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A Biogeochemical Examination of Ontario’s Boreal Forest Ecosite Classification System
AbstractThe ecosite unit in Ontario’s boreal forest ecological land classification system is a polygon of common vegetation type and soil conditions intended to provide a standardized provincial framework to inform meso-scale forestry and planning applications. To determine whether the physical factors used for ecosite classification relate to patterns in ecological function over finer spatial scales, we examined 14 soil properties in replicate boreal forest plots representing eight mineral soil ecosite classes and three organic soil ecosite classes in the Hearst Forest. Despite large differences in vegetation composition, we found few statistically significant differences in properties when compared for individual classes or for more general groupings based on vegetation type and soil texture or expected fertility status. However, some properties (soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and C:N ratio) were approaching significance in the 0–10 cm depth increment, and there were distinct differences between organic soil and mineral soil sites. Overall, these results suggest few explicit links between ecosystem function and ecosite class at this scale of measurement, highlighting the potential importance of non-steady-state relationships between vegetation species and soil properties in disturbed forests and the potential need for finer-scale characterization to capture patterns in ecosystem function.
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Tamminga, A.; Scott, N.A.; Treitz, P.; Woods, M. A Biogeochemical Examination of Ontario’s Boreal Forest Ecosite Classification System. Forests 2014, 5, 325-346.View more citation formats
Tamminga A, Scott NA, Treitz P, Woods M. A Biogeochemical Examination of Ontario’s Boreal Forest Ecosite Classification System. Forests. 2014; 5(2):325-346.Chicago/Turabian Style
Tamminga, Aaron; Scott, Neal A.; Treitz, Paul; Woods, Murray. 2014. "A Biogeochemical Examination of Ontario’s Boreal Forest Ecosite Classification System." Forests 5, no. 2: 325-346.