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Ratios of change in buttressing [height / (diameter of buttressing at soil level--diameter just above buttressing)] were calculated and then associated with each form and a range of form ratios was determined in order to classify the tree buttresses encountered in the field.
The relationship of baldcypress buttress volume to aboveground tree volume and average crown diameter, water depth at tree base at sampling time, estimated maximum age of dominant trees, presence of regeneration at the site and soil type (representing soil flooding frequency class) was described by the equation ln(V)= -1.37 + 0.05*C + 1.99*W + 1.92*A + 2.2*R + 3.10 STNA + 1.62 STA, where V is the percent volume allocated to buttressing, C is the average crown diameter, W is the water depth, A is the estimated maximum tree age, R is the presence of regeneration (indicating water level fluctuation and distinct cohorts of trees), STNA is nonalluvial soil type and STA are alluvial soil types.
Distinct ranges of height/(diameter at ground level--diameter above buttressing) ratios of buttress were found to conform to the three subjective form classes (Table 1).
The average support ratio of buttressing on baldcypress plantation sites without flooding was 9.59, for shallow flooding and occasional ponding of a broad alluvial floodplain it was 27 and for impounded water bodies with nearly-continual inundation and water level fluctuations ratios were 19 and 27 (P< 0.0001, Table 2).
Trees at each site were classified into one of three forms (Tables 1, 3) based on corresponding ranges of height/(diameter at ground level--diameter above buttressing) ratios of buttresses.
Value ranges for height/(diameter at ground level--diameter above buttressing) ratios of buttresses in this study (Table 1) can be used to the quantify observations of Mattoon (1915).
They suggest (Figure 1, Form B) that a cypress tree's diameter of buttressing at the soil level was subject to alternating inundation and aeration conditions with nearly twice the amount of time of buttress flooding compared with the stem above buttressing.