North American boreal and western temperate forest vegetation

Salvador Rivas-Martínez, Daniel Sánchez-Mata & Manuel Costa

Itinera Geobotanica 12:5-316 (1999)


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VEGETATION TRANSECTIONS AND BIOCLIMATIC DIAGRAMS

In this chapter, several selected vegetation transections and bioclimatic diagrams are given. In both cases, our purpose is to explain graphically the close relationships between the potential natural vegetation and bioclimates everywhere. Using these schematic drawings and related processed bioclimatic data from meteorological stations together with the bioclimatic diagrams and their diagnostic vegetation units at association phytosociological level we aim to offer scientists a practical tool for interpreting the language of the natural landscape.

Vegetation transections include eight selected geographical cuts across several large areas throughout North America, mainly from Boreal and Temperate macrobioclimate territories. Each transection shows the catenal arrangement of the potential natural vegetation by phytosociological units and the processed bioclimatic data from the localities shown as well as their complete bioclimatic diagnoses.

The transections selected and explained are the following:

1. From Seward to Fairbanks (US, Alaska). 

2. From Prince Rupert to Prince George (Canada).

3. From Mount Washington (US, New Hampshire) to Chibougamau (Canada). 

4. From Quesnel to Prince Albert (Canada). 

5. From Tatoosh Islands (US, Washington) to Yakima (US, Washington). 

6. From Caribou (US, Maine) to Matane and Sept Iles (Canada).

7. From Québec to Hudson Bay (Canada). 

8. From West to East of Colorado Rocky Mountains (US, Colorado).

Bioclimatic diagrams include forty-six selected localities from US and Canada displaying the correspondence between the vegetation units (at association phytosociological level), and their biogeographic areas, and their close bioclimatic features. A previous synoptical table shows some processed bioclimatic data for each locality, referred to in the bioclimatic chapter, and the appropriate phytosociological unit (potential natural vegetation at association level).

Vegetation transection from Seward to Fairbanks (US, Alaska)

Vegetation transection

Figure 43. Vegetation transection from Seward to Fairbanks (US, Alaska). 1. Rubo stellati-Piceetum sitchensis (Tsugion heterophyllae), 2. Tsugo mertensianae-Piceetum sitchensis (Tsugion mertensianae) 3. Alno sinuatae-Populetum trichocarpae (Alno rubrae-Populion trichocarpae), 4. Rubo chamaemori-Piceetum marianae (Ledo decumbentis-Piceion marianae), 5. Piceetum glauco-marianae (Ledo decumbentis-Piceion marianae), 6. Piceo glaucae-Betuletum kenaicae (Betulo neoalaskanae-Populion tremuloidis), 7. Hypno procerrimi-Piceetum glaucae (Ledo decumbentis-Piceion marianae), 8. Piceo glaucae-Betuletum neoalaskanae (Betulo neoalaskanae-Populion tremuloidis), 9. Roso sayi-Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo neoalaskanae-Populion tremuloidis). A. Seward, B. Anchorage, C. Talkeetna, D. Fairbanks, E: Mount Mckinley (6194 m). (Booc: Oceanic Boreal, Bosc: Subcontinental Boreal, Boco: Continental Boreal. Lmbo: lower mesoboreal, Umbo: upper mesoboreal. Lhhu:lower hyperhumid, Lshu: lower subhumid, Ushu: upper subhumid, Udry: upper dry).

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Seward 3 17.8 15.9 616 8.7 Booc-Lmbo-Lhhu
B Anchorage 27 24.8 4.6 598 4.6 Bosc-Umbo-Lshu
C Talkeetna 109 27.2 8.9 578 4.8 Bosc-Umbo-Ushu
D Fairbanks 133 39.3 3.2 573 3.2 Boco-Umbo-Udry

 

Vegetation transection from Prince Rupert to Prince George (Canada)

Vegetation transection

Figure 44. Vegetation transection from Prince Rupert to Prince George (Canada). 1. Abieti amabilis-Piceetum sitchensis (Tsugion heterophyllae), 2. Abieti amabilis-Tsugetum heterophyllae (Tsugion heterophyllae), 3. Abieti amabilis-Tsugetum mertensianae (Tsugion mertensianae), 4. Abieti lasiocarpae-Tsugetum mertensianae (Tsugion mertensianae), 5. Piceetum engelmannio-albertianae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 6. Menziesio ferruginae-Abietetum bifoliae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae). A. Prince Rupert, B. Terrace, C. Smithers, D. Prince George. (Teoc: Oceanic Temperate, Teco: Continental Temperate. Uste: upper supratemperate, Hbor: hemiboreal. Luhh: lower ultrahyperhumid, Lhum: lower humid, Lshu: lower subhumid).

