Vegetatio

, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 165–174 | Cite as

Plant distribution in relation to the length of the growing season in a snow-bed in the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan

  • G. Kudo
  • K. Ito
Article

Abstract

The distribution pattern of plants was studied in an alpine snow-bed in six plots along a snow-melting gradient. Each plot consisted of two habitats with respect to the microtopography; the flat habitat and the mound habitat. The number of species per plot decreased with the shortened snow-free period. In the flat habitat, the dominant growth forms changed from the early exposed plots to the late exposed ones as follows; lichens ↔ evergreen and deciduous shrubs ↔ forbs ↔ graminoids ↔ bryophytes. In the mound habitat, evergreen and deciduous shrubs prevailed widely along the gradient because of the ability to exploit new habitat by creeping over exposed rocks. For shrubs, the existence of mounds contributed to the expansion of the distribution ranges. Forbs and graminoids shifted their distribution modes to the late exposed plots where shrubs decreased in cover. Deciduous shrubs and forbs completely disappeared in the latest exposed plot.

Keywords

Growth form Microtopography Snow-melt timing Soil condition 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bamberg, S. A. & Major, J. 1968. Ecology of the vegetation and soils associated with calcareous parent materials in three alpine regions in Montana. Ecol. Monogr. 38: 127–167.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, K. L. & Bliss, L. C. 1977. Overwinter phenology of plants in a polar semi-desert. Arctic 30: 118–121.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, K. L. & Bliss, L. C. 1980. Plant reproduction in high arctic environment. Arct. Alp. Res. 12: 1–10.Google Scholar
  4. Billings, W. D. & Bliss, L. C. 1959. An alpine snowbank environment and its effect on vegetation, plant development, and productivity. Ecology 40: 388–397.Google Scholar
  5. Bliss, L. C. 1962a. Adaptations of arctic and alpine plants to environmental conditions. Arctic 15: 117–144.Google Scholar
  6. Bliss, L. C. 1962b. Caloric and lipid content in alpine tundra plants. Ecology 43: 753–757.Google Scholar
  7. Bliss, L. C. 1971. Arctic and alpine plant life cycles. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 2: 405–438.Google Scholar
  8. Bliss, L. C. & Svoboda, J. 1984. Plant communities and plant production in the western Queen Elizabeth Island. Holarct. Ecol. 7: 325–344.Google Scholar
  9. Braun-Blanquet, J. 1964. Pflanzensoziologie. Grundzuge der Vegetationskunde. 3. Aufl. Springer-Verlag, Wien.Google Scholar
  10. Callaghan, T. V. 1974. Intra-specific variation in Phleum alpinum L. with specific reference to polar populations. Arct. Alp. Res. 6: 361–401.Google Scholar
  11. Chapin, F. S.III, Oechel, W. C., VanCleve, K. & Lawrence, W. 1987. The role of mosses in the phosphorus cycling of an Alaskan black spruce forest. Oecologia (Berlin) 74: 310–315.Google Scholar
  12. Eddleman, L. E. & Ward, R. T. 1984. Phytoedaphic relationships in alpine tundra of north-central colorado, U.S.A. Arct. Alp. Res. 16: 343–359.Google Scholar
  13. Ellenberg, H. 1988. Vegetation ecology of central Europe. 4th. ed. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  14. Gjaerevoll, O. 1956. The plant communities of the Scandinavian alpine snow-beds. Bruns, Trondheim.Google Scholar
  15. Grulke, N. E. & Bliss, L. C. 1985. Environmental control of the prostrate growth form in two high arctic grasses. Holarct. Ecol. 8: 204–210.Google Scholar
  16. Isard, S. A. 1986. Factors influencing soil moisture and plant community distribution on Niwot Ridge, Front Range, Colorado, U.S.A. Arct. Alp. Res. 18: 83–96.Google Scholar
  17. Ishikawa, T. 1963. Topography and geology of Daisetsu volcano group. Rep. Jap. Nat. Prot. Ass. 8: 21–23. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  18. Ito, K. & Nishikawa, T. 1976. Alpine communities of the northern Taisetsu mountain range (1). Air- and soil-temperature, soil acidity, and a cyclical change of the Vaccinio-Pinetum pumilae. Rep. Taisetsuzan Inst. Sci. 11: 1–18.Google Scholar
  19. Johnson, D. A. & Tieszen, L. L. 1976. Aboveground biomass allocation, leaf growth, and photosynthesis patterns in tundra plant forms in arctic Alaska. Oecologia (Berlin) 24: 150–173.Google Scholar
  20. Johnson, P. L. & Billings, W. D. 1962. The alpine vegetation of the Beartooth Plateau in relation to cryopedogenic processes and patterns. Ecol. Monogr. 32: 105–135.Google Scholar
  21. Karrasch, H. 1973. Microclimatic studies in the Alps. Arct. Alp. Res. 5: A55-A63.Google Scholar
  22. Matsuda, T. 1964. Microclimate in the community of mosses near Syowa Base at east Onguru Island, Antarctica. Antarct. Rec. 21: 12–24. (in Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  23. Moore, P. 1980. The advantages of being evergreen. Nature (London). 285: 535.Google Scholar
  24. Okitsu, S. & Ito, K. 1983. Dynamic ecology of the Pinus pumila community of Mts. Taisetsu, Hokkaido, Japan. Env. Sci. Hokkaido. (in Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  25. Ostler, W. K., Harper, K. T., Mcknight, K. B. & Anderson, D. C. 1982. The effects of increasing snowpack on a sub-alpine meadow in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, U.S.A. Arct. Alp. Res. 14: 203–214.Google Scholar
  26. Sohlberg, E. H. & Bliss, L. C. 1984. Microscale pattern of vascular plant distribution in two high arctic plant communities. Can. J. Bot. 62: 2033–2042.Google Scholar
  27. Sone, T. & Takahashi, N. 1988. Climate in Mt. Daisetsu, as viewed from the year round meteorological observation at Hakuun Hut in 1985. Ann. Tohoku Geogr. Ass. 40: 244–246. (in Japanese with English summary).Google Scholar
  28. Takahashi, N. & Sone, T. 1988. Palsas in the Daisetsuzan Mountains, central Hokkaido, Japan. Geogr. Rev. Jap. 61: 665–684 (in Japanese with English summary).Google Scholar
  29. Tieszen, L. L., Lewis, M. C., Miller, P. C., Mayo, J., ChapinIII, F. S. & Oechel, W. 1981. An analysis of processes of primary production in tundra growth forms. In: Bliss, L. C., Heal, O. W. & Moore, J. J. (eds.) Tundra ecosystem: a comparative analysis 285–356. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambredge.Google Scholar
  30. Van derMaarel, E. 1979. Transformation of cover-abundance values in phytosociology and its effect on community similarity. Vegetatio 39: 97–114.Google Scholar
  31. Weir, D. A. & Wilson, J. B. 1987. Micro-pattern in an area of New Zealand alpine vegetation. Vegetatio 73: 81–88.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Kudo
    • 1
  • K. Ito
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental ScienceHakkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

Personalised recommendations