AVA-CA: High Arctic Canada, Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Is. Vegetation Plots (Vonlanthen et al. 2008)

Arctic Vegetation Archive-Canada: High Arctic Canada, Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Island Vegetation Plots.

The vegetation of 52 plots at Isachsen (the now closed High Arctic Weather Station) on Ellef Ringnes Island, Canada was studied as part of a multi-year project focused on 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 Isachsen, during July 22-29, 2005. The primary source document is a data report by Vonlanthen et al. (2006). 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.

Fifty-two plots were subjectively located across very barren areas on small non-sorted polygons and in xeromesic situations on larger more vegetated non-sorted polygons. Plot data were collected from the centers of patterned ground features and the areas between the features, and included: a) zonal habitat types of subzone A (34 plots), b) fens and base rich wetlands (11 plots), c) pond and lake margins with with aquatic grasses (4 plots), and d) aquatic rooted floating or submerged macrophyte vegetation or meso-eutrophic water locations (3 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 individual plots did not have soil pits. All aboveground vegetation in a 20 x 50 cm frame was clipped near the releve for plant biomass data. Photographs are available for 46 of the 52 plots. Complete descriptions of the methods are in Vonlanthen et al. (2006) and Vonlanthen et al. (2008).

References and publications resulting from the study are listed 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

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., 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. K. Raynolds, C. Munger, A. Kade, and D. A. Walker 2006. Biocomplexity of Patterned Ground, Isachsen Expedition, July 2005. Data Report. Alaska Geobotany Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. 86 pp.

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. Nicolsky, 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

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Last Updated September 16, 2020, 14:53 (+0200)
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