The map encloses an area near the center of the Upper Kaparuk River region map and contains surfaces with irregular topography that were glaciated during the Late Pleistocene. The map portrays the physiognomy of the dominant plant communities in each mapped polygon. Fifty-one landcover types were recognized in the field (minimum mapping unit approximately 250 m^2). These were later grouped into the 14 physiognomic vegetation units on the map, which correspond to the same units on the 1:63,360-scale map of the upper Kuparuk River region.
1. Barren, Unvegetated. Unvegetated natural and anthropogenic barrens.
2. Lichens on rocks, Lichen communities on rocks, including Cetraria nigricans-Rhizocarpon geographicum. Xeric blockfields, glacial erratics.
3. Partially vegetated barrens and revegetated disturbed areas, Revegetated gravel pads (e.g., Festuca rubra or Salix alaxensis). Partially vegetated disturbed barrens on gravel pads, abandoned roads, bulldozed areas.
MOIST GRAMINOID TUNDRA:
4. Tussock sedge, dwarf-shrub, moss tundra. Moist acidic tussock tundra complexes dominated by graminoids. Dominant plant communities include: Eriophorum vaginatum-Sphagnum and Carex bigelowii-Sphagnum. Mesic to subhygric, acidic, shallow to moderate snow. Stable slopes. Some areas on steeper slopes with solifluction are dominated by Bigelow sedge (Carex bigelowii).
5. Nontussock sedge, dwarf-shrub, moss tundra. Moist nonacidic tundra complexes. Dominant plant communities include: Carex bigelowii-Dryas integrifolia and other subtypes of this unit (e.g., Salix glauca, Equisetum arvense and Cassiope tetragona). Includes some miscellaneous graminoid communities mostly on disturbed areas, such as Deschampsia caespitosa; Rumex arcticus-Carex saxatilis; Salix chamissonis-Carex aquatilis; Ranunculus pedatifidus-Poa glauca. Mesic to subhygric, circumneutral, shallow to moderate snow. Solifluction areas and somewhat unstable slopes, mainly on Itkillik II glacial surfaces. Some south-facing slopes have scattered glaucous willow (Salix glauca). Also includes some miscellaneous graminoid-dominated sites: deep-snow stream margins, landslides, some rocky drained lake basins and animal dens.
WET GRAMINOID TUNDRA
6. Poor fens: Sedge, moss tundra, Nutrient-poor fen wetland complexes. Dominant plant communities include: Lower microsites: Eriophorum scheuchzeri-Carex rotundata. Raised microsites: Sphagnum lenense-Salix fuscescens. Subhydric to hydric, acidic (pH < 4.5). Wet meadows, poor fens in colluvial basins.
7. Fens: Sedge, moss tundra, Nutrient-rich fen wetland complexes. Dominant plant communities include: Lower microsites: Carex aquatilis-Carex chordorrhiza; Eriophorum angustifolium-Carex aquatilis, Carex aquatilis-Scorpidium scorpioides. Raised microsites: Trichophorum caespitosum-Tomentypnum nitens and Carex bigelowii-Dryas integrifolia. Includes a few other miscellaneous wetland types. Subhydric to hydric, minerotrophic (pH > 4.5). Water tracks, stream margins, fens, flarks on solifluction slopes.
8. Water and herbaceous marsh, Unvegetated water; graminoid marsh Arctophila fulva and Sparganium hyperboreus-Hippuris vulgaris. Lakes, ponds and streams; aquatic vegetation in some protected sites.
9. Acidic dry tundra: Prostrate dwarf-shrub, fruticose-lichen tundra. Dominant plant communities include Dryas octopetala-Selaginella sibirica; Arctous alpina-Hierochlo alpina, typical subtype, Salix phlebophylla subtype or Vaccinium vitis-idaea subtype. Xeric to xeromesic, acidic, shallow snow. Exposed sites on glacial till, outwash, ridge tops, exposed slopes, dry river terraces.
10. Dry nonacidic tundra: Prostrate dwarf-shrub, sedge, forb, fruticose-lichen tundra. Dominant plant communities include Dryas integrifolia-Oxytropis nigrescens, Dryas integrifolia-O. maydelliana, Dryas integrifolia-Astragalus umbellatus, Dryas integrifolia-Dicranum elongatum and undifferentiated Dryas communities. Xeromesic to mesic, nonacidic with shallow snow cover. Exposed sites on dry river terraces, recent alluvium; dry microsites in nonsorted-stripe complexes. Dominated by Dryas integrifolia.
11. Hemi-prostrate and prostrate dwarf-shrub, forb, moss, fruticose-lichen tundra. Snowbed communities dominated by either Cassiope tetragona or Salix rotundifolia. These communities are not differentiated at this scale, but include Cassiope tetragona-Carex microchaeta (acidic sites); Cassiope tetragona-Dryas integrifolia (nonacidic sites); Salix rotundifolia-Sanionia uncinata (deep snowbeds). Includes all snowbed types. Hemi-prostrate dwarf-shrub, fruticose-lichen tundra. Dry or moist shrublands with very low-growing or creeping dwarf-shrubs. Dominant plant communities include Betula nana-Hierochlo alpina; Salix pulchra-Hierochlo alpina; and those dominated by Ledum palustre ssp. decumbens, Empetrum nigrum or Vaccinium uliginosum. Subxeric to mesic, acidic, with shallow snow. Shallow depressions on dry glacial till or outwash.
12. Dwarf-shrub or low-shrub, sedge, moss tundra Moist acidic tundra complexes dominated by shrubs, including shrubby tussock tundra. Dominant plant communities include Betula nana-Eriophorum vaginatum and Salix pulchra-Carex bigelowii. Also dwarf-shrub tundra dominated by dwarf birch or willows. Dominant plant communities include Betula nana-Rubus chamaemorus and Salix pulchra-Sphagnum. Mesic to subhygric, moderate snow. Lower slopes and upland water-track margins, often with solifluction. Or palsas and high-centered polygons.
LOW AND TALL SHRUBLANDS
13. A wide variety of low to tall shrublands. Dominant plant communities include those growing in upland water tracks such as Salix pulchra-Eriophorum angustifolium and Eriophorum angustifolium-Sphagnum squarrosum; those growing along streams such as Salix pulchra-Dasiphora fruticosa and other low and tall shrublands; upland shrublands dominated by Salix glauca and/or Alnus crispa or Populus balsamifera and shrublands on river gravels dominated by feltleaf willow (S. alaxensis) or lanate willow (S. richardsonii). Low shrubs in upland water tracks, streamsides and south facing slopes, mesic to subhydric, often with deep snow.