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Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Leymus cinereus Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Greasewood / Basin Wildrye Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001366
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This shrubland is found in Montana and Oregon, and possibly Washington, California and Nevada. This type occurred historically in Idaho, but appears to be eliminated from that state. Stands often are found in a relatively narrow band on floodplains and toeslopes above drainages in semi-arid environments. The association has also been observed around lakes and playas in north-central Montana. Substrates are poorly drained, alkaline soils that are often saline. This vegetation has a moderately dense short-shrub canopy (25-50% cover) that is dominated by Sarcobatus vermiculatus. Other shrubs and dwarf-shrubs include Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus, Artemisia frigida and Gutierrezia sarothrae. The moderately dense herbaceous layer (20-50% cover) is dominated by perennial graminoids. Pascopyrum smithii and Leymus cinereus, the diagnostic grass, codominate with Pseudoroegneria spicata, Koeleria macrantha, Carex filifolia, and the introduced grass Poa pratensis. Scattered forbs include Symphyotrichum chilense (= Aster chilensis), Comandra umbellata, Iva axillaris, Tragopogon dubius, and Sphaeralcea coccinea. The cactus Opuntia polyacantha is typically present.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented

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, Playa & Shrubland
Macrogroup Warm & Cool Desert Alkali-Saline Marsh, Playa & Shrubland
Group North American Desert Alkaline-Saline Wet Scrub
Alliance Intermountain Greasewood Wet Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001363 Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Distichlis spicata 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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 Sarcobatus vermiculatus/Elymus cinereus Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Montana Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Leymus cinereus Shrubland Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002
Nevada Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Leymus cinereus Shrubland Equivalent Certain Peterson 2008
Oregon Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Leymus cinereus Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Elymus cinereus Habitat Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Mueggler, W. F., and W. L. Stewart. 1980. Grassland and shrubland habitat types of western Montana. General Technical Report INT-66. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 154 pp.
Related Concept Name: Sarcobatus vermiculatus / Leymus cinereus
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Evens, J. M., K. Sikes, D. Hastings, and J. Ratchford. 2014. Vegetation alliance descriptions for Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Death Valley National Park and Mojave National Preserve. Unpublished report submitted to USDI National Park Service, Mojave Desert Network Inventory and Monitoring Program. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. [http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/MOJN/rpts_pubs/rpts_pubs_main.cfm]
Related Concept Name: Sarcobatus vermiculatus/Leymus cinereus
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
CES303.666 Western Great Plains Closed Depression Wetland & Playa
CES304.780 Inter-Mountain Basins Greasewood Flat
CES304.781 Inter-Mountain Basins Wash
CES304.786 Inter-Mountain Basins Playa


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (01Dec1999)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: The current areal extent of this shrubland is not certain, but it thought to be very small. Stands are found in Montana and Oregon. More survey is needed to determine if this association occurs in Washington, California, Nevada, or Idaho. This shrubland is restricted to a relatively narrow band on floodplains and toeslopes above drainages in semiarid environments. Much of the historic range of this association has been convert to cropland. Improper grazing by livestock can totally eliminate Leymus cinereus from the stands, and favors the introduced grass Poa pratensis. Suppression of natural processes may alter the hydrologic regimes that support this vegetation.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is found in western Montana and Oregon, and may occur in Washington, California, Nevada and Idaho.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Division
Province Name: Great Plains-Palouse Dry Steppe Province
Province Code: 331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Powder River Basin Section
Section Code: 331G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
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: Beaverhead Mountains Section
Section Code: M332E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This vegetation has a moderately dense short-shrub canopy (25-50% cover) that is dominated by Sarcobatus vermiculatus. Other shrubs and dwarf-shrubs include Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus, Artemisia frigida and Gutierrezia sarothrae. The moderately dense herbaceous layer (20-50% cover) is dominated by perennial graminoids. Pascopyrum smithii and Leymus cinereus, the diagnostic grass, codominate with Pseudoroegneria spicata, Koeleria macrantha, Carex filifolia, and the introduced grass Poa pratensis. Scattered forbs include Symphyotrichum chilense (= Aster chilensis), Comandra umbellata, Iva axillaris, Tragopogon dubius, and Sphaeralcea coccinea. The cactus Opuntia polyacantha is typically present.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Sarcobatus vermiculatus G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Leymus cinereus G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Pascopyrum smithii G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands often are found in a relatively narrow band on floodplains and toeslopes above drainages in semi-arid environments. The association has also been observed around lakes and playas in north-central Montana. Substrates are poorly drained, alkaline soils that are often saline.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.A. Schulz
Element Description Edition Date: 26Nov1997
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Dec1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): K.A. Schulz

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.

  • 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.

  • Evens, J. M., K. Sikes, D. Hastings, and J. Ratchford. 2014. Vegetation alliance descriptions for Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Death Valley National Park and Mojave National Preserve. Unpublished report submitted to USDI National Park Service, Mojave Desert Network Inventory and Monitoring Program. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. [http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/MOJN/rpts_pubs/rpts_pubs_main.cfm]

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • MTNHP [Montana Natural Heritage Program]. 2002b. List of ecological communities for Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Montana State Library, Helena, MT.

  • Mueggler, W. F., and W. L. Stewart. 1980. Grassland and shrubland habitat types of western Montana. General Technical Report INT-66. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 154 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.

  • Sawyer, J. O., and T. Keeler-Wolf. 1995. A manual of California vegetation. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 471 pp.

  • Tweit, S., and K. Houston. 1980. Grassland and shrubland habitat types of the Shoshone National Forest. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Shoshone National Forest.

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


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