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Prince Rupert 16 12.1 26.0 920 9.1 Teoc-Uste-Luhh
B Terrace 217 21.0 8.2 910 3.0 Teoc-Uste-Lhum
C Smithers 524 24.4 4.0 710 2.8 Teco-Hbor-Lshu
D Prince George 690 26.1 4.0 740 3.0 Teco-Hbor-Lshu

 

Vegetation transection from Mount Washington (US, New Hampshire) to Chibougamau (Canada)

Vegetation transection

Figure 45. Vegetation transection from Mount Washington (US, New Hampshire) to Chibougamau (Canada). 1. Abieti balsameae-Piceion rubentis (Piceion rubentis), 2. Diapensietum lapponicae (Diapension lapponicae), 3. Caricetum bigelowii (Caricion bigelowii), 4. Sorbo americanae-Betuletum cordifoliae (Betulo-Populion tremuloidis), 5. Fago grandifoliae-Betuletum lentae (Tsugion canadensis), 6. Sphagno-Piceetum marianae (Gaultherio-Piceion glaucae), 7. Caryo cordiformis-Aceretum sacchari (Acerion sacchari), 8. Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo-Populion tremuloidis), 9. Aceretum sacchari (Acerion sacchari), 10. Abietetum balsameae (Gaultherio-Piceion glaucae), 11. Pinetum banksianae (Pinion banksianae), 12. Aralio hispidae-Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo-Populion tremuloidis), 13. Kalmio angustifoliae-Piceetum marianae (Gaultherio-Piceion glaucae). A. Mount Washington, B. Lac Mégantic, C. Québec, D. Alma, E. Dolbeau, F. Chibougamau, G. Mount Mégantic, H. Laurent River. (Bioclimatic acronyms are the usual).

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Mount Washington 1909 24.2 25.9 321 18.6 Teco-Lcte-Uhh
B Lac Mégantic 410 29.2 7.6 803 5.7 Teco-Hbor-Lhum
C Québec 73 31.7 7.0 872 5.5 Teco-Hbor-Lhum
D Alma 136 33.3 7.3 811 6.3 Teco-Hbor-Lhum
E Dolbeau 137 37.2 6.1 795 4.3 Boco-Ltbo-Lhum
F Chibougamau 376 35.5 10.1 639 7.6 Boco-Lmbo-Uhum

 

Vegetation transection from Quesnel to Prince Albert (Canada)

Vegetation transection

Figure 46. Vegetation transection from Quesnel to Prince Albert (Canada). 1. Piceetum engelmannio-albertianae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 2. Shepherdio canadensis-Pseudotsugetum glaucae (Pino scopulorum-Pseudotsugetum glaucae), 3. Piceo engelmannii-Tsugetum heterophyllae (Tsugion heterophyllae), 4. Abieto lasiocarpae-Tsugetum mertensianae (Tsugion mertensianae), 5. Alno tenuifoliae-Populetum trichocarpae (Alno rubrae-Populion trichocarpae), 6. Menziesio ferrugineae-Piceetum engelmannii (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 7. Empetro hermaphroditii-Abietetum bifoliae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 8. Vaccinio scoparii-Pinetum latifoliae (fire) (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 9. Mertensio paniculatae-Abietetum balsameae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae), 10. Rubo chamaemori-Piceetum marianae (Ledo decumbentis-Piceion marianae), 11. Spiraeo lucidae-Populetum balsamiferae (Betulo neoalaskanae-Populion tremuloidis). A. Quesnel, B. Jasper, C. Edmonton, D. Prince Albert, E. Mount Caribou, F. Mount Robson (3954 m). (Teco: Continental Temperate, Boco: Continental Boreal. Hbor: hemiboreal, Lote: lower orotemperate, Ltbo: lower thermoboreal. Udry: upper dry, Lshu: lower subhumid. Stp: Steppic).

