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Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida ssp. caudata Riparian Woodland
Translated Name: Black Cottonwood / Greenleaf Willow Riparian Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL003431
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is known from scattered locations in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, Washington and adjacent west-central and southwestern Idaho. The association occurs between 915 and 1372 m (3000-4500 feet) elevation on alluvial bars and abandoned channels of low-gradient, narrow streams to broad rivers (i.e., stream orders 3 and 4). The association is most often expressed in an early-seral state characterized by abundant Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa seedlings and saplings and large areas of exposed coarse alluvial deposits. However, stands with mature overstory Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa trees also occur. Total Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa cover typically ranges from about 20-70%, while Salix lucida ssp. caudata forms a tall-shrub layer with 20-60% cover. A variety of woody species, such as other Salix species and conifer seedlings, are usually present, but all have low cover. This association is heavily influenced by annual cycles of flooding, scouring, and ice disturbance. As a result, total herbaceous cover is low and characterized by pioneering, often exotic, species. The most important understory herbaceous species is Poa pratensis, although the native grass Elymus glaucus and colonizing forbs, such as Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, and Taraxacum officinale, are also commonly encountered.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association is quantitatively described by several classifications of plot data, each with analyzed minimal plot numbers (2-4 plots each). The association has been described with 11 quantitative plots: 3 plots in Idaho (Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001) and 6 plots in eastern Oregon (4 plots by Crowe and Clausnitzer (1997), and 2 plots by Oregon Natural Heritage Program (2002)). In each analysis, this association was distinctive and easily distinguished from other associations on recent alluvial bars (e.g., those described by Hansen et al. (1995), Jankovsky-Jones et al. (2001), and others). Stands of this association are clearly dominated by both Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa and Salix lucida ssp. caudata. No other shrub or herbaceous species consistently had high cover in any of the plots sampled. Stands of this association are somewhat similar in composition to Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix exigua Riparian Forest (CEGL000676) (Crawford 2001, Crowe et al. 2002), Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lutea (not yet incorporated in the USNVC) (Jankovsky-Jones et al. 2001), or other associations (Hansen et al. 1995, Manning and Padgett 1995), but these other Salix species tend to dominate on less flood-scoured, more stable alluvial bars. The vegetation of these other associations is more diverse and heterogeneous than this association. An analogous type, with very different species composition, may occur on the west side of the Cascades, but it is considered separate from this association.

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 Northern Rocky Mountain Lowland-Foothill Riparian Forest
Alliance Northern Rocky Mountain Riparian Black Cottonwood Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000676 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix exigua 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 balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida ssp.caudata Woodland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida ssp. caudata Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Populus / Salix Community Type
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Manning, M. E., and W. G. Padgett. 1995. Riparian community type classification for Humboldt and Toiyabe national forests, Nevada and eastern California. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 306 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida 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 balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa Association
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Populus trichocarpa / Salix lasiandra
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.

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 association is an early-seral alluvial bar association known from less than 10 scattered locations in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, Washington, and in adjacent southwestern Idaho. Despite recent inventories from the association's range, this Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa association has been found infrequently and is apparently very rare. The association is limited to low-elevation, low-gradient streams and rivers with intact hydrologic processes that promote the formation of frequently flooded alluvial bars. It is heavily dependent on the annual cycles of flooding, scouring, and ice disturbance to maintain its characteristically young woody vegetation, low total herbaceous cover, and large areas of exposed coarse alluvial deposits. These deposits are necessary for Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa and Salix lucida ssp. caudata reproduction. Livestock browsing and interruption of flooding cycles by dams have most likely decreased Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa seedling establishment and survival on some rivers that once may have supported this association.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, OR, WA
Canadian Province Distribution: BCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This association is an early-seral alluvial bar association known from scattered locations in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, Washington, and in adjacent southwestern Idaho. Despite recent inventories from the association's range, this association has been found infrequently and is apparently very rare.

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: Owyhee Uplands Section
Section Code: 342C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The association is most often expressed in an early-seral state characterized by abundant Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa seedlings and saplings and large areas of exposed coarse alluvial deposits. However, stands with mature overstory Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa trees also occur. Total Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa cover typically ranges from about 20-70%, while Salix lucida ssp. caudata forms a tall-shrub layer with 20-60% cover. A variety of woody species, such as other Salix species and conifer seedlings, are usually present, but all have low cover. This association is heavily influenced by annual cycles of flooding, scouring, and ice disturbance. As a result, total herbaceous cover is low and characterized by pioneering, often exotic, species. The most important understory herbaceous species is Poa pratensis, although the native grass Elymus glaucus and colonizing forbs, such as Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, and Taraxacum officinale, are also commonly encountered.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Salix lucida ssp. caudata G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Achillea millefolium G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Taraxacum officinale G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Poa pratensis G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: The association is apparently limited to a narrow elevation range (915-1370 m [3000-4500 feet]) and to fresh alluvial bars and abandoned channels of low-gradient streams and rivers. This association is heavily influenced by, and dependent on, annual cycles of flooding, scouring, and ice disturbance that maintain its characteristically young woody vegetation, low total herbaceous cover, and large areas of exposed coarse alluvial deposits necessary for shrub and tree reproduction.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Young stands of Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida ssp. caudata establish on fresh alluvium found on point bars and banks of rivers with intact, natural flooding regimes (Hansen et al. 1995, Crowe and Clausnitzer 1997, Crawford 2001, Jankovsky-Jones 2001, Kovalchik 2001). As rivers downcut and channels migrate over time, these point bars and banks are less frequently flooded and loamy soils develop. Other Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa associations will eventually replace stands on these sites. Without intact ecological processes promoting Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida ssp. caudata stand formation on recent alluvial bars, the long-term persistence of the association will decrease in a drainage.


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
  • 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. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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]

  • Manning, M. E., and W. G. Padgett. 1995. Riparian community type classification for Humboldt and Toiyabe national forests, Nevada and eastern California. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 306 pp.

  • Moseley, R. K. 1998. Riparian and wetland community inventory of 14 reference areas in southwestern Idaho. Technical Bulletin 98-5. USDI Bureau of Land Management, Boise State Office, Boise, ID. 52 pp.

  • ORNHP [Oregon Natural Heritage Program]. 2002. Unpublished data files. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Portland, OR.

  • 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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