Studies of the properties of soil organic matter are essential for understanding the humification reactions and soil diagenesis processes. The aim of this study is to analyse properties of peat and peat humic acids as well as factors influencing their variability. Humic acids isolated from an ombrotrophic bog peat profile were used as study objects. Relations among peat age, decomposition and humification degree, botanical composition, and properties of peat humic acids (elemental, functional composition, spectral characteristics) were studied. The variability of peat properties was found to be less significant than the differences in the properties of peat-forming living matter, which indicates the dominant impact of humification processes on the properties of peat. Correspondingly, the composition of peat humic acids was insignificantly affected by the differences in the composition of the precursor living organic material.
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