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Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Forest
Translated Name: Quaking Aspen / Chokecherry Forest
Common Name: Aspen / Chokecherry Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000596
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This aspen forest type is found in the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills of the western United States. It occurs on slope crests and midslopes with sandy loam, loam, or clay loam soils from approximately 1545 to 2720 m (5100-8980 feet) in elevation. Aspects are highly variable, and slopes are primarily gentle (0-20%) but may also be steep (50-100%). This association is dominated by Populus tremuloides. Conifers are sparse when present and can include Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus contorta, Pinus ponderosa, and Picea glauca in the Black Hills. The shrub layer can be a rich multilayered mixture of medium- and low-height shrubs. Prunus virginiana is often dominant or codominant with Amelanchier alnifolia. Additional shrub associates can include Acer grandidentatum, Ribes inerme, Ribes oxyacanthoides ssp. setosum, Rosa woodsii, Cornus sericea, Paxistima myrsinites, Rubus parviflorus, Symphoricarpos occidentalis, and Symphoricarpos oreophilus. Herbaceous species can have low cover due to the well-developed shrub layer but commonly include Agastache urticifolia, Aralia nudicaulis, Bromus carinatus, Carex sprengelii, Calamagrostis rubescens, Carex geyeri, Elymus glaucus, Fragaria virginiana, Galium boreale, Geranium viscosissimum, Maianthemum stellatum, Osmorhiza depauperata, Osmorhiza berteroi, Rudbeckia occidentalis, Senecio serra, and Thalictrum fendleri. Diagnostic features of this association are Populus tremuloides dominant in the canopy and Prunus virginiana well-represented in the shrub layer.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This type appears to be most common in riparian areas (Marriott and Faber-Langendoen 2000). This type seems equivalent to Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Woodland (CEGL002130).

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.Nb - Rocky Mountain Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Central Rocky Mountain Dry Lower Montane-Foothill Forest
Group Black Hills-Northwestern Great Plains Ponderosa Pine Forest & Woodland
Alliance Black Hills Ponderosa Pine Mesic Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000564 Populus tremuloides / Amelanchier alnifolia Forest
CEGL000567 Populus tremuloides / Amelanchier alnifolia - Symphoricarpos oreophilus / Calamagrostis rubescens Forest
CEGL000583 Populus tremuloides / Corylus cornuta Forest
CEGL002130 Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Woodland



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
North Dakota Populus tremuloides/Prunus virginiana Forest Equivalent Certain NDNHI unpubl. data 2018
Oregon Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides - Abies lasiocarpa / Prunus virginiana Community Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Youngblood, A. P., and W. F. Mueggler. 1981. Aspen community types on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Research Paper INT-272. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 34 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Amelanchier alnifolia - Prunus virginiana Habitat Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Komarkova, V. K., R. R. Alexander, and B. C. Johnston. 1988b. Forest vegetation of the Gunnison and parts of the Uncompahgre national forests: A preliminary habitat type classification. Research Paper RM-163. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 65 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Amelanchier alnifolia - Symphoricarpos oreophilus / Calamagrostis rubescens Community Type
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Mueggler, W. F. 1988. Aspen community types of the Intermountain Region. General Technical Report INT-250. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 135 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Amelanchier alnifolia / Thalictrum fendleri Community Type
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Mueggler, W. F. 1988. Aspen community types of the Intermountain Region. General Technical Report INT-250. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 135 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Padus virginiana Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Johnston, B. C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. R2-ECOL-87-2. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Lakewood, CO. 429 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana / Carex geyeri Community Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Mueggler, W. F., and R. B. Campbell, Jr. 1986. Aspen community types of Utah. Research Paper INT-362. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana / Senecio serra Community Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Mueggler, W. F., and R. B. Campbell, Jr. 1986. Aspen community types of Utah. Research Paper INT-362. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana 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 tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Youngblood, A. P., and W. F. Mueggler. 1981. Aspen community types on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Research Paper INT-272. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 34 pp.
Related Concept Name: Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).
Related Concept Name: Quaking Aspen / Chokecherry Forest (Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Forest)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bell, J., D. Cogan, J. Erixson, and J. Von Loh. 2009. Vegetation inventory project report, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/UCBN/NRTR-2009/277. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 358 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.813 Rocky Mountain Aspen Forest and Woodland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (24Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This community has a relatively restricted range (which would not change even if combined with Populus tremuloides / Prunus virginiana Woodland (CEGL002130)). Stands are somewhat patchy on the landscape, with relatively small occurrences. They require a moderately specific set of abiotic factors, being found in drainage bottoms, with or without flowing streams. Few Element Occurrences have been documented. The restriction of this type to primarily riparian areas or moist drainages makes it susceptible to impacts caused by cattle grazing, especially at lower elevations.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CO, ID, MT, ND, OR, SD, UT, WY
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This aspen forest type is found in the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills of the western United States, ranging from South Dakota west to Wyoming and Oregon, and south to Colorado and Utah.

