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Carex unilateralis - Hordeum brachyantherum Wet Prairie
Translated Name: Lateral Sedge - Meadow Barley Wet Prairie
Unique Identifier: CEGL001830
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This graminoid wetland association is the only grass-sedge wetland type in the Oregon interior valleys. It is dominated by Hordeum brachyantherum with 10-20% cover, and Carex species with 30-80% cover. Carex unilateralis is always present with cover varying from 2-60%. Other common Carex species include Carex obnupta, Carex lasiocarpa, Carex utriculata, and Carex pellita. Juncus species are also commonly present and include Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis, Juncus acuminatus, Juncus oxymeris, and Juncus tenuis. Deschampsia cespitosa is occasionally present, but never dominant. Forbs include Mentha arvensis, Prunella vulgaris, Veronica spp., and Ranunculus spp. Rosa gymnocarpa, Spiraea douglasii, Crataegus douglasii, and Salix sitchensis occasionally occur as patches in this association. With fire suppression, Fraxinus latifolia is a common native invader. In the winter and spring this association is under >10 cm of water, but it is usually dry for 3 months (July-September) each year. This association occurs on heavy clay valley deposits, often in old valley bottom river oxbows or bottomland swamp and lake remnants.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented

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 Vancouverian Lowland Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Vancouverian Freshwater Wet Meadow & Marsh
Alliance Lowland Camas - Quillwort Wet Prairie

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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Oregon Carex unilateralis - Hordeum brachyantherum Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Hordeum brachyantherum depressions within the Deschampsia caespitosa prairie
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Moir, W., and P. Mika. 1972. Prairie vegetation of the Willamette Valley, Benton County, Oregon. Unpublished report on file at the Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forestry Science Laboratory, Corvallis, OR. 29 pp. + appendices.

Ecological Systems Placement

NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (30Nov1998)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This association is scattered in the Willamette Valley and in interior valleys to the south. While not known from Washington, it certainly occurred in the Vancouver Basin of southwestern Washington, and small remnants likely remain. This association has few enough occurrences to be ranked G1, and perhaps should be. Since all known viable sites are protected, and since the inventory is incomplete, we have called it a G2. However, all sites, included the protected ones, have exotic species and secondary succession problems. The Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Benton County are actively managing occurrences to protect this association. In addition, while the remaining sites are privately owned, it is hoped that wetland protection laws may afford some protection. This rank should be re-evaluated in the future, and if additional sites are not found, should be changed to a G1.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is scattered in the Willamette Valley and in interior valleys to the south. While not known from Washington, it certainly occurred in the Vancouver Basin of southwestern Washington, and small remnants likely remain. It is restricted to the Willamette Valley-Puget Trough ecoregion and interior valleys in the Klamath Mountain ecoregion.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Division
Province Name: Pacific Lowland Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Willamette Valley and Puget Trough Section
Section Code: 242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This is a lush herbaceous association, dominated by perennial graminoids. The tufted grass Hordeum brachyantherum is dominant with 10-20% cover. The non-rhizomatous sedge Carex unilateralis is always present, but varies greatly in cover, from 2-60%. Several other sedge species are common and occasionally abundant, including Carex obnupta, Carex lasiocarpa, Carex rostrata, and Carex pellita (= Carex lanuginosa). Cover of all Carex species together is from 30-80%. Several other perennial graminoids can be important, such as Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis (= Juncus balticus), Juncus acuminatus, Juncus oxymeris, and Juncus tenuis. The bunchgrass Deschampsia cespitosa is occasionally present, but is never dominant. A few forbs are present in small amounts, such as Mentha arvensis, Prunella vulgaris, Veronica spp., and Ranunculus spp. A few broad-leaved, deciduous shrubs occur in small patches in a few stands of this association: Rosa gymnocarpa, Crataegus douglasii, and Spiraea douglasii. The broad-leaved, deciduous tree Fraxinus latifolia is a native species that invades stands of this grassland when fires are suppressed.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carex unilateralis G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Hordeum brachyantherum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association occurs in the interior valleys of western Oregon. Proximity to the Pacific coast is modified by the coastal mountain ranges to the west. Winters are mild and wet, but summers are hot and dry. Roughly 80% of the annual precipitation (average of 100 cm) falls during October through May, primarily as rain. The persistent, low-intensity rains result in soil saturation and flooding of low-lying valley bottoms. These valleys are flat-bottomed and characterized geologically as incised valleys filled by deep alluvial materials, over which silts and clays have been deposited. Topographically, there are broad, alluvial flats separated by groups of low hills. Elevations range from 50 to 140 m (160-450 feet), and the low relief has resulted in the rivers being slow-flowing and meandering. This association occurs in old valley bottom river oxbows or bottomland swamp and lake remnants. The soils are derived from heavy clays overlain by thin silt deposits, and horizonation is typically depositional rather than developmental. There is often an abrupt transition from silt loam textures of the surface horizon to clay in the deeper horizons, with a resulting high water-holding capacity and poor drainage. The sites are seasonally flooded, but dry out for up to 4 months, typically from late July to early October.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M.S. Reid
Element Description Edition Date: 10Dec1993
Element Description Author(s): M.S. Reid
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Nov1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): J. Titus

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.

  • Fredericks, N. A. 1986. Calochortus howellii: Ecology of a rare serpentine endemic and comparison with the new species, C. umpquaensis (Liliaceae). Unpublished thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis.

  • 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.

  • Moir, W., and P. Mika. 1972. Prairie vegetation of the Willamette Valley, Benton County, Oregon. Unpublished report on file at the Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forestry Science Laboratory, Corvallis, OR. 29 pp. + appendices.

  • Savonen, C. 1988. Historical wetlands of the west Eugene study area. Lane Council of Governments, Eugene, OR. 10 pp.

  • 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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Data last updated: March 2019