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Quercus garryana - (Fraxinus latifolia) / Symphoricarpos albus Forest
Translated Name: Oregon White Oak - (Oregon Ash) / Common Snowberry Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL003299
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest association occurs in the southern Puget Lowland of western Washington, the Willamette Valley and the Umpqua Valley of western Oregon, at low elevations. Sites occupied are the drier portions of relatively level riparian areas or transition zones surrounding wetlands within landscapes that currently or formerly supported grasslands (prairies). These may occasionally be flooded in the winter or early spring, but during most years would not be flooded with surface water. They are, however, strongly influenced by subsurface water associated with adjacent wetlands or streams. In pre-European settlement times, they were likely influenced by anthropogenic fires from adjacent prairies, but the frequency and severity of such fires are unknown. This deciduous broad-leaved forest, or less commonly woodland, is dominated by Quercus garryana, that infrequently has significant amounts of conifer in the canopy or subcanopy as well, mostly Pseudotsuga menziesii (mean 10% cover when present). Fraxinus latifolia is usually present (52% of plots in Washington, more common in Oregon), occasionally codominant, in the canopy or the subcanopy. The understory is dominated by deciduous shrubs, mostly Symphoricarpos albus 0.6-1.4 m tall (mean 52% cover), with significant amounts of the taller Amelanchier alnifolia and Oemleria cerasiformis almost always prominent. Other understory species usually present include the short-shrub Mahonia aquifolium, the fern Polystichum munitum, and the forb Galium aparine. One or more of the following forbs is usually present: Maianthemum stellatum, Circaea alpina, Claytonia sibirica, Trillium albidum ssp. parviflorum, Nemophila parviflora, or Viola glabella. This association is distinguished from similar associations by its riparian or wetland setting, by >10% cover of Symphoricarpos albus, along with combined cover of >1% for Polystichum munitum, Circaea alpina, Maianthemum stellatum, and Claytonia sibirica, or Fraxinus latifolia present in the canopy; and <25% cover of Pseudotsuga menziesii.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: There is some intergradation with Pseudotsuga menziesii - Quercus garryana / Symphoricarpos albus Woodland (CEGL000929), which can result in difficulty assigning the association to some stands

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.2 - Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.2.Nd - Vancouverian Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Southern Vancouverian Dry Foothill Forest & Woodland
Group Cascadian Oregon White Oak - Conifer Forest & Woodland
Alliance West Cascadian Dry White Oak - Douglas-fir Forest & Woodland

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 Quercus garryana - Fraxinus latifolia / Symphoricarpos albus Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004
Washington Quercus garryana - (Fraxinus latifolia) / Symphoricarpos albus Riparian Forest Equivalent Certain WNHP unpubl. data 2018


