Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD
State: New Hampshire
Forest: White Mountain
Description: This RNA is an outstanding example of an alpine tundra community. The Presidential Range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire has the largest total area of alpine tundra environment in the eastern United States. The RNA supports the richest assemblage of arctic-alpine plants in the region, most of which are rare in the coterminous United States. Scattered areas of krummholz, which are composed of dwarfed and matted black spruce (Picea mariana) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea), are also present. The area contains a former candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act, the Boott’s rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes boottii (DC) Gray). The New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory has determined that the site also contains 7 state endangered plants, 24 state threatened plants, 7 state rare plants, 3 state endangered animals and 2 state rare animals.
Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA : The weather observatory on the summit of Mt. Washington is ¼ mile (0.4 km) west of the RNA, at an elevation of 6262 feet (1909 m).
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) : Average annual precipitation is 84.29 inches (214 cm), which is evenly distributed throughout the year.
Maximum and minimum temperatures : Mean January temperature is 4.9 ºF, and the mean July temperature is 48.2 ºF.
Elevation: The elevation ranges from 4760 feet (1450 m) on the eastern side to 5500 feet (1676 m) at the high point just below the summit of Mt. Washington.
Geology and Soils: The RNA is an old erosion surface composed of lower Devonian mica schists and gneisses of the Littleton formation. On the slope above this plain is an area consisting of large angular boulders up to 3 feet (0.9 m) in diameter. Vegetation is located within interstices of these rocks. No soils are classified; only “rock outcrop.”
Aquatic Features: None
Section: White Mountain (M212A)
Subsection(s): White Mountain (M212Ad)
Landtype Association(s): Mountain Tops/Spruce-Fir
13B, Tundra on Broad Ridgetops and Upper Slopes with Very Bouldery Angular Drift - 98 acres
13C, Softwood Krummholz on Broad Ridgetops and Upper Slopes with Very Bouldery Angular
Drift - 2 acres.
|SAF Cover Types (list acres):||Kuchler Types (list acres):|
12a Black Spruce (2)
Common Shrub Species: Bog-bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum L.), mountain cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.), Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), bearberry willow (Salix uva-ursi ).
Common Herbaceous Species: Bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii), silvery glade-fern (Athyrium thelypteroides), aster (Aster acuminatus), yellow jewelweed (Impatiens pallida), fancy wood-fern (Dryopteris intermedia), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), eastern waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum), wild leek (Allium tricoccum), northern wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella), nettle (Laportea canadensis).
Complete Plant List: Alpine Gardens RNA Plant List
Common Mammal Species: Deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), rock vole (Microtus chrotorrhinus), southern red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi).
Common Bird Species: Black-backed three-toed woodpecker (Picoides sp.), magnolia warbler (Dendroica magnolia), yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), brown tree creeper (Climacteris picumnus), golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa), yellow-rumped warbler (Dendroica coronata), slate-colored junco (Junco sp.), red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), white throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), water pipit (Anthus spinoletta).
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Last Modified: 12/31/2014