Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Unit G2

 

Hierarchy of Geobotanical Vegetation Map Units (Walker DA 2002)

Eureka vicinity, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Photo D.A. Walker.
Enlarge image

map legend color for unit G2G2. Graminoid, prostrate dwarf-shrub, forb tundra

Moist to dry tundra, with open to continuous plant cover. Sedges are dominant, along with prostrate shrubs <5 cm tall. Subzone C, some Subzone B.

Detailed Description

Moist to dry tundra in Subzone C and warmer parts of Subzone B on fine-grained, often hummocky circumneutral soils with moderate snow. This is the zonal vegetation on nonacidic soils of Subzone C. Plant cover is moderate (40-80%) and 5-15 cm tall. The diversity of plant communities is much greater than in Unit G1 and includes Cassiope tetragona snowbeds, well-developed mires, and streamside plant communities.
Area: 429 x 1000 km2.

Representative Syntaxa

Communities of the class Carici-Kobresietea, e.g., Carici-Dryadetum integrifoliae Dan. 1982 (Greenland).

Dominant Plants

Sedges, rushes, and prostrate dwarf-shrubs are common. Other common plants include grasses, forbs, mosses, liverworts, and lichens.

    1. Sedge: Carex misandra; Carex lugens; Carex rupestris; Eriophorum triste; Kobresia myosuroides; Carex aquatilis ssp. stans;
    2. Rush: Luzula nivalisa; Luzula confusaa;
    3. Prostrate dwarf shrubs: Salix polaris; Salix rotundifolia; Salix arctica; Salix reticulata; Dryas;
    4. Grass: Alopecurus alpinus; Puccinellia vahliana; Puccinellia wrightii; Poa arctica;
    5. Forb: Potentilla hyparcticaa; Cardamine bellidifoliaa; Draba nivalis; Saxifraga cernua; Saxifraga hirculus; Stellaria; Pedicularis capitata; Papaver;
    6. Moss: Racomitrium lanuginosuma; Oncophorus wahlenbergii; Campylium stellatum; Aulacomnium turgidum; Warnstorfia sarmentosa; Hylocomium splendens; Polytrichum;
    7. Liverwort: Tetralophozia setiformisa; Anastrophyllum minutuma;
    8. Lichen: Sphaerophorus globosusa; Cladina rangiferinaa; Cladonia pyxidata; Thamnolia; Dactylina arctica; Flavocetraria; Masonhalea richardsonii;

a=acidic, n=non-acidic