Main content area

Relationships of the Woody Vegetation of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to Geological Formations and Soil Types

Buck, Paul
Ecology 1964 v.45 no.2 pp. 336-344
Acer saccharum subsp. saccharum, Andropogon gerardii, Quercus marilandica, Quercus stellata, Schizachyrium scoparium, basal area, conservation areas, forest stands, microclimate, mountains, reproduction, stony soils, trees, vegetation, woody plants, Oklahoma
Forest stands are found on four soil types and five geologic formations in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Oklahoma. Data on basal area, density, frequency, and reproduction were obtained from 52 relatively undisturbed stands. Post oak (Quercus stellata) was the most important tree species on all soil types and geologic formations; blackjack oak (Q. marilandica), the second most important species, had and importance value over 75 only on the Cobbly colluvial soil and the Post Oak Conglomerate, two very closely related categories. Little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) was the most prominent herb on all categories except the Quanah formation where it was supplanted by big bluestem (A. gerardi). A decrease in herbaceous basal area with an increase in tree basal area was evident on all soil types, other than Rough stony soils. Delineation of soil types and geologic formations by associations of woody plants was not possible within the refuge. Edaphic and topographic conditions frequently combine to produce mocroclimates which support small patches of vegetation dominated by species of minor importance overall. One example is the local dominance of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) on the north—facing slopes. The soil type appears more closely related to these microclimates than does the parent material.