AVA-AK: Arctic Network (Jorgenson et al. 2009)

Arctic Vegetation Archive - Alaska: Arctic Network.

Vegetation sampling for an ecological land survey classification and landcover map was completed for the over 19.5 million acres encompassed by the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park and Noatak National Preserve. The study was accomplished over an eight-year period (2002-2009) by ABR Inc. Environmental and Research and Services. The objective of the project was to provide maps and data for resource managers to allow them to evaluate land resources and develop management strategies that are appropriate to the landscape. Funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service.

Over 1000 plots were sampled, but only 936 plots were sufficiently complete to be included here, and only 763 are included in data summarized in Jorgenson et al. (2009) although more plots were used in their analysis. Plots were subjectively located in vegetation chosen for uniformity in floristic composition and environmental conditions and were positioned along toposequences within major physiographic units (riverine, lacustrine, lowland, upland, subalpine and alpine). Plots were distributed across the five parks as follows: Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (129 plots), Cape Krusenstern National Monument (79 plots), Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (170 plots), Kobuk Valley National Park (200 plots) and Noatak National Preserve (358 plots).

Plant communities sampled occur in thirteen broad habitat types including: 1) Dry coastal beach and sand dune vegetation (16 plots), 2) Rooted floating or submerged macrophyte vegetation of meso-eutrophic water (44 plots), 3) Shrub and poplar stands of riparian and warm south-facing habitats (195 plots), 4) Sedge grass and dwarf shrub mire and fen vegetation (109 plots), 5) Bog vegetation, acidic mires, including tussock tundra (98 plots), 6) Deep snowbed vegetation (5 plots), 7) Dry to moist dwarf-shrub heath and low-shrub vegetation on acidic nutrient poor substrates (90 plots), 8) Dry and mesic dwarf-shrub and graminoid vegetation on non-acidic substrate (179 plots), 9) Boreal and low Arctic steppe inland vegetation on dry, warm substrate (13 plots), 10) Tall forb and shrub vegetation on mesic-moist soil (42 plots), 11) Saxicolous lichen communities on silicate rocks (3 plots), 12) Terricolous lichen communities on acidic soils (6 plots), and 13) Boreo-continental coniferous forest (134 plots). Two communities lacked habitat type designations.

With a few exceptions, plots had an approximately 10 meter radius (314 square meters) and were not permanently marked, but Global Positioning System (GPS) location data are available. Along with data on percent cover of plant species by plot, environmental variables were recorded such geology, hydrology, physiography, geomorphic unit, slope, aspect, micro relief, soil pH, plant community names, and vegetation structure. In addition, soil chemistry and texture data are available for 39 select plots.

A summary of the Arctic Network NPS project is provided in Jorgenson et al. (2009).


Jorgenson, M. T., J. E. Roth, P. F. Miller, M. J. Macander, M. S. Duffy, A. F. Wells, G. V. Frost, E. R. Pullman. 2009. An Ecological Land Survey and Landcover Map of the Arctic Network. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/ARCN/NRTR- 2009/270. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Author M. Torre Jorgenson
Last Updated December 1, 2020, 11:05 (AKST)