Reconnaissance botany of alpine ecosystems on Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qr46r3279

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  • A study of the Prince of Wales Island alpine areas was undertaken to determine what species occur in the region and to describe plant communities making up the alpine vegetation. For one month in 1972, specimens were collected and 78 micro-plots were analyzed for cover, frequency and constancy data. Three basic habitat types were discovered, with different associations being recognized on calcareous and noncalcareous substrates. Alpine vegetation patterns are formed in a physiographically unstable area. However, where conditions remain favorable for a long enough period of time, a climatic climax of Empetrum-heath vegetation develops. Elsewhere topographic climax vegetation exists. The region is thought to have maintained a flora of significant proportions at least since early post-Pleistocene time. The presence of many disjunct species indicates that floral elements may have survived Pleistocene ice advances in various refugial sites. The west coast of Prince of Wales Island appears to have served as a small migration center following Pleistocene ice recession.
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