AVA-AK: Toolik Lake Vegetation Plots (Walker and Barry 1991)

Arctic Vegetation Archive - Alaska: Toolik Lake Vegetation Plots.

The vegetation of the Toolik Lake area was described and mapped by D. A. Walker et al. during the Department of Energy R4D (Response, Resistance, and Resilience to, and Recovery from Disturbance in Arctic ecosystems, Grant No. DE-FG02-84ER60242.A006) study in 1988-89. Toolik Lake is a glaciated landscape in the southern Arctic Foothills of the Brooks Range, North Slope, Alaska. The primary source document for this dataset is a data report prepared for the R4D project (Walker and Barry 1991).

Eighty-one plots were subjectively located in 26 plant communities and 4 broad habitat types including: 1) dry tundra (including gravelly south-facing slopes, till and outwash deposits, ground squirrel mounds, stone stripes, and nonsorted circles) (19 plots), 2) snowbeds (7 plots), 3) moist tundra (including tussock tundra, moist nonacidic tundra, moist shrublands) (27 plots), and 4) wet tundra (including fens, and aquatic tundra) (15 plots).

The centers of the plots were permanently marked. GPS coordinates were obtained for most plots in the mid-2000s. The size of each sample area was estimated after a complete species list was obtained. Species and environmental data (including soil physical variables, subjective site assessments, and active layer depths) were collected in the field and soil samples were brought back to the lab for chemical assessments. These data are all included in the data report (Walker and Barry 1991).

The vegetation data from Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek were combined and classified using the Braun-Blanquet approach (Walker et al. 1994). These data and others that included biomass and spectral data (NDVI, LAI) were used in subsequent publications and maps (Shippert et al. 1995, Walker et al. 1995, Walker & Maier 2008, Walker et al. 2014).


Shippert, M. M., D. A. Walker, N. A. Auerbach, and B. E. Lewis. 1995. Biomass and leaf-area index maps derived from SPOT images for Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek areas, Alaska. Polar Record 31:147–154.

Walker D. A. and N. Barry. 1991. Toolik Lake permanent vegetation plots: site factors, soil physical and chemical properties, plant species cover, photographs, and soil descriptions. Data Report, Department of Energy R4D Program, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.

Walker, D. A., N. A. Auerbach, and M. M. Shippert. 1995. NDVI, biomass, and landscape evolution of glaciated terrain in northern Alaska. Polar Record 31:169–178.

Walker, D. A., and H. A. Maier. 2008. Vegetation in the Vicinity of the Toolik Lake Field Station, Alaska. Biological papers of the University of Alaska, No. 28, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Walker, D. A., T. D. Hamilton, H. A. Maier, C. A. Munger, and M. K. Raynolds. 2014. Glacial history and long-term ecology in the Toolik Lake region. Pages 61–80 in J. E. Hobbie and G. W. Kling, editors. Alaska's changing Arctic: Ecological consequences for tundra, streams, and lakes. Oxford, New York.

Walker, M.D., D.A. Walker and N.A. Auerbach. 1994. Plant communities of a tussock tundra landscape in the Brooks Range Foothills, Alaska. Journal of Vegetation Science 5:843-866.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Data Curator None
Last Updated September 16, 2020, 14:53 (+0200)
Created September 16, 2020, 14:53 (+0200)
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