Composition of clay minerals and their pedogenetic and taxonomic implications for Stagnic Anthrosols derived from different parent materials in Hunan Province, China

  • Zhan Yu
  • Yangzhu ZhangEmail author
  • Hao Sheng
  • Liang Zhang
  • Qing Zhou
  • Xiong Yan
Soils, Sec 5 • Soil and Landscape Ecology • Research Article



The aims of this study were to investigate the composition of clay minerals in soils derived from different parent materials and to elucidate how parent materials and pedogenic environment affect the distribution of clay minerals and reveal the implications for pedogenetics and taxonomy in Stagnic Anthrosols.

Materials and methods

Clay mineralogy and physicochemical properties of the Hydragric horizon of Stagnic Anthrosols derived from granite (GR), plate shale (PS), quaternary red clays (QRC), limestone (LS), purple sandy shale (PSS) and fluvial-lacustrine deposit (FLD) located in Hunan Province of China were analysed to explore the relationships between the conditions influencing the formation of the soil and the composition of clay minerals.

Results and discussion

Results indicated that the composition of clay minerals is closely related to both parent material and type of Stagnic Anthrosols: the soils derived from GR, PS and QRC, which are mostly classified as Fe-accumulic-Stagnic Anthrosols, are dominantly 1:1 type kaolinite and vermiculite and illite/vermiculite mixed layer minerals of widespread distribution. However, soils derived from LS, PSS and FLD were mainly classified as Hapli-Stagnic Anthrosols and are mainly composed of 2:1 type illite/smectite mixed layer minerals, where chlorite is commonly found. Illite is widely distributed and its content varies the least among different parent materials. An extremely significant relationship between pH and kaolinite, chlorite and mixed layer minerals was noted, and the two kinds of mixed layer minerals showed highly significant negative correlation.


This study revealed that the types and quantities of clay minerals in the soil are closely related to the types of parent material. This reflected better direction and degree of development in Stagnic Anthrosols, which is related to the physicochemical properties of parent material and can be used as one of the bases for the classification of soil groups and subgroups within the soil family for Stagnic Anthrosols in Chinese Soil Taxonomy.


Clay minerals Hydragric horizon Parent materials Pedogenic environment Soil group Stagnic Anthrosols 


Funding information

This research was supported by the Basic Work of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant no. 2014FY110200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 41571234), and the Project of Key Laboratory of Soil Resources and Environment in Qianbei of Guizhou Province (grant no. Qian Jiao He KY zi[2017]010).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and EnvironmentZunyi Normal UniversityZunyiChina

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