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brown earth

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A freely draining, and only slightly horizonated, soil-profile type. It has a mull humus in the surface horizon and very little differentiation of horizons below. Brown earths are well-weathered and slightly leached soils, with a cambic horizon in the middle part of the profile (also known as braunerde and now included in the Inceptisols). Brown-earth types of soil are very productive and, although their natural climax vegetation in humid, temperate latitudes is deciduous forest, they have been used extensively for agriculture. The soil type is common in southern England. See also Alfisols.

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