Characterization of selected plant communities within the Tillamook Burn in northwestern Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/n296x281t

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  • A study was initiated in 1961 to characterize seral plant communities in a part of the Cedar Creek drainage in the Tillamook Burn. Stratification of vegetation into ecological units was a necessary first step in conifer-animal damage studies supported by the Oregon State Game Commission. Reconnaissance information was recorded in 92 stands and seven major plant communities were tentatively recognized. Association tables were constructed for analysis of the constancy and canopy coverage data recorded in 42 intensively sampled stands. Two communities that occupied small parts of the study area were described using reconnaissance only. The plant associes is recognized as the seral equivalent to the climax plant association. Five soil series previously mapped were in the study area. The Meda, Astoria, Trask and Kilchis soil series were recognizeable and adequately characterized. The Hembre soil series was found to be too general for application to either synecological research or land management. For this investigation, the series was separated and described as the Hembre I and Hembre II soil series. The Alnus rubra/Polystichum munitum associes is on lower elevation, north-facing slopes. The associes is in a topographic position to benefit from lateral seepage and to have low summer transpiration rates. It is on Meda, Astoria and Hembre II soil series. The Alnus rubra-Acer circinatum associes is on convex, north-facing slopes at usually slightly higher elevations than the Alnus/Polystichum associes. It is topographically located to benefit from lateral seepage and to have a low summer transpiration rate. The associes is on Hembre II and Trask soils. The Acer circinatum-Corylus californica associes is highly variable in species composition and cover. It has a xeric and a mesic phase. Stands are always located in positions to benefit from lateral ground water seepage and are generally located on all but north-facing slopes. The associes is generally on deep Astoria or Hembre II soils, but on bottom slopes it may be on the lithosolic Trask series. The Rubus parviflorus/Trientalis latifolia associes is on upper slopes and on nearly all aspects at higher elevations. It is usually on lithosolic Kilchis soils. The Pteridium aquilinum/Lotus crassifolius is on the deeply weathered Hembre I soil series. It is at higher elevations on most slope directions. The Vaccinium parvifolium/Gaultheria shallon associes is dominated by two late seral or climax species. Drainage is good to excessive on south-facing convex slopes or ridgetops. Macro-climate is apparently the major controlling factor since there is little relation between soil series or solum depth. The Acer macrophyllum/Symphoricarpos mollis and the Acer macrophyllum-Alnus rubra associes are described with reconnaissance data only. The former is on extremely steep, south-facing rock and talus slopes. The latter is on floodplains of major streams. It may have a water table in the rooting zone part of the year. Both shade-intolerant, early seral species and shade-tolerant, late seral or climax species have specific environmental requirements for growth and survival. The vegetation, 17 years after fire, reflects environmental controls and may be used to stratify the landscape into units of equivalent effective environment. Succession is apparently slow in most communities and under natural conditions most communities would have remained in a dynamic, seral state for many years. Implications of the study to game management are discussed. A basis of vegetation stratification suitable for game management studies was established. A relatively rapid method of inventorying and mapping winter deer forage production by plant communities has been demonstrated. A key for recognizing the plant associes was developed.
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