Eriophorum vaginatum flower counts from annual photographs at the severe, moderate, and unburned Anaktuvuk River, Alaska, USA flux tower sites during peak flowering season (6/17-7/20).
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Flowers were counted from annual photographs of the severe, moderate, and unburned Anaktuvuk River flux tower sites during peak flowering season (6/17-7/20). Details of the flux tower sites can be found in Rocha and Shaver 2011. Photographs were taken with either a tower mounted digital camera that was set to acquire an image per day during the growing season, or from personal photographs of the site in years were the camera malfunctioned. For each photograph, 50 individual tussocks were identified and visual counts of the flowers for each tussock were recorded. Pairwise T-tests were used to determine differences in flowers per tussock among sites in each year.
Fire increased flowers per tussock in all years except for the first post-fire growing season (2008). There were no signs of flowers at the burn sites in 2008. Flowering at the unburned site exhibited interannual variability ranging from ~7 to 21 flowers per tussock with high flowering events in 2008, and 2012. On average, flowers were 3 times more abundant at the burn sites from 2009-2014. Flower abundance also differed among burn sites with the severe burn having ~1.4 to 1.9 times more flowers per tussock than the moderate burn in 2012 and 2013. Flower abundance did not significantly differ between the severe and moderate burn sites in the other years.
Detailed site descriptions are published in
Rocha, A.V. and G.R. Shaver, 2011, Ecological Applications, v21, pg 477 and Rocha, A.V. and G.R. Shaver, 2011, Global Change Biology, v17, pg 2831.
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