Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Vegetation Communities of Mount Rainier National Park Lou Whiteaker, Plant Ecologist.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Vegetation Communities of Mount Rainier National Park Lou Whiteaker, Plant Ecologist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vegetation Communities of Mount Rainier National Park Lou Whiteaker, Plant Ecologist

2 Overview of Topics Distribution of Vegetation Types Distribution of Vegetation Types Factors Influencing Vegetation Factors Influencing Vegetation Overview of Long-term Monitoring Projects Overview of Long-term Monitoring Projects Management Issues Management Issues

3

4 Vascular Plant Diversity Source: NP Species 2008

5 Factors Influencing Vegetation Climate – temperature, precipitation Climate – temperature, precipitation Topography – aspect, slope, elevation Topography – aspect, slope, elevation Soils- type, age Soils- type, age Natural disturbance regimes Natural disturbance regimes Human use Human use

6 Forests Park boundary (1880’) to ~ 5400 to 6400’ elevation Park boundary (1880’) to ~ 5400 to 6400’ elevation Forest stand ages – 100 to > 1,000 years Forest stand ages – 100 to > 1,000 years Most stand> 350 years old Most stand> 350 years old 350 yr. and 100 yr are the most numerous 350 yr. and 100 yr are the most numerous Hemstrom, M.A. and J.F. Franklin Fire and Other Disturbances of the Forests in Mount Rainier National Park. Quarternary Research 18:32- 51

7 Forest Types Low-elevation – Western hemlock/Douglas Fir Tsuga heterophylla/Pseudotsuga menziesii Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) is a common component Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) is found in Carbon River drainage understory species skunk cabbage, Devil’s club, salal, Oregon grape nonvascular spp are an important component

8 Forest Types Pacific Silver Fir(Abies amablis) Noble fir (Abies procera) Noble fir (Abies procera) Alaska yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) Alaska yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) Western white pine (Pinus monticola) Western white pine (Pinus monticola) Mid-elevation Forests

9 Forest Types Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) Mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) Mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) High-elevation Forests

10 Stages of Forest Development Stand InitiationStem Exclusion Understory Reinitiation Old-growth

11 Forest Disturbances  Fire** 90%  Snow avalanches 7%  Lahars 2%  Insects  wind Natural fire rotation – 434 yr. All but 2 major fires since 1300 A.D. correspond with major droughts 1230 – 47% of the park forests burned

12 Forests Insects & Diseases Introduced pests: balsam woolly adelgid, white pine blister rust Introduced pests: balsam woolly adelgid, white pine blister rust Native pests: Mountain pine beetle, Western balsam bark beetle, Douglas-fir beetle, fir engraver Native pests: Mountain pine beetle, Western balsam bark beetle, Douglas-fir beetle, fir engraver Frequency and severity may change with climate change Frequency and severity may change with climate change

13 Subalpine Parkland  Extends from forest line to treeline  Mosaic of tree clumps & subalpine meadows

14 Subalpine Parklands Snowpack determines location & plant communities Snowpack determines location & plant communities Fire is important at forest line Fire is important at forest line

15 Alpine Zone Lower limit is treeline – upright trees Lower limit is treeline – upright trees Upper limit – permanent snow and ice Upper limit – permanent snow and ice Krummholz on Ptarmigan Ridge

16 High-elevation Vegetation Factors Influencing Vegetation Type & Distribution  Annual temperature mean annual growing season 5-7 o C  Snow pack – duration & depth = veg type & height  Length of growing season Growth Form  Type of growth – perennial  Growth forms  Rapid development in short growing season

17 Subalpine Vegetation Topography – influences snowmelt patterns (black body effect) Topography – influences snowmelt patterns (black body effect) Vegetative growth – tree layering, height above snowpack Vegetative growth – tree layering, height above snowpack Phenology, pollination Phenology, pollination Early season – very sensitive to trampling Early season – very sensitive to trampling

18 Alpine Vegetation Topography & micropotography Topography & micropotography Soil development & movement (solifluction, sorted stripes, patterned ground, soil accretion) Soil development & movement (solifluction, sorted stripes, patterned ground, soil accretion) Seed availability Seed availability Snow cover Snow cover Needle ice Needle ice Abies lasiocarpa seed

19 Subalpine Communities Lush Herbaceous Lush Herbaceous Green Fescue – lupine Green Fescue – lupine Heath-shrub Heath-shrub Low herbaceous Low herbaceous Wet sedge Wet sedge

20 Alpine Communities Heather Heather Fellfield Fellfield Talus Talus Snowbed Snowbed

21 fellfield Alpine Communities snowbed talus

22 Heather Communities  Development  Heather - up to 7,000 years old  Stem ages  High genotypic diversity

23 Issues

24 Meadow Restoration:Before

25 Meadow Restoration: After

26 Cutting and Seed Collection Volunteer Groups Steps in Restoration: Seed Collection

27 Greenhouse Propagation

28 Invasive Plant Control Program Components Research/Surveys/Demographic Studies Priority Setting Prevention Control/Treatment Effectiveness Monitoring/Evaluation Collaboration

29 Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)

30 Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

31 St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

32 Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)

33 Pinus albicaulis, whitebark pine five-needle white pine member of Pinus subsection Cembrae or Stone pines long-lived tree – up to 700 years, cones produced after 100 years large, wingless seeds, indehiscent cones

34 Distribution & Habitat high-elevation species Rocky Mountains west to Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada dry, often wind-swept sites early successional species

35 Seed Dispersal of Whitebark Pine Clark’s Nutcracker removes seeds with beak from cone carries up to 150 seeds in sublingual pouch caches seeds up to km and 500m in elevation from tree can retrieve seeds 9 months later

36 Status of Whitebark Pine widespread mortality Eurasian fungus, Blister Rust (Cronartium ribicola) fire exclusion Mountain Pine beetles

37 Blister Rust, Cronartium ribicola introduced to west ~ 1910 Ribes sp. alternate host low levels of resistance in Pinus albicaulis populations widespread control programs 1920s to 1960s

38 Blister Rust, Cronartium ribicola aeciospore urediniospores Wind blown, up to 500 km Ribes sp. teliospores basidiospores Fall

39 Signs of Blister Rust, Dead top of whitebark pine Chlorotic needles, flagging

40 Climate Change

41 1929

42 1992

43 1929

44 1992

45 1950

46 1992

47 Paradise Valley

48

49

50 Questions??


Download ppt "Vegetation Communities of Mount Rainier National Park Lou Whiteaker, Plant Ecologist."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google