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Quesnel 545 26.1 3.0 828 2.5 Teco-Hbor-Udry-Stp
B Jasper 1061 26.7 3.3 689 2.9 Teco-Lote-Udry-Stp
C Edmonton 671 30.6 4.6 767 4.5 Teco-Hbor-Lshu
D Prince Albert 428 38.3 4.1 756 301 Boco-Ltbo-Lshu

 

Vegetation transection from Tatoosh islands (US,washington) to Yakima (US, Washington)

Vegetation transection

Figure 47. Vegetation transection from Tatoosh Islands (US, Washington) to Yakima (US, Washington). 1. Vaccinio ovati-Piceetum sitchensis (Tsugion heterophyllae), 2. Abieti amabilis-Tsugetum heterophyllae (Tsugion heterophyllae), 3. Abieto lasiocarpae-Tsugetum mertensianae (Tsugion mertensianae), 4. Gaultherio shallonis-Pseudotsugetum menziesii (Tsugion heterophyllae), 5. Abieti grandis- Pseudotsugetum menziesii (Tsugion heterophyllae), 6. Aceri macrophylli-Alnetum rubrae (Alno rubrae-Populion trichocarpae), 7. Vaccinio membranacei-Alnetum sinuatae (Alno rubrae-Populion trichocarpae), 8. Eriogono nivei-Artemisietum tridentatae (Artemision tridentatae), 9. Alno tenuifoliae-Populetum trichocarpae (Alno rubrae-Populion trichocarpae). A. Tatoosh Island, B. Seattle-Tacoma, C. Stampede Pass, D. Yakima. E. Olympic Mountains (2428 m). F. Mount Rainier (4392 m). (Teho: Hyperoceanic Temperate, Teoc: Oceanic Temperate, Mexc: Xeric Continental Mediterranean. Umte: upper mesotemperate, Lste: lower supratemperate, Lote: lower orotemperate, Usme: upper supramediterranean. Lhhu: lower hyperhumid, Lhum: lower humid, Lsar: lower semiarid). 

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Tatoosh Island 31 7.7 17.1 1155 4.1 Teho-Umte-Lhhu
B Seattle-Tacoma 118 14.8 7.8 1274 1.3 Teoc-Lste-Lhum
C Stampede Pass 1207 18.2 12.6 619 3.4 Teoc-Lote-Lhhu
D Yakima 330 24.5 1.3 1195 0.2 Mexc-Usme-Lsar

 

Vegetation transection from Caribou (US, Maine) to Matane and Sept Iles (Canada)

Vegetation transection

Figure 48. Vegetation transection from Caribou (US, Maine) to Matane and Sept Iles (Canada) (Temperate-Boreal). 1. Abieti balsameae-Piceion rubentis (Piceion rubentis), 2. Aceretum sacchari (Acerion sacchari), 3. Carici-Alnetum rugosae (Alnion rugosae), 4. Aceri sacchari-Betuletum luteae (Acerion sacchari), 5. Abietetum balsameae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae), 6. Aralio nudicaulis-Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis), 7. Kalmio angustifoliae-Piceetum marianae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae), 8. Sphagno-Piceetum marianae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae), 9 Alnetum rugosae (Alnion rugosae). A. Caribou, B. Matane, C. Baie-Comeau, D. Sept Iles, E. Laurent River. (Teco: Continental Temperate, Boco: Continental Boreal. Hbor: hemiboreal, Ltbo: lower thermoboreal, Utbo: upper thermoboreal, Lmbo: lower mesoboreal. Lhum: lower humid, Uhum: upper humid). 

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Caribou 190 30.0 7.4 822 5.5 Teco-Hbor-Lhum
B Matane 23 29.4 6.6 794 4.4 Boco-Ltbo-Lhum
C Baie-Comeau 53 31.1 9.5 711 5.4 Boco-Utbo-Uhum
D Sept Iles 55 28.3 9.7 622 6.9 Boco-Lmbo-Uhum

 

Vegetation transection from Québec to Hudson Bay (Canada)

