Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Comparison of soil and vegetation map delineation shapes and areal correspondence Public Deposited

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  • Map delineations of soil and vegetation for a 14,000 acre (5,800 hectare) site in the Oregon Coast Range were compared. Research objectives were to ascertain the types of information that could be extracted from delineation comparisons and to develop a methodology suited to this purpose. The latter objective was achieved in a preliminary study involving a small number of soil-vegetation complexes. Data on shape similarity and areal correspondence were collected using a digital planimeter. The methodology developed was then applied to three data sets: all delineations of two soil mapping units which differed only in dissection, and delineations from a random sample of other mapping units. Nonparametric statistical procedures were employed to analyze the data in terms of soil mapping units and in terms of physiographic position. Little association was found between soil and vegetation delineations overall. However, vegetation and soil delineation shapes, as measured using an elongation ratio, appear to be more similar in the uplands than in the lowlands. Greater upland contrasts in factors significant to both soils and vegetation may contribute to this trend. Areal correspondence was evaluated with the intersection/union ratio for vegetation and soil polygons. Ranks of vegetation communities according to their areal correspondence with the soil body were generally inconsistent. The dissected soil showed the greatest amount of consistency in areal correspondence between upland and lowland complexes. This raises the possibility that dissection may be a more important determinant of community distributions than is physiographic position. Finally, shape similarity and areal correspondence trends were associated in the uplands but not in the lowlands. The more consistent shape comparisons in the uplands may contribute to this dichotomy of results.
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