A review and assessment of vegetation information for the AOSERP study area

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  • Vegetation literature and maps pertinent to the AOSERP study area are reviewed and summarized. Studies from throughout northern Alberta and Saskatchewan are discussed although emphasis is given to the preliminary vegetation classification described by Stringer (1976) and the vegetation maps prepared by Intera Environmental Consultants Ltd. Stringer’s classification describes principal physiognomic types, appropriate for overview mapping and description, but many of the types include large compositional variation. The vegetation types mapped by Intera are modified from Stringer's classification and, in forested areas at least, convey 1ittle information on vegetation composition other than for trees. A ground survey of vegetation types in the lower Muskeg and MacKay rivers area revealed major variations in the lesser vegetation within most types shown on Intera's maps. In addition, major physiognomic vegetation types were encountered which are not described by Stringer (1976) or included on Intera's map legend. Twenty-one provisional community types are described based on observations and data collected from 39 plots. Three techniques for including minor vegetation information on Intera's maps are discussed. A vegetation study workshop was held on 26 November 1979 to evaluate user needs for more detailed vegetation descriptions and maps and to review the results of the vegetation survey as a step towards meeting these needs. In general, the participants agreed that the maps are useful in their present form and that programs to add minor vegetation information cannot be justified at this time. Several recommendations for other vegetation studies emerged from the workshop.

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