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Picea engelmannii / Eleocharis quinqueflora Swamp Woodland
Translated Name: Engelmann Spruce / Few-flower Spikerush Swamp Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL000361
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is common throughout the Cascade Range of Oregon at moderately high elevations. It is rare eastward (though all of the sample sites used for this description are from east of the Cascades). Bogs develop in basin landforms within zones of abundant rainfall on flat, poorly drained sites that support cold, water-saturated soil development. Coastal-influenced wet climate and irregular, glaciated topography help create sites favorable for bog development in the Cascade Range. Eastward these requirements are met only at locations such as Pisgah Meadows (Ochoco National Forest), the headwaters of Jack Creek (Winema National Forest), and in the vicinity of Gearheart and Yamsay mountains (Fremont National Forest). Soils range from sedge to sphagnum and moss peats. Peat formation is due to slow plant decomposition on water-logged sites. Low dissolved oxygen and water temperatures, lack of fluctuation in the water table and water temperature, plus concentration of organic and mineral acids (tannins, etc.) in the water table all contribute to slow decomposition of plant residues and peat accumulates. The soil surface is saturated through most of the summer. Available water-holding capacity is very high. Vegetative composition is variable on these undulating sites. Trees, shrubs, grasses, and taller sedges dominate hummocks, while Eleocharis quinqueflora, Carex limosa, Drosera anglica, and aquatic plants such as Menyanthes trifoliata or Utricularia spp. dominate the water paths. Pinus contorta and Picea engelmannii are codominant in the Cascade Range. Eastward, Picea engelmannii is usually absent. Dwarfed shrubs, especially Betula nana, Vaccinium uliginosum, Salix boothii, Salix commutata, Salix eastwoodiae, Kalmia microphylla, and Lonicera caerulea, are common and may dominate the ground cover. Eleocharis quinqueflora and mosses are conspicuous in the herb layer. Deschampsia cespitosa and Muhlenbergia filiformis are present on many plots. Other grasses are inconspicuous. Normally robust sedges, such as Carex aquatilis var. aquatilis, Carex aquatilis var. dives, Carex angustata, Carex utriculata, or Carex scopulorum, are dwarfed, scattered, and lack vigor but can have fair canopy cover (7-15%). Which sedge is present depends on the geographic and elevational position of the stand. Carex jonesii, Carex limosa, and Carex echinata are characteristic bog graminoids. The rich variety of forbs includes Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum, Fragaria virginiana, Platanthera dilatata, Pedicularis groenlandica, Saxifraga oregana, Trifolium longipes, Dodecatheon spp., Triantha sp., Equisetum arvense, Mimulus primuloides, and Polygonum bistortoides.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 Subalpine Fir - Engelmann Spruce Swamp Forest

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
Oregon Picea engelmannii / Eleocharis quinqueflora Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pinus contorta - Picea engelmannii / Eleocharis pauciflora
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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: Pinus contorta var. latifolia - Picea engelmannii / Eleocharis quinqueflora 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]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.833 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (01Feb1996)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR
Global Distribution: United States

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: Western Cascades Section
Section Code: M242B 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: 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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: [From Crowe et al. (2004)]: Vegetative composition is variable on these undulating sites. Trees, shrubs, grasses, and taller sedges dominate hummocks, while Eleocharis quinqueflora, Carex limosa, Drosera anglica, and aquatic plants such as Menyanthes trifoliata or Utricularia spp. dominate the water paths. Pinus contorta and Picea engelmannii are codominant in the Cascade Range. Eastward, Picea engelmannii is usually absent. Dwarfed shrubs, especially Betula nana, Vaccinium uliginosum, Salix boothii, Salix commutata, Salix eastwoodiae, Kalmia microphylla, and Lonicera caerulea, are common and may dominate the ground cover. Eleocharis quinqueflora and mosses are conspicuous in the herb layer. Deschampsia cespitosa and Muhlenbergia filiformis are present on many plots. Other grasses are inconspicuous. Normally robust sedges, such as Carex aquatilis var. aquatilis, Carex aquatilis var. dives, Carex angustata, Carex utriculata, or Carex scopulorum, are dwarfed, scattered, and lack vigor but can have fair canopy cover (7-15%). Which sedge is present depends on the geographic and elevational position of the stand. Carex jonesii, Carex limosa, and Carex echinata are characteristic bog graminoids. The rich variety of forbs includes Symphyotrichum foliaceum var. foliaceum, Fragaria virginiana, Platanthera dilatata (= Habenaria dilatata), Pedicularis groenlandica, Saxifraga oregana, Trifolium longipes, Dodecatheon spp., Triantha sp. (= Tofieldia sp.), Equisetum arvense, Mimulus primuloides, and Polygonum bistortoides.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Picea engelmannii G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Pinus contorta G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Drosera anglica G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Menyanthes trifoliata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex limosa G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eleocharis quinqueflora G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: From Crowe et al. (2004): This association is common throughout the Cascade Range of Oregon at moderately high elevations. It is rare eastward (though all of the sample sites used for this description are from east of the Cascades). Bogs develop in basin landforms within zones of abundant rainfall on flat, poorly drained sites that support cold, water-saturated soil development (Gorham 1957). Coastal-influenced wet climate and irregular, glaciated topography help create sites favorable for bog development in the Cascade Range. Eastward these requirements are met only at locations such as Pisgah Meadows (Ochoco National Forest), the headwaters of Jack Creek (Winema National Forest), and in the vicinity of Gearheart and Yamsay mountains (Fremont National Forest). Soils range from sedge to sphagnum and moss peats. Peat formation is due to slow plant decomposition on water-logged sites (Gorham 1957). Low dissolved oxygen and water temperatures, lack of fluctuation in the water table and water temperature, plus concentration of organic and mineral acids (tannins, etc.) in the water table all contribute to slow decomposition of plant residues and peat accumulates. The soil surface is saturated through most of the summer. Available water-holding capacity is very high.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: From Crowe et al. (2004): Wildfire is infrequent in bogs (100-300 year frequency). Species composition will remain relatively the same following cool fires except for a reduction in conifers. The shrubs will resprout from stem bases, while the various graminoids and forbs will regenerate from roots, rhizomes, and corms. Peat soils are flammable when dry, and deeply burning fires will restrict the regeneration of most plants by destroying their roots. Long periods of drought may dry the soil surface, starting a trend where decomposition exceeds buildup or where fire lowers the soil surface. However, in the long run these bog sites are self-perpetuating. The eventual long-term potential is a larger, deeper bog and not forest.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Crowe et al. (2004)
Element Description Edition Date: 09May2006
Element Description Author(s): Crowe et al. (2004)

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.

  • 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]

  • Gorham, E. 1957. The chemical composition of lake waters in Nova Scotia. Limnology and Oceanography 2:12-21.

  • 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.

  • Seyer, S. C. 1979. Vegetative ecology of a montane mire, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Unpublished thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 87 pp.

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


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