Ecology of a Polar Oasis
Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada

Josef Svoboda, Bill Freedman   (Eds.)

Captus University Publications, ISBN 978-1-895712-26-1 (1994)
286 pages, 650 g, 8.5 X 11, $39.00 (US$31.25)
 

This book describes the environmental conditions and ecological communities of a high arctic oasis, situated in a coastal lowland on central Ellesmere Island at 79 degrees N latitude. Because most of the High Arctic is an ecologically-barren polar desert, the few oasis that exist provide critically important habitats for the wild life of this generally unproductive and climatically stressed biome. The Alexandra Fiord lowland was the subject of an integrated, multi-year team study by Canadian researchers. This book is a compendium of the results of the individual research projects that deal with climatology, geology, soils, plant and animal communities, and the special ecological relationships of some of the key species of plants that dominate the oasis. Also contained is a broader synthesis of the ecological structure and function of the Alexandra Fiord oasis. This book is an excellent resource and reference for anyone interested in terrestrial polar ecosystems.

Table of Contents   top

  • Alexandra Fiord -- An Ecological Oasis in the Polar Desert (B. Freedman, J. Svoboda and G.H.R. Henry)
  • I. The Environment

  • Geology of the Alexandra Fiord Lowland Area, Ellesmere Island, N.W.T. (V.Z. Sterenberg and W.E. Stone)
  • Meteorology and Climatology of the Alexandra Fiord Lowland (C. Labine)
  • Soils of an Extensively Vegetated Polar Desert Oasis, Alexander Fiord, Ellesmere Island (M. Muc, J. Svoboda and B. Freedman)
  • II. Community and Production Ecology

  • Vascular Plant Communities of a Polar Oasis at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (M. Muc, B. Freedman and J. Svoboda)
  • Aboveground Standing Crop in Plant Communities of a Polar Desert Oasis, Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (M. Muc, J. Svoboda and B. Freedman)
  • Ecology of Heath Communities Dominated by Cassiope Tetragona at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (M.L.N. Nams and B. Freedman)
  • Standing Crop and Net Production of Non-grazed Sedge Meadows of a Polar Desert Oasis, Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (G.H.R. Henry, J. Svoboda and B. Freedman)
  • Plant Communities on the Uplands in the Vicinity of the Alexandra Fiord Lowland (D.S. Batten and J. Svoboda)
  • III. Autecology And Experimental Studies

  • Resource Allocation in High-arctic Vascular Plants of Differing Growth Form (O. Maessen, B. Freedman, M.L.N. Nams and J. Svoboda)
  • Biomass Allocation in Ten Saxifraga Species in the High Arctic (J. Stewart and B. Freedman)
  • Phenology and Resource Allocation in a High-Arctic Evergreen Dward Shrub, Cassiope Tetragona (M.L.N. Nams and B. Freedman)
  • Autecology of Dryas Integrifolia in Alexandra Fiord Lowland Habitats (T. Hart and J. Svoboda)
  • Effects of Habitat on Variations of Phenology and Nutrient Concentration Among Four Common Plant Species of the Alexandra Fiord Lowland (E.J. Woodley and J. Svoboda)
  • The Mycorrhizal Status of Plants at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada, a High-Arctic Site (G.H.R. Henry, B. Freedman and J. Svoboda)
  • Effects of Fertilization on Three Tundra Plant Communities of Polar Desert Oasis (G.H.R. Henry, B.Freedman and J. Svoboda)
  • Comparisons of Grazed and Non-grazed High-Arctic Sedge Meadows (G.H.R. Henry and J. Svoboda)
  • Seed Banks and Seeding Occurrence in a High-Arctic Oasis at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada (B. Freedman, N. Hill, J. Svoboda and G.H.R. Henry)
  • Dinitrogen Fixation (Acetylene Reduction) in High-Arctic Sedge Meadows (G.H.R. Henry and J. Svoboda)
  • Microecosystem Around a Large Erratic Boulder: A High-Arctic Study (D. Elliot and J. Svoboda)
  • Entombed Plant Communities Released by a Retreating Glacier at Alexandra Fiord (B.M. Bergsma, J. Svoboda and B. Freedman)
  • IV. Fauna

  • Populations and Productivity of Breeding Birds at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (B. Freedman)
  • Habitat Selection and Biogeography of Springtails (Collembola) from Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island (A. Fjellberg)
  • The Influence of Parasitism on the Life History of a High Arctic Insect, Gynaephora Groenlandica (Lepidoptera: Lymantridae) (O. Kukal and P.G. Kevan)
  • Vegetated Areas and Muskos Populations in East-Central Ellesmere Island (G.H.R. Henry, B. Freedman and J. Svoboda)
  • V. Appendices

    • List of Lichens of Alexandra Fiord (W. Maass and M.L.N. Nams)
    • List of Bryophytes of Alexandra Fiord (W. Maas, B. Hoisington and M.L.N. Nams)
    • Vascular Plants at Alexandra Fiord (P. Ball and N. Hill)
    • A Partial List of Terrestrial Arthropods from the Alexandra Fiord Lowland (O. Kukal)
    • Birds of Alexandra Fiord and Vicinity (B. Freedman)
    • Mamals of Alexandra Fiord and Vicinity (B. Freedman)

    VI Index & Authors' Addresses

    • Index
    • List of Contributors' Addresses

    VII Annex

    • Why This Annex
    • Reflexions
    • Watercolors
    • Poems

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    About the Author   top

    Josef Svoboda is a Professor in the Department of Botany at Erindale Campus at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada. Dr. Svoboda is a well-recognized specialist in arctic plant ecology, and has written widely and spoken to audiences throughout the world on this topic. He is also a co-editor of Arctic Ecosystems in a Changing Climate. An ecophysiological Perspective, published by Academic Press in 1992.

    Bill Freedman is a Professor in the Department of Biology and School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. Dr. Freedman has engaged in a variety of studies in stress ecology, including research in the arctic, and studies of the ecological effects of acidification, metals, toxic gases, pesticides, and forest harvesting and management. He is the author of Environmental Ecology, published by Academic Press in 1989.