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explore the forest floor

The Forest Floor educational tool will allow you to learn about forest floor description, humus form classification, and the processes involved in forest floor development. These are important skills for most natural resource professionals, especially for those who work in regions with extensive forest ecosystems.

Material shown at this website follows taxonomic classification of humus forms as derived by Green et al. (1993) and soil horizon description as presented by the Soil Classification Working Group (1998). As such this information is most relevant for forests of the coastal British Columbia, Canada.

The tool was created by a team of soil scientists, graduate students, and multimedia specialists from the Virtual Soil Science Learning Resources group (, with the intention of appealing to multiple learning styles and providing greater access to information.

Also featured at this website is the Forest Humus Forms Quest, a mobile, game-based educational quest developed using Questogo mobile app (developed by 14Oranges Software Inc., Burnaby, BC). Both the Forest Floor tool and the quest will be implemented in the Introductory Soil Science courses at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC and Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Funding for the Forest Floor tool was provided by the UBC Flexible Learning Fund (2013-15).

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