Alaska Arctic Plant Communities

10. Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis subtype Dupontia fisheri

Photo A. A nonacidic version of communtity type <em>Eriophorum angustifolium</em>-<em>Carex aquatilis</em> at Barter Island. Elias et al. 1996, Fig. 9c. D.A. Walker.

Photo A. A nonacidic version of communtity type Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis at Barter Island. Elias et al. 1996, Fig. 9c. Photo D.A. Walker.
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Bioclimate Subzone: C

Floristic Subprovince: Northern Alaska

Substrate Chemistry: Nonacidic

Position along mesotopographic gradient: Wet site

Summary of Habitat: Wet nonacidic coastal tundra in subzone C

Described from: Prudhoe Bay (Walker 1985)


Common plant functional types and species:

Sedge: Carex aquatilis; Eriophorum angustifolium ssp. triste;

Grass: Dupontia fisheri; Arctophila fulva;

Moss: Drepanocladus brevifolius; Limprichtia revolvens; Sarmenthypnum sarmentosum;


General Comments:

  • Several poorly differentiated wet tundra communities within subzone C are grouped into this unit. The more or less acidic wet coastal tundra communities at Barrow were distinguished from the calcareous landscapes at Barter Island and Prudhoe Bay based on dominant mosses (Elias et al. 1996), but until more information is available, they are all grouped under one name with two codes: Community 4 (acidic) and Community 10 (nonacidic). Somewhat richer communities are found inland in bioclimate subzone D and are grouped in Community 29.
    The sedges Carex aquatilis and/or Eriophorum angustifolium, are often the dominant vascular plant species in subzone C. The grass Dupontia fisheri is often present in wet communities near the coast and is used here to designate the wet subtype of subzone C within northern Alaska. A few forbs such as Pedicularis sudetica and Saxifraga foliolosa are usually present. Sphagnum can be locally common in acidic wet tundra. Woody plants are uncommon. Somewhat wetter areas with deeper standing water with the grass Arctophila fulva and/or a few typical aquatic forbs (e.g. Ranunculus palasii, Comarum palustre) are not included in this unit.


Other names from the Alaska literature: