Effects of soil morphology on the presence of alder within a mature jack pine forest
Soil morphological differences have resulted in a distinct pattern of Green Alder growth within a predominately Jack Pine forest. Alder growth occurred mainly in an area of finer textured parent materials. After a rain these finer textured layers result in a temporary or perched zone of saturation. Materials with fine sandy loam to silty clay loam textures have volumetric moisture contents > 35 % . The ability of Alder to fix N2 results in a considerably greater accumulation of N than that found under pure Jack Pine forests. Textural bands act as a barrier to N leaching. Elevated levels of P within the finer textured materials may have caused the microsite to be more suitable for Alder growth. It appears that a dominance of fine and very fine sand, coupled with finer textured bands in the subsoil results in a more moist soil, with high P supplies, all contributing to more alder and eventually a more productive site. The greatest volume of merchantable timber corresponds to the same area where Alder growth is most significant.
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