Landscape-Scale Influence of Topography on Organic Layer Accumulation in Paludified Boreal Forests

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to quantitatively investigate the relationship between topographic variables and organic layer thickness (OLT) and to use these relationships for mapping OLT distributions at the landscape scale within the paludified boreal forests of eastern Canada. Topography was quantified by a set of predictor variables (slope, elevation, aspect, mean curvature, plan curvature, and profile curvature) that were extracted from a LiDAR-derived digital terrain model (DTM) with four resolutions (1, 5, 10, and 20 m). OLT was collected from field measurement (n = 1,600) across the landscape and varied from 5 to 150 cm. Weak correlations between OLT and individual topographic variables were obtained at the landscape scale. Stratification by aspect did not significantly improve these correlations. Consequently, regression tree analysis divided the data into six different landscape units, based on slope, aspect, and mean curvature. The resulting landscape units delimited the major patterns of OLT and elucidated three spatial relationships between OLT and topographic variables: greater OLTs (mean = 62 cm) were confined to gentle slopes (≤1.8%), whereas lower OLTs (mean = 27 cm) were found in steeper slopes (slope >3.2%); OLTs were deeper on south- and west-facing than on north- and east-facing slopes; and the most accurate results were obtained by the LiDAR-derived DTM at 10- and 20-m resolutions. A thematic productive map of the distribution of the resulting six landscape units showed good matching (71%) with both vulnerable and promising areas for forest management. This study confirmed the fact that topographic variables influence OLT at the landscape scale, which had been previously reported at the plot scale within the Clay Belt.

Keywords: Clay belt; LIDAR-derived digital terrain model; paludification; regression tree; topography

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/forsci.13-025

Publication date: June 7, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
  • Membership Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content

Tools

Favourites

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more