Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Messenger, A. Steven||Flemal, Ronald C.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Forests and forestry--Illinois--De Kalb County; Forest soils


The southern boundary of the Northern Hardwood Forest in the central Great Lakes states is approximately 42°N, and overlaps the area of Oak- Hickory Forest dominance. This paper assesses some of the factors responsible for the segre­gation of a Northern Hardwood Forest association from an adjacent Oak- Hickory Forest association. The study area is Chief Shabbona Forest Preserve, an 86 acre tract of timber in extreme southern De Kalb County, Illinois. Six soil pits were excavated in the study area, three within each of the two forest associations. Morphological descriptions and determi­nation of soil pH, humus content, texture, exchangeable calcium, potassium and magnesium were conducted on sample profiles. Depth of loess, relative land surface elevation and depth to mottling were determined along a line transect extending through both associations. Results indicate that differences in topographic position between the two sides of the preserve have determined the succession and length of dominance of forest associations on the opposite sides of the woodland. Appreciable differences in depth of the water table evidently favored a longer period of dominance of a spruce-fir forest association on one side, and the rapid encroachment of northern hardwoods on the other. Different forest histories as well as different sequences of their soil-forming factors have likely been responsible for the distinct differences in present soils and forest types found within the preserve.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 50 pages




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