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Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Resin Birch / Northwest Territory Sedge Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001079
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This seasonally flooded, cold-deciduous shrubland occurs in marshes in the subalpine and montane riparian zones. Elevations range from 900 m to over 1700 m (990-5580 feet). Stands can occur on beaver ponds, lakes, marshes, seeps, swales, and wet alluvial terraces adjacent to low-gradient meandering streams. They are found in areas where soils are saturated from snowmelt runoff for a significant part of the growing season, often on fens, where the vegetation receives water from seeps and springs. Soils are commonly Histosols, flooded until mid summer and saturated all year in many sites. Quaking mats are typical of many stands. Betula glandulosa dominates the canopy with a range of cover from 5 to 60%. The total shrub canopy ranges from sparse to moderate, and there are often large, open spaces between individual shrub clumps. Other shrubs present include Salix planifolia, Salix geyeriana, Salix wolfii, Rhamnus alnifolia, Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda, Cornus sericea, Alnus incana, and Ribes spp. The herbaceous undergrowth has high cover and is found on small hummocks. The dominant graminoid is Carex utriculata; several other species are typically present, in lower abundance and include Calamagrostis stricta, Carex aquatilis, Carex livida, and Carex lasiocarpa. Forb cover is variable, with occasional species being abundant. Forbs commonly present may include Cicuta maculata, Comarum palustre, Mentha arvensis, Galium spp., Ranunculus sceleratus, Sparganium natans, and Thalictrum alpinum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: Stands from Hansen et al (1995) included areas where Carex aquatilis dominated. The Closed Tall Shrub Birch Shrub and the Closed Tall Shrub Birch-Willow Shrub communities of Viereck et al. (1992) may contain occurrences that belong to this association.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nb - Western North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Western North American Montane Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Western Montane-Subalpine Riparian & Seep Shrubland
Alliance Rocky Mountain Short Willow Wet Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002653 Betula glandulosa / Mesic Forbs - Mesic Graminoids Wet Shrubland
CEGL005887 Betula glandulosa / Carex spp. 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 Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Shrubland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Montana Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Shrubland Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002
Oregon Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Betula glandulosa / Carex rostrata Habitat Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Jankovsky-Jones, M., S. K. Rust, and R. K. Moseley. 1999. Riparian reference areas in Idaho: A catalog of plant associations and conservation sites. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-20. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 141 pp.
Related Concept Name: Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Hansen, P., K. Boggs, and R. Pfister. 1991. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in Montana. Unpublished draft version prepared for Montana Riparian Association, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula. 478 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Phillips, C. M. 1977. Willow carrs of the upper Laramie River Valley, Colorado. Unpublished thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. 71 pp.
Related Concept Name: Betula glandulosa / Carex utriculata Shrubland Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kittel, G., E. Van Wie, M. Damm, R. Rondeau, S. Kettler, A. McMullen, and J. Sanderson. 1999b. A classification of riparian and wetland plant associations of Colorado: A user's guide to the classification project. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO. 70 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: I.B.1.c - Closed tall shrub birch shrub
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Viereck, L. A., C. T. Dyrness, A. R. Batten, and K. J. Wenzlick. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. General Technical Report PNW-GTR286. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 278 pp.
Related Concept Name: I.B.1.e - Closed tall shrub birch-willow shrub
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Viereck, L. A., C. T. Dyrness, A. R. Batten, and K. J. Wenzlick. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. General Technical Report PNW-GTR286. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 278 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.866 North Pacific Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
CES306.803 Northern Rocky Mountain Conifer Swamp
CES306.812 Rocky Mountain Alpine-Montane Wet Meadow


