A phytosociological classification of the Avalon Peninsula heath, Newfoundland

Meades, William J. (William James) (1973) A phytosociological classification of the Avalon Peninsula heath, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Using depth of humus, structural physiognomy of the vegetation and the occurrence of sociological species groups as criteria, the Avalon Peninsiala heathlands have been classified into three morphological types: -- 1. ROCK BARRENS -- 2. HARD GROUND HEATH -- 3. SOFT GROUND HEATH -- The vegetation of each of these morphological types is classified using the methods of the Zurich Montpellier School of Phytosociology. Rock Barrens are represented by the association Diapensio - Arctostaphyletum alpinae. Hard Ground Heath has two naturally occurring associations (Empetro - Rhacomitrietum lanuginosae; Empetro - Potentilletum tridentatae) and two anthropogenic associations (Luzulo - Polytrichetum commune; Luzulo - Empetretum nigrae). The Soft Ground type is represented by three dry heath associations (Kalmietum angustifoliae; Kalmio - Alnetum crispae; Abietetum balsameae hudsoniae) and three wet heath associations (Kalmio - myricetum gale; Kalmie - Sphagnetum nemori; Piceetum marianae semiprostratae). -- Ecological investigations on a heath slope revealed the presence of a soil-vegetation catena. The upper slope is characterized by Rock Barrens and Hard Ground Heath whereas the lower slope is characterized by Soft Ground Heath. Temperature recordings taken between March and July showed a correlation between the date of substrate thaw and the vegetation cover. -- The Avalon Peninsula is divided into the following four ecoregions based on the distribution of described associations and other floristic, ecological and morphological characteristics: -- 1. AJLPINE HEATH -- 2. SUBARCTIC HEATH -- 3. BOREAL HEATH -- 4. BOREAL FOREST -- Floristic comparisons revealed that the Avalon heath has its closest floristic relationship with the Boreal-Atlantic Region in northwest Europe. The association Kalmio - Sphagnetum nemori is related to the class Oxycocco - Sphagnetea in existing hierarchical vegetation classification. However, endemism in the vascular flora between North America and Europe made it impossible to relate the remaining Avalon heath associations to the existing European classification. The heath associations are structured into a tentative hierarchical classification of the northeastern North American heath.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7215
Item ID: 7215
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 216-223.
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 1973
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Botany--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula; Plant communities

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