Alaska Geobotany Center
Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive: Imnavait Creek Vegetation Plots (Walker et al. 1987a)
Vegetation in the vicinity of the Imnavait Creek field site located in the Upper Kuparuk watershed of the Brooks Range was described by D.A. Walker et al. as part of a study that was initiated in the summer of a Department of Energy R4D (Response, Resistance, Resilience and Recovery from Disturbance) project. Imnavait Creek was chosen as a study site as it provides a good representation of the southern foothills of the Brooks Range, a glaciated region characterized by rolling tundra plains interspersed with hills, knobs and low ridges. The primary source document for this dataset is a data report prepared for the DOE (Department of Energy) R4D project (Walker et al. 1987a).
Eighty-four plots were subjectively located in 14 plant communities that occur in 19 broad habitat types including: 1) dry sandstone outcrops (6 plots), 2) glacial boulder fields (2 plots), 3) dry rocky till (5 plots), 4) hill slope nonsorted stripes (5 plots), 5) frost scars on stripes (5), 6) areas between nonsorted stripes (3 plots), 7) hill slopes between with solifluction (5 plots), 8) snowbeds (10 plots), 9) water tracks (7 plots), 10) margins of water tracks (2 plots), 11) hill slopes between water tracks, (12 plots), 13) west frost scars (3 plots), 14) hummocks and strangs in wet meadows of colluvial basins (3 plots), 15) wet tundra between strangs in colluvial basins (6 plots), 16) palsas (2 plots), 17) stream margins (4 plots), 18) stream channels (2 plots), and 19) beaded-stream ponds (3 plots).
Plots were primarily circular in shape and 78.5 square meters in area except for sites with insufficient homogeneous vegetation where smaller plots were used. Plots were permanently marked with a central wooden lath to which an aluminum tag was attached, with three additional short stakes marking the perimeter of the plot. Species and environmental data (including soil physical variables, subjective site assessments, and active layer depths) were collected in the field and soil samples were brought back to the lab for chemical assessments. Species cover-abundance, environmental site factors, and soil physical and chemical data are included in the data report (Walker et al. 1987a). GPS coordinates were obtained for many plots in the mid-2000’s. An aerial photograph and Google Earth were used to approximate the location and obtain coordinates of all but one of the remaining plots.
These data along with spectral and biomass data were subsequently used in several reports and publications listed below.
Evans, B. M., D. A. Walker, C. S. Benson, E. A. Nordstrand, and G. W. Petersen. 1989. Spatial interrelationships between terrain, snow distribution and vegetation patterns at an arctic foothills site in Alaska. Holarctic Ecology 12:270–278.
Shippert, M. M., D. A. Walker, N. A. Auerbach, and B. E. Lewis. 1995. Biomass and leaf-area index maps derived from SPOT images for Toolik Lake and Imnavait Creek areas, Alaska. Polar Record 31:147–154. Walker, D. A., N. D. Lederer, and M. D. Walker. 1987a. Permanent vegetation plots [at Imnavait Creek, AK]: Site factors, soil physical and chemical properties, and plant species cover. U.S. Department of Energy R4D Program Data Report. Plant Ecology Laboratory, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Walker, D. A., P. J. Webber, N. D. Lederer, and M. D. Walker. 1987b. Terrain and vegetation of the U.S. Department of Energy R4D research site, Imnavait Creek, Alaska: I. Classification and mapping. U.S. Department of Energy, R4D Program Data Report. Plant Ecology Laboratory, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Walker, D. A., and N. D. Lederer. 1987. Toposequence study: site factors, soil physical and chemical properties and plant species cover. U.S. Department of Energy R4D Program Data Report. Plant Ecology Laboratory, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Walker, D. A., E. Binnian, B. M. Evans, N. D. Lederer, E. Nordstrand, and P. J. Webber. 1989. Terrain, vegetation and landscape evolution of the R4D research site, Brooks Range Foothills, Alaska. Holarctic Ecology 12:238–261. Walker, D. A., N. A. Auerbach, and M. M. Shippert. 1995. NDVI, biomass, and landscape evolution of glaciated terrain in northern Alaska. Polar Record 31:69–178.
Walker, D. A., and M. D. Walker. 1996. Terrain and vegetation of the Imnavait Creek Watershed. Pages 73–108 in J. F. Reynolds and J. D. Tenhunen, editors. Landscape Function: Implications for Ecosystem Disturbance, a Case Study in Arctic Tundra. Springer-Verlag, New York, USA.
Walker, M. D., D. A. Walker, and K. R. Everett. 1989. Wetland soils and vegetation, Arctic Foothills, Alaska. Biological Report 89(7). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior, Washington, D.C., USA.
Walker, M. D., D. A. Walker, and N. A. Auerbach. 1994. Plant communities of a tussock tundra landscape in the Brooks Range Foothills, Alaska. Journal of Vegetation Science 5:843–866.
Data and Resources
Start Date: 1984/08/01
End Date: 1985/09/04
Data Types: Image, Database, Map, Report