|Fewflower sedge - Dwarf birch|
|Carex pauciflora Betula nana|
|n = 14|
I.C.2.d./A.3.f/j Shrub Birch Ericaceous Shrub Bog / Subarctic Lowland Sedge Wet Meadow / Bog Meadow
|Ecosystem: Relict Lakebed, Kettle, Relict Drainageway, Depression|
Fewflower sedge (Carex pauciflora) types are not documented in Alaska, although they are common on the Kenai Lowlands. A new category for the Alaska Vegetation Classification is needed: II.C.2.x. Open Low-Shrub Birch Graminoid Fen. DeVelice et. al. (1999) describe a "under-represented" fewflower sedge type on Chugach National Forest that has no dwarf birch (Betula nana). Fewflower sedge is dominant or co-dominant in 5 types represented by 46 plots on the Kenai lowlands.
The fewflower sedge dwarf birch type occupies a poor fen with nearly complete moss cover. It is characterized by an open stand of fewflower sedge with uniformly scattered, low-growing dwarf birch. Three other shrubs are often present in low abundance: bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) and lowbush cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos). Sometimes, both crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) and Labrador tea (Ledum palustre ssp. decumbens) are also present.
organic mat averages greater than 1 meter thick.
The water table is typically near the surface, averaging 21 centimeters deep. At the one plot it was measured, pH was strongly acid (5.4), and is
probably typical of these poor fens (bogs have pHs of either less than 5
(very strongly acid) or 4.5 (extremely acid), depending on the scientist).
This type is often found at higher elevations, often over 300 m (1000)
in the lowlands. All plots visited are 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.
Table 2. Summary of plant frequency and average cover for plants occurring
in more than 50% of plots .
|Wetland Indicator Status|
|stunted Picea X lutzii||0.6||0.8||np|
|Betula nana||1.0||10.8||FAC||FAC, OBL|
|Vaccinium uliginosum||0.9||3.7||FAC||FACU+, FACW|
|Empetrum nigrum||0.8||5.4||FAC||FACU, FACW
|Ledum palustre ssp. decumbens||0.6||6.3||FACW||FACW|
|np- not present on the wetland indicator status list|
|Contact: Mike Gracz Kenai Watershed Forum PO Box 15301 Fritz Creek, AK 99603 907-235-2218||
Alaska Natural Heritage Program
and Natural Resource Institute
707 A Street, Suite 101
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
04 May 2007 09:38