Floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River are characterized by complex interactions between biota and the physical environment, specifically aspects of hydrology. The role of environmental variation in overstory composition, structure, and growth is not well documented. Goals of this study were to 1) characterize current stand conditions along gradients of inundation and relative elevation, and 2) describe growth patterns of silver maple (Acer saccharinum L.) trees, and their relationship to hydrological patterns. Patterns of forest composition and structure were more similar for plots comprising similar environmental conditions than plots within a stand, suggesting that current methods of stand delineation do not capture the full extent of within-stand environmental variation. I found evidence that growth patterns of silver maple had positive relationships to hydrology at a plot-level and a stand-level. These results suggest that forest managers may need to “rethink” how they summarize stand condition and develop silvicultural prescriptions.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis.May 2020. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisors: Marcella Windmuller-Campione, Molly Van Appledorn. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 89 pages.
Mixed-Silver Maple Forests Of The Upper Mississippi River Floodplain: Variations In Composition, Structure, And Growth Along Environmental Gradients.
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