Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Dynamics and Demography of Alpine Islands

Kasanke, Shawnee [1].

Patterns of Plant Succession in the Central Brooks Range: from alpine to Arctic tundra along a glacial sequence.

In the wake of rapid glacial retreat, alpine habitats in the arctic are expanding as primary succession causes freshly exposed surfaces to become vegetated. Many glaciers in alpine cirques have recently disappeared, and little is known about the rate of colonization or pioneer communities that develop following deglaciation. Newly developed habitats may provide refugia for sensitive arctic flora and fauna, especially in light of polar warming. To assess this process, vegetation communities developing on two recently deglaciated moraines in the Central Brooks Range were surveyed and compared with communities along a glacial moraine chronosequence (40-125,000 years since deglaciation) and elevation gradient (1700-500 m) into the southern Arctic foothills. Lichenometry was used to examine the rate of pioneer community colonization and species accumulation. Primary succession began almost immediately following deglaciation. Within forty years fine-grained and rock substrates hosted small communities of 8-13 vascular and non-vascular plant species, all of which appeared in later stages of succession. Overall succession was directional and slow, favoring facilitative rather than competitive interactions for about 10,000 years, after which species richness decreased and communities stabilized. This is the first vegetation study on primary succession in the high Central Brooks Range, providing a missing link to a vegetation transect along the Arctic Bioclimatic gradient.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University of Alaska Fairbanks, Biology and Wildlife, PO Box 751906, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: CO02, Dynamics and demography of Alpine Islands
Location: San Luis 2/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: CO02010
Abstract ID:88
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2019, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved