Presentation Title

The relationship of soil depth to species composition in coastal forests

Presenter Information

Noelle TamasFollow

Faculty Mentor

Cheryl Swift

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

CREVELING 100

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Coastal forests in Maine are a mix of hardwoods and conifers. Conifers grow more slowly than hardwoods which may translate into hardwoods dominating deeper soils and conifers dominating shallow soils. Conifers are particularly prone to wind-driven mortality perhaps because conifers are primarily found in shallow soils and are not deeply rooted. This study examined the effect of soil depth on the distribution of species and size of individuals present. I hypothesized hardwoods would dominate deeper soils and conifers shallow soils, and hardwood individuals would be smaller on shallow soils. The research site was located in Georgetown, Maine and is characterized by a series of east-west granite ledges and troughs. I set up ten 30-meter belt transects. At meter intervals, I counted the number of individuals of each species, and measured the diameter of each individual within two meters of either side of the transect. For each 1 x 2 meter plot I took a soil sample and measured soil depth. Our preliminary results suggest that soil depth does not influence species distribution. Our results suggest that soil depth does not predict species composition or stem diameter. I had predicted that if conifers were found in deeper soils, individuals would be smaller because of competition with hardwoods, and that conifers would be found in shallower soils. It appears that wind-driven mortality of conifers, which models say will disappear in the next 100 years as a result of climate change is not necessarily the result of shallow rooting depth.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

The relationship of soil depth to species composition in coastal forests

CREVELING 100

Coastal forests in Maine are a mix of hardwoods and conifers. Conifers grow more slowly than hardwoods which may translate into hardwoods dominating deeper soils and conifers dominating shallow soils. Conifers are particularly prone to wind-driven mortality perhaps because conifers are primarily found in shallow soils and are not deeply rooted. This study examined the effect of soil depth on the distribution of species and size of individuals present. I hypothesized hardwoods would dominate deeper soils and conifers shallow soils, and hardwood individuals would be smaller on shallow soils. The research site was located in Georgetown, Maine and is characterized by a series of east-west granite ledges and troughs. I set up ten 30-meter belt transects. At meter intervals, I counted the number of individuals of each species, and measured the diameter of each individual within two meters of either side of the transect. For each 1 x 2 meter plot I took a soil sample and measured soil depth. Our preliminary results suggest that soil depth does not influence species distribution. Our results suggest that soil depth does not predict species composition or stem diameter. I had predicted that if conifers were found in deeper soils, individuals would be smaller because of competition with hardwoods, and that conifers would be found in shallower soils. It appears that wind-driven mortality of conifers, which models say will disappear in the next 100 years as a result of climate change is not necessarily the result of shallow rooting depth.