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus garryana - (Fraxinus latifolia) / Symphoricarpos albus
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Chappell, C. B. 2006b. Upland plant associations of the Puget Trough ecoregion, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2006-01. Washington Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, WA. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/communities/pdf/intro.pdf]
Related Concept Name: Quercus garryana - (Fraxinus latifolia) / Symphoricarpos albus Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Buechling, A., E. Alverson, J. Kertis, and G. Fitzpatrick. 2008. Classification of oak vegetation in the Willamette Valley. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 71 pp.
Related Concept Name: Quercus garryana / Symphoricarpos albus / moist forb
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Chappell, C. B., and R. C. Crawford. 1997. Native vegetation of the South Puget Sound prairie landscape. Pages 107-122 in: P. Dunn and K. Ewing, editors. Ecology and conservation of the South Puget Sound prairie landscape. The Nature Conservancy of Washington, Seattle. 289 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.073 North Pacific Lowland Mixed Hardwood-Conifer Forest
CES204.869 North Pacific Lowland Riparian Forest and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (16Nov2000)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This forest association is restricted to the southern Puget Lowland of western Washington, the Willamette Valley and the Umpqua Valley of western Oregon, at low elevations. There are probably 20-50 viable occurrences and no more than about 1500 acres. It has declined in extent significantly and been degraded through a combination of exotic species invasions, overgrazing, tree invasion with fire suppression, hydrologic alterations, and agricultural and residential conversion. There are now only a very small number of highly viable occurrences, and multiple threats continue in the very altered landscape in which it occurs. It is confined to moist riparian or wetland margins that are set in prairie or former prairie landscapes.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs from Pierce County, Washington, south through the Willamette Valley to the Umpqua Valley of Oregon.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Division
Province Name: Pacific Lowland Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Willamette Valley and Puget Trough Section
Section Code: 242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This deciduous broad-leaved forest, or less commonly woodland, is dominated by Quercus garryana, that infrequently has significant amounts of conifer in the canopy or subcanopy as well, mostly Pseudotsuga menziesii (mean 10% cover when present). Fraxinus latifolia is usually present (52% of plots in Washington, more common in Oregon), occasionally codominant, in the canopy or the subcanopy. The understory is dominated by deciduous shrubs, mostly Symphoricarpos albus 0.6-1.4 m tall (mean 52% cover), with significant amounts of the taller Amelanchier alnifolia and Oemleria cerasiformis almost always prominent. Other understory species usually present include the short-shrub Mahonia aquifolium, the fern Polystichum munitum, and the forb Galium aparine. One or more of the following forbs is usually present: Maianthemum stellatum, Circaea alpina, Claytonia sibirica, Trillium albidum ssp. parviflorum (= Trillium parviflorum), Nemophila parviflora, or Viola glabella. This association is distinguished from similar associations by its riparian or wetland setting, by >10% cover of Symphoricarpos albus, along with combined cover of >1% for Polystichum munitum, Circaea alpina, Maianthemum stellatum, and Claytonia sibirica, or Fraxinus latifolia present in the canopy; and <25% cover of Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Fraxinus latifolia G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Quercus garryana G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Symphoricarpos albus G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Trillium parviflorum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Trillium parviflorum
  (Small-flowered Trillium)
G2G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This forest association occurs in the southern Puget Lowland of western Washington, the Willamette Valley and the Umpqua Valley of western Oregon, at low elevations. Sites occupied are the drier portions of relatively level riparian areas or transition zones surrounding wetlands within landscapes that currently or formerly supported grasslands (prairies). These may occasionally be flooded in the winter or early spring, but during most years would not be flooded with surface water. They are, however, strongly influenced by subsurface water associated with adjacent wetlands or streams. In pre-European settlement times, they were likely influenced by anthropogenic fires from adjacent prairies, but the frequency and severity of such fires are unknown.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): C.B. Chappell and R.C. Crawford (1997)
Element Description Edition Date: 01Feb2001
Element Description Author(s): C.B. Chappell
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Nov2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): C.B. Chappell

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Buechling, A., E. Alverson, J. Kertis, and G. Fitzpatrick. 2008. Classification of oak vegetation in the Willamette Valley. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 71 pp.

  • Chappell, C. B. 2006b. Upland plant associations of the Puget Trough ecoregion, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2006-01. Washington Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, WA. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/communities/pdf/intro.pdf]

  • Chappell, C. B., R. Bigley, R. Crawford, and D. F. Giglio. No date. Field guide to terrestrial plant associations of the Puget Lowland, Washington. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA. [in preparation]

  • Chappell, C. B., and R. C. Crawford. 1997. Native vegetation of the South Puget Sound prairie landscape. Pages 107-122 in: P. Dunn and K. Ewing, editors. Ecology and conservation of the South Puget Sound prairie landscape. The Nature Conservancy of Washington, Seattle. 289 pp.

  • Copass, C., and T. Ramm-Granberg. 2016b. Vancouver National Historic Reserve vegetation inventory and mapping project. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCCN/NRR--2016/1128. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 90 pp.

  • 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]. 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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