GIS Analysis of Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Bedrock as an Abiotic Component Impacting Regional Forest Type
Advisor:Lyons, W. Berry
Keywords:GIS, Ohio, Bedrock, Forest Type
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Earth Sciences Senior Theses; 2010
Forest type and growth patterns, specifically species growth preferences, are correlated. Extensive literature review has revealed that natural (growth before pioneer disturbance) forest habitats are characterized by the climate and topographic conditions where a forest has been growing. However, with regards to bedrock, the literature only commits on the soil type, calcareous or other; very little detail outside of this characteristic is mentioned. GIS analysis enables the knowledge of numerous fields - including climatology, geography, ecology and geology - to be combined in this investigation. Specifically, GIS enables the removal of known limiting abiotic (non-living) components - precipitation, elevation, aspect and the number of frost-free days per year - to discern if different forest types have preferred bedrock types. The study area, southeastern Ohio, was selected due to its lack of glacial till, acting as a buffer between bedrock and the forest growth above it. At the scale of this study, this analysis increases the knowledge of forest habitats and their direct relationship to bedrock type.