Event Title

How Ash Tree Loss Affects Soil Health

Presenter Information

Jada Cushnie, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Start Date

10-28-2016 5:00 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 5:30 PM

Poster Number

36

Abstract

We measured three soil characteristics (percent moisture, percent organic matter, and pH) from eight forest research plots (9 samples from each) to examine relationships between soils and woody vegetation. We collected soil from two plots in each of four forest habitat types in the Chance Creek Preserve: mature upland; floodplain; successional; and highly disturbed (due to the emerald ash borer – EAB – invasion). We found significant variation (Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.001) among the eight plots for all three soil characteristics. Subsequent Mann-Whitney pairwise tests for the 28 pairs of plots revealed that nine pairs differed significantly in percent moisture, eight pairs in percent organic matter, and 11 pairs in pH (all at p < 0.05 or less). Using data for four woody vegetation categories: adult species density; adult basal area; saplings; and seedlings, we employed Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) to estimate the variation accounted for by each soil characteristic. In all four forest categories, percent soil moisture explained ~ 20% of the variation, followed by percent organic matter at slightly greater than 6%, and pH at slightly less than 6%. Soil moisture was most closely aligned with the highly disturbed plots, which also had the greatest variation in moisture levels. Our results indicate the potential for using these – and additional – soil characteristics to understand vegetation patterns following disturbances.

Award

Science and Technology Research Opportunities for a New Generation (STRONG)

Project Mentor(s)

Roger Laushman, Biology; Environmental Studies

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Oct 28th, 5:00 PM Oct 28th, 5:30 PM

How Ash Tree Loss Affects Soil Health

Science Center, Bent Corridor

We measured three soil characteristics (percent moisture, percent organic matter, and pH) from eight forest research plots (9 samples from each) to examine relationships between soils and woody vegetation. We collected soil from two plots in each of four forest habitat types in the Chance Creek Preserve: mature upland; floodplain; successional; and highly disturbed (due to the emerald ash borer – EAB – invasion). We found significant variation (Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.001) among the eight plots for all three soil characteristics. Subsequent Mann-Whitney pairwise tests for the 28 pairs of plots revealed that nine pairs differed significantly in percent moisture, eight pairs in percent organic matter, and 11 pairs in pH (all at p < 0.05 or less). Using data for four woody vegetation categories: adult species density; adult basal area; saplings; and seedlings, we employed Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) to estimate the variation accounted for by each soil characteristic. In all four forest categories, percent soil moisture explained ~ 20% of the variation, followed by percent organic matter at slightly greater than 6%, and pH at slightly less than 6%. Soil moisture was most closely aligned with the highly disturbed plots, which also had the greatest variation in moisture levels. Our results indicate the potential for using these – and additional – soil characteristics to understand vegetation patterns following disturbances.