Publication Details

Soil and forest floor characteristics

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Boerner, Ralph E. J.; Morris, Sherri J.; Decker, Kelly L. M.; Hutchinson, Todd F.

Year Published

2003

Publication

In: Sutherland, Elaine K.; Hutchinson, Todd F., eds. Characteristics of mixed oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-299. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 47-55

Abstract

The soils of the four study areas in southern Ohio were dominated by silt loams derived from sandstones and shales. The soils at Bluegrass Ridge (BR) had significantly more clay and sand and significantly less silt than soils of the other study areas. Total inorganic N (TIN) and available NH4 were greatest in soils from Watch Rock (WR) and least at Young's Branch (YB). TIN, NH4, and NO3 availability varied directly with Integrated Moisture Index (IMI). Soil pH, PO4, Ca, Mg, and molar Ca:Al ratio also varied among sites; soils from Arch Rock (AR) had the lowest pH, Ca, Mg, and Ca:Al ratio while those from BR had the highest. Al and pH varied with IMI as soils from xeric plots had the lowest pH and the highest soluble Al levels. The availability of PO4, Ca, and Mg and the Ca:Al ratio were lower in soils from xeric plots than from intermediate and mesic plots. Unconsolidated litter mass averaged 438 g/m² and did not differ significantly among treatment units or IMI classes. Litter mass was greatest at YB, averaging 527 g/m². Detrended Correspondence Analysis indicated that a strong pH/ mineral availability gradient was the primary factor that influenced soil chemistry among the study 108 plots. Mesic plots from BR and WR separated in the ordination from the remainder of the sample plots, suggesting that these plots may not be as useful as the remaining plots for detecting subsequent fire effects on soils and belowground processes.

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Citation

Boerner, Ralph E. J.; Morris, Sherri J.; Decker, Kelly L. M.; Hutchinson, Todd F. 2003. Soil and forest floor characteristics. In: Sutherland, Elaine K.; Hutchinson, Todd F., eds. Characteristics of mixed oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-299. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 47-55

Last updated on: June 4, 2007