Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum

Present a classification of the soils of the world and give their economic significance.

Soils around the world can be classified into various categories based on different criteria, such as their physical, chemical, and geological properties. One common classification system for soils is the Soil Taxonomy system developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this system, soils are classified into several orders, suborders, and soil families based on various characteristics. Here, I will provide a simplified overview of the major soil orders and their economic significance:

1. Entisols:

  • Economic Significance: Entisols are often found in recently deposited materials like river floodplains and coastal areas. They are typically young soils that are not highly developed for agriculture. However, they can be valuable for some types of crops if well-managed.

2. Inceptisols:

  • Economic Significance: Inceptisols are somewhat developed soils that can be found in a wide range of environments. They are often suitable for agriculture and can be used for a variety of crops with proper management.

3. Andisols:

  • Economic Significance: Andisols are volcanic soils that are highly fertile and rich in minerals. They are excellent for agriculture and are often used for growing crops like coffee, tea, and various fruits. Their economic significance lies in their suitability for high-value crops.

4. Mollisols:

  • Economic Significance: Mollisols, also known as prairie soils, are some of the most fertile soils in the world. They are ideal for growing grains, including wheat, corn, and soybeans. These soils have a significant economic impact on global agriculture.

5. Aridisols:

  • Economic Significance: Aridisols are found in arid and semi-arid regions and are often used for agriculture when water resources are available for irrigation. They are important for producing crops like cotton, wheat, and vegetables in dry climates.

6. Ultisols:

  • Economic Significance: Ultisols are weathered soils with a clay-rich subsoil. They can be suitable for agriculture but may require proper management and fertilization. They are used for crops like tobacco, soybeans, and corn.

7. Oxisols:

  • Economic Significance: Oxisols are highly weathered tropical soils. They are not as fertile as some other soil types but can support agriculture with the addition of nutrients and organic matter. Economic crops like oil palm, rubber, and cacao are grown in Oxisol-rich regions.

8. Spodosols:

  • Economic Significance: Spodosols are found in cool, moist regions and are typically acidic. They are less suitable for agriculture due to their acidity and leaching of nutrients. However, they can be used for forestry and have economic significance in the timber industry.

9. Gelisols:

  • Economic Significance: Gelisols are found in cold regions with permafrost. They are not typically used for agriculture due to the extreme cold and frozen subsoil. However, they have potential economic significance for mining activities in Arctic areas.

10. Histosols:Economic Significance: Histosols are organic soils found in wetlands and peat bogs. They are not well-suited for agriculture but have economic importance in peat extraction for horticultural purposes and as a source of fuel.

This classification provides a simplified overview of the major soil orders and their economic significance. It’s important to note that within each soil order, there can be significant variability in soil properties and suitability for specific crops or land uses. Soil management practices, such as fertilization, irrigation, and erosion control, are essential to maximize the economic potential of different soil types.