Plant Ecology

, Volume 130, Issue 2, pp 171–190

Upland plant community classification in Elk Island national park, Alberta, Canada, using disturbance history and physical site factors

  • Edward W. Bork
  • Robert J. Hudson
  • Arthur W. Bailey

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009718908103

Cite this article as:
Bork, E.W., Hudson, R.J. & Bailey, A.W. Plant Ecology (1997) 130: 171. doi:10.1023/A:1009718908103


Our objective was to classify upland sites sampled from an area in and around Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada, into community types and interpret them in terms of variation in environmental factors, including fire and wild ungulate herbivory. The vegetation from 36 sites was classified into 6 community types using TWINSPAN. These types could be effectively interpreted and explained with canonical correspondence analysis ordination procedures. Based on a forward regression, topography, ungulate use and prescribed burning related closely to the first two canonical axes, accounting for 47.2 and 21.1% of the species-environment relation among sites, respectively. Unique and meaningful combinations of environmental variables influenced community-type understory composition and structure, as well as the characteristics of the tree overstory. This information provided the basis for a preliminary state and transition model of vegetation dynamics for these rangelands, which could be used to assist Park managers in manipulating plant communities within the landscape using ungulate removal and prescribed burning programs.

Aspen forest Canonical correspondence analysis Ordination Prescribed burning TWINSPAN Uplands Ungulate herbivory 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward W. Bork
    • 1
  • Robert J. Hudson
    • 2
  • Arthur W. Bailey
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional ScienceUniversity of AlbertaCanada