls, Gelolls, Cryolls, Xerolls, Ustolls and Udolls.

Mollisols primarily occur in the middle latitudes and are extensive in prairie regions such as the Great Plains of the U.S. Globally, they occupy approximately 7.0 percent of the ice-free land area. In the U.S., they are the most extensive soil order, accounting for approximately 21.5 percent of the land area.

Mollisols
Mollisols have: (1) a mollic epipedon (thick, dark surface horizon); and (2) base saturation of at least 50 percent throughout the subsoil. (USDA-NRCS image)

Contact

Department of Soil and Water Systems

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2340
Moscow, ID 83844-2340

Phone: 208-885-0111

Email: cals-sws@uidaho.edu

Web: uidaho.edu/cals/sws

Directions