Revegetation of an Arctic disturbed site by native tundra species.

Published online
01 Jan 1981
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Chapin, F. S., III & Chapin, M. C.

Publication language
USA & Alaska


Succession on an organic tundra soil in interior Alaska was monitored for 10 growing seasons following removal of vegetation. Exotic grasses (reed canarygrass, Poa pratensis, perennial ryegrass, red fescue, timothy and meadow foxtail) sown following disturbance became established in the 1st growing season, decreased in density after 3 yr, and were virtually eliminated after 5 yr. Fertilization did not affect initial density or long-term survival of exotic spp. but did increase shoot density of native spp. 3 yr following disturbance. Native sedges established on the disturbed site in 5-10 yr, producing an above-ground biomass equal to that in undisturbed tundra. A procedure is outlined whereby the growth and reproduction of Eriophorum vaginatum can be manipulated by fertilization to revegetate disturbances using plants in adjacent undisturbed tundra (rather than harvested seed) as the seed source.

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