ï~~THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST
WETLAND ASSESSMENT AND INVENTORY OF THE
POKEGAMA CARNEGIE WETLAND STATE NATURAL AREA,
DOUGLAS COUNTY, WISCONSIN
Paul S. Hlina and Derek S. Anderson,
Department of Biology and Earth Science and the Lake Superior Research Institute
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Superior, WI 54880
The Pokegama Carnegie Wetland State Natural Area (SNA) is one of 590 properties designated
as a state natural area in Wisconsin and has been infrequently studied. The Wisconsin Floristic Quality Assessment (WFQA) and the Wisconsin Wetland Plant Biotic Index (WWPBI), developed by the
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) were used during the assessment of the wetland plant community types found at the Pokegama Carnegie Wetland State Natural Area. The
WFQA is a numerical value and was based on species diversity and composition. It was designed to
compare the floristic quality between similar sites and for tracking changes at the same site over
time. The WWPBI is a multi-metric index based on relative importance values (IV) (percent cover
and frequency of occurrence) of nine community attributes based on taxonomic divisions.
The two primary measurements of the WFQA are the Mean C and the Floristic Quality Index
(FQI). The alder thicket values had a Mean C of 5.42 (transects + meander searches) and 5.34 (transects only) with an FQI of 60.64 (transects + meander searches) and 50.70 (transects only). The
sedge meadow values had a Mean C of 5.24 and a FQI of 45.37 (Carex lacustris) and a Mean C of
6.24 and FQI of 35.81 (Carex buxbaumii). These were exceptionally high values when compared to
other wetland types surveyed in Wisconsin. Invasive species were infrequent and most commonly
observed in disturbed areas. However, some of the rare, threatened and endangered species were also
found in these same disturbed areas.
The WWPBI values for the alder thickets were in the moderate range in comparison to other wetland types investigated in Wisconsin. This model was not as meaningful as the assessments discovered through the WFQA measurements described above. The characteristics of the alder thicket community did not match the vegetative conditions found in depressional wetlands for which this
assessment tool was created.
The plant communities of the Pokegama Carnegie Wetland State Natural Area (alder thickets, boreal forest remnants, aspen forest groves and two types of northern sedge meadow) represent an outstanding natural resource for the region and State. A floristic inventory across all community types
revealed 318 taxa, representing 161 genera and 56 families.
KEYWORDS: wetland assessment, Pokegama Carnegie Wetlands, Wisconsin Floristic Quality
Assessment, Wisconsin Wetland Plant Biotic Index, species diversity
The Pokegama Carnegie Wetlands State Natural Area, hereafter referred to as
Pokegama SNA, is located in Douglas County approximately 6.5 kilometers
southwest of Superior, Wisconsin. The Pokegama SNA was created in 2006 and
is jointly owned by Douglas County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural