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Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve Tundra

There are three types of tundra within Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, moist, wet, and alpine. Moist tundra is found along the Bristol Bay coastline, between Port Heiden and the mouth of the Cinder River, and on the lands drained by the Meshik and Cinder rivers. These tundra meadows are dominated by sedges and scattered willows and birches. There is what appears to be a balsam-poplar patch in the Cinder River drainage just north of the volcano. Polygon patterns, possibly from permafrost during an early cold age, mark the moist tundra in portions of the Meshik drainage.

Wet tundra is present on the west side of the unit surrounding the mouth of the Cinder River. Ponds and lakes dot the area. Sedges and grasses are the predominant species. Other species identified include crowberry, lousewort, avens, milk vetch, moss campion, heaths, and willow herbs, with some dwarf birch and willow.

Alpine tundra covers the surrounding slopes of the Alaska Range with predominant species including avens, low heath shrubs, prostrate willows, and dwarf herbs. Willows grow along the banks of the Aniakchak River below its junction with Hidden Creek. Polygons mark the flats round the Aniakchak at lower elevations. The moist tundra and alpine tundra in the area is susceptible to long-term damage from human use.

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