Barclay willow / Bluejoint
Salix barclayi / Calamagrostis canadensis
n = 26
II.C.(2)g. Open Low Willow Scrub
Ecosystem: Riparian

 

DeVelice et. al. (1999) document Barclay willow / Bluejoint  (SALBAR/CALCAN) on Chugach National Forest.  The Natural Resource Conservation Service describes a “willow - grass” “ecosite” that is also identical.  Similar Barclay's willow (Salix barclayi) types are noted for the rest of Alaska, but these lack abundant bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis) cover, and are usually found on different landscapes (Viereck, et. al., 1992).

This widespread, common type occupies nearly all stream margins on the lowlands, particularly south of Clam Gulch.

Along Starisky Creek, Barclay willow is exceptionally tall, generally over 2 m, elsewhere a low to medium height, open Barclay willow stand is mixed with dense bluejoint cover.  Few other plants are common, although Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium acutiflorum) and arctic blackberry (Rubus arcticus) are present, and field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) and fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) are usually present in low abundance.  

The organic horizon is typically thin, and a histic epipedon (20 cm thick organic horizon) is lacking.  The water table can be shallow, or deep, but flooding can be common.  The pH was moderately acid at the four sites where it was measured (average = 5.7).  This type usually indicates a jurisdictional wetland is present, and 19 of the 26 sites visited meet hydric soils criteria.

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

   SERIES n Hydric Criteria Number
KILLEY 9 2B3
TLIKAKILA1 3
MOOSE RIVER 3 2B3
CHUNILNA 2 2B3
CHENA  1
DOROSHIN 1 1
FORELAND 1 2B3
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
Shrub
Salix1 barclayi   1.0 54.3 FAC FAC, FACW
Herbs/Graminoid
Calamagrostis canadensis   1.0 68.3 FAC FAC, OBL
Polemonium acutiflorum   1.0 1.8 FAC FAC
Rubus arcticus 0.9 1.2 FAC FAC
Equisetum arvense 0.7 12.3 FAC* FAC*, FACW-
Chamerion angustifolium   0.7 5.5 FACU FACU, FAC
Thalictrum sparsiflorum  0.6 1.1 FACU FACU, FAC+
Trientalis europaea 0.6 0.5 FAC FAC*, FAC
Moss 0.9 6.2
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 10:00