Organic Matter and Elemental Composition of Humic Acids in Soils of Urban Areas: The Case of Rostov Agglomeration

  • Sergey N. GorbovEmail author
  • Olga S. Bezuglova
  • Svetlana A. Tischenko
  • Andrey V. Gorovtsov
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


The aim of investigation was to evaluate the effects of urbanization on the organic matter of urban soils in the South of Russia.

The type of vegetation has an impact on the amount and quality of soil humus. In soils of the forest-park area of the city, an increase of humus content in the upper 10-cm layer to the average value of 7.5 ± 0.63% has been observed, which is significantly higher than the humus content of arable chernozem surrounding the city (3.5−4%).

The humus profile acquires the features of the forest soil. Reduction of humus content is characteristic of buried and sealed soils. The structure and composition of humic acids is largely due to the type of anthropogenic impact. However, regardless of the nature and degree of changes, the transformation of HA molecules are within the defined soil type. The most significant changes are noted for HA from Calcic Chernozem of the forest park. The significant decrease in humus content in urban soils is due to a change of soil conditions. The fact that humic acids of chernozem are less benzenoid and characterized by more advanced peripheral portion of the molecule, with a higher degree of enrichment with nitrogen and sulfur. Sealing the soil under the asphalt leads to the development of HA oxidation and hydrogenation processes. The reduced participation of aromatic moieties in the molecules of HA in the horizon UR of Ekranic Technosol has been noted.


Calcic chernozem Ekranic technosol Humic acids Soil organic matter Urban pedogenesis Urban soil Urbic technosol molic 



This research was supported by project of Ministry Education and Science of Russia, no. 6.6222.2017/BP. Analytical work was carried out on the equipment of Centers for Collective Use of Southern Federal University “Biotechnology, Biomedical and Environmental Monitoring” and “High Technology”.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergey N. Gorbov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olga S. Bezuglova
    • 1
  • Svetlana A. Tischenko
    • 1
  • Andrey V. Gorovtsov
    • 1
  1. 1.Academy of Biology and BiotechnologySouthern Federal UniversityRostov-on-DonRussia

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