Phytosociological Analysis of an Oak-Hickory Woods as Part of a Study of Chipmunk Space and Resource Utilization Patterns
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Methods for performing a phytosociological analysis were devised to identify areas of similar vegetation on an oak-hickory woods site in Southeastern Michigan. The analysis, part of a larger study. on the behavior patterns of the eastern chipmunk, was primarily intended to suggest areas where amounts of the animal's resources might be similar. An assumption was made that plant composition can be used as an indicator of environmental conditions, which in turn can affect resource distributions. Methods of the chipmunk study helped decide the nature of the analysis. Contiguous 5 m x 5 m quadrants were surveyed for d.b.h. of trees and percent cover of herbs and shrubs. Cluster analyses were employed to arrange similar quadrants into six groups; each of these were identified.by their dominant characteristics. Usefulness of the procedures and their results were then discussed.