One hundred and two white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) stands were studied in the Sub-boreal Spruce zone of British Columbia and were quantitatively classified into seven soil moisture regimes (moderately dry, slightly dry, fresh, moist, very moist, wet, and very wet) according to actual/potential evapotranspiration ratio, depth to gleyed layer or prominent mottling, and depth to groundwater table. The delineated soil moisture regimes demonstrated strong relationships with the composition of understory vegetation and white spruce foliar nutrients and site index. These relationships implied that the three differentiating characteristics used in the classification provided a good estimation of growing-season soil water supply. In addition to soil moisture regimes, three soil aeration regimes (adequate, restricted, and deficient) were delineated according to presence or absence of gleyed horizons and groundwater table, slope gradient, and soil texture. These soil aeration regimes helped in explaining the variation in white spruce site index, especially on water-surplus sites. Thus, an integrated classification of soil moisture-aeration regimes was proposed to explain the effect of soil moisture and aeration on white spruce productivity.The results of this study gave further evidence that soil moisture and aeration regimes, differentiated on the basis of climatic data and soil morphological properties, are useful measures of soil moisture and aeration conditions in sub-boreal forest soils.
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- Classification of Moisture and Aeration Regimes in Sub-Boreal Forest Soils
G. Geoff Wang
- Springer Netherlands
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