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 mertensiana/Alnus crispa ssp. sinuata

(mountain hemlock/Sitka alder)


IA1f.-1A2c. Closed and open needleleaf forest, mountain hemlock

A mountain hemlock / Sitka alder stand near the Snow River valley.

Vegetation- Tsuga mertensiana (mountain hemlock) is the dominant and

often only tree species in this type. T. heterophylla (western hemlock) or

Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) may be well represented on some sites. Alnus

crispa ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder) is abundant and the indicator species for

this type. Other tall shrubs that may be common include Menziesia

ferruginea (rusty menziesia), Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry), Echinopanax

horridum (devilís club), and Cladothamnus pyroliflorus (copperbush), although

consistency and cover varies greatly for these species on individual sites.

Although occasionally present, low and dwarf shrubs do not provide any

indicator value in this type. Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint reedgrass)

is the most consistent graminoid, and Gymnocarpium dryopteris (oak fern)

the most consistent fern. There is little other consistency or dominance in

undergrowth composition within this type.

Physical setting- Mountain hemlock/Sitka alder is a minor type on the

Chugach National Forest. It occurs on low relief hills and dissected

mountain side slopes. Sites sampled are on all aspects, on slopes from 25 to

80 percent, and at elevations to 1450 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