Tufted bulrush Tufted hairgrass
Trichophorum caespitosum Deschampsia caespitosa
n = 7
III.A.3.f. Subarctic Lowland Sedge Wet Meadow
Ecosystem: Relict Lakebed; Headwater Fen

Both Shephard (1995), working on the Yakutat forelands, and DeVelice et. al. (1999) on Chugach National Forest, describe tufted bulrush (Trichophorum caespitosum) types that include sites containing significant tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) components.  In the remaining Alaskan literature, tufted bulrush types are described with other sedge or shrub associates (Fox, 1983 and Jaques, 1973, in Viereck, et. al., 1992; Dachnowski-Stokes, 1941; Streveler, et. al., 1973).

Tufted bulrush tufted hairgrass is found on the southern peninsula, in the Caribou Hills, on Headwater Fens at higher elevations, typically above 400 meters (1300).  

This type is characterized by high tufted bulrush cover (average = 60%), and a woodland density tufted hairgrass component.  Dwarf birch (Betula nana) and bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) are present.  Open water and felwort (Swertia perennis) are often present in trace amounts.

The organic horizon is typically greater than one meter (40) thick, and the water table is usually at or just below the surface.  All seven sites examined are 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 4 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 1.0 5.6 FAC FAC, OBL
Dwarf shrub
Andromeda polifolia 1.0 0.4 OBL OBL
Vaccinium oxycoccos 0.7 0.4 OBL OBL
Trichophorum caespitosum   1.0 58.6 OBL OBL
Deschampsia caespitosa2   1.0 9.3 FAC FAC, FACW+
Swertia perennis 0.9 1.5 FACW FAC+, FACW+
Carex pauciflora   0.7 11.1 OBL OBL
Spiranthes romanzoffiana 0.7 0.3 OBL FACW, OBL
Eriophorum angustifolium   0.6 3.3 OBL OBL
Viola spp. 0.6 0.5
Moss 1.0 59.3
Open water 0.9 10.9
2Plant with known physiological 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
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