Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): James G. MacCracken; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen
    Date: 1984
    Source: Great Basin Naturalist, 43(4): 660-668
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (96 KB)


    Plant communities are inherently variable due to a number of environmental and biological forces. Canopy cover and aboveground biomass were determined for understory vegetation in plant communities of a prairie grassland-forest ecotone in southeastern Montana. Vegetation units were described using polar ordination and stepwise discriminant analysis. Nine of a total of 88 plant species encountered and cover of litter were the most useful variables in distinguishing among vegetation units on the study area and accounted for nearly 100 percent of the variation in the data. Seven vegetation units were different (P < 0.05) after all 10 variables had been entered into the analysis. Some plant communities were represented by two or three different vegetation units, indicating that some plant communities were variable and nonuniform in botanical composition over a relatively small area. This variability will influence management practices for these areas. Multiple-use management will benefit by recognition of inherent plant community variation.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    MacCracken, James G.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Hansen, Richard M. 1984. Plant community variability on a small area in southeastern Montana. Great Basin Naturalist, 43(4): 660-668


    plant communities, canopy cover, biomass, understory, vegetation, litter, Montana

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page