Relationships Between Hydrology and Soils Describe Vegetation Patterns in Seasonally Flooded Tree Islands of the Southern Everglades, Florida Article Received: 17 February 2005 Accepted: 25 July 2005 DOI:
Cite this article as: Gann, T.T. & Childers, D.L. Plant Soil (2006) 279: 271. doi:10.1007/s11104-005-2362-9 Abstract
Tree island ecosystems are important and distinct features of Florida Everglades wetlands. We described the inter-relationships among abiotic factors describing seasonally flooded tree islands and characterized plant–soil relationships in tree islands occurring in a relatively unimpacted area of the Everglades. We used Principal Components Analysis (PCA) to reduce our multi-factor dataset, quantified forest structure and vegetation nutrient dynamics, and related these vegetation parameters to PCA summary variables using linear regression analyses. We found that, of the 21 abiotic parameters used to characterize the ecosystem structure of seasonally flooded tree islands, 13 parameters were significantly correlated with four principal components, and they described 78% of the variance among the study islands. Most variation was described by factors related to soil oxidation and hydrology, exemplifying the sensitivity of tree island structure to hydrologic conditions. PCA summary variables describing tree island structure were related to variability in
Chrysobalanus icaco (L.) canopy cover, Ilex cassine (L.) and Salix caroliniana (Michx.) canopy cover, Myrica cerifera (L.) plot frequency, litter turnover, % phosphorus resorption of co-dominant species, and nitrogen nutrient-use efficiency. This study supported findings that vegetation characteristics can be sensitive indicators of variability in tree island ecosystem structure. This study produced valuable, information which was used to recommend ecological targets (i.e. restoration performance measures) for seasonally flooded tree islands in more impacted regions of the Everglades landscape. Keywords Chrysobalanus icaco ecological targets Everglades Florida Principal Components Analysis restoration tree islands vegetation-soil relationships Download to read the full article text References Armentano, T V, Jones, D J, Ross, M S, Gamble, B W 2002 Vegetation pattern and process in tree islands of the southern Everglades and adjacent areas Sklar, F H Valk, A eds. Tree Islands of the Everglades Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht Google Scholar Barbour, M, Burk, J, Pitts, W, Gilliam, F, Schwart, M 1999Terrestrial Plant Ecology3rd Ed Benjamin/Cummings Menlo Park, CA 649 Google Scholar Brahmer, G 1994 Effects of whole catchment liming and Mg addition on soil water and runoff at two forested watersheds in the Black Forest (Germany) Forest Ecol. Manag. 68 47 60 CrossRef Google Scholar
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