Bluejoint streamside
Calamagrostis canadensis streamside
n = 18
III.A.2.b. Bluejoint - Herb
Ecosystem: Riparian

Bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis) streamside is well described for Alaska, and occurs on a variety of landscape positions.  DeVelice et.al. (1999) describe an inclusive bluejoint community on Chugach National Forest, as does Boggs (2000).

Bluejoint streamside communities are maintained by chronic disturbance.  On the Kenai lowlands the disturbance is generated by ice activity or frequent flooding along stream margins. This type usually occupies the berm deposited parallel to a stream, following flooding. 

Bluejoint dominates a moderately open to closed stand over a variable and diverse array of forbs.  Jacobís ladder (Polemonium acutifolium), field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) which can be abundant, and arctic starflower (Trientalis europaea) are scattered but common.  Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) and nagoonberry (Rubus arcticus) can also be common.  Pushki (Heracleum maximum) and Barclay's willow (Salix barclayi) are present as scattered individuals at half the sites.  

Organic layers are typically thin, although six sites exhibited mats thicker than the 40 centimeters required for classification as an organic soil (histosol).  The high litter production of bluejoint, coupled with a longer disturbance free interval, or intervals of light disturbance (the organic horizon frequently contains thin lenses of sand or silt, indicating flooding by sluggish water) is probably responsible for the thick organic soils found at those six sites. Soils are more often Aquents- poorly developed, stratified silts, sands and gravels.  

pH at the one site where it was measured was slightly acid (6.4).  Thick organic mats, proximity of the water table, and/or redoximorphic features near the surface all combine to qualify these sites as jurisdictional wetlands.   

Table 1. Frequency of occurrence and hydric status of soil series named at NRCS holes.  Bold type indicates soils on the NRCS Alaska hydric soils list. 

   Soil Series n

Hydric Criteria Number

KILLEY 4 2B3
BELUGA 2 2B3
TLIKAKILA1 2
MOOSE RIVER 1 2B3
SALAMATOF 1 1, 3
SPENARD 1 2B3
STARICHKOF 1 1, 2B2, 3
TRUULI1 1
1Proposed series, definitely hydric.

Table 2.  Summary of plant frequency and average cover for plants occurring in more than 50% of plots.   

        Wetland Indicator Status

 Plant

f  Average Cover   Alaska National
Herbs/Graminoids  
Calamagrostis canadensis   1.0 76.0 FAC FAC, OBL
Polemonium acutiflorum   0.8 2.5 FAC FAC
Equisetum arvense 0.7 22.1 FAC* FAC*, FACW-
Trientalis europaea 0.7 0.8 FAC FAC*, FAC
Chamerion angustifolium   0.7 12.6 FACU FACU, FAC
Rubus arcticus 0.6 2.0 FAC FAC
Moss 0.7 2.1      

 


 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 
PO Box 15301
Fritz Creek, AK  99603
907-235-2218
The Alaska Natural Heritage Program
Environment and Natural Resource Institute
University of Alaska, Anchorage
707 A Street, Suite 101
Anchorage, Alaska  99501

04 May 2007 09:37