The Hemlock Forest Model represents the varying diversities along an environmental gradient. Variations in elevation can potentially yield alterations in various biological processes, which subsequently form complex assemblage interactions. The Hemlock Forest displayed a high level of diversity between the depressions and mounds, and was largely due to the overall properties of the soil. The mound location was relative of high drainage efficiency, and was thusly comprised mainly of hemlock trees. This species of conifer alters the composition of the local soils, eluviating and reducing the prominence of nutrient rich soils. Alternatively, the relatively wet depressions possessed higher quantities of nutrients, yet lacked proper air circulation within the soils. This limiting factor was relative to the lack of hemlocks and prominence of red maples observed within the transect. Further analysis revealed little or facilitation among generalist and specialist species, indicating that alternate processes were responsible for the trends observed. Similarly, little or no competition was observed among the species, as further analysis of these complex interactions is required.
[...] Statistical analysis revealed that significant differences existed along the gradient with regards to the depth of the soil horizons as well as the density and overall area of the hemlock trees. (Table 02) The relatively thicker organic soils in the depression can be accredited to the rates of decomposition exhibited. With the inclusion of poor drainage, and high litter accumulation, the environment may experience varying levels of anaerobic decomposition. The anaerobic decomposition occurs much less rapidly than aerobic decomposition, thereby generating thicker layers of organic matter. [...]
[...] 2003) This investigation detailed the analysis of three nominal variables, as they relate to the overall environmental characteristics observed. The litter of each region was determined to be significantly different along the gradient, indicating discrete interactions among the sites. The accumulation of litter may directly and indirectly affect the chemical and spatial nature of the region, potentially releasing both toxins and nutrients throughout. These accumulates may also block out sunlight to smaller plants, reducing the potential for photosynthesis. (Facelli & Pickett, 1991) The mounds of this forest were predominantly covered by pine and hemlock needles, while the depressions were comprised mainly of light leafy material. [...]
[...] This correlation analysis was compared between species of similar categorization, and portrayed a positive weak correlation between each generalist and specialist. (Table 04) This implies minor competitive interactions among the species, although the relation is so weak that no defining conclusions can be made. Similarly, the graphical representation revealed identical trends. As the abundances of one generalist increased, the alternate was relatively unaffected. (Figure 04) This trend can be largely accredited to the adaptations of species generalists, as these features allow them to resist environmental constraints. [...]
[...] The incorporation of this facilitation should result in an observable change along the gradient, although, statistical analysis revealed that the relationship was not significant enough. Each species was mathematically compared to reveal if the depth of A-horizon soils had any direct implications on the abundances of species. (Table 03) This lack of interaction suggests that the apparent soil properties were not the direct determinant of diversity along the gradient, and must be attributed to alternate processes. (Waltho, 2008) These species were also compared categorically to reveal any similarities in the ecological trend. [...]
[...] (Campbell & Reece, 2005) Through the interactions of these positive and negative factors, an environmental gradient has been generated throughout the Hemlock Forest. This slight change in elevation is simply another mechanism responsible for variability exhibited in the system. In order to determine the relative differences among these conditions, specific variables must be analyzed and accounted for. (Waltho, 2008) The differences between the depressions and mounds can be accredited in part, to the depth of the A-soil horizon. As the properties of this horizon are critical to plant growth, it is the ideal variable of analysis. [...]
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