Abstract for C04


Polar & High Montane Scrub, Grassland & Barrens
Broussailles, prairies et milieux dénudés des zones polaire et de haute montagne


Shrubs and herbs with cryomorphic growth forms are dominant, including dwarf-shrub, caulirrosulate (páramo) or associated herbs. Nonvascular lichen and moss growth forms may also be dominant. The vegetation structure has irregular, horizontal spacing, is of low height, often much less than 1 m tall. Mesomorphic trees have <10% cover, and cryomorphic shrubs and herbs have the majority of cover compared to mesomorphic or xeromorphic growth forms. Climates include tropical high montane (alpine to nival) to polar tundra, with stands located above continuous forest line in altitude or latitude, and regular cold and/or freezing temperatures. Substrates are dry to wet, with varying degrees and depths of permafrost or cryic soils. Vegetation includes tundra, alpine, and tropical high montane types, such as páramo and puna, as well as polar barrens on rocky or gravelly soils.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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