Abstract for F034


Temperate & Boreal Cliff, Scree & Other Rock Vegetation
Végétation rupestre tempérée et boréale de falaises, de pierriers et autres


Temperate & Boreal Cliff, Scree & Other Rock Vegetation is found on rocky habitats (such as cliffs, talus, scree, pavement, cobbles, lava, or large rock outcrops, such as boulderfields) in the temperate and boreal regions around the globe. Stands typically contain a covering of saxicolous foliose and/or crustose lichens growing directly on rock surfaces, and/or sparse covering of vascular plants growing in soil pockets. Vascular and nonvascular plant cover is >1%; vascular plant cover is typically <10%, with irregular horizontal spacing, and is typically exceeded by nonvascular cover, especially lichens, bryophytes, and/or algae. Stable rock surfaces (e.g., outcrops) prevent vascular plant roots from penetrating most of the substrate, and their presence is largely determined by the rock fissures, where minimal soil development and more moisture occurs. On less stable rocky surfaces (e.g., talus), the presence of vascular plants is largely determined by a degree of permanence, and depth to soil under the boulders. The vascular woody growth forms are a mix of evergreen needle-leaved or cold-deciduous broad-leaved trees and shrubs. The low-elevation climates are temperate or boreal (excluding Mediterranean ones), where there are strong daily temperate changes and even greater seasonal variations. These climates, though, are often less determinative than presence of open rock surfaces. Substrates are typically very dry to moist, but occasionally wet, and typically lack soil development of any kind.

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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