Abstract Detail

Dynamics and Demography of Alpine Islands

Kasanke, Shawnee [1].

Patterns of Plant Succession in the Central Brooks Range: from alpine to Arctic tundra along a glacial sequence.

Understanding how Arctic ecosystems are responding to change hinges on understanding patterns of vegetation succession. This study focuses on how vegetation communities develop during primary succession in an Arctic-alpine environment following deglaciation, with special focus on cryptogamic pioneer communities. Alaska’s Brooks Range has a rich glacial history dating back to the mid-Pleistocene. Glaciers remaining today in small cirques are retreating rapidly, exposing fresh substrate available for potential colonization. Little is known about the earliest stages of succession in arctic-alpine environments, with little focus given to cryptogams (e.g. lichens and bryophytes), commonly pioneering primary succession and dominating Arctic communities. My overarching question is: How do Arctic plant communities, particularly the cryptogam components, develop along an Arctic alpine glacial sequence in the central Brooks Range, Alaska? This research investigates the relationships between site factors and plant-community composition on six glacial moraine deposits spanning five mid-Pleistocene to Holocene glaciation events (150,000-40 ybp). This study provides insight into the pace and process of habitat development on differing substrates in the alpine as glaciers disappear in response to climate change.

1 - University of Alaska Fairbanks, Biology and Wildlife, PO Box 751906, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0010
Abstract ID:88
Candidate for Awards:None

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