Vegetation, environmental characteristics, and forest productivity were studied in the boreal forest in the North Klondike River Valley, Yukon Territory, Canada. The concept and approach of biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification were followed. For the treed vegetation, five ecosystem types were distinguished based on vegetation structure and physical and chemical properties of soils. They were: 1) spruce-lichen type, 2) spruce-moss type, 3) spruce-Equisetum type, 4) spruce-willow type, and 5) bog forest type. These types were differentiated mainly by moisture regime and base status of soils. The sequence of the ecosystem types reflected their topographical position from slope summit to valley bottom. The spruce-lichen type developed in the driest and nutritionally impoverished habitats, the spruce-Equisetum type occurred in moist and nutritionally enriched sites, and the spruce-moss type was found in between them. The bog forest type occurred where peat had accumulated sufficiently to generate ombrotrophic conditions in habitats of high water table underlain with permafrost. The spruce-willow type developed along small creeks where substrates were very coarse. Tree growth characteristics were measured, except for the bog forest type that did not have trees over 5 m tall. Total volume of standing trees ranged from 29 to 582 m3/ha, with an overall mean of 216.9 m3/ha. The spruce-Equisetum type exhibited the highest figure, 413.5 m3/ha, while the spruce — lichen type the lowest one, 87.7 m3/ha. Mean annual increment ranged from 0.15 to 2.66 m3/ha, with an overall mean of 1.10 m3/ha. A similar tendency was noted for all other forestry characteristics, i.e., the spruce-Equisetum type showed the highest productivity while the spruce-lichen type the lowest. This tendency was considered to be attributed to the availability of moisture and basic cations in soils.
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- Ecosystem Types of Boreal Forest in the North Klondike River Valley, Yukon Territory, Canada, and Their Productivity Potentials
- Springer Netherlands
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