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Philadelphus lewisii Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Lewis' Mock Orange Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001170
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is restricted to low elevations between 408 and 1281 m (1340-4200 feet), ranging from the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington, south through Hells Canyon and the Blue Mountains in Oregon, to southwestern Idaho. The association is usually found in narrow to moderate-width canyons and gorges on dry alluvial terraces or steep banks of moderate- to high-gradient intermittent and perennial streams. These sites are above the average high water line, but are occasionally scoured by flash floods or high runoff events. Philadelphus lewisii prefers rocky-gravelly, well-drained alluvial soils ranging from deep to shallow, silty or sandy loam. Philadelphus lewisii forms patchy to dense, 2- to 5-m tall, thickets. Various subdominant tall shrubs are present, most commonly Prunus virginiana, Amelanchier alnifolia, Celtis laevigata var. reticulata, Cornus sericea, and Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea, often with climbing Clematis ligusticifolia present. Low to medium height shrubs (e.g., Rosa spp. and Toxicodendron rydbergii) have high constancy, but relatively low cover. Young Alnus rhombifolia, Betula occidentalis, or Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa are occasionally present, indicating potential successional trends. Total herbaceous cover varies from sparse to moderate and is inversely related to shrub canopy cover. Pseudoroegneria spicata and Elymus glaucus are the most common native grass, but disturbed stands have moderate cover of exotic graminoids (e.g., Poa spp. and annual Bromus spp.). Various colonizing forbs, both native and exotic, especially Anthriscus caucalis, Claytonia perfoliata ssp. perfoliata, Galium aparine, and Stellaria media, are common with low cover.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: The classification of this association is based on 28 quantitative plots: 20 plots from southwestern Idaho and about 8 plots from northeastern Oregon (Holmstead 2001, Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001, Crowe et al. 2002). It belongs to a suite of closely related heterogeneous tall-shrub communities. Philadelphus lewisii is often a codominant or subdominant shrub in communities dominated by shrubs including Acer glabrum, Amelanchier alnifolia, Betula occidentalis, Celtis laevigata var. reticulata, Crataegus douglasii, Cornus sericea, Prunus virginiana, Salix lucida ssp. caudata, and Toxicodendron rydbergii (Crawford 2001, Holmstead 2001, Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001, Crowe et al. 2002). These associations are separated from this Philadelphus lewisii association by having a clearly dominant shrub with higher cover and constancy than Philadelphus lewisii. These tall-shrub associations are usually found in similar hydrologic and topographical settings (e.g., dry, rocky alluvial terraces of narrow, steep streams in the foothills) and often have understories similar to Philadelphus lewisii-dominated stands. Stands of Philadelphus lewisii / Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland (CEGL000875) sampled in eastern Oregon have been included within a broader Philadelphus lewisii association by some researchers (Crowe et al. 2002). However, we consider it to be distinct from this type because of its moderate cover of Symphoricarpos albus and tendency to form on more stable alluvial terraces (Crawford 2001). In Idaho, and most plots from the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, associated shrubs and understory species within Philadelphus lewisii stands is variable, but Symphoricarpos albus is distinctly lacking (Holmstead 2001, Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001, Crowe et al. 2002). Philadelphus lewisii also occasionally dominates upland talus slopes and toeslopes forming "garlands" with some of the same associated shrubs and herbs as the riparian association (Johnson and Simon 1987).

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 Valley Bottom Netleaf Hackberry / Lewis' Mock Orange Wet Scrub

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000875 Philadelphus lewisii / Symphoricarpos albus 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
Idaho Philadelphus lewisii Intermittently Flooded Shrubland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Philadelphus lewisii Association
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: Philadelphus lewisii Dominance Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Evans, S. 1989a. Riparian survey of Washington's Columbia Basin. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Washington.

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: G2 (18Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This shrubland association is restricted to hot and dry, low elevations of the Snake and Columbia River basins including Hells Canyon and the Blue Mountains. It is naturally heterogeneous in vegetation structure and composition, sometimes making classification of stands difficult. Recent inventories in the region greatly increased our knowledge of the abundance, composition, and distribution of this association. The estimated number of known occurrences is now about 30, although 20-50% of these stands are degraded by exotic species invasion (especially annual Bromus spp. and including some noxious weeds). Stands can also be threatened by impacts to the hydrologic regime due to hydroelectric dam operation and water diversions. Philadelphus lewisii is resilient after disturbance, and the association may require occasional flooding for long-term persistence. However, it occurs on relatively dry alluvial terraces that are susceptible to weed invasion. Until additional clearly defined, high-quality, and protected stands of this association are documented, the rank should remain G2.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs in hot dry, low-elevation river canyons in Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

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: Northwestern Basin and Range Section
Section Code: 342B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Owyhee Uplands Section
Section Code: 342C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Columbia Basin Section
Section Code: 342I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Philadelphus lewisii forms patchy to dense, 2- to 5-m tall, thickets. Various subdominant tall shrubs are present, most commonly Prunus virginiana, Amelanchier alnifolia, Celtis laevigata var. reticulata, Cornus sericea, and Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea, often with climbing Clematis ligusticifolia present. Low to medium height shrubs (e.g., Rosa spp. and Toxicodendron rydbergii) have high constancy, but relatively low cover. Young Alnus rhombifolia, Betula occidentalis, or Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa are occasionally present, indicating potential successional trends. Total herbaceous cover varies from sparse to moderate and is inversely related to shrub canopy cover. Pseudoroegneria spicata and Elymus glaucus are the most common native grass, but disturbed stands have moderate cover of exotic graminoids (e.g., Poa spp. and annual Bromus spp.). Various colonizing forbs, both native and exotic, especially Anthriscus caucalis, Claytonia perfoliata ssp. perfoliata, Galium aparine, and Stellaria media, are common with low cover.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Philadelphus lewisii G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Anthriscus caucalis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Stellaria media G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Elymus glaucus G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Pseudoroegneria spicata G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association is restricted to low elevations between 408 and 1281 m (1340-4200 feet), ranging from the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington, south through Hells Canyon and the Blue Mountains in Oregon, to southwestern Idaho. The association is usually found in narrow to moderate-width canyons and gorges on dry alluvial terraces or steep banks of moderate- to high-gradient intermittent and perennial streams. These sites are above the average high water line, but are occasionally scoured by flash floods or high runoff events. Philadelphus lewisii prefers rocky-gravelly, well-drained alluvial soils ranging from deep to shallow, silty or sandy loam.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Philadelphus lewisii is described as an early-seral to mid-seral species (FEIS 2000). Like its associated shrubs, it sprouts vigorously from roots after fire, cutting, or above-ground removal by floods. It also spreads quickly by suckering. The association is likely maintained by occasional flood disturbance on sites favorable for Philadelphus lewisii dominance and requires occasional flood disturbance to persist (Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001). The effect of heavy cattle use on Philadelphus lewisii persistence is not known; however, soil disturbance by cattle promotes the invasion of weedy exotic species in this association (Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001). Philadelphus lewisii is very sensitive to herbicides; so chemical weed control should be limited in areas adjacent to this association (FEIS 2000).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): C. Murphy
Element Description Edition Date: 18Oct2002
Element Description Author(s): C. Murphy
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): C. Murphy

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.

  • 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., 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.

  • Erixson, J., and D. Cogan. 2012c. Vegetation inventory project report: Nez Perce National Historical Park. Natural Resource Report NPS/UCBN/NRR--2012/531. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 380 pp.

  • Evans, S. 1989a. Riparian survey of Washington's Columbia Basin. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Washington.

  • FEIS [Fire Effects Information System]. 2000. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. [http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/]

  • Holmstead, G. 2001. Vegetation of the Snake River corridor in Hells Canyon-Weiser, Idaho to the Salmon River. Technical Report Appendix E.3.3-1 prepared for FERC License No. 1971, Hells Canyon Complex by Idaho Power Company, Boise, ID. 49 pp. plus appendices.

  • IDCDC [Idaho Conservation Data Center]. 2002. Unpublished riparian and wetland association occurrence and plot data on file at the Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise, ID.

  • 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.

  • WNHP [Washington Natural Heritage Program]. 2002. Unpublished riparian and wetland association occurrence and plot data on file at Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA.

  • 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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