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  • Ogotoruk Creek Botanical Investigations Cape Thompson, Alaska

    Viereck, L.A.; Johnson, R.E.; Melchior, H.R. (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska, 1960-12)
    Botanical investigations of the Cape Thompson - Ogotoruk Creek region of northwest Alaska were initiated in May, 1959 by the University of Alaska under contract with the United States Atomic Energy Commission (Contract No. AT (04 -3 ) - 310). The first summer's field work was largely exploratory and descriptive in nature and included a species inventory of the vascular plants, mosses, and lichens; a qualitative description of the main vegetation types in Ogotoruk Valley; and a preliminary mapping of the vegetation types within the valley. The results of the first summer's field work and winter visits have been partially reported in two reports: Ogotoruk Valley Botanical Project, December, 1959 Report, and the Phase II Interim Pinal Report, Ogotoruk Valley Botanical Project, June, 1960. For brevity, these will be referred to as the December, 1959 Botanical Report, and the June, 1960 Botanical Report. Materials reported in these earlier reports will not be repeated in this December, 1960 report. Botanical investigations were continued during the summer and fall of 1960. The objectives of the 1960 field season were as follows: 1. To measure the frequency, cover, and synthetic features of the main vegetation types in Ogotoruk Valley. 2. To establish control vegetation plots in areas outside the potential blast and fallout area and to extend our understanding of the vegetation of the northwestern Alaska Coast. 3. To complete records of species occurrence in the area by continuing plant collections and identifications. 4. To revise and complete the vegetation map of the area. 5. To continue seed germination studies on certain species. 6. To commence palynological studies of bog and lacustrine sediments. 7. To initiate studies on some of the ecological problems in the Ogotoruk Valley area. a. to understand the relationship between permafrost, annual freezing-thawing cycles, and plant distribution. b. to understand the inter-relationships of the activities of the arctic ground squirrel and vegetation in the valley. Preliminary results of the 1960 field work and additional information from the 1959 season are included in this report.