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Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis Riparian Forest
Translated Name: Quaking Aspen / Bluejoint Riparian Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000574
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These lush, deciduous, riparian forests occur in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and possibly Wyoming. Elevations range from 850 to 3170 m (2800-10,400 feet). Sites are riparian, occurring along stream terraces or floodplains, or upland on wet flats, benches, and gentle toeslopes where groundwater emerges as seeps. Substrates are often coarse-loamy soils over coarse alluvium. Stands have a moderately dense to dense tree canopy that is dominated by Populus tremuloides. Other trees present with low cover (<10%) may include Pinus contorta, or Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa. The shrub layer is sparse to moderate (cover ranging from 0 to 30% cover) and composed of any of a variety of shrubs, such as Alnus incana, Rosa spp., Amelanchier alnifolia, Cornus sericea, and several Salix spp., including Salix geyeriana, Salix bebbiana, and Salix monticola. Shorter shrub species present include Symphoricarpos albus, Ribes lacustre, and Rosa acicularis. The herbaceous layer is moderately dense to dense depending on shrub cover. It is dominated by the wet-site perennial graminoid Calamagrostis canadensis. Other frequently occurring species include Bromus ciliatus, Carex siccata, Equisetum arvense, Geranium richardsonii, Heracleum spp., Ligusticum porteri, Maianthemum stellatum, Mertensia ciliata, Senecio triangularis, and Viola spp. These are usually in low abundance but occasionally can have as much as 30% cover individually. The introduced species Poa pratensis, Poa palustris, and Taraxacum officinale may be present. The abundant and near uniform cover of the Calamagrostis canadensis-dominated herbaceous layer in the understory separates this type from other Populus tremuloides forests.



Classification

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

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 Quaking Aspen Riparian Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000138 Pinus contorta / Calamagrostis canadensis Swamp Forest
CEGL000300 Abies lasiocarpa - Picea engelmannii / Calamagrostis canadensis Swamp Forest
CEGL003442 Populus tremuloides / Carex aquatilis var. aquatilis Riparian Forest
CEGL005845 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Calamagrostis canadensis Riparian Forest
CEGL005909 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Populus tremuloides - Conifer / Calamagrostis canadensis Riparian Forest



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 tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis Forest Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Montana Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis Forest Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002
Oregon Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004
Washington Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis Swamp Forest Equivalent Certain WNHP unpubl. data 2018


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Abies lasiocarpa / Calamagrostis canadensis Habitat Type
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Hess, K., and R. R. Alexander. 1986. Forest vegetation of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests in northcentral Colorado: A habitat type classification. Research Paper RM-266. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 48 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Baker, W. L. 1984a. A preliminary classification of the natural vegetation of Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist 44(4):647-676.
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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Huckaby, L. S., and W. H. Moir 1998. Forest communities at Fraser Experimental Forest. Southwestern Naturalist 43(2):204-218.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis 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: Populus tremuloides / Calamagrostis canadensis Habitat Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.

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 (29Dec1999)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This riparian association is known from the mountains in eastern Washington and Oregon, southeastern Idaho, western Montana, Colorado, and western Wyoming. While seemingly widespread, it appears to be rare, with fewer than 100 occurrences, and is found only locally throughout much of its range. Sites are uncommon and small in size. The trend is stable; however, improper grazing by livestock can degrade the condition of these stands by reducing the abundance of palatable species. Additional threats may include introduce plants species and possibly logging.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CO, ID, MT, OR, WA, WYpotentially occurs
Canadian Province Distribution: AB
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association occurs in the mountains of eastern Washington and Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and possibly Wyoming. It also is found in southern Alberta, Canada.

