Alaska Arctic Bioclimate Subzone Map

Various authors, working with different geobotanical traditions, have divided the Arctic into bioclimatic regions using a variety of terminologies. The origins of these different terms and approaches have been reviewed by the Panarctic Flora (PAF) initiative (Elvebakk 1999). The PAF and CAVM accepted a five-subzone version of the Russian zonal approach. The subzone boundaries are somewhat modified from the phytogeographic subzones of Yurtsev (1994). Subzone A is the coldest subzone whereas Subzone E is warmest.

Warmer summer temperatures cause the size, horizontal cover, abundance, productivity and variety of plants to increase. In Alaska, woody plants occur as hemiprostrate dwarf shrubs (<15 cm tall) in Subzone C (mean July temperatures about 5-7 C, erect dwarf shrubs (<40 cm tall) in Subzone D (mean July temperature about 7-9 C), and low shrubs (40-200 cm tall) in Subzone E (mean July temperature about 9-12 C. At treeline, where the mean July temperatures are between 10 and 12 C, woody shrubs up to 2 meters tall are abundant.

Back to: Alaska Arctic Tundra Vegetation Map (Raynolds et al. 2006)

Go to Website Link :: Toolik Arctic Geobotanical Atlas below for details on legend units, photos of map units and plant species, glossary, bibliography and links to ground data.

Map Themes AVHRR NDVI, Bioclimate Subzone, Elevation, False Color-Infrared CIR, Floristic Province, Lake Cover, Landscape, Substrate Chemistry, Vegetation

References

Elvebakk, A. 1999. Bioclimate delimitation and subdivisions of the Arctic. Pages 81-112 in I. Nordal and V. Y. Razzhivin, editors. The Species Concept in the High North - A Panarctic Flora Initiative. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo.

Yurtsev, B. A. 1994. Floristic divisions of the Arctic. Journal of Vegetation Science 5:765-776.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

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Last Updated August 28, 2020, 11:57 (AKDT)