AVA-CA: High Arctic Canada, Green Cabin, Banks Island Vegetation Plots (Vonlanthen et al. 2008)

Arctic Vegetation Archive - Canada: High Arctic Canada, Green Cabin, Banks Island Vegetation Plots.

The vegetation at Green Cabin on Banks Island, Canada were studied as part of a multi-year project focused on the bicomplexity of patterned-ground plant communities. Patterned ground includes circles, polygons, nets, hummocks, and other features caused by differential freezing processes in soils. Vegetation plot data were collected at Green Cabin, during July 8-12, 2003. The primary source document for the data is a report by Munger et al. (2004). An analysis and summary of all the High Arctic Canada sites (Green Cabin, Banks Island; Mould Bay, Prince Patrick Island; and Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Island) are included in Vonlanthen et al. (2008). Funding for this project was provided to D. A. ‘Skip’ Walker through a U.S. National Science Foundation Grant from the Office of Polar Programs, OPP-0120736.

Thirty-three plots were subjectively located on patterned ground complexes associated with three grids with different soil moisture conditions including a zonal site with sorted circles located in a small saddle between two hills, a dry area with sorted stripes, a wet meadow with non-sorted circles in the valley bottom, and a few additional locations outside the grids. Riparian and other less common vegetation types were not sampled. Plot data were collected from the centers of patterned ground features and the areas between the features, and included: (a) dry zonal habitats with base-rich soils (23 plots), b) mesic zonal habitats, in base-rich soils (4 plots), (c) early-melting base-rich snowbeds (4 plots), and d) wet sedge-brown-moss fens on peaty mineral soils (2 plots).

Species cover was recorded following the old Braun-Banquet cover-abundance classes: [r (rare, single occurrence); + (multiple occurrences, less than 1% cover); 1 (1–5% cover); 2 (5–25% cover); 3 (26–50% cover); 4 (50-75% cover); 5 (75–100% cover)]. Plots were located in homogeneous areas of vegetation but did not have discrete boundaries. The approximate area required to achieve a complete species list for the community was recorded. GPS coordinates were obtained for all plots and plots were permanently marked with a stake with the plot number in the approximate center of the area surveyed. Percentage cover of plant growth forms, and additional environmental data were also recorded. Soil samples were obtained from the top mineral horizon for physical and chemical analysis. Soil pits for each grid were described although every individual plot did not have a soil description. Plots were clipped and plant biomass data were obtained for the study plots. Photographs are available for all but one plot. Complete descriptions of the methods are in Munger et al. (2004) and Vonlanthan et al. (2008).

References and publications resulting from the study are included below.


Epstein, H. E., D. A. Walker, M. K. Raynolds, G. J. Jia, and A. M. Kelly. Phyotomass patterns across a temperature gradient of the North American arctic tundra. Journal of Geophysical Research. 113:G03S02. doi:10.1029/2007JG000555, 2008

Michelson, G. J., C. L. Ping, H. Epstein, J. M. Kimble, and D. A. Walker. 2008. Soils and frost boil ecosystems across the North American Arctic Transect. Journal of Geophysical Research 113:G03S11. doi10.1029/2007JG000672

Munger, C. A., M. K. Raynolds and D. A. Walker 2004. Biocomplexity of Frost-Boil Ecosystems, July 2003 Banks Island Expedition. Data Report. Alaska Geobotany Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. 70 pp.

Ping, C. L., G. J. Michelson, J. M. Kimble, V. E. Romanovsky, Y. L. Shur, D. K. Swanson, and D. A. Walker. 2008. Cryogenesis and soils formation along a bioclimate gradient in Arctic North America. Journal of Geophysical Research. 113:G03S12. doi:10.1029/2008JG000744, 2008

Raynolds, M. K. 2005. Addendum to the 2003 Green Cabin, Banks Island Data Report. Data Report. Alaska Geobotany Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. 39 pp.

Raynolds, M. K., D. A. Walker, H. E. Epstein, J. E. Pinzon and C. J. Tucker. 2012. A new estimate of tundra-biome phytomass from trans-Arctic field data and AVHRR NDVI. Remote Sensing Letters, 3:403-411. doi:10.1080/01431161.2011.609188

Vonlanthen, C. M., D. A. Walker, M. K. Raynolds, A. Kade, P. Kuss, F. J. A. Daniëls, and N. V. Matveyeva. 2008. Patterned-Ground Plant Communities along a bioclimate gradient in the High Arctic, Canada. Phytocoenologia. 38:23-63.

Walker, D. A., H. E. Epstein, V. E. Romanovsky, C. L. Ping, G. J. Michaelson, R. P. Daanen, Y. Shur, R. A. Peterson, W. B. Krantz, M. K. Raynolds, W. A. Gould, G. Gonzalez, D. J. Nicolsk:y, C. M. Vonlanthen, A. N. Kade, P. Kuss, A. M. Kelley, C. A. Munger, C. T. Tarnocai, N. V. Matveyeva, and F. J. A. Daniëls. 2008. Arctic patterned-ground ecosystems: A synthesis of field studies and models along a North American Arctic Transect. Journal of Geophysical Research. 113:G03S01. doi:10.1029/2007JG000504, 2008

Walker, D. A., M. K. Raynolds, and W. A. Gould. 2008. Fred Daniëls, Subzone A, and the North American Arctic Transect. Abhandlungen aus dem Westfälischen Museum for Naturkunde 70:387-400.

Walker, D. A., P. Kuss, H. E. Epstein, A. N. Kade, C. M. Vonlanthen, M.K. Raynolds and F. J. A. Daniëls. 2011. Vegetation of zonal patterned-ground ecosystems along the North America Arctic bioclimate gradient. Applied Vegetation Science 14:440-463.

Walker, D. A., H. E. Epstein, M. K. Raynolds, P. Kuss, M. A. Kopecky, G. V. Frost, F. J. A. Daniëls, M. O. Leibman, N. G. Moskalenko, G. V. Matyshak, O. V. Khitun, A. V. Khomutov, B. C. Forbes, U. S. Bhatt, A. N. Kade, C. M. Vonlanthen, and L. Tichy. 2012. Environment, vegetation and greenness (NDVI) along the North America and Eurasia Arctic transects. Environmental Research Letters, 7:17pp. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/1/015504

Data and Resources

Additional Info

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