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
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Uinta Mountains Section
Section Code: M331E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Parks and Ranges Section
Section Code: M331F 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: Rocky Mountain Front Section
Section Code: M332C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Belt Mountains Section
Section Code: M332D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Beaverhead Mountains Section
Section Code: M332E 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: Northern Rockies Section
Section Code: M333C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands have a moderately dense to dense tree canopy that is dominated by Populus tremuloides. Other trees present with low cover (<10%) may include Pinus contorta or Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa. The shrub layer is sparse to moderately dense (cover ranging from 0 to 50% cover), and composed of a variety of shrubs such as Alnus incana, Rosa spp., Symphoricarpos spp., Amelanchier alnifolia, Cornus sericea, and several Salix spp., including Salix geyeriana, Salix bebbiana, and Salix monticola. Shorter shrub species present include Symphoricarpos albus, Ribes lacustre, and Rosa acicularis. The herbaceous layer is moderately dense to dense depending on shrub cover. It is dominated by the wet-site perennial graminoid Calamagrostis canadensis. Other common species include Bromus ciliatus, Carex siccata (= Carex foenea), Equisetum arvense, Geranium richardsonii, Heracleum spp., Ligusticum porteri, Maianthemum stellatum, Mertensia ciliata, Senecio triangularis, Senecio hydrophiloides, Viola spp., Vicia americana, Lathyrus ochroleucus, and Galium boreale. These are usually low in cover, but occasionally occur with as much as 30% cover individually. Introduced species Poa pratensis, Poa palustris, and Taraxacum officinale may be present. The abundance and nearly uniform cover of the Calamagrostis canadensis-dominated herbaceous layer in the understory separates this type from other Populus tremuloides forests.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Populus tremuloides G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Taraxacum officinale G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Calamagrostis canadensis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Poa palustris G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Poa pratensis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These lush deciduous forests occur in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and possibly Wyoming. Elevations range from 850 to 3170 m (2800-10,400 feet). Sites are riparian, occurring along stream terraces or floodplains, or upland on wet flats, benches, and gentle toeslopes where groundwater seeps. Substrates range from coarse loamy soils to silty clay, clay or silty clay loams with very little gravel or rock. The soil is typically deep, moist and well-developed.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This Populus tremuloides riparian forest is slowly successional to conifer-dominated (primarily Abies concolor, Picea engelmannii, or Abies lasiocarpa) riparian forests.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.A. Schulz
Element Description Edition Date: 21Apr2005
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz, G. Kittel, S.L. Neid
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Mar2004
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).


References
  • ANHIC [Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Community database files. Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre, Parks and Protected Areas Division, Alberta Community Development, Edmonton.

  • Baker, W. L. 1984a. A preliminary classification of the natural vegetation of Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist 44(4):647-676.

  • Boggs, K., P. Hansen, R. Pfister, and J. Joy. 1990. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in northwestern Montana. Draft version I. Report prepared for the Montana Riparian Association and Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula. 216 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.

  • CNHP [Colorado Natural Heritage Program]. 2006-2017. Tracked natural plant communities. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. [https://cnhp.colostate.edu/ourdata/trackinglist/plant_communities/]

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hansen, P., K. Boggs, and R. Pfister. 1991. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in Montana. Unpublished draft version prepared for Montana Riparian Association, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula. 478 pp.

  • Hess, K., and R. R. Alexander. 1986. Forest vegetation of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests in northcentral Colorado: A habitat type classification. Research Paper RM-266. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 48 pp.

  • Hop, K., M. Reid, J. Dieck, S. Lubinski, and S. Cooper. 2007. U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI. 131 pp. plus Appendices A-L.

  • Huckaby, L. S., and W. H. Moir 1998. Forest communities at Fraser Experimental Forest. Southwestern Naturalist 43(2):204-218.

  • 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).

  • Jones, G., and S. Ogle. 2000. Characterization abstracts for vegetation types on the Bighorn, Medicine Bow, and Shoshone national forests. Prepared for USDA Forest Service, Region 2 by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming.

  • 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.

  • MTNHP [Montana Natural Heritage Program]. 2002b. List of ecological communities for Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Montana State Library, Helena, MT.

  • Mutel, C. F. 1973. An ecological study of the plant communities of certain montane meadows in the Front Range of Colorado. Unpublished thesis, University of Colorado, Boulder. 77 pp.

  • Powell, D. C. 1988a. Aspen community types of the Pike and San Isabel national forests in south-central Colorado. Report R2-ECOL-88-01. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Denver, CO. 254 pp.

  • Reid, M. S., S. V. Cooper, and G. Kittel. 2004. Vegetation classification of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Final report for USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, International Peace Park Mapping Project. NatureServe, Arlington VA.

  • Salas, D. E., J. Stevens, K. Schulz, M. Artmann, B. Friesen, S. Blauer, E. W. Schweiger, and A. Valdez. 2010b. Vegetation classification and mapping project report: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Natural Resource Report NPS/ROMN/NRR--2010/179. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Salas, D., J. Stevens, and K. Schulz. 2005. USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Technical Memorandum No. 8260-05-02. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO. 161 pp. plus Appendices A-L (733 pp.).

  • 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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