Date of Award

Summer 1982

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Frank P. Day, Jr.

Committee Member

Gerald F. Levy

Committee Member

Joseph H. Rule

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 B35


Leaf macronutrient variation was studied in four plant communities in the Dismal Swamp of Virginia. composition differed markedly between these sites. Soils and species Eight important overstory trees were studied in August 1980; whereas red maple (Acer rubrum L.} and black gum (Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.}, which occurred on all four sites, were sampled seasonally. Significant differences (p .05) were found in the nutrient concentrations of the leaves between species, seasons, and sites. These differences may be attributed to inherent species characteristics, leaf expansion, nutrient translocation, and differences in soil organic matter content, pH, and degree of inundation. Potassium and phosphorous appear to be limiting in the swamp environment as indicated by sub-optimal levels of these nutrients in all leaf tissues. The tree species which dominate the swamp overstory inherently accumulate lower amounts of macronutrients relative to most other hardwood species. Flooding and low pH evidently reduces the contribution of "nutrient rich" species. Despite these rather poor edaphic conditions, some tree species in the swamp display foliar nutrient levels similar to levels found in these same species on richer, upland sites.


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