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Alnus incana / Glyceria striata Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Gray Alder / Fowl Mannagrass Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL000228
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This shrubland association is a widespread community known from around the rim of the northwestern end of the Columbia Plateau in Washington, in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, and in northern Idaho but of limited extent in the Pacific Northwest. Stands occur in narrow to moderately wide floodplains on streambanks and around springs. Sites are usually very low-gradient and can be characterized as "stagnant"; soils can include silts and mucks. These shrublands are characterized by stands of medium-tall and tall deciduous shrubs and herbaceous undergrowth of wetland-indicator grasses and forbs. They have little to no overstory tree canopy, although individual Picea engelmannii, Abies grandis, Abies lasiocarpa, or Thuja plicata trees may be present. Total shrub cover usually exceeds 50% and is dominated by Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia, the diagnostic shrub. Other shrubs include Cornus sericea, Symphoricarpos albus, and Ribes spp. The understory of undisturbed stands has an herbaceous layer with abundant cover of Glyceria striata and/or Cinna latifolia. These grasses are often accompanied by Calamagrostis canadensis or Elymus glaucus. Other common herbs include Geum macrophyllum, Galium triflorum, and Equisetum spp. Heavily disturbed stands have abundant non-native grasses.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Kovalchik (1993, 2001) described the Alnus incana / Glyceria elata association, using either Glyceria elata or Cinna latifolia as indicators; Crowe and Clausnitzer (1997) also described the Alnus incana / Glyceria elata association, using Glyceria elata as the indicator. None of these authors refer to citations south of the Blue Mountains of Oregon. All these authors refer to Glyceria striata as Glyceria elata. Where both species are recognized they are lumped into Glyceria elata.

This type has previously been included as part of Alnus incana / Mesic Graminoids Wet Shrubland (CEGL001148), which has more recently been defined to be more of an intermountain type. Alnus incana / Glyceria striata sites are wetter, often springs, found in more moist climatic regimes of maritime climatic influence. These two associations do grade into each other in some locations. The type discussed here is distinguished by >10% cover of Glyceria striata or Cinna latifolia.


Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nb - Western North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Western North American Montane Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Western Montane-Subalpine Riparian & Seep Shrubland
Alliance Western Alder Wet Shrubland

This is the revised vegetation hierarchy. For more information see Classification Sources and usnvc.org.

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001148 Alnus incana / Mesic Graminoids Wet Shrubland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Related Subnational Community Units
These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.
In the U.S., contact the state Heritage Program for the most complete and up-to-date information at: http://www.natureserve.org/natureserve-network.
Information from programs in other jurisdictions will be posted when they are made available.
Subnation Concept Name Relationship to Standard Confidence Reference
Idaho Alnus incana / Glyceria striata Shrubland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Alnus incana / Glyceria elata Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Glyceria elata
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crowe, E. A., and R. R. Clausnitzer. 1997. Mid-montane wetland plant associations of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-22-97. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Glyceria elata Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kovalchik, B. L. 1993. Riparian plant associations on the national forests of eastern Washington - Draft version 1. USDA Forest Service, Colville National Forest, Colville, WA. 203 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kovalchik, B. L. 2001. Classification and management of aquatic, riparian and wetland sites on the national forests of eastern Washington. Part 1: The series descriptions. 429 pp. plus appendix. [http://www.reo.gov/col/wetland_classification/wetland_classification.pdf]
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Glyceria striata Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana springs
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Kovalchik, B. L. 1987. Riparian zone associations - Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont, and Winema national forests. Technical Paper 279-87. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 171 pp.
Related Concept Name: Salix spp. / Mesic Forb
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Crowe, E. A., and R. R. Clausnitzer. 1997. Mid-montane wetland plant associations of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-22-97. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.832 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (17Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This association has a wide range, but stands of this riparian shrubland are restricted to mosaics of small patches around 10 acres. High-quality examples of this association without non-native species are unusual. Most stands are within watersheds with continued livestock grazing, logging, recreational activities, hydrologic modifications, and road building. Heavy grazing will reduce the cover of herbaceous species and compact soils, which may increase soil erosion. Other activities in the watershed such as road construction and maintenance, logging, and heavy recreational use may contribute weeds and sediments that alter species composition in stands. Stands are also threatened by impacts to hydrology from streamflow modification.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, OR, WA, WY
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This shrubland association is a widespread community in the Pacific Northwest, known from around the rim of the northwestern end of the Columbia Plateau in Washington, in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, and in northern Idaho.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert Province
Province Code: 342 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: High Lava Plains Section
Section Code: 342H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Regime Mountains
Province Name: Southern Rocky Mountain Steppe - Open Woodland - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Overthrust Mountains Section
Section Code: M331D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Middle Rocky Mountain Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M332 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Okanogan Highlands Section
Section Code: M333A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: These shrublands are characterized by stands of medium-tall and tall deciduous shrubs and herbaceous undergrowth of wetland-indicator grasses and forbs. They have little to no overstory tree canopy, although individual Picea engelmannii, Abies grandis, Abies lasiocarpa, or Thuja plicata trees may be present. Total shrub cover usually exceeds 50% and is dominated by Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia, the diagnostic shrub. Other shrubs include Cornus sericea, Lonicera involucrata, Symphoricarpos albus, and Ribes spp. The understory of undisturbed stands has an herbaceous layer with abundant cover of Glyceria striata (= Glyceria elata) and/or Cinna latifolia. These grasses are often accompanied by Calamagrostis canadensis, Juncus ensifolius, and Elymus glaucus. Other common herbs include Nemophila breviflora, Geum macrophyllum, Galium triflorum, Senecio triangularis, Heracleum maximum, Galium triflorum, Valeriana sp., and Equisetum spp. Heavily disturbed stands have abundant non-native grasses.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus incana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling
 
