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terrace photo pair
Photo Credits: Fred Dean (1976), Carl Roland (2005)
Ecoregion: Cook Inlet lowlands
Change Type: Unique features
Unique featuresAnimation is available
This intriguing pair of photos provides two glimpses of a meadow on an old river terrace along the north bank of the West Fork of the Chulitna River. What is different? You can see that some trees have grown substantially, others have died, and that overall the patches of trees and shrubs have increased at the expense of the open grassy areas. That is a natural part of succession in the subarctic, as forest gradually takes over more open areas with time, and in the absence of disturbance. There is a mid-size tree in an open area in the middle of the 2005 frame, which is barely visible as a seedling in the early photograph. This photo pair captures the magic of repeat photography and tells you a story available in no other way. Future repeat photographs from this location will help us understand the pace of this change.