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Alnus incana / Scirpus microcarpus Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Gray Alder / Panicled Bulrush Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL000481
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is recognized as a minor shrub-fen Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia type that appears in the Thompson-Okanogan Plateau of Washington and in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. Washington samples are located between 845-945 m (2800-3100 feet) elevation in broad, low-gradient valleys along meandering streams or in shrub wetlands. Oregon stands are found at higher elevations located between 1220 and 1586 m (4000-5200 feet). These sites can occur where lots of deposition occurs on floodplains under alder or where sands and gravels have been dumped into an Alnus incana wetland. Soils are typically organic with a shallow water table and often with some exposed surface water. This association has the highest average cover of Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia in 16 Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia types on the national forests of eastern Washington. Cornus sericea and Salix bebbiana are frequent shrubs that occur with very low cover in this community. The herbaceous layer contains wet-site graminoids and forbs and is dominated by Scirpus microcarpus (well over 20% cover). Common herbaceous species, whose combined cover is typically much less than Scirpus microcarpus, include Glyceria striata, Carex utriculata, Equisetum arvense, Epilobium ciliatum ssp. watsonii, and Veronica americana.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 Alder Wet Shrubland

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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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 Alnus incana / Scirpus microcarpus Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana / Scirpus microcarpus
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: Alnus incana / Scirpus microcarpus 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
CES306.831 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Fen
CES306.832 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2G3 (17Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This association is recognized as a minor shrub-fen Alnus incana type that appears in the Thompson-Okanogan Plateau of Washington and in the Blue Mountains in Oregon. It is an unusual association that appears where sands and gravels aggregate in an Alnus incana wetland within a limited geographic range. Road construction and other disturbances that alter hydrology may degrade sites. Exotic species Poa pratensis or Phalaris arundinacea lessen condition of occurrences.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is found in the Thompson-Okanogan Plateau of northeastern Washington and in the Blue Mountains of Oregon.

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: 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
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Okanogan Highlands Section
Section Code: M333A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association has the highest average cover of Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia in 16 Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia types on the national forests of eastern Washington. Cornus sericea and Salix bebbiana are frequent shrubs that occur with very low cover in this community. The herbaceous layer contains wet-site graminoids and forbs and is dominated by Scirpus microcarpus (well over 20% cover). Common herbaceous species, whose combined cover is typically much less than Scirpus microcarpus, include Glyceria striata (= Glyceria elata), Carex utriculata, Equisetum arvense, Epilobium ciliatum ssp. watsonii, and Veronica americana.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Scirpus microcarpus G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association appears in the Thompson-Okanogan Plateau of Washington and in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. Washington samples are located between 845-945 m (2800-3100 feet) elevation in broad, low-gradient valleys along meandering streams or in shrub wetlands. Oregon stands are found at higher elevations located between 1220 and 1586 m (4000-5200 feet). These sites can occur where lots of deposition occurs on floodplains under alder or where sands and gravels have been dumped into an Alnus incana wetland. Soils are typically organic with a shallow water table and often with some exposed surface water.


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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 2001. Classification and management of aquatic, riparian and wetland sites on the national forests of eastern Washington. Part 1: The series descriptions. 429 pp. plus appendix. [http://www.reo.gov/col/wetland_classification/wetland_classification.pdf]

  • Kovalchik, Bud L. Personal communication. U.S. Forest Service riparian ecologist, retired. Colville, WA.

  • Murphy, C. Personal communication. Idaho Conservation Data Center, Boise.

  • 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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Data last updated: March 2019