 
Mimulus guttatus G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Glyceria striata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands occur in narrow to moderately wide floodplains on streambanks and around springs. Sites are usually very low-gradient and can be characterized as "stagnant"; soils can include silts and mucks to sandy loams to organic fibric. It occurs at elevations between 533 and 2229 m (1750-7314 feet). Slopes are flat to 45%, and valleys are narrow, averaging 24.4-30.5 m (80-100 feet), to very wide (91.5 m [300 feet]). Stands occur on streambanks, floodplains, overflow swales, and springs.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): R.C. Crawford
Element Description Edition Date: 11Aug2005
Element Description Author(s): R.C. Crawford and G. Kittel
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): R.C. Crawford

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Cogan, D., K. Varga, and G. Kittel. 2005. USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Final Project Report 2002-2005 Vegetation Mapping Project. Technical Memorandum 8260-06-02. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO. 87 pp. plus Appendixes A-F.

  • Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]

  • Crowe, E. A., and R. R. Clausnitzer. 1997. Mid-montane wetland plant associations of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-22-97. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.

  • IDCDC [Idaho Conservation Data Center]. 2005. Wetland and riparian plant associations in Idaho. Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise. [http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/tech/CDC/ecology/wetland_riparian_assoc.cfm] (accessed 14 June 2005).

  • Kagan, J. S., J. A. Christy, M. P. Murray, and J. A. Titus. 2004. Classification of native vegetation of Oregon. January 2004. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Portland. 52 pp.

  • Kovalchik, B. L. 1987. Riparian zone associations - Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont, and Winema national forests. Technical Paper 279-87. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 171 pp.

  • Kovalchik, B. L. 1993. Riparian plant associations on the national forests of eastern Washington - Draft version 1. USDA Forest Service, Colville National Forest, Colville, WA. 203 pp.

  • Kovalchik, B. L. 2001. Classification and management of aquatic, riparian and wetland sites on the national forests of eastern Washington. Part 1: The series descriptions. 429 pp. plus appendix. [http://www.reo.gov/col/wetland_classification/wetland_classification.pdf]

  • Mackenzie, Will. Personal communication. British Columbia Ministry of Forestry Wetlands & Riparian Specialist, Smithers, BC, Canada.

  • ORNHP [Oregon Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data files. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Portland, OR.

  • WNHP [Washington Natural Heritage Program]. 2018. Unpublished data files. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA.

  • Western Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boulder, CO.


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