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Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Crataegus douglasii Riparian Forest
Translated Name: Black Cottonwood / Black Hawthorn Riparian Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000673
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This riparian forest association occurs along tributaries to the Grande Ronde River in the foothills zone of the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Stands may also occur in the adjacent regions of southeastern Washington and west-central Idaho along the smaller tributaries of the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers. These forests occur in riparian zones of moderate-sized streams and rivers. Soils are derived from stream-deposited alluvium and are shallow and rocky. Depth to the water table is usually less than 60 cm, and during spring averages 18 cm. The vegetation composition and structure of this association are poorly described, but it is apparently structurally diverse. The tree canopy is dominated by the broad-leaved deciduous Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa, with the needle-leaved evergreen species Abies grandis and Pinus ponderosa occurring as scattered individuals. There is a tall-shrub layer composed primarily of the broad-leaved deciduous shrubs Crataegus douglasii and Alnus incana, the later primarily along the immediate streambanks. A shorter shrub layer dominated by Rosa woodsii may be present. The herbaceous layer is species-rich and abundant, often with a significant component of introduced species. Common native graminoids include Elymus glaucus and Carex spp.; forbs include Osmorhiza berteroi, Ranunculus acris, Packera pseudaurea, and Claytonia perfoliata. Introduced species often include Poa pratensis, Dactylis glomerata, and Taraxacum officinale. There is typically a cryptogamic layer. Diagnostic of this riparian forest association is the tree canopy dominated by Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa with a Crataegus douglasii-codominated shrub layer. Sites have shallow water tables and are flooded for brief periods during the growing season.



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 Northern Rocky Mountain Lowland-Foothill Riparian Forest
Alliance Northern Rocky Mountain Riparian Black Cottonwood 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
Idaho Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Crataegus douglasii Forest Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Crataegus douglasii Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Populus trichocarpa ssp. balsamifera / Crataegus douglasii 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
CES304.768 Columbia Basin Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (12Oct1997)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: The association has a restricted range of distribution and few high-quality examples have been located in that range. Most stands of this association have been impacted by livestock grazing, which has reduced, or even eliminated, shrub abundance and altered species composition. All stands have abundant introduced species in the herbaceous understory (Poa pratensis, Dactylis glomerata, and Taraxacum officinale).

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The plant association has been described from the southwestern portion of the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, along tributaries to the Grande Ronde River. Examples of the association have also been located in eastern Idaho. May also occur in the adjacent regions of southeastern Washington and west-central Idaho, along smaller tributaries of the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers.

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
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: Idaho Batholith Section
Section Code: M332A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The vegetation composition and structure of this association are poorly described but apparently structurally diverse. The tree canopy is dominated by the broad-leaved deciduous Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa (= Populus trichocarpa), with the needle-leaved evergreen species Abies grandis and Pinus ponderosa occurring as scattered individuals (and probably as emergents from the Populus canopy). There is a tall-shrub layer composed primarily of the broad-leaved deciduous shrubs Crataegus douglasii and Alnus incana, the later primarily along the immediate streambanks. A shorter shrub layer dominated by Rosa woodsii may be present. The herbaceous layer is species-rich and abundant, often with a significant component of introduced species. Common native graminoids include Elymus glaucus and Carex spp.; forbs include Osmorhiza berteroi (= Osmorhiza chilensis), Ranunculus acris, Packera pseudaurea (= Senecio pseudaureus), and Claytonia perfoliata (= Montia perfoliata). There is typically a cryptogamic layer. The introduced grass Poa pratensis and the exotic forb Taraxacum officinale are abundant in the understory of most stands, due to livestock grazing.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Alnus incana G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Crataegus douglasii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Osmorhiza berteroi G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Packera pseudaurea G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Taraxacum officinale G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Elymus glaucus 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 Broad-leaved deciduous tree
 
 
 
 
Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub
 
 
 
 
Herb (field) Flowering forb
 
 
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: The 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). 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 38-64 cm (15-25 inches), most of which occurs as snow from November to May. This association 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 shallow and rocky. Typically an A horizon 15-30 cm deep (occasionally up to 43 cm) is situated over an aerated horizon composed of coarse sands to larger unconsolidated cobbles. Textures of the surface horizon are silty to sandy loams, and organic matter content is high. Sometimes clay balls are interspersed throughout the coarse-textured materials. Depth to the water table is usually less than 60 cm, and during spring averages 18 cm.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Crowe et al. (2004)
Element Description Edition Date: 02Nov1993
Element Description Author(s): M.S. Reid
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 12Oct1997
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M.S. Reid

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]

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Kauffman, J. B. 1982. Synecological effects of cattle grazing riparian ecosystems. Unpublished thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 283 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.

  • Moseley, R. K., and R. J. Bursik. 1994. Black cottonwood communities of Spion Kop Research Natural Area, Coeur d'Alene, Blaine County, Idaho. Idaho Panhandle NFs/IdCDC Idaho Department of Fish & Game Cooperative Cost Share Project. 14 pp.

  • Reid, M. S., L. S. Engelking, and P. S. Bourgeron. 1994. Rare plant communities of the conterminous United States, Western Region. Pages 305-620 in: D. H. Grossman, K. L. Goodin, and C. L. Reuss, editors. Rare plant communities of the conterminous United States, an initial survey. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA.

  • Titus, J. H., M. Kerr, E. Crowe, and B. Kovalchik. 1998. Riparian zones of eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland.

  • 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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