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Phytolith Analysis of Soils at Buffalo Beats, a Small Forest Opening in Southeastern Ohio

P. J. Kalisz and S. E. Boettcher
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 117, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1990), pp. 445-449
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2996842
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2996842
Page Count: 5
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Phytolith Analysis of Soils at Buffalo Beats, a Small Forest Opening in Southeastern Ohio
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Abstract

Analysis of the mass and morphology of opaline phytoliths extracted from soils was used to test the hypothesis that the 1-ha calcareous clay lens of Buffalo Beats had a vegetative history different from that of the surrounding acid shale substrate. The mass of opal from the 0- to 10-cm depth under prairie and transitional vegetation on the lens was approximately three times greater than from the same depth under the surrounding forest. Phytoliths diagnostic of grasses were seldom encountered in any soils. Early descriptions of forb-dominated communities on calcareous lenses in other parts of the region and the present high coverage by forbs on Buffalo Beats along with high phytolith concentrations in the foliage of some of these forb species, suggest the possibility that forbs rather than grasses may have dominated this opening over some portion of the post-glacial period.

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