Research Mentor(s)

Andy Bach

Affiliated Department

Environmental Studies

Sort Order

35

Start Date

15-5-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2015 2:00 PM

Keywords

Alpine ecosystem, Primary succession, Pacific Northwest, Glacier retreat

Document Type

Event

Abstract

Glacial forelands provide excellent landscapes for studying vegetation succession. A glacial foreland is the distinct area of newly exposed land in front of a glacier terminus that was previously ice covered. With increasing distance from the glacier terminus, surface age of exposure increases, allowing for a spatial representation of temporal change of vegetation and soils (chronosequence). It is within this chronosequence relationship that succession can be studied in a glacial foreland. Patterns of vegetation succession vary among studied forelands around the world; however, there have been few studies documenting vegetation in the glacial forelands in the Cascade Mountain Range of North America. This research will document patterns of vegetation succession in the Easton glacial foreland on Mount Baker, Washington. The Easton glacier has retreated about 1.6 kilometers over the last 100 years due to climate change impacts. We will identify and quantify the patterns in community composition, vegetation cover, richness, and diversity in the Easton foreland. We expect to find community composition, vegetation cover, richness, and diversity to increase as surface age of exposure increases. The results of this research will contribute to the existing knowledge of glacial foreland vegetation and adds a new dimension due to the location of Mount Baker.

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May 15th, 10:00 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

One Hundred Years of Vegetation Succession in the Easton Glacial Foreland, Mount Baker, Washington, USA

Environmental Studies

Glacial forelands provide excellent landscapes for studying vegetation succession. A glacial foreland is the distinct area of newly exposed land in front of a glacier terminus that was previously ice covered. With increasing distance from the glacier terminus, surface age of exposure increases, allowing for a spatial representation of temporal change of vegetation and soils (chronosequence). It is within this chronosequence relationship that succession can be studied in a glacial foreland. Patterns of vegetation succession vary among studied forelands around the world; however, there have been few studies documenting vegetation in the glacial forelands in the Cascade Mountain Range of North America. This research will document patterns of vegetation succession in the Easton glacial foreland on Mount Baker, Washington. The Easton glacier has retreated about 1.6 kilometers over the last 100 years due to climate change impacts. We will identify and quantify the patterns in community composition, vegetation cover, richness, and diversity in the Easton foreland. We expect to find community composition, vegetation cover, richness, and diversity to increase as surface age of exposure increases. The results of this research will contribute to the existing knowledge of glacial foreland vegetation and adds a new dimension due to the location of Mount Baker.

 

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