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (01Feb1996)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CApotentially occurs, ID, MT, OR
Canadian Province Distribution: AB
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association is known from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alberta, and possibly occurs in California.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Regime Mountains
Province Name: Cascade Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Eastern Cascades Section
Section Code: M242C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Mediterranean Regime Mountains
Province Name: Sierran Steppe - Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M261 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Modoc Plateau Section
Section Code: M261G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Regime Mountains
Province Name: Southern Rocky Mountain Steppe - Open Woodland - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Okanogan Highlands Section
Section Code: M333A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Flathead Valley Section
Section Code: M333B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Rockies Section
Section Code: M333C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bitterroot Mountains Section
Section Code: M333D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Betula glandulosa dominates the canopy with a range of cover from 5 to 60%. The total shrub canopy ranges from sparse to moderate, and there are often large, open spaces between individual shrub clumps. Other shrubs present include Salix planifolia, Salix geyeriana, Salix wolfii, Rhamnus alnifolia, Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (= Pentaphylloides floribunda), Cornus sericea, Alnus incana, and Ribes spp. The herbaceous undergrowth has high cover and is found on small hummocks. The dominant graminoid is Carex utriculata (= Carex rostrata var. utriculata); several other species are typically present in lower abundance and include Calamagrostis stricta, Carex aquatilis, Carex livida, and Carex lasiocarpa. Forb cover is variable, with occasional species being abundant. Forbs commonly present may include Cicuta maculata, Comarum palustre, Mentha arvensis, Galium spp., Ranunculus sceleratus, Sparganium natans (= Sparganium minimum), and Thalictrum alpinum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula glandulosa G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Carex aquatilis G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex utriculata G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This seasonally flooded, cold-deciduous shrubland occurs in marshes in the subalpine and montane riparian zones. Elevations range from 900 m to over 1700 m (990-5580 feet). Stands can occur on beaver ponds, lakes, marshes, seeps, swales, and wet alluvial terraces adjacent to low-gradient meandering streams (Hansen et al. 1995). They are found in areas where soils are saturated from snowmelt runoff for a significant part of the growing season, often on fens, where the vegetation receives water from seeps and springs. Soils are commonly Histosols, flooded until mid-summer and saturated all year in many sites. Organic matter accumulations may form floating, quaking mats as this association encroaches onto open water.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This plant association is likely to be a long-lived mid- to late-seral community (Viereck et al. 1992 as cited in Kittel et al. 1999b). As peatland hummocks develop (become more pronounced), they may become more heavily dominated by Salix species (Wendell et al. 1986 as cited in Kittel et al. 1999b). Due to cold temperatures and a short growing season, this process may take several decades to occur (Phillips 1977).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Western Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 23Jan2009
Element Description Author(s): Western Ecology Group

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


References
  • ANHIC [Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Community database files. Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre, Parks and Protected Areas Division, Alberta Community Development, Edmonton.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hansen, P., K. Boggs, and R. Pfister. 1991. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in Montana. Unpublished draft version prepared for Montana Riparian Association, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula. 478 pp.

  • Hop, K., M. Reid, J. Dieck, S. Lubinski, and S. Cooper. 2007. U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI. 131 pp. plus Appendices A-L.

  • 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., S. K. Rust, and R. K. Moseley. 1999. Riparian reference areas in Idaho: A catalog of plant associations and conservation sites. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-20. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 141 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.

  • Kittel, G., E. Van Wie, M. Damm, R. Rondeau, S. Kettler, A. McMullen, and J. Sanderson. 1999b. A classification of riparian and wetland plant associations of Colorado: A user's guide to the classification project. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO. 70 pp. plus appendices.

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

  • Phillips, C. M. 1977. Willow carrs of the upper Laramie River Valley, Colorado. Unpublished thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. 71 pp.

  • Reid, M. S., S. V. Cooper, and G. Kittel. 2004. Vegetation classification of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Final report for USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, International Peace Park Mapping Project. NatureServe, Arlington VA.

  • Seyer, S. C. 1979. Vegetative ecology of a montane mire, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Unpublished thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 87 pp.

  • Viereck, L. A., C. T. Dyrness, A. R. Batten, and K. J. Wenzlick. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. General Technical Report PNW-GTR286. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 278 pp.

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


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