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Comparison of Soil and Vegetation Characteristics of Six Upland Forest Habitat Types in North Central Wisconsin

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Habitat type classification is a natural classification system that uses the co-occurrence of ground flora and tree species to formulate taxa that can be used to identify sites which support similar plant communities or associations at climax. In 1988 a habitat type classification was developed for northern Wisconsin forests, but scientists have yet to determine whether important soil and vegetation characteristics are similar within a habitat type and if they exhibit consistent differences among habitat types. We compared the soil and vegetation characteristics of 24 sites from the 6 major habitat types in north central Wisconsin. Total soil nitrogen and organic matter concentrations, soil available potassium, soil silt fraction, and soil water-holding capacity all generally increased in the order: Quercus-Acer/Epigaea (QAE) < Acer-Quercus/Vaccinium (AQV) < Pinus/Maianthemum-Vaccinium (PMV) < Acer/Vaccinium-Viburnum (AVVib) < Acer-Tsuga/Dryopteris (ATD) < Acer/Viola-Osmorhiza (AViO). In addition, we observed positive trends (QAE < AQV < PMV < AVVib < ATD < AViO) in leaf area index (leaf area per unit ground area )and forest net primary productivity, both of which are expressions of total resource availability. North. J. Appl. For. 15(2):69-76.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forest Ecology and Management, University of Wisconsin, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, (608)262-0532;, Fax: (608) 262-9922

Publication date: 1998-06-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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