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Alnus incana / Equisetum arvense Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Gray Alder / Field Horsetail Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001146
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These seasonally flooded, tall shrublands have been reported from montane sites in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and may occur in California and Idaho. They have been described from frequently flooded streambanks, swales, floodplains, and shores of lakes and ponds. Soils range from shallow loamy sand, loam or silt over alluvial gravel or cobbles, to organic loam, peat and muck. Vegetation is dominated by a moderate to dense canopy (>40% cover) of the deciduous, broad-leaved tall shrub Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia. Other shrubs may include scattered Salix, Betula, Cornus, or Ribes spp. Equisetum arvense often forms a thick carpet beneath young to mature alder shrubs. Mesic forbs or other graminoids are typically sparse but may include Calamagrostis canadensis, Glyceria striata, Asteraceae spp., Galium boreale, or Geum macrophyllum. This shrubland can be distinguished from other Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia-dominated shrublands by the presence of at least 25% cover of Equisetum arvense.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association is defined as a PNV vegetation type.

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
CEGL002628 Alnus incana / Athyrium filix-femina Wet Shrubland
CEGL002652 Alnus incana - Salix drummondiana 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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 / Equisetum arvense Shrubland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Alnus incana / Equisetum arvense Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004
Wyoming Alnus incana / Equisetum arvense Shrubland Equivalent Certain WNDD unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana - Salix drummondiana / Equisetum arvense Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Johnston, B. C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. R2-ECOL-87-2. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Lakewood, CO. 429 pp.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Equisetum arvense
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 / Equisetum arvense 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]
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.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Equisetum arvense Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Padgett, W. G., A. P. Youngblood, and A. H. Winward. 1989. Riparian community type classification of Utah and southeastern Idaho. Research Paper R4-ECOL-89-0. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Walford, G., G. Jones, W. Fertig, S. Mellman-Brown, and K. Houston. 2001. Riparian and wetland plant community types of the Shoshone National Forest. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-85. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO. 122 pp.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Bench Community Type
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Manning, M. E., and W. G. Padgett. 1995. Riparian community type classification for Humboldt and Toiyabe national forests, Nevada and eastern California. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 306 pp.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia - Equisetum arvense Habitat Type/Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Komarkova, V. 1986. Habitat types on selected parts of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre national forests. Unpublished final report prepared for USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Fort Collins, CO. 270 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia / Equisetum arvense Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kittel, G., E. Van Wie, M. Damm, R. Rondeau, S. Kettler, A. McMullen, and J. Sanderson. 1999b. A classification of riparian and wetland plant associations of Colorado: A user's guide to the classification project. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO. 70 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia / Equisetum arvense Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Carsey, K., D. Cooper, K. Decker, D. Culver, and G. Kittel. 2003b. Statewide wetlands classification and characterization: Wetland plant associations of Colorado. Prepared for Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Denver, by Colorado Natural Heritage Program, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. 79 pp. [http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/documents/2003/wetland_classification_final_report_2003.pdf]
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Carsey, K., G. Kittel, K. Decker, D. J. Cooper, and D. Culver. 2003a. Field guide to the wetland and riparian plant associations of Colorado. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins, CO.
Related Concept Name: Alnus tenuifolia / Equisetum arvense Habitat Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Hess, K. 1981. Phyto-edaphic study of habitat types of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado. Unpublished dissertation, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. 558 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Wasser, C. H., and K. Hess. 1982. The habitat types of Region II. USDA Forest Service: A synthesis. Final report prepared for USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 140 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.866 North Pacific Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
CES306.832 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (05Oct1999)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Although these seasonally flooded shrublands are reported from several western states, they are restricted to narrow palustrine and lacustrine environments. There are few known occurrences with even fewer protected. These shrublands are threatened by modification of hydrological processes, overuse for recreation, overuse by livestock, conversion to hay meadows and invasion of associated introduced forage species.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CApotentially occurs, CO, ID, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canadian Province Distribution: BCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This minor riparian shrubland association has been reported from montane sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and may occur in British Columbia, California and Idaho.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Regime Mountains
Province Name: Cascade Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Eastern Cascades Section
Section Code: M242C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Dry Domain
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
Section Name: South-Central Highlands Section
Section Code: M331G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North-Central Highlands Section
Section Code: M331H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Parks and Ranges Section
Section Code: M331I 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
Section Name: Challis Volcanics Section
Section Code: M332F 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
Section Name: Flathead Valley Section
Section Code: M333B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bitterroot Mountains Section
Section Code: M333D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association is characterized by a moderate to dense canopy (>40% cover) dominated by the deciduous, broad-leaved tall shrub Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia, with Equisetum arvense forming a thick herbaceous layer. Other shrubs may include scattered Salix spp. (Salix ligulifolia (= Salix eriocephala var. ligulifolia), Salix exigua, Salix geyeriana, Salix lucida ssp. caudata, and Salix monticola), Acer glabrum, Betula occidentalis, Cornus sericea, Lonicera involucrata, or Ribes inerme. Occasionally scattered trees of Picea pungens, Pinus contorta, or Populus angustifolia may be present. Mesic forbs or graminoids are typically sparse but may include Aconitum columbianum, Calamagrostis canadensis, Cardamine cordifolia, Carex disperma, Carex pellita (= Carex lanuginosa), Chamerion angustifolium, Cinna latifolia, Galium boreale, Geum macrophyllum, Glyceria striata (= Glyceria elata), Heracleum maximum, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis (= Juncus balticus), Maianthemum stellatum, Pyrola asarifolia ssp. asarifolia, Pyrola chlorantha, Rudbeckia laciniata, Saxifraga odontoloma, Senecio triangularis, Saxifraga odontoloma, Swertia perennis, and introduced species Agrostis stolonifera, Poa pratensis, and Taraxacum officinale (Hess 1981, Padgett et al. 1989, Kittel et al. 1999b, Carsey et al. 2003a, 2003b). This shrubland can be distinguished from other Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia-dominated shrublands by the presence of at least 25% cover of Equisetum arvense.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Taraxacum officinale G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Equisetum arvense G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Agrostis stolonifera G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Poa pratensis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This minor riparian shrubland association has been reported from montane sites in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and may occur in California and Idaho. Elevation ranges between 2100 and 3000 m (6800-10,000 feet) in Colorado to 1800-2500 m (5900-8200 feet) in Utah and 730-1525 m (2400-5000 feet) in eastern Washington. Stands occur on frequently flooded streambanks, swales, floodplains, and shores of lakes and ponds that are saturated most of the growing season. Soils are typically shallow and coarse-textured but range from well-drained loamy sand to poorly drained silt or silty clay over alluvial gravel or cobbles, to organic loam, peat and muck (Hess 1981, Padgett et al. 1989, Kittel et al. 1997b, Carsey et al. 2003a, 2003b). Water tables appear to be shallow, with mottling near the soil surface (Kittel et al. 1999b, Carsey et al. 2003a, 2003b).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Both Alnus incana and Equisetum arvense are considered long-lived, early-seral species and are among the first species to establish on flood-scoured streambanks (Hess 1981, Padgett et al. 1989, Kittel et al. 1999b, Carsey et al. 2003a, 2003b). Alnus incana appears to be shade-intolerant and is common on the edges of taller upland vegetation forming stringers along the channel. Alnus incana communities appear to be maintained by frequent flooding, and as stands mature Salix or other species begin to dominate (Padgett et al. 1989).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.A. Schulz
Element Description Edition Date: 27Jul2005
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 05Oct1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): K.A. Schulz

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


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