Relationships between plant associations and environment within McDonald-Dunn Forest Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dz010s23j

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  • I studied the relationship of environmental variables to six plant associations on McDonald and Paul M. Dunn Forests. Indirect gradient analysis was used to determine relationships. The plant associations were developed in a companion study by C.J. Hubbard (1991). McDonald-Dunn Forests are located north and northwest of Corvallis, Oregon. The Forests comprise approximately 11,000 acres. These lands are owned by Oregon State University and managed by a staff within the College of Forestry. This study, and the companion study by Hubbard (1991), was funded and supported by the Forest management team in order to provide information that would facilitate a more integrated-resource management process. Data for this study was collected on one hundred and fifteen plots stratified to represent the diversity of physiography, soils series, and timber types found within the Forest. Plots were located within as mature a stand condition as could be found, considering past disturbance. Data collected on each 5,382 square foot plot (500 square meters) included physiography (e.g., elevation, slope, and aspect) ; vegetation cover (e.g., grass, forbs, shrubs, and trees); and soils (e.g., soils series, texture, and depth). Other variables used in this study were taken from the Forest's 1985 timber inventory. Inventory variables included total live basal area for conifers, periodic annual increment, and height and diameter for conifers. Environmental conditions vary within McDonald and Dunn Forests. Elevations increase generally toward the northwestern portion of McDonald Forest, especially toward McCulloch peak. Elevations decrease toward the southern portion of McDonald Forest. The Dunn Forest has lower elevations than McDonald Forest. Elevations decrease to the north within the Dunn Forest from Forest Peak to the lower Soap Creek drainage. Slope, rock percent, baregroud percent, and gravel percent also increase as elevations increase. There are relationships between environmental variables and plant associations within McDonald-Dunn Forest. The structure and composition of the vegetation occur in response to environmental conditions. Elevation, direction and angle of slope, quality of soil, and especially direct solar radiation share in explaining the variability of vegetative structive and composition within the McDonald-Dunn Forests. The underlying environmental gradient for McDonald-Dunn Forests is a light-influenced gradient. Elevation, slope, aspect, and amount of solar radiation have all interacted for eons to influence the soil development and vegetation gradient as it exists today.
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