A taxonomic and ecologic comparison of the floras of Iron and Fairview Mountains in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/g158bk992

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  • Many topographic units in the state of Oregon have been only partially explored botanically and very few areas have been collected intensively. Two such areas were selected and a detailed investigation was made of the vegetation. Fairview Mountain and Iron Mountain are strategically located geographically and climatically. The former in a region where certain southern species find their northern limit and several species their southern limit. The latter is situated in an area high in endemic species and long considered the last out-post in Oregon of a predominantly Californian flora. Three of the Merriam life zones are recognized on Fairview Mountain, the Hudsonian, Canadian, and Transition. Only two life zones are acknowledged on Iron Mountain, the Canadian and Transition. The flora of Fairview Mountain consists of species representing three different floral provinces. These can be divided into the Northern element, Southern element, and Eastern element. The Northern element is predominant, equaling 14%; while the Southern and Eastern element each equal 8%. The class of plants which have a continuous range in three directions, equals 70% of the species. The plants of Iron Mountain are made up mostly of species coming from two different floral provinces, the Northern element and the Southern element. Another small segment of the population consists of the endemic species. The Eastern element comprises only 2%. By far the largest group of plants represents the Southern element with 20% of the total flora. The Northern element equals 3%. The plants which have a continuous range in 3 directions equal 72%. The plants adventive to Fairview Mountain equal 5%, which is below the average for the state of Oregon. The introduced plants of Iron Mountain consist of 10% of the total flora, which is equal to the state average. The Biological Spectrum was determined for both mountains according to the Raunkiaer Method. These spectra were in turn compared with each other, and with other regions in the north-west to obtain a statistical measurement of climate based on the plant life. The climate of both mountains is predominantly cryptophytic and hemi-cryptophytic. It was found in making a comparison of Iron Mountain and Fairview Mountain that the former had a reduction of 7% in hemicryptophytes and cryptophytes; a 3% increase in phanerophytes and a 1% increase in therophytes. This indicates the influence of a modified coastal climate due to proximity of the ocean. For a number of species in the flora of both mountains, the present study revealed extensions in range. These species, for the most part, have entered the region from typically different floral provinces. New distributional records for Fairview Mountain total 15%. New distributional records for Iron Mountain total 14%. The flora of Fairview Mountain includes 315 species of plants of which 95% appear to be indigenous. The flora of Iron Mountain consists of 300 species and varieties of plants, 90% of which are native. The annotated catalogues of the plants of both mountains indicate that the two mountains exhibit a significantly diverse flora within the comparatively narrow limits of the areas to which this investigation was confined. The flora of each mountain represented 10% of the total flora of the state and from 43 to 50% of the families listed for the state were represented. Polygonum cascadense was described as new from Fairview Mountain. It belongs to the subgenus Avicularia of the family Polygonaceae. The study was based on extensive field collections made over a period of years by the author; and upon published data, the latter consisting largely of general or casual comments of little definitive value. Keys to the families, genera and species were prepared and the plants are listed in the catalogue with notes on abundance, range, and habitat of the various species. The zonal distribution and life form of each plant is also given.
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