Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Phase IV - Classification and Description of Vegetation Associations in Arctic Regions

Project Reference Number: 2011-20

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Adrian de Groot, Drosera Ecological Consulting, Smithers

Funder: University of British Columbia

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This is an International Polar Year (IPY) project, funded by the IPY Federal Program office. The project lead is Environment Yukon, Government of Yukon; project partner is the Canadian Forestry Service, Natural Resources Canada. The Canadian National Vegetation Classification (CNVC) Technical Committee will provide further technical expertise.

The objective of this project is to extend the CNVC to include the vegetation associations of the arctic. A standardized arctic vegetation classification will provide a benchmark for monitoring climate change, species at risk, biodiversity, permafrost and wildlife habitat, and will support land use planning and conservation areas management.

The CNVC is being developed by a multi-agency partnership, including federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as non-governmental organizations. The goal of the CNVC is to develop a nationally standardized classification of natural vegetation conditions for Canada. The CNVC is a data-driven classification system using existing ecological plot data as its foundation. The IPY project will expand the CNVC to include arctic vegetation associations, by acquiring vegetation consistent with CNVC standards.

When harmonized with similar systems in other arctic regions, this classification will be part of a standardized taxonomy of circumpolar arctic plant communities and contribute to a common international nomenclature for arctic vegetation.

In Phase IV, the subarctic vegetation and ecological plot/relevé data will be subjected to classification analyses, using analysis consistent with protocols of the Canadian National Vegetation Classification (CNVC), for the development of community-scale vegetation associations and sub-associations that are compatible with CNVC classification standards.

Deliverables will include a listing of proposed subarctic vegetation associations and sub-associations; summary tables listing species composition, species frequency of occurrence and associated ecological characteristics for each association and sub-association; description of the floristic and ecological characteristics of the vegetation associations and sub-associations in preliminary factsheets, consistent with CNVC standards; completion of the subarctic classification database with new plot/relevé data; and provision of various meta-data.

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
December 22, 2011 Location of plots in the Arctic and sub-Arctic database
December 22, 2011 Classification and Description of Vegetation Associations in Arctic Regions. Phase 3: Sub-Arctic Database Completion and Arctic Vegetation Classification Association Descriptions Adrian de Groot MSc. RPBio., Will MacKenzie BSc. RPBio., Russell Klassen, Irene Ronalds BA, RPBio. & Karen McKenna
December 21, 2010 Plot Location by Floristic Province
December 21, 2010 Plot Location by Arctic Bioclimate Zone or Terrestrial Ecozone
December 20, 2010 Classification and Description of Vegetation Associations in Arctic Regions. Phase 2: Data Analysis and Classification Adrian de Groot MSc. RPBio., Will MacKenzie BSc. RPBio., Russell Klassen & Irene Ronalds BA, RPBio