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    Author(s): James J. Kruse; Loretta Winton; Nicholas Lisuzzo; Steve Swenson
    Date: 2015
    Source: In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L., eds. 2015. Forest health monitoring: national status, trends, and analysis 2013. General Technical Report SRS-207. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (748.0 KB)


    The riparian forests of interior and south-central Alaska are arguably the most productive and important ecosystems within the portion of the State covered by the boreal forest. Recent large-scale mortality of thin-leaf alder (Alnus icana tenuifolia), one of the dominant species in these areas, has created the potential for deep-seated changes in these ecosystems. Alder is a symbiotic nitrogen-fixer, allowing it to thrive in low-nutrient soil. The long-term productivity of Alaskan riparian forests is directly related to the amount of nitrogen fixed and deposited in the soil during the alder-dominated stages of succession (Ruess and others 2009). In addition, because the streams and rivers of south-central Alaska are a critical resource for salmon reproduction, the Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound fisheries are, in part, dependent on the breeding habitat found in these waters (Roon and others 2012, Wipfli and Musslewhite 2004).

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    Kruse, James J.; Winton, Loretta; Lisuzzo, Nicholas; Swenson, Steve. 2013. Chapter 14: Alder (Alnus incana tenuifolia) Mortality Agent Complex Effects on Riparian ZoneHabitat (Project WC-EM-B-10-01). General Technical Report SRS 207. USDA-Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 9 p.

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