Cedar Creek Natural History Area: Literature   Up   Home


Citation. Reiners, W. A. 1972. Structure and Energetics of three Minnesota Forests. Ecological Monographs 42:71-94.   [1477  CC]

Abstract. Three contiguous ecosystems, an upland oak forest, marginal fen, and cedar swamp, were analyzed along a gentle topographic gradient on the Anoka Sand Plain in east-central Minnesota. The organic structure and aboveground primary productivities of these forests were compared with similar data for other natural ecosystems of the sand plain. Living, above-ground biomass totals of the oak, fen, and swamp forests were 124.6, 98.8, and 159.6 mt/ha respectively. Aboveground, net annual productivities were 8.9, 7.1, and 10.3 mt/ha, respectively, which compared well with other forest data for the region and with a predicted value based on actual evapotranspiration. Several measures of structure were compared in the analysis. Species richness and equitability were greatest in the marginal fen where biomass and productivity were the least. Richness and equitability were lowest in the oak forest. The highest biomass-to-production ratio was found for the Thuja swamp, although it had the highest annual production. Apparently the high production in the swamp was achieved with a large mass of relatively inefficient foliage concentrated in Thuja occidentalis. The percentages of primary production entering detritus pathways were 52, 62, and 48 for oak, fen, and swamp, respectively. Total detritus including dead boles, branches, and forest floors, was large in relation to living biomass in all three forests, but was especially important in the fen and swamp systems where deep forest floors had accumulated. Total detritus was 61 %, 331 %, and 577 % of aboveground biomass in the oak, fen, and swamp, respectively. All data were produced in caloric as well as weight units.

For reprints or technical issues, please correspond with the author of the paper. For comments on the format or contents of the web site, please contact webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu