|Barclay's willow / Tufted hairgrass – Bluejoint|
|Salix barclayi / Deschampsia caespitosa - Calamagrostis canadensis|
|n = 4|
|II.C.2.g. Open Low Willow Scrub|
|Ecosystem: Depression, Relict Lakebed|
This uncommon Kenai Lowlands community is included within the Barclay's willow (Salix barclayi) – mixed herb community documented by others (DeVelice et.al., 1999; Boggs, 2000; Shephard, 1995). Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) cover is greater on Kenai Lowlands sites.
Three of the sites visited occur in depression-like features on the terraced moraines fronting the western slope of the Caribou hills. The fourth is at the edge of a large isostatically rebounded marine terrace along Coho Loop Road, near Kasilof.
Barclay's willow / tufted hairgrass - bluejoint communities are characterized by a low, patchy Barclay's willow thicket interspersed with bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis) and tufted hairgrass in nearly equal proportions. These communities are diverse, with arctic blackberry (Rubus arcticusand dwarf birch (Betula nanapresent in trace amounts, and variegated sedge (Carex stylosa), jacob’s ladder (Polemonium acutiflorumboreal sage (Artemisia arctica), field horsetail (Equisetum arvensemountain hairgrass (Vahlodea atropurpurea), boreal yarrow (Achillea millefolium var. borealis) and felwort (Swertia perennis) usually present.
Organic horizons are thin, although one of the three plots has a histic epipedon (33 cm thick). The water table is generally near the surface, but at one site redoximorphic features were measured at 58 cm below the surface. Three of the four sites visited qualify as jurisdictional wetlands.
Table 1. Frequency of soil series occurrence and hydric status at NRCS holes. Bold type indicates soils on the NRCS Alaska hydric soils list.
2. Summary of plant frequency and average cover for plants occurring
in more than 50% of plots .
|Wetland Indicator Status|
|Salix1 barclayi||1.0||37.5||FAC||FAC, FACW
|Betula nana||1.0||0.6||FAC||FAC, OBL
|Deschampsia caespitosa2||1.0||47.5||FAC||FAC, FACW+
|Calamagrostis canadensis||1.0||40.5||FAC||FAC, OBL|
|Equisetum arvense||0.8||0.1||FAC*||FAC*, FACW-
|Achillea millefolium var. borealis||0.8||0.1||FACU||UPL, FACU|
|Vahlodea atropurpurea||0.8||0.1||FACW*||FAC+, FACW
|Swertia perennis||0.8||0.1||FACW||FAC+, FACW+|
|1 Plant with known morphological adaptation for occurrence in wetlands (USACE, 1987)|
|2 Plant with known physiological adaptation for occurrence in wetlands (USACE, 1987)|
|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 10:01