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: Possible
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert and Desert Province
Province Code: 341 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Canyon Lands Section
Section Code: 341B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert Province
Province Code: 342 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Snake River Basalts Section
Section Code: 342D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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: Overthrust Mountains Section
Section Code: M331D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Uinta Mountains Section
Section Code: M331E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: South-Central Highlands Section
Section Code: M331G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Parks and Ranges Section
Section Code: M331I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Black Hills Coniferous Forest Province
Province Code: M334 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Black Hills Section
Section Code: M334A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association is dominated by Populus tremuloides. Conifers are sparse (<25% of the tree canopy) when present and can include Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus contorta, Pinus ponderosa, and Picea glauca in the Black Hills. The shrub layer can be a rich multilayered mixture of medium- and low-height shrubs. Prunus virginiana is often dominant or codominant with Amelanchier alnifolia. Additional shrub associates can include Acer grandidentatum, Amelanchier utahensis, Cornus sericea, Mahonia repens, Ribes inerme, Ribes oxyacanthoides ssp. setosum (= Ribes setosum), Rosa woodsii, Paxistima myrsinites, Rubus parviflorus, Symphoricarpos occidentalis, and Symphoricarpos oreophilus. Herbaceous species have low cover due to the well-developed shrub layer but commonly include Agastache urticifolia, Aralia nudicaulis, Artemisia ludoviciana, Bromus carinatus, Carex sprengelii, Calamagrostis rubescens, Carex geyeri, Elymus glaucus, Fragaria virginiana, Galium boreale, Geranium viscosissimum, Maianthemum stellatum, Osmorhiza depauperata, Osmorhiza berteroi (= Osmorhiza chilensis), Piptatheropsis micrantha (= Piptatherum micranthum), Rudbeckia occidentalis, Senecio serra, Thermopsis divaricarpa, and Thalictrum fendleri. Exotic graminoids, such as Agropyron cristatum, Bromus tectorum, Phleum pratense, and Poa pratensis, may dominate disturbed herbaceous layers. Diagnostic features of this association are Populus tremuloides dominant in the canopy and Prunus virginiana well-represented in the shrub layer.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Populus tremuloides G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy
 
 
Amelanchier alnifolia G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)
 
 
Prunus virginiana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)
 
 
Amelanchier utahensis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Agropyron cristatum G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Bromus tectorum G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Phleum pratense G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Poa pratensis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This aspen forest type occurs on slope crests and midslopes with sandy loam, loam, or clay loam soils from approximately 1545 to 2720 m (5100-8980 feet) in elevation. Aspects are highly variable, and slopes are primarily gentle (0-20%) but may be steep (50-100%). In the Black Hills, stands occur along mesic valley bottoms. The slopes can vary from steep (at the bottom of the hillslope) to gentle (along the valley bottom) (H. Marriott pers. comm. 1999). In the southern Rocky Mountains, a stand occurs on a steep, southeasterly midslope on granitic substrates, and on the Colorado Plateau a stand occurs at the end of a box canyon on a steep northwesterly slope on sandstone colluvium.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen (2001)
Element Description Edition Date: 09Jan2007
Element Description Author(s): J. Drake, S.L. Neid and K.A. Schulz
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 24Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen

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


References
  • BHCI [Black Hills Community Inventory]. 1999. Unpublished element occurrence and plot data collected during the Black Hills Community Inventory. Available upon request from the South Dakota Natural Heritage Program, Pierre, and Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie.

  • Bell, J., D. Cogan, J. Erixson, and J. Von Loh. 2009. Vegetation inventory project report, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/UCBN/NRTR-2009/277. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 358 pp.

  • Caicco, S. L., J. M. Scott, B. Butterfield, and B. Csuti. 1995. A gap analysis of the management status of the vegetation of Idaho (U.S.A.). Conservation Biology 9(3):498-511.

  • Coenenberg, J. G., and E. J. Depuit. 1979. Baseline wildlife studies, Crow Coal Lease, southeastern Montana, 1975-1978. Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, Reclamation Research Unit, Bozeman, MT. 133 pp.

  • Cogan, D., H. Marriott, J. Von Loh, and M. J. Pucherelli. 1999. USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. Technical Memorandum No. 8260-98-08. USDI Bureau of Reclamation Technical Services Center, Denver, CO. 225 pp.

  • Coles, J., A. Tendick, J. Von Loh, G. Bradshaw, G. Manis, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, and A. Evenden. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2010/361. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Coles, J., D. Cogan, D. Salas, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, J. Von Loh, and A. Evenden. 2008a. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Dinosaur National Monument. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR-2008/112. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 814 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]

  • Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).

  • Girard, M. [1991]. ECODATA survey of riparian communities of Black Hills National Forest, 1986-1990. Unpublished files, field forms, notes, data analyses and type descriptions. Supervisor's Office, Black Hills National Forest, Custer, SD.

  • Girard, M., D. L. Wheeler, and S. B. Mills. 1997. Classification of riparian communities on the Bighorn National Forest. R2-RR-97-02. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Sheridan, WY. 308 pp.

  • 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.

  • Hoffman, G. R., and R. R. Alexander. 1987. Forest vegetation of the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota and Wyoming: A habitat type classification. Research Paper RM-276. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 48 pp.

  • Johnston, B. C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. R2-ECOL-87-2. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Lakewood, CO. 429 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.

  • Komarkova, V. K., R. R. Alexander, and B. C. Johnston. 1988b. Forest vegetation of the Gunnison and parts of the Uncompahgre national forests: A preliminary habitat type classification. Research Paper RM-163. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 65 pp.

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

  • Marriott, H. J., D. Faber-Langendoen, A. McAdams, D. Stutzman, and B. Burkhart. 1999. The Black Hills Community Inventory: Final report. The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Conservation Science Center, Minneapolis, MN.

  • Marriott, H. J., and D. Faber-Langendoen. 2000. The Black Hills community inventory. Volume 2: Plant community descriptions. The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Conservation Science Center and Association for Biodiversity Information, Minneapolis, MN. 326 pp.

  • Marriott, Hollis J. Personal communication. Former Heritage Botanist, WYNDD, and former Public Lands Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy. 655 N. Cedar, Laramie, WY 82070. (307) 721-4909.

  • Midwestern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Minneapolis, MN.

  • Mueggler, W. F. 1988. Aspen community types of the Intermountain Region. General Technical Report INT-250. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 135 pp.

  • Mueggler, W. F., and R. B. Campbell, Jr. 1986. Aspen community types of Utah. Research Paper INT-362. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.

  • NDNHI [North Dakota Natural Heritage Inventory]. 2018. Unpublished data. Vegetation classification of North Dakota. North Dakota Natural Heritage Inventory, North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department, Bismarck.

  • RMS. 1998. Unpublished, untitled document containing Black Hills riparian vegetation classification, key and tables of canopy cover and constancy estimates. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Rapid City, SD.

  • SDNHP [South Dakota Natural Heritage Program]. 2018. Unpublished data. South Dakota Natural Heritage Program, Pierre, SD.

  • Salas, D. E., and M. J. Pucherelli. 1998b. USGS-NPS vegetation mapping, Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Technical Memorandum No. 8260-98-06. Denver, CO.

  • Salas, D., J. Stevens, and K. Schulz. 2005. USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Technical Memorandum No. 8260-05-02. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO. 161 pp. plus Appendices A-L (733 pp.).

  • Severson, K. E., and J. F. Thilenius. 1976. Classification of quaking aspen stands in the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains. Research Paper RM-166. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 24 pp.

  • Tendick, A., J. Coles, P. Williams, G. Bradshaw, G. Manis, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, and A. Evenden. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Curecanti National Recreation Area. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2010/408. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 797 pp.

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

  • Von Loh, J., K. Landgraf, A. Evenden, T. Owens, S. Blauer, and M. Reid. 2007. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Colorado National Monument. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2007/061. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 564 pp.

  • Youngblood, A. P., and W. F. Mueggler. 1981. Aspen community types on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. Research Paper INT-272. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 34 pp.


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