Temperate Forest Dynamics Across a Landscape-level Soil Resource Gradient
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Abbreviations of species names are the first two letters of the genus and species and include: Quercus velutina, Q. alba, Populus grandidentata, Q. rubra, Acer rubrum, Prunus serotina, Fagus grandifolia, A. saccharum, Fraxinus americana and Tilia americana.

Variation in forest communities across the landscape in northern Michigan is striking. Adjacent sites of different glacial landforms can have no overlap in species composition. The below figure shows species basal area across our 12 primary sites in northwestern lower Michigan. The sites stratify a gradient in soil resource availability (water, calcium and nitrogen), generally increasing across sites from the bottom to the top of the graph.


Several projects have been focused on this fundamental question: why do these tree species occur where they do?


Dr. Richard Kobe
Department of Forestry
Michigan State University
Natural Resources Building
480 Wilson Road, Room 126
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
(517) 355-8433