Wetland Classification and Mapping of the Kenai Lowland, Alaska


Map Unit Descriptions


Ecosystem: Discharge Slope


White Spruce Complexes:  SGM; SMG; SGA; SGS; SAG



SGM: 4 wetland polygons; 83.5 ha; 0.06% of wetland area; 0.02% of wetland polygons.

SGA: 3 wetland polygons; 64.3 ha; 0.05% of wetland area; 0.02% of wetland polygons.

SMG: 4 wetland polygons; 26.4 ha; 0.02% of wetland area; 0.02% of wetland polygons.

SGS: 3 wetland polygons; 12.7 ha; 0.01% of wetland area; 0.02% of wetland polygons.

SAG: 1 wetland polygon; 3.8 ha; 0.00% of wetland area; 0.01% of wetland polygons.

The single SAG wetland, adjacent to a small relict glacial lakebed complex near the City of Kenai (polygon 8432).

Wetland Indicators

Type: Mineral Soil

Average depth to water table:

SG: n/a

SA: 25.2 cm; n=5

SM: 39.7 cm; n=7

SS: 31.1 cm; n=13

Organic layer thickness:

SG: 5.0 cm ; n=1

SA: 105.3 cm; n=6

SM: 48.0 cm; n=6

SS: 44.5 cm; n=14

Average depth to redoximorphic features:

SG: n/a

SA: 30.8 cm; n=4

SM: n/a

SS: 26.1 cm; n=7

Common Soils:





Common Plant communities:

SG component:

White spruce communities are undefined.  White spruce occasionally replaces Lutz spruce in the following community:

Lutz spruce / Barclay's willow / Bluejoint

SM component:

Black spruce / Woodland horsetail - Labrador tea

(Black spruce / Barclay's willow / Field horsetail)

Black spruce / Crowberry - Lingonberry

Black spruce / Labrador tea

Black spruce / Field horsetail - Dwarf birch


SA component:

Thinleaf alder / Bluejoint

Sitka alder / Field horsetail

Sitka alder / Marsh horsetail

Sitka alder / Shieldfern

SC component:

Bluejoint - Field horsetail

Bluejoint streamside

Barclay's willow / Rich

Accuracy assessment: Only a single polygon interpreted as SGM on aerial photographs was field checked.  It was revised to WU.


White spruce discharge slopes are uncommon wetlands.  White spruce is listed as a facultative upland plant on Alaska's wetland indicator status list, although it occasionally occurs in wetlands ('Facultative Upland' status allows for a 1-33% chance of occurrence in wetlands).  White spruce is more common north of Clam Gulch away from the coast, and in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, outside the project area.  There, discharge slopes tend to be narrow, with a quick transition from the wetland below to the upland above.

Many of these wetlands occupy narrow slopes above a large lakebed complex located between Kalifonsky Beach Road and the Sterling Highway near Kasilof.  White spruce mixing with black spruce (Picea mariana) is the most common complex (SMG or SGM), and a few of these also occur at the edge of the interlobate moraine, between Soldotna and Sterling.  A single thinleaf alder (Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia) / white spruce complex lies along the slope of a smaller lakebed complex near the City of Kenai.


Do I Need a Permit?

 Introduction and Key to Plant Communities  

Introduction and Key to Ecosystems

    Kenai Hydric Soils    Map Unit Summary    Methods    Glossary



Contact: Mike Gracz
Kenai Watershed Forum 
Homer Field Office
Old Town Professional Center
3430 Main Street Suite B1
Homer, AK  99603

15 November 2005 15:04