Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Quantitative information on chemical and physical properties of soils under aspen and jack pine and chemical properties of peat and water under black spruce and tamarack, is limited. The present study quantifies soil particle size, electrical conductivity (E.C.), water soluble and replaceable calcium (Ca) , magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), sodium (Na) , manganese (Mn) and strontium (Sr) concentrations in soils under aspen and jack pine communities. Aspen was found on alkaline clay soils with high Ca and Mg concentrations, and jack pine grew on wel1-drained, acidic, sandy clay loams high in Mn. Organic soils under peat and tamarack were analyzed for pH, E.C., water soluble, replaceable, and HC1-extractable Ca, Mg, K, Na, Mn, Sr and HC1-extractab1e iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), boron (B), lead (Pb) , zinc (Zn) , copper (Cu) , nickel (Ni) and phosphate-phosphorus (P). Black spruce peat was neutral in reaction and had significantly higher concentrations of replaceable and HC1 — extractable Ca, Sr, Mn, Fe, Al, B, Zn, Ni and Pb. Tamarack peat (pH 6) had significantly higher replaceable Mg. An intraseasona1 comparison of water pH, E.C., Ca, Mg, K, Na, P, nitrate (NO^) , chi oride(C1), carbonate (CO^) and bicarbonate (HCO^) was made between tamarack and black spruce. Water reaction and mineral ion concentrations were strongly influenced by contact with mineral soils upslope from the peatland and varied with fluctuations in the water levels over the growing season. Total annual litterfall was very similar, 309 and 322 g/m2 for tamarack and black spruce. Litter composition (8A and 79% needles) was also very similar. An intraseasona1 comparison of litter type and HCl-extractable Ca, Mg, K, Na, Mn, Sr, Fe, Al, B, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni and P in needle and woody litter was made and total seasonal inputs were calculated. Seasonal litterfall inputs of Ca, Fe, Al, Zn, Pb and P were greater from black spruce, whereas the seasonal inputs of Mg, Mn, B, Cu and Sr were greater from tamarack. Inputs of K and Na were not significantly different between the two species.