Vascular synphenology of plant communities around Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Nunavut, during the growing season of 2015

J. Wagner, D.S. McLennan, and A.K. Pedersen

The study of seasonal events that occur during plant development, like greening out and flowering, is known as phenology. These events are strongly influenced by environmental factors, such as temperature. For this reason, observing these events over longer periods of time years and decades is a good way to keep track of changes in climate. These development events can be observed in individual plant species or across entire plant communities.

Plant development events for individual species have been fairly well investigated in more southern regions but not as much in the Arctic. Studies on entire plant communities have never been performed in the Arctic. During the summer of 2015, from mid-July to the beginning of September, seasonal plant development events were observed every week in some of the most representative plant communities around Cambridge Bay. Leaves and flowers were assessed using 11 keys. Development from first leaf/first flower bud to leaf death/shedding of seed was recorded. Based on this data, charts that overview development of entire plant communities were made. The charts can be used to compare development from year to year.

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