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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Saarela, Jeffery M. [1], Gillespie, Lynn J. [1], Consaul, Laurie L. [1], Bull, Roger D. [1].

Botany Under the Midnight Sun: Floristic Discoveries on Victoria Island (Nunavut) in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Botanical exploration of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) has been ongoing since the early 1800s, yet substantial gaps remain in the floristic understanding of this large and difficult-to-access region. The recent Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago recognized 349 vascular plant species on these islands, with 234 species reported for Victoria Island (VI), the largest island in the western Arctic. In July 2008 we conducted comprehensive floristic inventories across southwestern VI, a region that has received very little botanical exploration. We collected over 1,100 numbers, substantially increasing knowledge of the floras of Victoria Island, the western Arctic Archipelago, the Canadian Arctic, and Canada. So far, we have identified two species new to Canada (Papaver hultenii; Potentilla subgorodkovii), one species (Andromeda polifolia) new to the flora of the CAA, several species new to the western Arctic islands (e.g., Salix arctophila, Koenigia islandica), and some 29 species new to the flora of VI. One exciting find was Corallorhiza trifida, representing the first report for this orchid species in the western Arctic Archipelago and the second report for the species for the entire CAA. We report the first collection for the western CAA of Pinguicula vulgaris, the only insectivorous plant in the CAA, previously known from only two localities on Baffin Island. Three species of Puccinellia are newly recorded for Victoria Island, including the recently described P. banksiensis from nearby Banks Island. Multiple collections represent significant records for VI and substantial range extensions for some species, including Symphyotrichum pygmaeum, Phippsia algida and Poa abbreviata.

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1 - Canadian Musuem of Nature, Research Division, P.O. Box 3443, Station D, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6P4, Canada


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 72
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: 72006
Abstract ID:248