Barclay's willow / Bluejoint - Field horsetail
Salix barclayi / Calamagrostis canadensis – Equisetum arvense
n = 39
II.C.2.g. Open Low Scrub - Willow
Ecosystem: Riparian, Discharge Slope

The Barclay's willow / bluejoint - field horsetail community probably occurs in other parts of Alaska, though not at the abundance found on the Kenai Lowlands. It is therefore usually lumped with other types such as the Barclay's willow (Salix barclayi) / bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis) type (Ritchie, et.al., 1981; DeVelice, et. al., 1999; Boggs, 2000), and the Barclay's willow – mixed herb type (DeVelice et. al., 1999; Boggs, 2000; Shephard, 1995).

Barclay's willow / bluejoint – field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is common along southern peninsula riparian corridors, and adjacent discharge slopes, but also occurs on groundwater discharge slopes above relict glacial lakebeds.  It is similar to the Barclay's willow / bluejoint association, but with a significant field horsetail component, and more diversity.

In this community, an open patchy thicket of Barclay's willow (rarely other willows, such as undergreen (Salix commutata) and tealeaf willow (S. pulchra), replace Barclay's willow) is interspersed with dense bluejoint grass, and an open, uniform field horsetail understory.  Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium acutiflorum), arctic blackberry (Rubus arcticus) and open water are present.   The open water frequently occurs as groundwater discharge springs and seeps.

These palnts occupy a wide range of sites.  Soils at about a third of the sites visited had at least a histic epipedon (organic layer greater than 20 cm thick), and three were histosols (>40 cm organic layer).  Another third had shallow water tables, while another third are probably not jurisdictional wetlands.  The pH at the two sites measured was strongly acid (5.5) and slightly acid (6.1).

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

     Soil Series n

Hydric Criteria Number

KILLEY      12 2B3
MOOSE RIVER 4 2B3
TRUULI1 3
DOROSHIN 2 1
FORELAND   2 2B3
SLIKOK 2 2B3, 3
SPENARD 2 2B3
STARICHKOF 2 1, 2B2, 3
CHUNILNA 1 2B3
COAL CREEK 1 2B3
KLISKON 1
NIKOLAI  1 1
SNOWDANCE 1 2B3
TLIKAKILA1 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 52.6 FAC FAC, FACW
Herbs/Graminoid
Calamagrostis canadensis   1.0 63.2 FAC FAC, OBL
Equisetum arvense 1.0 23.8 FAC* FAC*, FACW-
Polemonium acutiflorum   0.9 1.4 FAC FAC
Rubus arcticus 0.8 1.1 FAC FAC
Chamerion angustifolium   0.6 4.2 FACU FACU, FAC
Trientalis europaea 0.6 0.3 FAC FAC*, FAC
Comarum palustre 0.6 8.3 OBL OBL
Sanguisorba canadensis 0.6 6.8 FACW FACW
Swertia perennis 0.5 0.6 FACW FAC+, FACW+
Moss 1.0 22.2
Open water

0.7

3.2
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


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 10:01