Ecological notes on the heath community on Mt. Ebeko, Paramushir Island, northern Kuriles

Okitsu S., Minami Y., Grishin S.

В журнале Memoirs of National Institute of Polar Researches. Special issue

Год: 2001 Выпуск: 54 Страницы: 479-486

Although the northern Kuriles provide ecologically interesting issues on plant communities owing to their phytogeographical position between Hokkaido with its rich flora and Kamchatka with its poor flora, and to repeated volcanism of the islands, ecological studies of the plant communities in this area still remain insufficient. In 1997 we had an opportunity to visit the east slope of Mt. Ebeko, Paramushir Island, northern Kuriles. This paper documents the vertical distribution of the heath community on the east slope of the mountain at altitudes between 30 m to 650 m. Ecological characteristics of the community are discussed with reference to the effects of volcanic activities of the mountain. The dominant plants of the community were dwarf shrubs, forming a treeless heath community that covers the whole east slope. They included Calamagrostis purpurascens, Loiseleuria procumbens, Empetrum nigrum and Arcterica папа, forming a heath community in species composition and physiognomy. The heath community of Mt. Ebeko developed under a highly oceanic climate. Plots at lower altitudes consist of a higher number of species including lots uncommon species appearing only at lower altitudes and more common species, while the plots at higher altitudes consisted of a smaller number of species, with only common species. Such decrease of the number of species per plot toward higher altitude might be due to the effect of repeated volcanic activity of Mt. Ebeko. The treeless dwarf shrub vegetation of Mt. Ebeko resembles the wind exposed dwarf scrubs on Mt. Taisetsu, Hokkaido in dominant species and physiognomy.