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
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