Taiga ecosystems in interior Alaska
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Keith Van Cleve; C. Theodore Dyrness; Leslie A. Viereck; John F. Fox; F. Stuart Chapin III; Walter C. Oechel
Publication Year: 1983

Cataloging Information

  • black spruce
  • boreal ecosystems
  • fire
  • forest productivity
  • nutrient dynamics
  • Picea glauca
  • Picea mariana
  • taiga
  • white spruce
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 3, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 5307


A general account of the findings of a joint USDA Forest Service/University of Alaska research project studying taiga ecosystems, especially the black spruce type [see FA 42, 5305; 43, 3427]. Black spruce forests are the most nutrient poor and least productive forest type, with stands of 120-150 yr old having a m.a.i. of approx. 110 g/m2 compared with an av. 460 g/m2 for white spruce, Betula papyrifera, Populus tremuloides and P. balsamifera. Ecosystem differences in productivity and degree of nutrient limitation are controlled mainly by soil and forest-floor temp. Periodic fires affect nutrient cycling as well as largely controlling the vegetation pattern to produce a mosaic of black spruce, white spruce and broadleaves.

Online Link(s):
Van Cleve, Keith; Dyrness, C. Theodore; Viereck, Leslie A.; Fox, John F.; Chapin III, F. Stuart; Oechel, Walter C. 1983. Taiga ecosystems in interior Alaska. Bioscience 33(1): 39-44.