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Vegetation of eastern Unalaska Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

January 1, 2010

Plant communities of Unalaska Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands of western Alaska, and their relationship to environmental variables, were studied using a combined Braun-Blanquet and multivariate approach. Seventy relevés represented the range of structural and compositional variation in the matrix of vegetation and landform zonation. Eleven major community types were distinguished within six physiognomic–ecological groups: I. Dry coastal meadows: Honckenya peploides beach meadow, Leymus mollis dune meadow. II. Mesic meadows: Athyrium filix-femina – Aconitum maximum meadow, Athyrium filix-femina – Calamagrostis nutkaensis meadow, Erigeron peregrinus – Thelypteris quelpaertensis meadow. III. Wet snowbed meadow: Carex nigricans snowbed meadow. IV. Heath: Linnaea borealis – Empetrum nigrum heath, Phyllodoce aleutica heath, Vaccinium uliginosum – Thamnolia vermicularis fellfield. V. Mire: Carex pluriflora – Plantago macrocarpa mire. VI. Deciduous shrub thicket: Salix barclayi – Athyrium filix-femina thicket. These were interpreted as a complex gradient primarily influenced by soil moisture, elevation, and pH. Phytogeographical and syntaxonomical analysis of the plant communities indicated that the dry coastal meadows, most of the heaths, and the mire vegetation belonged, respectively, to the widespread classes Honckenyo–Elymetea, Loiseleurio–Vaccinietea, and Scheuchzerio–Caricetea, characterized by their circumpolar and widespread species. Amphi-Beringian species were likely diagnostic of amphi-Beringian syntaxa, many of these yet to be described.

Publication Year 2010
Title Vegetation of eastern Unalaska Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
DOI 10.1139/B09-113
Authors Stephen S. Talbot, Wilfred B. Schofield, Sandra L. Talbot, Fred J.A. Daniëls
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Botany
Index ID 70120458
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center