Alaska Geobotany Center
Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive: Nome Vegetation Plots (Hanson 1953)
Sampling of tundra vegetation in the vicinity of Nome on the Seward Peninsula was undertaken as part of a classification of the major vegetation types during broader surveys for reindeer winter lichen range in northwestern Alaska. The primary source document for this dataset is Hanson (1953). The work was funded in part by the Arctic Institute of North America with funds provided by the Office of Naval Research.
In 1949, cover and frequency data were collected using the point-contact method. In July and August of 1951, plant species data were collected from 80 subjectively located plots (Braun-Banquet method) to better align with methods used for vegetation sampling in northern Europe. Within stands, ten 1-meter square plots were located at regular intervals on a line through each stand and species cover was recorded using a modified Hult-Sernander scale (Hanson, 1951). Plant communities were found to occur in 5 broad habitat types including: 1) Moist to wet acidic tussock and nontussock (Eriophorum vaginatum-Carex bigelowii-Sphagnum-Hylocomium) tundra (10 plots), 2) Dry acidic prostrate-shrub heaths (Arctous alpina, Salix phlebophylla, Empetrum heaths) (10 plots), 3) Shallow acidic snowbeds (Cassiope-Carex microchaeta-Hylocomium communities) (10 plots), 4) Moist and dry acidic dwarf-shrub heaths (Vaccinium uliginosum, Empetrum nigrum, Ledum decumbens, some Betula nana-lichen heaths) (30 plots), and 5) Dry acidic tundra (Dryas octopetala) (20 plots).
Descriptive information in the methods section of Hanson’s 1953 paper indicates that all of the plots were located within roughly 13 miles of Nome. Stands were not permanently marked and little environmental data was recorded, however select soil descriptions are present.
Hanson, H. C. 1953. Vegetation types in northwestern Alaska and comparisons with communities in other Arctic regions. Ecology 34:111-140.
Data and Resources
Start Date: 1951/07/30
End Date: 1951/08/02
Data Types: Database, Image, Map, Report