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Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Atriplex confertifolia - (Picrothamnus desertorum, Suaeda moquinii) Shrubland
Translated Name: Greasewood / Shadscale Saltbush - (Bud Sagebrush, Mojave Seablite) Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001371
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This short-shrub association occurs on high alluvial terraces and canyon bottoms, as well as in the outer ring of palustrine or lacustrine wetlands on basin floors. Stands are reported from scattered sites in the Colorado Plateau of southeastern Utah, the Great Basin of northern Nevada, and the Columbia Basin of southeastern Oregon. This association is located high enough above the flood zone or water table that there is rarely standing water on the ground surface. Sites are generally level or gently sloping and occur between 1125 and 1300 m (3700-4300 feet) elevation in Nevada and between 1525 and 1830 m (5000-6000 feet) elevation in Utah. Most of the unvegetated ground surface is bare soil. Parent materials include alluvium, lake bottom deposits and eolian loess. Soils are deep, saline, well-drained sands, sandy loams or sandy clays. Total vegetation cover rarely exceeds 40%; the vegetation is characterized by a mixed shrub canopy of Sarcobatus vermiculatus generally accompanied by lesser amounts of Atriplex confertifolia and Suaeda moquinii. Other associated shrubs are sparse and variable, including Allenrolfea occidentalis, Picrothamnus desertorum, Atriplex canescens, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Tetradymia spinosa, and Opuntia polyacantha. The herbaceous layer provides sparse to moderate cover. Graminoids vary throughout the range, but common species include Bromus tectorum, Distichlis spicata, Elymus elymoides, Sporobolus airoides, Sporobolus contractus, and Sporobolus cryptandrus. Forbs provide variable cover as they tend to be dominated by annual exotics, such as Bassia hyssopifolia, Lepidium perfoliatum, Salsola tragus, and Halogeton glomeratus.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: The concepts of this association and that of Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Suaeda moquinii Shrubland (CEGL001370) are not clearly distinguished; the two may need to be combined for consistency and ease of identification.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.5 - Salt Marsh
Division 2.C.5.Nd - North American Western Interior Brackish Marsh
Macrogroup Warm & Cool Desert Alkali-Saline Wetland
Group North American Desert Alkaline-Saline Shrub Wetland
Alliance Intermountain Greasewood Scrub

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001298 Atriplex confertifolia - Picrothamnus desertorum / Sarcobatus vermiculatus Shrubland
CEGL001369 Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Nitrophila occidentalis - Suaeda moquinii Shrubland
CEGL001370 Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Suaeda moquinii Shrubland
CEGL001991 Suaeda moquinii 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 Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Atriplex confertifolia - (Picrothamnus desertorum, Suaeda moquinii) Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Suaeda moquinii Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bundy, R. M., J. V. Baumgartner, M. S. Reid, P. S. Bourgeron, H. C. Humphries, and B. L. Donohue. 1996. Ecological classification of wetland plant associations in the Lahontan Valley, Nevada. Prepared for Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and USDI Fish & Wildlife Service. 53 pp. not including inventories, tables and graphs.
Related Concept Name: Sarcobatus vermiculatus var. baileyi/Atriplex confertifolia/Artemisia spinescens
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES304.780 Inter-Mountain Basins Greasewood Flat
CES304.781 Inter-Mountain Basins Wash
CES304.786 Inter-Mountain Basins Playa


