Alaska Arctic Plant Communities

4. Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis subtype Dupontia fisheri

Photo A. <em>Eriophorum angustifolium</em>-<em>Carex aquatilis</em> subtype <em>Dupontia fisheri</em> in a wet meadow at Barrow, AK. The white inflorescences of <em>Eriophorum russeolum</em> are visible. This unit was designated as Nodum V (Wet <em>Dupontia fisheri</em>-<em>Eriophorum angustifolium</em> meadow by Webber (1978). Webber et al. 1978, Fig. 6. D.A. Walker.

Photo A. Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis subtype Dupontia fisheri in a wet meadow at Barrow, AK. The white inflorescences of Eriophorum russeolum are visible. This unit was designated as Nodum V (Wet Dupontia fisheri-Eriophorum angustifolium meadow by Webber (1978). Webber et al. 1978, Fig. 6. Photo D.A. Walker.
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Photo B. <em>Eriophorum angustifolium</em>-<em>Carex aquatilis</em> subtype <em>Dupontia fisheri</em> in a wet polygon trough at Barrow, AK. (Included in Nodum V of Webber, 1978). Community type 3 occupies the polygon centers. Webber et al. 1978, Fig. 5. D.A. Walker.

Photo B. Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis subtype Dupontia fisheri in a wet polygon trough at Barrow, AK. (Included in Nodum V of Webber, 1978). Community type 3 occupies the polygon centers. Webber et al. 1978, Fig. 5. Photo D.A. Walker.
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Photo C. Another meadow of <em>Eriophorum angustifolium</em>-<em>Carex aquatilis</em> subtype <em>Dupontia fisheri</em> at Barrow. Walker slide 74-?-11. D.A. Walker.

Photo C. Another meadow of Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis subtype Dupontia fisheri at Barrow. Walker slide 74-?-11. Photo D.A. Walker.
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Photo D. Close up of the community shown in Photo C, with abundant <em>Alopecurus alpinus</em> (gray cottony inflorescences). (Subtype 8 of Walker, 1977). Walker slide 73-45-13 OR 73-45-15?? D.A. Walker.

Photo D. Close up of the community shown in Photo C, with abundant Alopecurus alpinus (gray cottony inflorescences). (Subtype 8 of Walker, 1977). Walker slide 73-45-13 OR 73-45-15?? Photo D.A. Walker.
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Bioclimate Subzone: C

Floristic Subprovince: Northern Alaska

Substrate Chemistry: Acidic

Position along mesotopographic gradient: Wet site

Summary of Habitat: Wet coastal tundra in subzone C

Described from: Barrow (Webber 1978)

 

Common plant functional types and species:

Sedge: Carex aquatilis; Eriophorum angustifolium ssp. triste;

Grass: Dupontia fisheri; Arctophila fulva;

Moss: 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: