Lutz spruce / Barclay's willow / Bluejoint
Picea X lutzii / Salix barclayi / Calamagrostis canadensis
n = 68
I.A.2. Open Needleleaf Forest
Ecosystem:  Discharge Slope

 

Lutz spruce / Barclay willow / bluejoint grass is very common on the Kenai Peninsula lowland, but is little-described elsewhere.  Only on Chugach National Forest, where DeVelice et. al. (1999) mention a Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) / Barclay's willow (Salix barclayi) "undersampled” type, is any needleleaf forest with Barclay's willow named.  Their Lutz spruce (Picea X lutzii) / Bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis) (PICLUT / CALCAN) type has some Barclay's willow, but at low abundance.

The Lutz spruce / Barclay's willow / Bluejoint type is widespread on foot and toeslopes, but found only on the southern peninsula, most commonly at higher elevations on Caribou Hills terraces.  Sometimes it is found at the margins of lower elevation fens.  Groundwater discharge, or a dense till maintains a water table near the surface. 

A very open to woodland Lutz spruce canopy dots an often dense stand of Barclay's willow.  Equally abundant, both bluejoint, as a tall grass, and Canadian burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis), as a low herb, are common.  Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is often abundant and fireweed (Chamerion angustifoliumis typically present.  A rich variety of forbs is usually present, though scattered.  Oakfern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris) can be abundant (hidden under taller forbs later in the season) and false hellebore (Veratrum viride) is typically present, especially at higher elevations.  

The organic layer is uniformly thin, although at two sites it was measured at nearly a meter thick, and it was over 1.5 m thick at a third site.  Redoximorphic features or a water table within 30 cm of the surface indicate(s) wetland criteria are met at 46 of the 68 sites measured.  This type is usually, but not always a jurisdictional wetland.

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

CHUNILNA 15 2B3
SPENARD 15 2B3
TLIKAKILA1  7
KILLEY 2 2B3
NIKOLAEVSK2 2
NIKOLAI 2 1
SNOWDANCE 2 2B3
COAL CREEK 1 2B3
DOROSHIN 1 1
KLISKON 1
TUXEDNI2 1
1Proposed series, definitely hydric
2Proposed series, hydric status unknown

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
Trees
tall Picea X lutzii 0.9 23.1 np
medium Picea X lutzii   0.7 5.1 np
Shrubs/Sapling
regeneration Picea X lutzii   0.8 1.0 np
Salix1 barclayi   1.0 43.1 FAC FAC, FACW
Vaccinium ovalifolium   0.6 1.1 FAC FACU*, FAC
Low shrub
Empetrum nigrum 0.5 5.1 FAC FACU, FACW
Herbs/Graminoid
Calamagrostis canadensis   1.0 17.4 FAC FAC, OBL
Sanguisorba canadensis 1.0 17.3 FACW FACW,
Chamerion angustifolium   0.9 9.0 FACU FACU, FAC
Equisetum arvense 0.9 35.4 FAC* FAC*, FACW-
Rubus arcticus 0.9 2.4 FAC FAC
Rubus pedatus   0.8 6.9 FAC* FACU*, FAC*
Spiraea stevenii   0.8 2.0 FAC FAC
Streptopus amplexifolius   0.7 1.1 FAC UPL, OBL
Trientalis europaea 0.7 0.5 FAC FAC*, FAC
Valeriana capitata     0.6 6.3 FAC FAC
Equisetum sylvaticum 0.6 8.3 FACU FACU, FACW
Orthilia secunda   0.6 0.7 FACU* UPL, FAC+
Gymnocarpium dryopteris   0.6 25.5 FACU UPL, FAC
Veratrum viride 0.6 4.6 FAC* FAC*, FACW+
Moss 1.0 49.4
Lichen 0.5 0.4
np- not present on the wetland indicator status list
1 Plant with known morphological adaptation for occurrence in wetlands (USACE, 1987)

 


 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 09:52