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G5? (10Nov2005)
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Although widespread, this association is nowhere common.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NV, OR, UT
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association has been documented from the Great Basin, Columbia Basin and Colorado Plateau in northern Nevada, southeastern Oregon and southeastern Utah.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert and Desert Province
Province Code: 341 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bonneville Basin Section
Section Code: 341A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Canyon Lands Section
Section Code: 341B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lahontan Basin Section
Section Code: 341E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association is found on valley bottoms and the outer reaches of floodplains in the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. Total vegetation cover rarely exceeds 40% in these stands growing on saline soils. The vegetation is characterized by a mixed shrub canopy of Sarcobatus vermiculatus generally accompanied by lesser amounts of Atriplex confertifolia and Suaeda moquinii. Other associated shrubs are sparse and variable, including Allenrolfea occidentalis, Picrothamnus desertorum, Atriplex canescens, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Tetradymia spinosa, and Opuntia polyacantha. The herbaceous layer provides sparse to moderate cover. Graminoids vary throughout the range, but common species include Bromus tectorum, Distichlis spicata, Elymus elymoides, Sporobolus airoides, Sporobolus contractus, and Sporobolus cryptandrus. Forbs provide variable cover as they tend to be dominated by annual exotics, such as Bassia hyssopifolia, Lepidium perfoliatum, Salsola tragus, and Halogeton glomeratus.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Suaeda moquinii   Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Atriplex confertifolia   Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Picrothamnus desertorum   Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Sarcobatus vermiculatus   Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Bassia hyssopifolia   Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Halogeton glomeratus   Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lepidium perfoliatum   Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Salsola kali ssp. tragus   Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Bromus tectorum   Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This short-shrub association occurs on high alluvial terraces and canyon bottoms, as well as in the outer ring of palustrine or lacustrine wetlands on basin floors. Stands are reported from scattered sites in the Colorado Plateau of southeastern Utah, the Great Basin of northern Nevada, and the Columbia Basin of southeastern Oregon. This association is located high enough above the flood zone or water table that there is rarely standing water on the ground surface. Sites are generally level or gently sloping and occur between 1125 and 1300 m (3700-4300 feet) elevation in Nevada and between 1525 and 1830 m (5000-6000 feet) elevation in Utah. Most of the unvegetated ground surface is bare soil. Parent materials are variable and include alluvium, lake bottom deposits and eolian loess. Soils are deep, saline, well-drained sands, sandy loams or sandy clays.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The low cover of native graminoids and the abundance of exotic weedy species in the herbaceous layer indicate a long history of domestic livestock grazing.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Western Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 10Nov2005
Element Description Author(s): J. Coles
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Nov2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): J. Coles

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.

  • Bundy, R. M., J. V. Baumgartner, M. S. Reid, P. S. Bourgeron, H. C. Humphries, and B. L. Donohue. 1996. Ecological classification of wetland plant associations in the Lahontan Valley, Nevada. Prepared for Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and USDI Fish & Wildlife Service. 53 pp. not including inventories, tables and graphs.

  • Clark, D., M. Dela Cruz, T. Clark, J. Coles, S. Topp, A. Evenden, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, and J. Von Loh. 2009. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Capitol Reef National Park. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2009/187. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 882 pp.

  • Driscoll, R. S., D. L. Merkel, D. L. Radloff, D. E. Snyder, and J. S. Hagihara. 1984. An ecological land classification framework for the United States. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1439. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 56 pp.

  • Kagan, J. S., J. A. Christy, M. P. Murray, and J. A. Titus. 2000-2004. Classification of native vegetation of Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland. 63 pp.

  • Peterson, E. B. 2008. International Vegetation Classification alliances and associations occurring in Nevada with proposed additions. Nevada Natural Heritage Program, Carson City, NV. 348 pp.

  • Romme, W. H., K. D. Heil, J. M. Porter, and R. Fleming. 1993. Plant communities of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. USDI National Park Service, Technical Report NPS/NAUCARE/NRTER-93/02. Cooperative Park Studies Unit, Northern Arizona University. 37 pp.

  • Schulz, K. A., and M. E. Hall. 2011. Vegetation inventory project: Great Basin National Park. Unpublished report submitted to USDI National Park Service, Mojave Desert Inventory and Monitoring Network. NatureServe, Western Regional Office, Boulder, CO. 30 pp. plus Appendices A-H.

  • Western Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boulder, CO.


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