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Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii - Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Water Birch / Lewis' Mock Orange - Common Snowberry Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL000489
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This riparian shrubland or short woodland community is known from low elevations of 427 to 1037 m (1400-3400 feet) in the Columbia Plateau and adjacent foothills in Oregon and Washington. This association generally appears well below treeline and within steppe or shrub-steppe settings, and is usually found on upper stream terraces, although it can occur on toeslopes or in the active floodplain. Short Betula occidentalis trees or tall shrubs, 4 to 9 m (15-30 feet) tall, form a dense to open woody layer usually with Philadelphus lewisii and/or Symphoricarpos albus. The shrub layer sometimes contains high cover of Prunus virginiana, Ribes aureum, Clematis ligusticifolia, Rosa woodsii, Rosa nutkana, or Holodiscus discolor. Toxicodendron rydbergii is abundant on more moist sites. The sparse herbaceous layer can have Maianthemum stellatum in abundance.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: As recognized here, this includes Crowe et al.'s (2002) Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii and the Betula occidentalis / Symphoricarpos albus of Crawford (2001). This association differs from other Betula occidentalis types in having moderate to high relative cover of Symphoricarpos albus and more species indicative of fine-textured soils, such as Maianthemum stellatum.

In contrast, Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii Wet Shrubland (CEGL002668) of the USNVC is associated with less stable fluvial surfaces, in warmer drier settings that are out of forested areas. It also occurs on rockier gravelly soils compared to sites supporting Symphoricarpos albus and is not particularly forb-rich. Flood regimes are more intermittent streams. Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii - Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland (CEGL000489) occurs in warmer, drier settings, both in landscape context and stream hydrology, and on higher stream terraces (less flood prone) than Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii Wet Shrubland (CEGL002668). In addition, the soils are less gravelly or have more fine-textured components which support a different forb flora. These two types appear to be relatively distinct, although they likely form complex systems with Betula occidentalis / Cornus sericea Wet Shrubland (CEGL001161) in the field.


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 Water Birch Wet Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001161 Betula occidentalis / Cornus sericea Wet Shrubland
CEGL002668 Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii 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
Oregon Betula occidentalis - Philadelphus lewisii Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Betula occidentalis - Philadelphus lewisii - Amelanchier alnifolia - Symporicarpos 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: Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crowe, E., B. Kovalchik, M. J. Kerr, J. Titus, and J. S. Kagan. 2002. Riparian and wetland plant communities of eastern Oregon. Draft report. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Portland, OR.
Related Concept Name: Betula occidentalis / Symphoricarpos albus
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES304.768 Columbia Basin Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1G2 (17Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This association is known from low elevations in the Columbia Plateau and adjacent foothills in Oregon and Washington. This riparian association appears in a region with altered hydrology and abundant exotic plant species. Fewer than 10 locations are recognized.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is found in scattered locations at low to moderate elevations of the Columbia Plateau in Oregon and Washington, and the foothills of the Blue Mountains of Oregon.

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
Section Name: Columbia Basin Section
Section Code: 342I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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: Short Betula occidentalis trees or tall shrubs, 4 to 9 m (15-30 feet) tall, form a dense to open woody layer usually with Philadelphus lewisii and/or Symphoricarpos albus. The shrub layer sometimes contains high cover of Prunus virginiana, Ribes aureum, Clematis ligusticifolia, Rosa woodsii, Rosa nutkana, or Holodiscus discolor. Toxicodendron rydbergii is abundant on more moist sites. The sparse herbaceous layer can have Maianthemum stellatum in abundance.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula occidentalis G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Philadelphus lewisii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Symphoricarpos albus G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This riparian shrubland or short woodland community is known from low elevations of 427 to 1037 m (1400-3400 feet) in the Columbia Plateau and adjacent foothills in Oregon and Washington. This association generally appears well below treeline and within steppe or shrub-steppe settings, and is usually found on upper stream terraces, although it can occur on toeslopes or in the active floodplain.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): R.C. Crawford
Element Description Edition Date: 17Oct2002
Element Description Author(s): R.C. Crawford
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
  • 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., B. Kovalchik, M. J. Kerr, J. Titus, and J. S. Kagan. 2002. Riparian and wetland plant communities of eastern Oregon. Draft report. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Portland, OR.

  • Jankovsky-Jones, M., C. J. Murphy, and C. L. Coulter. 2001. Riparian and wetland plant associations of southwestern Idaho in the Lower Snake River District, Bureau of Land Management. Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise.

  • 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.

  • 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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