Response of a forest ecotone to ionizing radiation. Progress report, October 15, 1976--October 14, 1977. [Populus tremuloides, Acer rubrum] [electronic resource].
- East Lansing, Mich. : Michigan State University, 1977.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
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- Pages: 14 : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Michigan State University
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Compositional and structural characteristics of three forest types, including aspen dominated, maple-birch dominated, and an intervening ecotone, were studied before and after irradiation in northern Wisconsin. Irradiation occurred during the summer of 1972. By the summer of 1973 the density of viable tree seedlings at 10 m from the radiation source was substantially reduced in all three areas relative to the preirradiation densities of 1971. As of the summer of 1976, establishment of tree seedlings continued to be inhibited by the vigorous development of ground vegetation. At 20 m, the density of seedlings in the three areas increased during the period from 1971 to 1973 in response to the partially opened canopy. The overall density of seedlings of Populus tremuloides and Acer rubrum increased markedly in the three areas and P. tremuloides invaded some areas in which it had not been found prior to irradiation. By 1974 many of the seedlings at 20 m had reached the sapling size-class. Viable trees greater than 2.5 cm in dbh were eliminated at 10 m in all three areas by June of 1974 and were reduced in density at 20 m. At the present time it appears that recolonization of the 10 m irradiated zone by the original tree flora will be a very slow process. Leaf litter production was reduced by up to 92 percent at 10 m and 62 percent at 20 m during the period from 1971 to 1973 in the irradiated areas. In most respects the ecotone has shown properties and responses to radiation intermediate to those observed in the aspen and maple-birch areas. The rate and compositional characteristics of succession in the ecotone relative to aspen and maple-birch forest types is presently under study.
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Murphy, P.G.; Sharitz, R.R.
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