Recovery of tundra after seismic exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Paired permanent vegetation plots (disturbed vs. reference) are monitored periodically. Data are collected on percent vegetative cover by plant species and on soil and ground ice characteristics. Effects of vegetation type and initial disturbance levels on recovery patterns are documented. Permanent vegetation plots (disturbed, reference) were monitored repeatedly. Data were collected on percent vegetative cover by plant species and on soil and soil ice characteristics. Plant community composition was altered on the trails by the responses of different species to initial mechanical disturbance and subsequent changes in substrate. Long-term vegetation changes included increased cover of graminoids and decreased cover of evergreen shrubs and mosses. Trails on the ice-poor, gravel substrates of riparian areas recovered better than trails on ice-rich loamy soils of the uplands, even after severe initial damage. Recovery to pre-disturbance communities was not possible where trail subsidence occurred due to thawing of ground ice. Trails with low levels of initial disturbance usually improved well over time, while those with medium to high initial levels of disturbance improved slowly.

Metadata Access
Creator Jorgenson, Janet
Publisher Canadian Cryospheric Information Network
Contributor Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program - CAFF
Publication Year 2015
Rights Limited
Language English
Discipline Environmental Research
Spatial Coverage (67N-70N,150W-141W)
Temporal Coverage Begin 1984-01-01T11:59:59Z
Temporal Coverage End 9999-12-31T11:59:59Z