Vegetation transection

Figure 49. Vegetation transection from Québec to Hudson Bay (Canada) 1. Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis), 2. Aceretum sacchari (Acerion sacchari), 3. Aceri sacchari-Betuletum luteae (Betulion luteae), 4. Abietetum balsameae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae), 5. Pinetum banksianae (Pinion banksianae), 6. Sphagno-Piceetum marianae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae), 7. Aralio-Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis), 8. Kalmio-Piceetum marianae (Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae). A. Québec, B. La Tuque, C. Parent, D. Val d'Or, E. Amos, F. Moosonee, G. Steppic Laurent River, H. Hudson Bay. (Teco: Continental Temperate, Boco: Continental Boreal. Hbor: hemiboreal, Ltbo: lower thermoboreal, Utbo: upper thermoboreal, Lbo: lower mesoboreal. Lhum: lower humid).

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Québec 73 31.7 7.0 872 5.5 Teco-Hbor-Lhum
B La Tuque 167 33.3 6.9 811 5.6 Teco-Hbor-Lhum
C Parent 428 32.8 8.6 711 6.7 Boco-Ltbo-Lhum
D Val d'Or 337 33.9 7.6 756 5.6 Boco-Utbo-Lhum
E Amos 305 35.0 7.2 680 5.7 Boco-Lmbo-Lhum
F Moosonee 10 36.7 7.8 617 5.4 Boco-Lmbo-Lhum

 

Vegetation transection from west to east of Colorado Rocky Mountains (US, Colorado)

Vegetation transection

Figure 50. Vegetation transection from west to east of Colorado Rocky Mountains (US, Colorado). 1. Piceetum pungentis (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 2. Vaccinio scoparii-Pinetum latifoliae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 3. Vaccinio scoparii-Abietetum bifoliae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 4. Penstemono whippleani-Pinetum aristatae (Piceo engelmannii-Abietion bifoliae), 5. Caricetum elynoidis (Caricion foeneo-elynoidis), 6. Symphoricarpo utahensis-Populetum tremuloidis (Betulo neoalaskanae-Populion tremuloidis), 7. Pseudotsugo glaucae-Pinetum flexilis (Pino scopulorum-Pseudotsugion glaucae), 8.Selaginello densae-Elynetum myosuroidis (Kobresio myosuroidis-Caricion rupestris), 9. Shepherdio canadensis-Psedotsuguetum glaucae (Pino scopulorum-Pseudotsugion glaucae), 10. Rhoo trilobatae-Pinetum scopulorum (Pino scopulorum-Pseudotsugion glaucae), 11. Populetum angustifolio-moniliferae (Populion angustifolio-moniliferae). A. Aspen, B. Lake, C. Grandby, D. Boulder, E. Mount Lincoln (4433 m), F. Vazques Peak (3926 m), G. Indian Peaks (4066 m). (Teco: Continental Temperate, Otel: Lowerorotemperate. Udry: Upper dry. Sbm: Submediterranean, Stp: Steppic).

Locality Alt.m Ic Io Tp Ios2 Bioclimate
A Aspen 2369 23.3 3.4 778 2.4 Teco-Lote-Udry-Sbm
B Lake 3026 21.7 4.4 561 4.7 Teco-Uote-Lshu
C Grandby 2502 23.9 3.5 628 2.9 Teco-Lote-Udry-Stp
D Boulder 1612 21.7 3.6 1289 2.0 Teco-Lste-Udry-Stp

 

Bioclimatic diagrams of Linnaeo-piceetea associations in US. and Canada

 

