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Environmental and Vegetational Variation across a Snow Accumulation Area in Montane Tundra in Central Alaska

Philip C. Miller
Holarctic Ecology
Vol. 5, No. 2, The Availability and Utilization of Resources in Tundra Ecosystems: Proceedings of a Workshop Held in San Diego, California 9-12 October 1978 (Apr., 1982), pp. 85-98
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3682443
Page Count: 14
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Environmental and Vegetational Variation across a Snow Accumulation Area in Montane Tundra in Central Alaska
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Abstract

Several environmental factors were measured in a transect across a snow accumulation area in order to indicate (1) possible controls of arctic vegetation patterns; (2) water, carbon, and nutrient budgets of different vegetation types; and (3) relationships of Eriophorum vaginatum tussock tundra to other vegetation types. The results indicate that the vegetation zones are largely associated with different levels of nitrogen and phosphorus availability rather than length of the snowfree season, water availability, and soil pH. Nitrogen uptake was highest in the forb-grass and lower deciduous shrub zones and lowest in the lichen-heath. Phosphorus uptake was highest in the lower deciduous shrub zone and lowest in the lichen-heath. On the basis of several floristic and environmental factors tussock tundra has the lowest affinities to the lower deciduous shrub zone.

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