|Beaked sedge – Water horsetail|
|Carex utriculata – Equisetum fluviatile|
|n = 6|
|III.A.3.f. Subarctic Lowland Sedge Wet Meadow|
|Ecosystem: Relict Lakebed / Depression|
Beaked sedge (Carex utriculata) - water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) and similar types have been well described for Alaska. Craighead et. al. (1988) describe it for Northwest Alaska in their Equisetum – Sedge Marsh Subcomplex. Nearer to the Kenai lowlands, both DeVelice et.al. (1999) and Boggs (2000) describe both a beaked sedge and a water horsetail type. On the Kenai lowlands these two monotypes mix together in a narrow zone at the edge of open water pools, combining to form the beaked sedge – water horsetail type.
Standing water dominates this site, and the only other plant commonly present is buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata). Beaked sedge - water horsetail is more common than the sample number indicates. It occupies the edges of pools, in the strang-flark-pool complex commonly found on relict glacial lakebed peatland complexes, and in shallow kettles.
Emergent (rooted underwater) beaked sedge cover is open; water horsetail is generally uniform and less abundant. It occurs just below the zone where livid sedge (C. livida) dominates.
Average water depth is about 7 centimeters (although at an unusual site north of Nikiski the water table was encountered at 120 cm), and the submerged organic layer is greater than a meter thick. The pH can be near neutral, but is typically moderately acid (5.5). This type is always a jurisdictional wetland.
Table 1. Summary of plant frequency and average cover for plants occurring in more than 50% of plots.
|Wetland Indicator Status|
|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 09:39