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Pinus ponderosa / Crataegus douglasii Riparian Woodland
Translated Name: Ponderosa Pine / Black Hawthorn Riparian Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL000855
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This plant association is a low elevation woodland in Wyoming, Montana, western Idaho, eastern Washington, and eastern Oregon. The association occurs in narrow ravines to moderately wide valley bottoms where developed soils reach to more than 2 m below the surface. The association varies from upland Ponderosa pine associations in that many species in the understory are riparian obligates. Midstory shrub layers are dominated by Crataegus douglasii, Rosa woodsii, and Alnus sp. Herbaceous understory species include Achillea millefolium, Maianthemum stellatum, Potentilla gracilis, and Galium boreale.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association is defined as a PNV vegetation type. The classification of this association is based on data from a very limited study area in eastern Oregon (Kauffman et al. 1985). The association includes three of Crowe and Clausnitzer's (1997) Pinus ponderosa / Symphoricarpos albus stands that have 75% cover of Crataegus douglasii. Crowe and Clausnitzer (1997) recognize Crataegus douglasii as a persistent early-seral shrub in their stands. Daubenmire and Daubenmire (1968) discuss establishment of Crataegus douglasii on moist sites of the Pinus ponderosa / Symphoricarpos albus habitat type after trees are removed. Crataegus is intolerant of shade, but it may persist for many years in these stands. Daubenmire and Daubenmire (1968) note the presence of a stand of even-aged pine with a dense Crataegus understory and hypothesizes that the age of the trees either corresponds to a temporary reduction in shrub density or that Crataegus and other shrubs are recent invaders.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Nc - Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Riparian & Swamp Forest
Group Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Riparian & Swamp Forest
Alliance Ponderosa Pine - Rocky Mountain Juniper - White Fir Riparian Woodland

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



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 Pinus ponderosa / Crataegus douglasii Woodland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Montana Pinus ponderosa / Crataegus douglasii Woodland Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002
Oregon Pinus ponderosa / Crataegus douglasii Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pinus ponderosa / Crataegus douglasii - Symphoricarpos albus 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: Pinus ponderosa / Symphoricarpos albus - Floodplain
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.649 Southern Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Savanna
CES306.821 Rocky Mountain Lower Montane-Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (01May2000)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This plant association is known from both the Great Plains-Palouse Dry Steppe, including southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, and western Idaho, and the Great Plains Steppe in northwestern Wyoming. Stands may represent phases of plant associations in Crataegus douglasii / Symphoricarpos albus - Rosa woodsii Valley Bottom Mesic Shrubland Alliance (A3974). Information on the number of occurrences and condition of occurrences is not known. Grazing and watershed impacts which introduce sediment to the drainages supporting Pinus ponderosa / Crataegus douglasii Riparian Woodland (CEGL000855) are continual threats. Grazing and other ground disturbing activities may result in establishment and eventual dominance by Poa pratensis, Phalaris arundinacea, or Bromus tectorum and other noxious weeds such as Cirsium vulgare, Dipsacus fullonum, Tanacetum vulgare, and Arctium minus. Stands are threatened by logging of mature Ponderosa pine trees.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, MT, OR, WA, WY
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The plant association is known from both the Great Plains-Palouse Dry Steppe including eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and western Idaho, and the Great Plains Steppe including northwestern Wyoming.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Division
Province Name: Great Plains-Palouse Dry Steppe Province
Province Code: 331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Palouse Prairie Section
Section Code: 331A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northwestern Great Plains Section
Section Code: 331F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Powder River Basin Section
Section Code: 331G 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: Bighorn Mountains Section
Section Code: M331B 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: Idaho Batholith Section
Section Code: M332A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The association is poorly described, and canopy cover or density information are not available. It is dominated by an open to partially closed canopy of the needle-leaved evergreen tree Pinus ponderosa. A tall-shrub layer is dominated by the broad-leaved deciduous Crataegus douglasii, typically 3-6 m tall. A shorter shrub layer is composed of the broad-leaved deciduous species Symphoricarpos albus and Rosa woodsii. The herbaceous layer is dominated by a mix of grasses and forbs, including the perennial grass Elymus glaucus, and the forbs Achillea millefolium, Moehringia macrophylla, Fragaria virginiana, Symphyotrichum foliaceum (= Aster foliaceus), and Packera pseudaurea (= Senecio pseudaureus). Species richness is reported to be high, but no species list is available. The understory of most stands is dominated by introduced species, particularly the grasses Poa pratensis and Bromus tectorum and the forbs Taraxacum officinale, Ranunculus acris, and Trifolium repens.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pinus ponderosa G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Alnus incana G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Crataegus douglasii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Rosa woodsii G1 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Symphoricarpos albus G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ranunculus acris G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Taraxacum officinale G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Trifolium repens G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Bromus tectorum G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Poa pratensis G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Vegetation Structure
Stratum Growth Form
Height of Stratum (m)
Cover
Class
%
Min
Cover %
Max
Cover %
Tree canopy Needle-leaved tree
 
 
 
 
Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub
 
 
 
 
Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub
 
 
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association is found in the foothills zone of a mountainous region which is physiographically part of the Columbia Plateau. Elevational range is unknown, but probably is between 915 and 1525 m (3000-5000 feet). It occurs in riparian zones of moderate-sized streams and rivers. Average discharge along the studied creek (Kauffman et al. 1985) is 119 cfs, with peak flows occurring in late April, May and early June. Peak flows can commonly be more than 500 cfs. Soils are derived from stream-deposited alluvium and are relatively deep and well-drained. Most stands have a thick layer of decomposing litter (primarily pine needles) and duff (8-23 cm deep) over a loamy-textured A horizon varying form 20-58 cm deep. Aerated C horizons immediately underlie the thick surface horizon, composed of coarse sands with unconsolidated gravels and pebbles. Sometimes clay balls are interspersed throughout the coarse-textured materials. Depth to the water table in spring is typically greater than 81 cm. The presence of Pinus ponderosa in these riparian zones is highly correlated with the coarse-textured, aerated C horizons. The climate is considered Temperate Continental, with warm, dry summers, and cold winters. Marine air masses often move up the Columbia River valley from the Pacific coast and moderate both summer and winter temperatures. Average annual precipitation is from 38-63 cm (15-25 inches), most of which occurs as snow from November to May.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Kauffman et al. (1985)
Element Description Edition Date: 02Nov1993
Element Description Author(s): M.S. Reid, M. Jankovsky-Jones
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Nov1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Jankovsky-Jones

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


References
  • Bourgeron, P. S., and L. D. Engelking, editors. 1994. A preliminary vegetation classification of the western United States. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Western Heritage Task Force, Boulder, CO. 175 pp. plus appendix.

  • Crawford, R. C. 2001. Initial riparian and wetland classification and characterization of the Columbia Basin in Washington. Prepared for Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management, Spokane District. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 83 pp.

  • 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.

  • Daubenmire, R. 1968a. Analysis and description of plant communities. Pages 62-70 in: Plant communities: A text book of plant synecology. Harper & Row, New York.

  • Daubenmire, R. F., and J. B. Daubenmire. 1968. Forest vegetation of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Washington State University Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 60. 104 pp.

  • 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.

  • Kauffman, J. B., W. C. Krueger, and M. Vaura. 1985. Ecology and plant communities of the riparian area associated with Catherine Creek in northeastern Oregon. Technical Bulletin 147. Eastern Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 35 pp.

  • MTNHP [Montana Natural Heritage Program]. 2002b. List of ecological communities for Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Montana State Library, Helena, MT.

  • 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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