Catalog Record: AVA-CA: Canadian Arctic Transect (Gonzalez et al. 2000)
Filename: imported_locations




Cantran avhrrtransect map anc
Gonzalezg 2000 cover

AVA-CA: Canadian Arctic Transect (Gonzalez et al. 2000)

Arctic Vegetation Archive - Canada: Canadian Arctic Transect.

Vegetation plots located along a Canadian Arctic Transect extending from Daring Lake North West Territories (NWT) to sites on Victoria, Cornwallis, Amund Ringnes, Axel Helberg, and Ellesmere islands in Canada were sampled as part of the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM) project. The project sought to study large-scale vegetation variations along a north-south transect to help resolve interpretations of Arctic vegetation zonation, better understand vegetation in less studied polar areas of Canada, and to develop a table of major vegetation types. Additionally, sampling at 8 sites involved placing plots along a complete mesotopographic gradient with the goal of describing the range of representative vegetation and soils in dry, mesic-zonal, wet, early snowbed, late snowbed, and riparian environments. The primary source document is a data report by Gonzalez et al. (2000). A summary of the plant communities is included in Gould et al. (2003) and the results contributed to the CAVM by Walker et al. (2005). This project was funded by the Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System (ATLAS) project to D. A. ‘Skip’ Walker through the Office of Polar Programs (OPP-9732076).

Sampling was distributed across the five phytogeographic subzones defined by Yurtsev (1994) and chosen for ease of access to sampling areas. Sites were chosen based on aerial photographs and, where available, topographic and vegetation maps. One hundred thirteen vegetation plots were established as follows: Mainland Canada, Daring Lake, NWT (9 plots) 5 plots in arctic zonal tundra, and 4 plots in azonal arctic habitats (late-melting snowbeds, sedge fens, willow shrublands); Victoria Island (Hadley Bay, Mount Pelly, and Tuktu River) (39 plots), 20 plots in arctic zonal tundra, 2 plots in extrazonal boreal vegetation (alder communities), and 17 plots in azonal arctic habitats (ruderal riparian floodplain terrace vegetation, late-melting snowbeds, sedge fens); Cornwallis Island (20 plots), 5 plots in arctic zonal tundra, and 15 in azonal arctic habitats (ruderal riparian floodplain terrace vegetation, late-melting snowbeds, sedge fens and sedge brown moss fens); Amund Ringnes Island (6 plots), all in dry zonal habitats of subzone A; Axel Heiberg Island (17 plots), 8 plots in arctic zonal tundra, and 9 plots in azonal arctic habitats (ruderal riparian floodplain terrace vegetation, late-melting snowbeds, sedge fens); and Ellesmere Island (Arctic Hare Ridge, East Wind Lake, and Eureka) (22 plots), 13 plots in arctic zonal tundra, and 9 plots in azonal arctic habitats (ruderal riparian floodplain terrace vegetation and sedge fens).

Plots were located in homogeneous areas of vegetation and species cover was recorded following the old Braun-Banquet cover-abundance classes: r (rare, single occurrence); + (multiple occurrences, less than 1 percent cover); 1 (1–5 percent cover); 2 (6–25 percent cover); 3 (26–50 percent cover); 4 (51-75 percent cover); 5 (76–100 percent cover). Plot corners were permanently marked with stakes and ranged in size from 0.5 to 100 square meters as the minimum area needed to obtain a representative sample for plant communities varied (e.g. barren versus tall shrub tundra). GPS coordinates were obtained for many of the plots and additional environmental data were recorded. Soil samples were obtained adjacent to plots for physical and chemical analysis. Photographs are available for many of the plots. Complete descriptions of sampling methods are included in Gonzalez et al. (2000).


Gonzalez, G., W. A. Gould, and M. K. Raynolds. 1999 Canadian Transect for the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map. Data report. Northern Ecosystem Analysis and Mapping Laboratory. Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775.

Gould, W. A., D. A. Walker, and D. Biesboer. 2003. Combining Research and Education Bioclimatic Zonation along a Canadian Arctic Transect. Arctic 56:45-54.

Walker, D. A., M. K. Raynolds, F. Daniëls, E. Einarsson, A. Elvebakk, W. A. Gould, A. E. Katenin, S. S. Kholod, C. J. Markon, E. S. Melnikov, N. G. Moskalenko, S. Talbot, B. A. Yurtsev, Boris and other members of the CAVM Team, The. (2005). The Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map. Journal of Vegetation Science. 16. 267-282. 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2005.tb02365.x.

Walker D. A., M. K. Raynolds, and W. A. Gould. Fred Daniëls. 2008. Subzone A, and the North American Arctic Transect. Abhandlungen aus den Westfalischen Museum for Naturkunde 70 (3/4): 387-400.

Yurtsev, B.A. 1994. Floristic divisions of the Arctic. J. Veg. Sci. 5:765-776.


Data and Resources

  • Download

    Download :: Canadian Arctic Transect Data: species and environmental (source and Turboveg), maps, publications, photographs, soils (chemical, physical), and metadata

    aava_cantran_ggonzalez_2000_alldata.zip (33.3 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Canadian Arctic Transect Readme

    aava_cantran_ggonzalez_2000_readme_metadata.pdf (36 KB)

Status: Complete
Start Date: 1999/07/22
Type: Data
End Date: 1999/08/10
Data Types: Database
Primary Contacts
Name: Grizelle Gonzalez
Title: Research Ecologist and Project Leader
Email: ggonzalez@fs.fed.us
Phone: (787)764-7800
Name: William Gould
Email: wgould@fs.fed.us
Other Contacts
Name: Alaska Geobotany Center (AGC)
Email: uaf-agc@alaska.edu
Primary Organizations
Alaska Geobotany Center

Funding Organization
National Science Foundation


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