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Teklanika River photo pair
Photo Credits: Fred Dean (1976), Carl Roland (2005)
Ecoregion: Alaska Range Mountains
Change Type: Increasing vegetation on river bars
Increasing vegetation on river barsAnimation is available
These photos show a stretch of the Teklanika R. below the Rest Stop on the Park Road, looking south at the confluence with Big Creek - the zigzag drainage coming in from the top right (NW) of the photos. The most noteworthy change visible in this pair of photos is the conspicuous development of tree and shrub vegetation (composed of willows and young poplar trees) on gravel bars of both the Teklanika R. and Big Cr. Large areas that were open gavels in 1976 had begun supporting stands of large shrubs and young trees by 2005. This reflects the process of floodplain succession in which the river deposits large volumes of glacially-derived sand and gravel, which is then colonized by a host of different plant communities, starting with scattered herbs and grasses and proceeding through a shrub stage to forests of poplar and white spruce.