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MoG Bioscience vol. 50 2000              Order this book on-line

Altitude distribution of vascular plants in mountains of East and Northeast Greenland
Fritz Hans Schwarzenbach
193 pages, 44 figures, 49 tables, 250 DKK

Analysis of the altitude distribution of vascular plants are reported for five mountainous areas in East and Northeast Greenland between 71°N and 80°40' N (field work 1948-1952, 1954, 1956, 1991, 1994-1995, 1998). The analysis rests on a database of 9626 records. There are 176 species documented with 3457 herbarium specimens.
The altitude distribution of each species is shown in bands of 300 m, range 0-1800 m. Unusual altitudinal patterns is suggested to be explained by edaphic, climatic or genetic factors, sometimes also by the history of the vegetation.
A system of 'altitude distribution types (ADT)' combine information about the highest sites with preferred habitats of each species. Biometric estimates of the altitude limit of each species is presented. Limits are highest in the Stauning Alper (72°N, 1720 m), lowest in Kronprins Christian Land (80°N, 900 m), decreasing c. 300 m from the western Stauning Alper to Kong Oscar Fjord.
Average altitude limits of 42 common species are used for comparison with altitude distribution in six other areas in West Greenland, East Greenland and North Greenland. Exposure influences the altitude distribution considerably, depending on the degree of regional climate, continentality and local latitude. The diversity of the vegetation as estimated by Shannon-index, Simpson-Index, Q-Statistics for the species/presence-distribution is similar in all areas studied.
Keywords: arctic, Greenland, mountain vegetation, vascular plants, altitude distribution, vertical distribution, altitude limits, climate , ecology, diversity, diversity index, 'Vegetationsgrenze'.

ISSN 0106-1054
ISBN 87-90369-38-6