Abstract for F028


Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Prairies et arbustaies de la zone boréale


Boreal Grassland, Meadow & Shrubland is dominated by mesomorphic perennial grasses, forbs and shrubs, and is found in the northern mid-latitude (boreal) regions of North America and Eurasia. It is associated with cold semi-arid to moist climates, with extended cold winters and short mild summers, and geographically occurs mixed with boreal forests and wetlands. The climate generally favors establishment of forest vegetation; thus, the absence of forest vegetation is a result of local conditions related to water regime, soil parameters or disturbance regimes. The present assemblages of plants and animals date to after the Pleistocene, following glaciation, when modern climates were established. Wildfires and grazing also play a role in some of these grasslands.

Along with the mesomorphic perennial grasses, shrubs, and forbs, mosses and lichens can also play an important role. Boreal tree growth forms are not major components of the vegetation, except as a scattered layer (typically <10%). In disturbance situations, Boreal Grassland, Meadow & Shrubland can grade to Boreal Forest & Woodland and may not be clearly separated from it floristically.

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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