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Phyllodoce empetriformis Parkland Alpine Dwarf-shrubland
Translated Name: Pink Mountain-heath Parkland Alpine Dwarf-shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL001404
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This shrubland association is currently only described from Oregon. It is reported from Washington and may also occur in California and British Columbia. Additional global information will be added as it becomes available. This dwarf-shrubland is abundant in subalpine and alpine settings in the eastern Cascade Range at elevations ranging from 1740 m to more than 2135 m (5700-7000 feet). Sampled plots were located in the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson Wilderness Areas (Deschutes National Forest) and in Wallowa Mountains. It has also been seen at high elevations throughout the Wallowas and in the Elkhorn and Strawberry mountains. The association is probably found at other locations in the Cascade Range such as Crater Lake National Park, Mount Thielson (Winema National Forest), and Mount Washington (Deschutes National Forest). Sites are well-drained streambanks and floodplains or moderate to steeply-sloping, moist, rocky sites below snowbanks and springs. Soils are well-drained alluvium. The surface soils on streambanks and floodplains are coarse textured, well-drained, and often have a high percentage of gravels and cobbles deposited by periodic floods. Meadows have finer-textured, well-drained, loamy sands. This association is dominated by woody vegetation, especially Phyllodoce empetriformis. Dwarfed Tsuga mertensiana or shrubs such as Vaccinium deliciosum, Pyrola sp., or Cassiope mertensiana are often common. Dwarfed willows such as Salix eastwoodiae, Salix commutata, and Salix boothii are often codominant with Phyllodoce empetriformis. Common forbs and graminoids include Carex nigricans, Juncus drummondii, Oreostemma alpigenum var. alpigenum, Ligusticum grayi, and Potentilla flabellifolia.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: This description is taken directly from Kovalchik's (1987) Red mountain-heath Association.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 4 - Polar & High Montane Scrub, Grassland & Barrens
Subclass 4.B - Temperate to Polar Alpine & Tundra Vegetation
Formation 4.B.1 - Temperate & Boreal Alpine Tundra
Division 4.B.1.Nb - Western North American Alpine Tundra
Macrogroup Vancouverian Alpine Tundra
Group North Pacific Alpine-Subalpine Dwarf-shrubland & Heath
Alliance Pacific Northwest Mountain-heath Alpine Dwarf-shrubland

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 Phyllodoce empetriformis Parkland Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004
Washington Phyllodoce empetriformis Parkland Dwarf-shrubland Equivalent Certain WNHP unpubl. data 2018


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Phyllodoce empetriformis / Juncus drummondii 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: Phyllodoce empetriformis
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kovalchik, B. L. 1987. Riparian zone associations - Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont, and Winema national forests. Technical Paper 279-87. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 171 pp.
Related Concept Name: Phyllodoce empetriformis Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Douglas, G. W., and L. C. Bliss. 1977. Alpine and high subalpine plant communities of the North Cascades Range, Washington and British Columbia. Ecological Monographs 47:113-150.
Related Concept Name: Phyllodoce empetriformis Parkland Dwarf-shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Cole, D. N. 1982. Vegetation of two drainages in Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa Mountains, Oregon. Research Paper INT-288. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 26 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.837 North Pacific Maritime Mesic Subalpine Parkland
CES306.810 Rocky Mountain Alpine Dwarf-Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G5 (01Feb1996)
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CApotentially occurs, OR, WA
Canadian Province Distribution: BCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States

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: Western Cascades Section
Section Code: M242B 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: Klamath Mountains Section
Section Code: M261A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Cascades Section
Section Code: M261D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Sierra Nevada Section
Section Code: M261E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Dry Domain
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


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: In the Cascades, this association has the potential for massive invasion by Tsuga mertensiana. Several sampled plots had abundant invasion by Tsuga mertensiana in the past 50 years. Usually the trees are dwarfed, less than 3 m (10 feet) tall, and 20-50 year sold. It appears that Tsuga mertensiana requires a fresh deposition of coarse alluvium as a seedbed which must be timed with successful seed producing years followed by summers of above normal precipitation and temperature (Henderson 1973). Franklin et al. (1971) suggest that warmer and drier climatic trends in the past 100 years could be responsible for the invasion. Due to the dynamic nature of this association, it is difficult to speculate on its ecological status. Periodic high runoff inundates streambanks, the upper ends of meadows, and floodplains with deposits of coarse alluvium, creating sites for Phyllodoce empetriformis. In the absence of high runoff, soil surfaces gradually become dominated by fine sediments and the site changes towards Carex nigricans or Carex scopulorum associations.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): B.L. Kovalchik (1987)
Element Description Edition Date: 16Jul2018
Element Description Author(s): Crowe et al. (2004)

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.

  • Cole, D. N. 1982. Vegetation of two drainages in Eagle Cap Wilderness, Wallowa Mountains, Oregon. Research Paper INT-288. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 26 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]

  • Douglas, G. W., and L. C. Bliss. 1977. Alpine and high subalpine plant communities of the North Cascades Range, Washington and British Columbia. Ecological Monographs 47:113-150.

  • Franklin, J. F., W. H. Moir, G. W. Douglas, and C. Wiburg. 1971. Invasion of subalpine meadows by trees in the Cascade Range, Washington and Oregon. Arctic and Alpine Research 3:215-224.

  • Henderson, J. A. 1973. Composition, distribution and succession of subalpine meadows in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Unpublished dissertation, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 150 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.

  • Kovalchik, B. L. 1987. Riparian zone associations - Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont, and Winema national forests. Technical Paper 279-87. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 171 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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