Tufted bulrush Fewflower sedge
Trichophorum caespitosum Carex pauciflora   
n = 16
III.A.3.k. Subarctic Lowland Sedge-Moss Bog Meadow
Ecosystem: Relict Lakebed / Drainageway, Depression, Kettle

DeVelice, et. al. (1999) describe a very similar fewflower sedge (Carex pauciflora) type for Chugach National Forest (CARPAU).  It has a significant tufted bulrush (Trichophorum caespitosum) component. Otherwise this type is not described for Alaska.

On the Kenai Lowlands, most tufted bulrush - fewflower sedge communities are found on relict glacial lakebeds south of Clam Gulch.  However, one plot was in a depressional feature on an older recessional moraine on the west slope of the Caribou Hills; a second on the edge of a relict drainageway nearby; and a third disjunct plot was located on the isostatically rebounded marine terrace along Kalifonsky Beach road west of Kasilof.  

Tufted bulrush is slightly more abundant than fewflower sedge, both occupying a near continuous to broken moss mat, often with surface water cover.  Dwarf birch (Betula nanacan be common, and bog rosemary (Andromeda polifoliaand bog cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccosare present in trace amounts.  

The organic mat is well developed, over one meter (40) thick, and the water table is frequently at or just below the surface, although at one site it was over a meter deep.  The pH was only recorded at one site, where it was very strongly acid (4.9).  All 16 sites measured 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.  

   Soil Series n

Hydric Criteria Number

STARICHKOF 10 1, 2B2, 3

Table 2.  Summary of plant frequency and average cover for plants occurring in more than 50% of plots.

        Wetland Indicator Status


f  Average Cover   Alaska National
Betula nana 0.9 14.7 FAC FAC, OBL
Empetrum nigrum 0.8 7.0 FAC FACU, FACW
Vaccinium uliginosum 0.7 5.7 FAC FACU+, FACW
Dwarf shrubs
Vaccinium oxycoccos 0.9 0.5 OBL OBL
Andromeda polifolia 0.8 1.8 OBL OBL
Trichophorum caespitosum   1.0 32.9 OBL OBL
Carex pauciflora   1.0 22.6 OBL OBL
Eriophorum angustifolium   0.6 5.7 OBL OBL
Pedicularis labradorica   0.6 0.3 FACW FACW
Moss 1.0 85.6
Open water 0.7 2.8      


 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
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 10:04