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Understory vegetation

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Sutherland, Steve; Hutchinson, Todd F.; Windus, Jennifer L.

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. 67-83

Abstract

This chapter documents patterns of species composition and diversity within the understory vegetation layer and provides a species list for the four study areas in southern Ohio. Within each of 108 plots, we recorded the frequency of all vascular plant species in sixteen 2-m² quadrats. We recorded 297 species, including 187 forbs (176 perennials, 9 annuals, 2 biennials), 44 graminoids, 34 shrubs and woody vines, and 32 trees. Only seven species were nonnatives and none of these were abundant. We also documented 12 state-listed species. Detrended correspondence analysis indicated that variation in species composition was primarily along a soil moisture-fertility gradient described by the Integrated Moisture Index. Additional variation in composition among the study areas was correlated with differences in soil texture. Species richness per plot (32-m² sampled) ranged from 23 to 106 and averaged 65.2; richness per quadrat averaged 16.7. All measures of species diversity were significantly higher on mesic than on xeric plots, primarily because forb richness was higher on mesic plots.

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Citation

Sutherland, Steve; Hutchinson, Todd F.; Windus, Jennifer L. 2003. Understory vegetation. 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. 67-83

Last updated on: June 4, 2007