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Succession Processes of Alpine Vegetation in Response to Glacial Fluctuations of Tyndall Glacier, Mt. Kenya, Kenya

Kazuharu Mizuno
Arctic and Alpine Research
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Nov., 1998), pp. 340-348
DOI: 10.2307/1552006
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1552006
Page Count: 9
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Succession Processes of Alpine Vegetation in Response to Glacial Fluctuations of Tyndall Glacier, Mt. Kenya, Kenya
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Abstract

The Tyndall Glacier of Mt. Kenya retreated at a steady rate from the late 1950s to 1996. The first colonist species over the new till, Senecio keniophytum, advanced at a rate similar to the retreat of the glacier. The species growing near the ice-front of Tyndall Glacier colonize in tandem with retreat of the glacier. Till age and stability of land surface are important environmental factors controlling the vegetation pattern around Tyndall Glacier. Till age is affected by the glacial fluctuation. The stability of the land surface is governed by the particle-size of the surface material which is controlled by landform, geology, and past climatic conditions. The pioneer species make humus which results in improved soil condition. About 70 to 100 yr elapse from the glacial release for such large woody plants as Senecio keniodendron and Lobelia telekii to grow on the glacier foreland.

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