UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Classification of high-elevation, non-forested plant communities in coastal British Columbia. Full report. Brett, Bob; Klinka, Karel; Qian, H.; Chourmouzis, Christine


This report expands and clarifies previous classifications of non-forested plant communities from upper subalpine and alpine locations in coastal British Columbia. A total of 80 plots (releves) sampled specifically for this study were added to 202 releves from published and unpublished studies conducted since 1963. We used tabular and multivariate methods to synthesize and classify plant communities according to the Braun-Blanquet approach. Plant communities were classified into 37 vegetation units (associations or subassociations) which served as the basis of the resulting hierarchical classification. We describe the habitat and species composition of these vegetation units and their relationship to units recogized elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. We then present eight generalized habitat types which we propose as the basic units for future ecosystem mapping. Each of these habitat types includes a predictable mosaic of vegetation units whose pattern occurs at too fine a scale to map individually.

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