Earth Partnership for Schools

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS FOR WOODLAND COMMUNITY MODELS

 

Distribution: Refers to the total acreage in Wisconsin before European settlement and where it is generally found in the state.

General: Contains general information.

Physical Environment: Describes the environmental conditions of the community.

Topography: Describes the physical geography of where the community is found.

Microclimate: Refers to specific climatic conditions including light intensity, temperature, and humidity unique to the community.

Composition: Refers to the variety of plant species that are present or develop in the community.

Dominant Trees: The species listed have the greatest influence in the community through size, number, or amount of space they occupy. Dominants modify the environment and affect the other members in the community. Most forest communities are dominated by a very small number of tree species.

Common Trees: Pertains to trees that are consistently present in the community. Trees not listed here but in the community may or may not be in a particular stand, or may be a rare species to the community.

Typical Shrubs: These are shrubs most likely present in the community.

Prevalent Groundlayer: These species are typically present in the community and usually have the greatest number of individuals.

Structure: Refers to the pattern or physical organization of the forest.

Soil: Refers to characteristic properties of the soil such as soil type or texture, moisture, and drainage.

Major Soil Series: Refers to a classification or group of soils with similar attributes.

Summary of Soil Analysis: Refers to soil analysis results from a soil sample. Samples are tested for water retaining capacity (w.r.c.), soil reaction ( p H); and available nutrients, such as calcium (Ca), potassium (K), phosphorus (P), and ammonium (NH4). The data is from Vegetation of Wisconsin by John T. Curtis.

Stability: Refers to stability of the community in relation to succession.

Number of Species: Refers to the total number of different species found in every stand studied in the Plant Ecology Laboratory (P.E.L.) studies of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The information is from Vegetation of Wisconsin by John T. Curtis.

Species Density: The average number of species found per stand in the P.E.L. studies. Use this information as a basis for determining the number of species in your woodland project. Information is from Vegetation of Wisconsin by John T. Curtis.

Guilds: Refers to the proportions of specified groups that make up the groundlayer. Each group is assembled by how they respond to light availability at the forest floor. These guilds provide models to determine the proportion of species types to use in your groundlayer mix. The information is from The Distribution of Forest Herb Guilds in Wisconsin Deciduous Forests and the Implications for Restoration of the Forest Understory by Brian Bader (unpublished) .

Wildlife: Refers to wildlife typically associated with the woodland community.

Typical Examples: Identifies state parks, forests, and other public lands where an example of the woodland exists.

Geographical Distribution: Refers to the distribution of the community in North America.