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PRAIRIE AND WETLAND PLANT COMMUNIY PROFILES
FOREST NATURAL PLANT COMMUNITY PROFILES
FOREST TREE RING RESOURCES
PRE-EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT VEGETATION DATA
PRE-EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT VEGETATION INTERACTIVE MAP


PRAIRIE AND WETLAND PLANT COMMUNITY PROFILES
These Natural Community Profiles represent data collected by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) in 1976 from relatively undisturbed Chicago region prairies (N = 72 ) and wetlands (N = 31), as well as supplementary data from a few more recently recognized sites. This data base provides a regional model for species and community distribution along substrate and moisture gradients, and thus a framework for community management and restoration. The prairie and wetland data below are organized into a community classification developed by the INAI. For more detail on data collection and further analyses of prairies and wetland data, see

Bowles, M. & M. Jones. 2007. The prairie-wetland vegetation continuum in the Chicago region of northeastern Illinois. Ecological Restoration 25 (1):29-38.(pdf)
Bowles, M. & M. Jones. 2004. Long-term changes in Chicago region prairie vegetation in relation to fire management. Chicago Wilderness Journal 2(2)7-16.(pdf)
Bowles, M. & M. Jones. 2006. Trends of change in composition and structure of Chicago region wetland vegetation. Chicago Wilderness Journal 4(3)25-34.(pdf)

Each prairie and wetland profile is based on analysis of species frequencies from 20-30 1/4m-sq plots, provided as mean frequencies for multiple data sets. Each profile indicates the INAI site number and quality grade (primarily A or B), as well as summary statistics produced by the "Row and Column Summary" on PCORD. Mean Native Plot Richness is also provided. For more information on applications of this statistic and the Native Richness Index, see:

Bowles, M. & M. Jones. 2006. Testing the efficacy of species richness and floristic quality assessment of quality, temporal change and fire effects in tallgrass prairie natural areas. Natural Areas Journal 26:17-30.(pdf)

Following summaries for dominant native graminoid, forb, and woody species, and then by mean individual species frequencies. Nomenclature and abbreviations follow Swink & Wilhelm (Plants of the Chicago Region. 1994. Indiana Academy of Science).


Natural Community Profiles: Click on community type for species proflile (.pdf)

SUBSTRATE COMMUNITY TYPE
PRIMARY Lake shoreDune
PRAIRIE Silt-loamDry-mesic
Mesic
Wet-mesic
Wet
SandDry
Dry-mesic
Mesic
Wet-mesic
Wet (no profile available)
GravelDry
Dry-mesic
Mesic
DolomiteDry-mesic
Wet-mesic
Shrub prairieSand
SAVANNA Silt-loamMesic
SandDry
Dry-mesic
WETLAND MarshMarsh
Graminoid bogGraminoid bog
Graminoid fenGraminoid fen
Calcareous floating mat
Seep & springCalcareous seep
Sedge meadowSedge meadow



FOREST NATURAL PLANT COMMUNITY PROFILES
The Illinois Natural Areas Inventory in 1976 also collected woody vegetation data from (N = 28) old growth or old second growth forests, which were re-sampled for groundlayer data as well in 1996. For more information on analysis of these data, see

Bowles, M, M. Jones, J. McBride, T. Bell, & C. Dunn. 2000. Structural composition and species richness indices for upland forests of the Chicago region. Erigenia (18)30-57.(pdf)
Bowles, M., M. Jones, J. McBride, T. Bell & C. Dunn. 2005. Temporal instability in Chicago’s upland old growth forests. Chicago Wilderness Journal 3(2)5-16.(pdf)
Bowles, M. M. Jones, J. McBride, Bell, T. & C. Dunn. 2000. Twenty-year Woody Vegetation Changes in Northeastern Illinois Upland Forests. Report to the Chicago Wilderness & Illinois Conservation Fondation, Nancy Ryerson Ranney Leadership Grants Program, and the Forest Preserve Districts of Cook,DuPage, Kane, and Will Counties. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Ill.(pdf).

The Forest community profiles below represent maple, red oak, and white oak stand types, which include dry-mesic and wet-mesic upland forest types classified by the INAI. The INAI data collected in 1976 include Canopy Species Data from 0.025 ha plots (N = 20/stand) and Woody Understory Species Data from 0.001 ha plots (N = 10/stand). Groundlayer species data were analyzed from N = 20 m-sq plots from each stand. These data are summarized in a Groundlayer Species Statistical Table and also presented as Groundlayer Species Frequencies per stand type. Nomenclature follows Swink & Wilhelm (1994).



FOREST TREE RING RESOURCES
The 28 INAI forest stands were also sampled for tree cores from N = ~600 trees. These cores are maintained at The Morton Arboretum, and serve as a resource for ongoing analysis of forest chronology, and their data are available for use by the research community. The "Tree Core Table"(pdf) summarizes the number of cores by species, stand type and size. For a preliminary analysis, see:

Bowles, M.L. & M.D. Jones. 2008. Chronological Change in Old Growth Forests of the Chicago Region.Report to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Chicago Wilderness. The Morton Arboreum, Lisle, Ill.(pdf)

These tree cores were also used to establish size-age relationships for forest grown trees, which are presented in the following "How old is that tree?" table. Inches or centimeters represent tree diameter. For information on converting these measures from tree circumference, see:

Jones, T., M. Bowles, & M. Jones. 2006. How old is that tree? Chicago Wilderness Magazine.(pdf)

Below the table are graphical representations and power functions for tree age and formulae used to develop the table. They may be used to make more precise estimates of tree age (y), where x represents tree diameter in cm. Horizontal graph axis = dbh in centimeters, vertical axis = tree age.

How old is that tree?

inchescentimetersBasswoodWhite ashSugar mapleBur/swamp white oak Red elmRed oakShagbark hickoryWhite oak
10256075 75667376 10284
12307087 88798689 116100
14357999 1009199102 129115
164089110 112104112115 142129
184598121 124117124128 155144
2050107131 136129136141 167159
2255116142 147142148154 179173
2460125152 159154160166 190187
2665133162 170167172179 202201
2870142172 181179184191 212215
3075150182 192192196203 223229
3180159191 203204207215 234243
3486169203 216219221230 246260
3590175210 224229230239 254271
3795184220 235242241251 264285
39100192229 245254253263 274298


Power functions for tree age: Calculate tree age by inserting dbh (in cm) in function

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