Alaska Arctic Plant Communities
- Bioclimate Subzones
- Floristic Provinces
- Lake Cover
- NDVI and Phytomass
- Substrate Chemistry
- AATVM Cites
2. Carex aquatilis-Saxifraga cernua
Summary of Habitat: Moist acidic coastal tundra in subzone C
Described from: Barrow (Webber 1978)
Common plant functional types and species:
Rush: Luzula arctica;
- This is a common type in mesic acidic meadows and flat-centered polygons in coastal tundra areas of subzone C (photos a and b). It is dominated by graminoids (Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum angustifolium, Poa arctica, Dupontia fisheri, Luzula arctica), prostrate dwarf shrubs (Salix rotundifolia, S. pulchra), mosses and a variety of small forbs (especially Saxifraga cernua and S. foliolosa), and has the highest lichen diversity of any of the types studied by Webber (1978). It corresponds to the Nodum III (Mesic Carex aquatilis-Poa arctica) at Barrow (Webber 1978) and is the most extensive type within the International Biological Program (IBP) Tundra Biome study site at Barrow, covering about 41% of the area (Walker and Webber 1974). A more or less equivalent type has been described using the Braun-Blanquet protocols at Prudhoe Bay: Salici rotundifoliae-Caricetum aquatilis (Kade et al. 2005). It is common but is not a separable map unit at the scale of the Alaska Arctic Vegetation Map (Raynolds et al. 2006). Somewhat moister habitats can have abundant Dupontia fisheri and few lichens (Nodum IV, Moist Carex aquatilis-Oncophorus wahlenbergii meadow, (Webber 1978)). A nonacidic equivalent has been described for Barter Island (See Community 9) (Elias et al. 1996).
Other names from the Alaska literature:
- Nodum III, Mesic Carex aquatilis-Poa arctica meadow, 11 study plots; Nodum IV, Moist Carex aquatilis-Oncophorus wahlenbergii meadow, 6 study plots, Barrow, Webber (1978).
- Stand Type 6 (Carex aquatilis, Dactylina arctica, Polytrichum juniperinum, 5 study plots; and in somewhat moister situations, Type 7, Carex aquatilis, Dupontia fisheri, Petasites frigidus, Peltigera aphthosa, Minum sp., 5 study plots, Walker (1977).
- Saxifraga cernua-Carex aquatilis, Barrow, 10 relevés, Elias et al. (1996).
- Stand Type U12, Moist Carex aquatilis, Salix planifolia ssp. pulchra, Campylium stellatum sedge, dwarf shrub tundra, Prudhoe Bay, 2 study plots (1303, 1311), Walker (1985).
- Salici rotundifoliae-Caricetum aquatilis, Prudhoe Bay, 5 relevés, (Kade et al. 2005)
- Included within III.A.2.e., Mesic sedge-grass meadow tundra, Alaska Vegetation Classification, (Viereck et al. 1992).
- Salici rotundifoliae-Caricetum aquatilis (Kade et al. 2005).