Associations Localities T M Tp P Io
1a. Pinetum banksianae Kapuskasing, Can 1.2 -25.6 758 858 7.4
1b. Carici-Pinetum banksianae Trois Rivières, Can 4.7 -17.2 917 1031 7.1
1c. Oryzopsio-Pinetum banksianae Prince Albert, Can 0.6 -26.1 756 409 4.1
2a. Abietetum balsameae Val d'Or, Can 1.8 -22.2 756 868 7.6
2b. Kalmio-Piceetum marianae Armstrong, Can -0.6 -27.8 639 667 7.1
2c. Sphagno-Piceetum marianae Nakima, Can 0.1 -25.0 672 763 6.9
2d. Mertensio-Abietetum balsameae The Pas, Can -0.7 -27.8 706 392 4.3
3a. Abieti-Piceetum rubentis Caribou, Me 3.8 -16.7 822 923 7.4
4a. Rubo-Piceetum marianae McGrath, Ak -3.7 -27.8 544 468 5.3
4b. Piceetum glauco-marianae Tanana, Ak -4.7 -28.9 522 332 4.2
4c. Hypno-Piceetum glaucae Fairbanks, Ak -3.1 -28.9 583 297 3.1
4d. Pulsatillo-Pinetum latifoliae Whitehorse, Ak -0.3 -19.4 556 268 3.1
5a. Vaccinio-Piceetum sitchensis Newport, Or 10.7 3.3 1283 1691 13.2
5b. Abieti-Piceetum sitchensis Prince Rupert, Or 7.7 -1.1 922 2417 26.2
5c. Rubo-Piceetum sitchensis Haines, Ak 4.7 -1.7 694 1539 10.9
5d. Tsugo-Sequoietum sempervirentis McNamara, Ca 11.5 3.9 1378 1777 12.9
5e. Gaultherio-Pseudotsugetum menziesii Olympia, Wa 10.1 -1.1 1211 1294 10.7
5g. Abieti-Tsugetum heterophyllae Stampede Pass, Wa 4.2 -6.9 611 2343 12.6
6d. Tsugo-Piceetum sitchensis Valdez, Ak 2.3 -11.1 522 1549 17.2
7a. Lonicero-Pinetum contortae North Bend, Or 11.6 3.9 1389 1570 11.3
7b. Junipero-Pinetum contortae Gustavus, Ak 5.1 -6.1 672 1366 15.6
8a. Aceri-Alnetum rubrae Vancouver, Can 10.2 0.0 1222 1458 11.9
8b. Oplopanaco-Alnetum rubrae Annette, Ak 7.5 -1.7 905 2923 32.3
8c. Alno-Populetum trichocarpae Cordova, Ak 3.4 -9.4 550 2262 26.1
8f. Salici-Alnetum sinuatae Kenai, Ak 0.9 -16.1 517 483 11.7
9a. Vaccinio scoparii-Abietetum bifoliae Hermit Lakes, Co 1.4 -21.7 550 415 5.4
9e. Piceetum engelmannio-albertianae Jasper, Can 3.0 -15.6 689 332 3.3
9f. Piceetum pungentis Aspen, Co 4.9 -14.4 778 470 3.4
9h. Vaccinio scoparii-Pinetum latifoliae Banff, Can 2.2 -15.6 617 486 5.3
10a. Larici-Pseudotsugetum glaucae Castlegar, Can 7.5 -7.2 987 705 4.8
10b. Shepherdio-Pseudotsugetum glaucae Quesnel, Can 5.0 -15.0 828 398 3.0
10c. Rhoo-Pinetum scopulorum Glendive, Mt 7.0 -16.1 1106 356 2.6
10d. Pseudotsugo-Pinetum flexilis Gunnison, Co 3.1 -22.2 767 267 2.2
11a. Roso sayi-Populetum tremuloidis Dawson, Can -5.0 -33.3 561 317 3.0
11b. Piceo-Betuletum neoalaskanae Bettles, Ak -5.8 -28.9 489 337 4.3
11c. Piceo-Betuletum kenaicae Palmer, Ak 2.1 -14.4 622 420 5.1
11d. Spiraeo-Populetum balsamiferae Edmonton, Can 2.7 -19.4 767 457 5.0
11e. Symphoricar.-Populetum tremuloidis Yellowstone, Mt 1.5 -18.3 578 513 4.8
12b. Populetum tremuloidis Mégantic, Can 4.0 -16.7 822 986 7.7
12c. Aralio-Populetum tremuloidis Dolbeau, Can 1.8 -23.9 795 727 6.1
13a. Alnetum rugosae Gander, Can 4.4 -10.6 728 1003 9.5
13b. Carici-Alnetum rugosae Québec, Can 4.1 -16.7 872 1013 7.0
14a. Populetum-moniliferae Boulder, Co 10.7 -6.1 1289 464 3.6
15a. Platano-Populetum fremontii Red Bluff, Ca 17.5 3.1 2100 560 2.7
16a. Salici-Betuletum glandulosae King Salmon, Ak 0.7 -15.0 522 499 6.5
16c. Salici-Betuletum exilis Nome, Ak -3.2 -19.4 339 473 8.3