The profile describes the ecologic context and wetland functions of black spruce (Picea mariana) wetlands (BSWs) covering about 14 million ha of Alaska taiga. Ecologic descriptions include climate, permafrost, landforms, post-Pleistocene vegetation, fire, successional processes, black spruce community types and adaptations, and characteristics of BSWs. The profile describes human activities potentially affecting BSWs and identifies research literature and data gaps generally applicable to BSWs. Hydrologic, water quality, global biogeochemical, and ecologic functions of BSWs, as well as their socioeconomic uses, appear in the profile, along with potential functional indicators, expected sensitivities of functions to fill placement or weltand drainage, and potential mitigation strategies for impacts. Functional analysis separately considers ombrotrophic and minerotrophic BSWs where appropriate. Depending on trophic status, Alaska's BSWs perform several low-magnitude hydrologic (groundwater discharge and recharge, flow regulation, and erosion control) and ecologic (nutrient export, nutrient cycling, and food-chain support) functions and several substantial water quality (sediment retention, nutrient transformation, nutrient uptake, and contaminant removal), global biogeochemical (carbon cycling and storage), and ecologic (avian and mammalian habitat) functions. BSWs also provide important socioeconomic uses: harvested of wetland-dependent fish, wildlife, and plant resources and active winter recreation.