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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 5, p. 1271-1276
    Received: Jan 13, 1986

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Correspondence of Soil Properties and Classification Units with Sagebrush Communities in Southeastern Oregon: II. Comparisons within a Multi-taxa Soil-vegetation Unit1

  1. R. D. Lentz and
  2. G. H. Simonson2



A complex soil landscape composed of two dominant soil components supporting a range of heterogeneous sagebrush communities was examined in order to determine if soil properties and classification differed among plant community types. Cluster analysis of 64 vegetation samples identified six recurring plant groupings (RPGs). Properties of RPG soil profiles were statistically compared by defining aggregate horizons (tiers) that were common to all profiles. Recurring plant groupings were characterized by relative canopy cover of Artemisia arbuscula, Artemisia tridentiata ssp. wyomingensis, Festuca idahoensis, Agropyron spicatum; total grasses, and total herbs. Stepwise discriminant analysis selected thickness of mollic epipedon, surface rock fragment cover, and thickness and weighted average dry consistence of the argillic horizon as those that best distinguished between RPG associated soils. Evidence suggests that series separations are justified based on family and class distinctions of higher categories or differences in range of one or more soil properties, including (i) horizon sequence, (ii) mollic epipedon thickness, (iii) structure of BAt subhorizon, (iv) thickness, and (v) weighted average dry consistence of the argillic horizon. Phase level separations of RPG associated soils from identical families are feasible if both physiographic and soil surface criteria are utilized together.

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