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Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Deschampsia caespitosa Shrubland
Translated Name: Mountain Silver Sagebrush / Tufted Hairgrass Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001074
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This low-shrub vegetation type is found in riparian zones along mountain streams of western Wyoming, southeastern Idaho, and eastern Utah, at elevations up to 2560 m (8400 feet) in the north and 2800 m (9200 feet) in the south. It grows on relatively dry riparian sites located on stream terraces or sloping valley bottoms with deep, usually fine-textured soils. Water is present in the soil profile at least part of the year. The vegetation consists of a low-shrub layer (<1 m tall) dominated by Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula and that often contains Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (= Pentaphylloides floribunda, = Potentilla fruticosa) and Salix wolfii. The dense herbaceous undergrowth may be composed mainly of graminoids or may be codominated by graminoids and forbs. Deschampsia caespitosa contributes as much canopy cover as does any other native species. Juncus balticus, Carex microptera, Poa pratensis, Hymenoxys hoopesii (= Helenium hoopesii), and Fragaria virginiana often are present and may contribute substantial cover.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Crowe and Clausnitzer (1997) and Crowe et al. (2004) describe an Artemisia cana / Deschampsia cespitosa Association from central and eastern Oregon, but the sagebrush in the few stands of that type that have been documented is Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi. We may want to put both subspecies Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi and Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula in the same association in the future. This association may be difficult to separate from Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Festuca idahoensis Shrub Herbaceous Vegetation (CEGL001552).

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 Freshwater Shrubland, Wet Meadow & Marsh
Macrogroup Western North American Montane-Subalpine Wet Shrubland & Wet Meadow
Group Rocky Mountain & Great Basin Lowland & Foothill Riparian Shrubland
Alliance Mesic-Riparian Silver Sagebrush Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001552 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Festuca idahoensis Shrub Herbaceous Vegetation



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 Artemisia cana/Deschampsia cespitosa Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Artemisia cana / Deschampsia cespitosa Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004
Wyoming Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Deschampsia cespitosa Shrubland Equivalent Certain WNDD unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Artemisia cana / Deschampsia caespitosa Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Youngblood, A. P., W. G. Padgett, and A. H. Winward. 1985a. Riparian community type classification of eastern Idaho-western Wyoming. R4-Ecol-85-01. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, UT. 78 pp.
Related Concept Name: Artemisia cana / Deschampsia cespitosa
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: Artemisia cana / Deschampsia cespitosa 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.
Related Concept Name: Artemisia cana / Festuca idahoensis Community Type
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Mutz, K. M., and R. Graham. 1982. Riparian community type classification-Big Piney Range District, Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region under contract 53-84M8-1-974, by Meiiji Resource Consultants, Layton, UT. 88 pp.
Related Concept Name: Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula/Deschampsia cespitosa
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Mountain silver sagebrush community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Beetle, A. A. 1961. Range survey in Teton County, Wyoming, Part I. Ecology of range resources. University of Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 376, Laramie. 40 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES304.045 Great Basin Foothill and Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
CES304.084 Columbia Plateau Silver Sagebrush Seasonally Flooded Shrub-Steppe


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2G3 (04Aug2004)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: The G2G3 rank is based on the following information and inferences: (1) the geographic range of the association is somewhat limited, and the area within that range occupied by the association apparently is quite limited, due in part to narrow environmental tolerance; (2) the number of occurrences is unknown but probably small; (3) although the vegetation may be stable in the absence of disturbance, the undergrowth seems to be sensitive to heavy grazing, and many stands formerly representing this association have been converted to dominance by Poa pratensis; and (4) re-establishment of dominance by native species in the undergrowth apparently is very slow.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, OR, UT, WY
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The geographic range of this association is estimated to be roughly 217,000 square km (80,000 square miles), extending from southern Teton County, Wyoming (Beetle 1961), south and west to central Utah (Padgett et al. 1989).

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
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
Province Name: Middle Rocky Mountain Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M332 Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Temperate Desert Regime Mountains
Province Name: Nevada-Utah Mountains Semi-Desert - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M341 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The vegetation consists of a low-shrub layer (<1 m tall) dominated by Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula and that often contains Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (= Pentaphylloides floribunda; = Potentilla fruticosa) and Salix wolfii. The dense herbaceous undergrowth may be composed mainly of graminoids or may be codominated by graminoids and forbs. Deschampsia caespitosa contributes as much canopy cover as does any other native species. Juncus balticus, Carex microptera, Poa pratensis, Hymenoxys hoopesii (= Helenium hoopesii), and Fragaria virginiana often are present and may contribute substantial cover.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula   Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Deschampsia caespitosa   Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This low-shrub vegetation type is found in riparian zones along mountain streams of western Wyoming (Beetle 1961, Mutz and Graham 1982), southeastern Idaho, and eastern Utah (Padgett et al. 1989), at elevations up to 2560 m (8400 feet) in the north and 2800 m (9200 feet) in the south. It grows on relatively dry riparian sites located on stream terraces or sloping valley bottoms with deep, usually fine-textured soils. Water is present in the soil profile at least part of the year.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Padgett et al. (1989) suggest that species composition in stands of this association is stable unless they are subjected to heavy grazing which can eliminate Deschampsia caespitosa (and other palatable species) and result in dominance by Poa pratensis. The vegetation would then, presumably, be classified as Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) / Poa pratensis Ruderal Shrubland (CEGL002988).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Youngblood et al. (1985a)
Element Description Edition Date: 27Sep2004
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Jones, mod. G. Kittel
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 27Sep2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G.P. Jones

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


References
  • Beetle, A. A. 1961. Range survey in Teton County, Wyoming, Part I. Ecology of range resources. University of Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 376, Laramie. 40 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Driscoll, R. S., D. L. Merkel, D. L. Radloff, D. E. Snyder, and J. S. Hagihara. 1984. An ecological land classification framework for the United States. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1439. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 56 pp.

  • Hansen, P. L., R. D. Pfister, K. Boggs, B. J. Cook, J. Joy, and D. K. Hinckley. 1995. Classification and management of Montana's riparian and wetland sites. Miscellaneous Publication No. 54. Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana. 646 pp. plus posters.

  • 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. 2000-2004. Classification of native vegetation of Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland. 63 pp.

  • Mutz, K. M., and R. Graham. 1982. Riparian community type classification-Big Piney Range District, Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region under contract 53-84M8-1-974, by Meiiji Resource Consultants, Layton, UT. 88 pp.

  • Padgett, W. G., A. P. Youngblood, and A. H. Winward. 1988b. Riparian community type classification of Utah. Publication R4-ECOL-88-01. USDA Forest Service, Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.

  • 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.

  • WNDD [Wyoming Natural Diversity Database]. No date. Unpublished data on file. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY.

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

  • Youngblood, A. P., W. G. Padgett, and A. H. Winward. 1985a. Riparian community type classification of eastern Idaho-western Wyoming. R4-Ecol-85-01. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, UT. 78 pp.


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