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Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii Riparian Forest
Translated Name: White Alder / Lewis' Mock Orange Riparian Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000634
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This riparian plant association is known from data collected in the Snake and Salmon river corridors, within the Blue Mountains ecoregional section. The association occurs on unstable stream channels within an elevational band of 275-850 m (900-2800 feet), in the deeply incised terrain of the Snake River Canyon. Stands of this forest plant association are dominated by broad-leaved, deciduous tree species. Alnus rhombifolia is dominant, and occurs with high cover. The understory broad-leaved deciduous shrub layer is dominated by Philadelphus lewisii. Other deciduous shrub species commonly present, include Crataegus douglasii, Prunus virginiana, Ribes oxyacanthoides ssp. irriguum, and Salix exigua. Occasional colonies of the introduced shrub Rubus armeniacus are present. The herbaceous component of this association is composed of species indicative of disturbance. No other information is available on species composition.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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.Ng - Vancouverian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Vancouverian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group North Pacific Montane Riparian Woodland
Alliance Cascadian Riparian White Alder 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Idaho Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii Forest Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii Temporarily Flooded Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crawford, R. C. 2003. Riparian vegetation classification of the Columbia Basin, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2003-03. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 98 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii 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: Alnus rhombifolia Dominance Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Evans, S. 1989b. Provisional riparian and aquatic wetland plant communities on the Columbia Plateau. Unpublished report prepared under Contract No. C0089098, with Washington State Department of Ecology. 52 pp.

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: G1 (02Nov1997)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This regionally endemic plant association is described from the low-elevation reaches and high canyonland tributaries of the Snake River in Idaho and Oregon. It is described as occurring within an elevational band of 900-2800 feet, in the deeply incised terrain of the Snake River Canyon. The association occurs on unstable stream channels. No high-quality stands are known, although it has been described as "locally common". The distribution and representative quality of stands have declined severely in the last decades due to direct loss of habitat resulting from hydroelectric dam construction and the chronic degradation of livestock grazing and the associated alteration of hydrological regimes. The global rank is revised from G2 to G1? as the range of this plant association has severely declined, no high-quality occurrences are known, all available information suggests a declining trend, and appropriate field inventory work has not been completed to resolve the status of the plant association.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CApotentially occurs, ID, OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: Miller (1976) described the association as occurring in the Snake River Canyon and its tributaries. Mancuso and Moseley (1994) observed the association in upper Eagle Creek, a tributary of the Salmon River near its confluence with the Snake.

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: This forest association is dominated by broad-leaved deciduous woody species. The tree Alnus rhombifolia dominates, with high cover. The shrub layer, also broad-leaved deciduous, is dominated by Philadelphus lewisii, from 1.5-2.5 m tall. Several other shrub species are commonly present, including the taller Crataegus douglasii, and Prunus virginiana, and the shorter Ribes oxyacanthoides ssp. irriguum (= Ribes irriguum), and Salix exigua. Occasional colonies of the introduced shrub Rubus armeniacus (= Rubus discolor) can be found, as well as the native liana Clematis ligusticifolia and the introduced Solanum dulcamara. The rare deciduous shrub Rubus bartonianus was found in one stand of this association; it is endemic to the canyons of the Snake River. Information on canopy cover is not available. The herbaceous component of this association is composed of species indicative of disturbance. No other information is available on species composition.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus rhombifolia G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Philadelphus lewisii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Rubus bartonianus G1 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Rubus discolor G1 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Solanum dulcamara G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Rubus bartonianus
  (Barton's Blackberry)
G2  

Vegetation Structure
Stratum Growth Form
Height of Stratum (m)
Cover
Class
%
Min
Cover %
Max
Cover %
Tree canopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree
 
 
 
 
Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub
 
 
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association is found in a mountainous region dissected by major river canyons and tributary streams. There are elevational extremes in this region, from subalpine summits over 2740 m (9000 feet), to canyon bottoms below 610 m (2000 feet). Topography is characterized by precipitous canyon walls along the rivers, steep upland slopes, and smaller tributary streams with cliffs, rocky slopes and mass-wasting features such as slumps and mud-rock flows. The soils of the region are especially prone to erosion and slippage. Slopes often exceed the angle of repose, and periodic severe thunderstorms with intense rains will supersaturate the soil mantle. The resulting slumping and mud-rock flows often deposit materials into stream channels and can destroy streambanks.

The climatic conditions in these deep canyon bottoms are strikingly different from surrounding uplands and mountains. In the canyons, summers are hot and dry, and winters mild, with only limited and ephemeral snows. Precipitation is variable, but generally the higher elevation reaches have higher precipitation. Annual precipitation is approximately 33 cm (13 inches) at 225 m (740 feet), and about 46 cm (18 inches) at 610 m (2000 feet). However, a rainshadow effect occurs farther to the east, in upstream reaches, and annual precipitation is less than 25 cm (10 inches).

This association occurs on riparian sites in canyon bottoms, from 275 to 850 m (900-2800 feet) elevation along the Snake River and its tributaries. It is associated with very poor stream channel stability ratings, indicating it occupies sites frequently disturbed by flooding and deposition of mud-rock flow materials.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M.S. Reid
Element Description Edition Date: 11Nov1993
Element Description Author(s): M.S. Reid and S.K. Rust
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Nov1997
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): S.K. Rust

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.

  • Crawford, R. C. 2003. Riparian vegetation classification of the Columbia Basin, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2003-03. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 98 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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]

  • Evans, S. 1989b. Provisional riparian and aquatic wetland plant communities on the Columbia Plateau. Unpublished report prepared under Contract No. C0089098, with Washington State Department of Ecology. 52 pp.

  • 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]. 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.

  • Mancuso, M., and R. Moseley. 1994. Vegetation description, rare plant inventory, and vegetation monitoring for Craig Mountain, Idaho. Unpublished report prepared for Bonneville Power Administration. 146 pp.

  • Mancuso, M., and R. Moseley. 1997. Vegetation of the Hixon Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse Habitat Management Plan Area, Washington County, Idaho. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Natural Resource Policy Bureau, Boise, ID. [http://www2.state.id.us/fishgame/info/cdc/cdc_pdf/hixon97.pdf]

  • Miller, T. B. 1976. Ecology of riparian communities dominated by white alder in western Idaho. Unpublished thesis, University of Idaho, Moscow. 154 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.

  • Neiman, K. 1987. Inventory of Garden Creek Ranch conducted during summer of 1987. Report to The Nature Conservancy, Sun Valley, Idaho.

  • Titus, J. H., M. Kerr, E. Crowe, and B. Kovalchik. 1998. Riparian zones of eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland.

  • 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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