Bog blueberry – Manyflower sedge – Dwarf birch
Vaccinium uliginosum – Carex pluriflora – Betula nana
n = 3
II.C.2.e. Ericaceous Shrub Bog
Ecosystems:  Relict lakebed, Depression

A similar crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) – bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) type is frequently described for Alaska (Hultén, 1960, in Viereck, et. al., 1992; Boggs, 2000.   DeVelice, et. al., 1999, also include manyflower sedge (Carex pluriflora). Working near Yakutat, Shephard (1995) describes a crowberry – manyflower sedge type which includes a significant bog blueberry component, but unlike on the Kenai, none of these types contain dwarf birch (Betula nana) Many workers have described closely related and variable types lumped under the shrub birch (Betula glandulosa, which has been tentatively lumped as B. nana) - bog blueberry – sedge / sphagnum type (Brock and Burke, 1980 in Viereck, et. al., 1992; Hanson, 1953; Viereck, 1970; Racine, 1978a&b; Hogan and Tande, 1983) in The Alaska Vegetation Classification (Viereck, et. al., 1992).

Bog blueberry – manyflower sedge – dwarf birch communities are uncommon, found primarily on higher elevation depressions and relict glacial lakebed fens south of Clam Gulch.  

Bog blueberry dominates, but manyflower sedge is common. Dwarf birch cover is sparse.  Trace amounts of crowberry, bog cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccoscloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) and bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) are present over a continuous, often hummocky sphagnum mat.  The shrubs occupy the hummock tops, with the sedge in the micro-low positions.  

The organic layer is at least a meter thick, and the water table not far below the surface.  All three sites visited 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 2 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
stunted Picea X lutzii   0.7 1.8 na
Vaccinium uliginosum 1.0 30.0 FAC FACU+, FACW
Betula nana 1.0 5.7 FAC FAC, OBL
Empetrum nigrum 1.0 2.0 FAC FACU, FACW
Ledum palustre ssp. decumbens   0.7 7.5 FACW FACW
Salix fuscescens1   0.7 0.3 FACW FACW
Vaccinium vitis-idaea 0.7 0.3 FAC FAC
Dwarf shrubs
Vaccinium oxycoccos 1.0 1.3 OBL OBL
Andromeda polifolia 1.0 0.4 OBL OBL
Carex pluriflora 1.0 20.0 OBL OBL
Rubus chamaemorus 1.0 1.0 FACW FACW
Equisetum arvense 0.7 8.0 FAC* FAC*, FACW-
Carex pauciflora   0.7 1.5 OBL OBL
Eriophorum angustifolium   0.7 0.8 OBL OBL
Platanthera dilatata 0.7 0.5 FACW FACW
Drosera rotundifolia 0.7 0.3 OBL OBL
Calamagrostis canadensis   0.7 0.3 FAC FAC, OBL
Pedicularis labradorica   0.7 0.3 FACW FACW
Moss 0.7 100.0
Lichen 0.7 0.3
Open water 0.7 0.3
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
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 10:05