Seward Wetland Mapping Project

Chugach National Forest Plant Community Descriptions

From: R.L. DeVelice, C.J. Hubbard, K. Boggs, S. Boudreau, M. Potkin, T. Boucher and C. Wertheim.  1999.  Plant Community Types of the Chugach National Forest: southcentral Alaska.  USDA Forest Service, Chugach National Forest, Alaska Region Technical Publication R10-TP-76.  Anchorage, AK.  375pp. (download 3.5Mb .pdf)

Tsuga heterophylla-Picea sitchensis/Vaccinium ovalifolium

(western hemlock-Sitka spruce/early blueberry)


IA1c. Closed needleleaf forest, Sitka spruce-western hemlock

A western hemlock - Sitka spruce / early blueberry forest in Seward.

Vegetation- Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) and Tsuga heterophylla (western

hemlock) codominate the tree layer. T. mertensiana (mountain hemlock) is

occasionally also present in this type. Vaccinium ovalifolium (early blueberry)

is abundant and clearly the dominant tall shrub. Other common shrubs are

Menziesia ferruginea (rusty menziesia), Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry), and

Echinopanax horridum (devilís club). Low and dwarf shrubs are absent. No

forbs show dominance and occurrence in this type is variable, but the most

consistent herbaceous species are Rubus pedatus (fiveleaf bramble), Cornus

canadensis (bunchberry), Streptopus amplexifolius (twistedstalk), and

Gymnocarpium dryopteris (oak fern).


Physical setting- Western hemlock-Sitka spruce/early blueberry is one of

the most common types in Prince William Sound. It occurs predominantly on

low relief hills. Other landforms for this type include non-disturbed and

dissected mountain side slopes, foot slopes, flood plains, high relief hills,

marine terraces, and gently sloping hills. Sites sampled are on all aspects, on

slopes up to 85 percent, and at elevations generally below 600 feet.

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

03 November 2006 12:13