Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Sokoloff, Paul [1], Gillespie, Lynn [1], Levin, Geoffrey [1], McMullin, Troy [1].

A collections-based flora of Agguttinni Territorial Park, Nunavut, Canada.

Agguttinni Territorial Park, northwest of Kanngiqtugaapik (Clyde River), on the northeast coast of Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island), Canada, is Nunavut’s newest and largest territorial park. Extending from the Barnes Ice Cap near the centre of the island to several deep fiords along the coast of Baffin Bay, this protected area includes a wide diversity of mid-Arctic plant habitats. At the request of Nunavut Parks and Special Places, and in collaboration with Polar Knowledge Canada, three botanists from the Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa, Canada) and two wildlife monitors from Kanngiqtugaapik embarked on a five-week baseline survey of the vascular plant and lichen diversity of this new park.
This trip, which combined work from four basecamps and helicopter-supported day trips, resulted in 1024 new botanical collections, including 829 vascular plants, 156 lichens, 21 bryophytes, and 2 macroalgae. These specimens are currently being processed into the National Herbarium of Canada (CAN) at the Canadian Museum of Nature, and a comprehensive set of duplicate specimens will be returned to Nunavut Parks. We have identified 142 vascular plant taxa, including several taxa newly collected from the island, and range extensions for numerous taxa. While examination of all cryptogamic taxa is still underway, we have determined several lichen species widespread throughout the park.
Throughout Agguttinni we encountered a common tundra community dominated by few species that preferentially grow on stable granitic rocks (including Luzula confusa, Cassiope tetragona, and Cladonia spp.). Inland at the base of the Barnes Ice Cap, plant cover was much reduced, and lichens were virtually absent, indicating that these areas were relatively-recently uncovered by ice. The heads of fiords hosted the highest levels of species diversity within the park and provided sheltered areas hosting shrubby thickets of Salix richardsonii, and numerous taxa not found elsewhere in Agguttinni.
Here we will present the results of this collaborative floristic survey, which, when coupled with previously collected historical specimens (such as those made by the 1950 Baird Expedition and the 2017 Canada C3 Expedition), will be used to develop a baseline of the species and floristic communities present in this mid-Arctic protected area, informing park management and interpretation. We will also discuss how we are planning to build on this work to create a comprehensive collections-based floristic checklist for the broader northeastern coast of Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island).

1 - Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of Nature, 1740 Ch. Pink, Gatineau, Qu├ębec, J9J 3N7, Canada


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: F&T I012
Abstract ID:413
Candidate for Awards:None

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