Understory vegetation effects on soil nitrogen and soil carbon in thinned and unthinned Douglas-fir forests Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3197xp40t

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  • The optimum goal of forest management is to foster long-term productivity and ecological integrity while maintaining or increasing short-term growth and yield through sustainable practices. Understory vegetation plays a definite role in forest functions through nutrient cycling and habitat provisions. The objective of this study was to determine how salal, swordfern, and Oregon grape, three prominent understory species in the Coast Range of Oregon, affect nitrogen and carbon cycling in thinned and unthinned stands. This information can help determine whether understory vegetation is beneficial or harmful to tree growth, and how management might affect long-term productivity through nutrient fluxes and habitat availability in a given stand. To eliminate non-plant variability in soil nitrogen and carbon, sites were selected based on similar vegetation, climate, geography, geology, soils, and treatments. Despite the similarities, soil carbon was generally too variable to determine any trends and, therefore, was not significantly affected by understory vegetation in thinned and unthinned stands. Results from soil nitrogen analyses indicated that soil beneath patches of understory vegetation, primarily salal, contained less nitrogen when compared to soil that was not directly influenced aboveground by that vegetation. Also, there was less soil nitrogen in thinned stands than unthinned stands. Simple linear regression indicated an inverse relationship between salal biomass and soil nitrogen. It was concluded that vigorous and rapid expansion of understory vegetation following harvest may stabilize nitrogen losses by retaining nutrients that might otherwise be lost through leaching or removal, but species with characteristics similar to salal have the capacity to sequester nitrogen which may inhibit tree growth, while others such as swordfern and Oregon grape do not significantly affect stand nitrogen.
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  • Master files scanned at 600 ppi (256 Grayscale) using Capture Perfect 3.0 on a Canon DR-9080C in TIF format. PDF derivative scanned at 300 ppi (256 Grayscale), using Capture Perfect 3.0, on a Canon DR-9080C. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-02-02T20:47:17Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Geyer_Eric_A_1998.pdf: 3399566 bytes, checksum: 07ff175d2c464109c969e092646b7650 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-02-02T20:48:02Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Geyer_Eric_A_1998.pdf: 3399566 bytes, checksum: 07ff175d2c464109c969e092646b7650 (MD5)

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