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Pinus contorta / Carex (aquatilis, angustata) Swamp Woodland
Translated Name: Lodgepole Pine / (Water Sedge, Widefruit Sedge) Swamp Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL000140
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This swamp woodland is found in Oregon. Pinus contorta is the dominant tree. Populus tremuloides, Pinus ponderosa, Abies lowiana, and Abies grandis, if present, are scattered individuals. Salix spp. are present in some wetter stands. The ground cover is dominated by a dense sward of Carex angustata or Carex aquatilis. Common grasses include Calamagrostis canadensis, Deschampsia cespitosa, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis, Poa palustris, Poa pratensis, Hordeum brachyantherum, Elymus glaucus, Glyceria striata, and Phleum alpinum. Poa pratensis was present on all stands and will increase in cover with overgrazing or lowering of the water table. The rich forb component includes Achillea millefolium, Geum macrophyllum, Fragaria virginiana, Fragaria vesca, Polemonium occidentale, Platanthera dilatata, Ligusticum grayi, Trifolium longipes, Epilobium ciliatum, and Taraxacum officinale. Salix geyeriana and Spiraea douglasii are present on many stands but are low in cover. This association is strongly associated with deep pumice mantles. It is similar to Picea engelmannii / Carex angustata Swamp Forest (CEGL000359) but occurs below the elevational distribution of Picea engelmannii. Elevations are low to moderate. Landforms include forested floodplains along streams, small forested basins, the margins of meadows, and shallow, concave, subirrigated drainages. The microrelief is flat to very slightly undulating to concave. Soils are deep pumice alluvia. This association is abundant in the southeastern East Cascades ecoregion and at moderate to high elevations in the central Blue Mountains ecoregion of Oregon. It is found in landforms supporting active floodplains, shores of lakes and ponds, and forested basins. Microtopography is flat, smooth to slightly undulating, or slightly concave. Valleys are flat, low- to moderate-gradient and moderately wide to wide. Surface textures range from sandy loam to silt loam. One plot had a thin layer of sedge peat on top of a sandy loam subsurface soil at the edge of a pond. Available water-holding capacity is moderate to high. The water table is near to slightly above the soil surface in June and is within 60 cm of the surface in August and September.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Compare this association with Pinus contorta / Carex aquatilis var. dives Treed Bog (CEGL003203).

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.Nc - Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Riparian & Swamp Forest
Group Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Riparian & Swamp Forest
Alliance Sierra Lodgepole Pine - Tall Lodgepole Pine Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000359 Picea engelmannii / Carex angustata Swamp Forest
CEGL003203 Pinus contorta / Carex aquatilis var. dives Treed Bog



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pinus contorta / Carex aquatilis
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.
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Crowe, E. A., and R. R. Clausnitzer. 1997. Mid-montane wetland plant associations of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-22-97. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.
Related Concept Name: Pinus contorta / Carex eurycarpa
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: Pinus contorta var. latifolia / Carex angustata Association
Relationship: F - Finer
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: Pinus contorta var. latifolia / Carex aquatilis Association
Relationship: F - Finer
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]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.090 North Pacific Hardwood-Conifer Swamp
CES306.833 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4Q (01Feb1996)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR
Global Distribution: 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: Eastern Cascades Section
Section Code: M242C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Pinus contorta is the dominant tree. Populus tremuloides, Pinus ponderosa, Abies lowiana (= Abies concolor var. lowiana), and Abies grandis, if present, are scattered individuals. Salix spp. are present in some wetter stands. The ground cover is dominated by a dense sward of Carex angustata or Carex aquatilis. Common grasses include Calamagrostis canadensis, Deschampsia cespitosa, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis (= Juncus balticus), Poa palustris, Poa pratensis, Hordeum brachyantherum, Elymus glaucus, Glyceria striata, and Phleum alpinum. Poa pratensis was present on all stands and will increase in cover with overgrazing or lowering of the water table. The rich forb component includes Achillea millefolium, Geum macrophyllum, Fragaria virginiana, Fragaria vesca, Polemonium occidentale, Platanthera dilatata (= Habenaria dilatata), Ligusticum grayi, Trifolium longipes, Epilobium ciliatum, and Taraxacum officinale. Salix geyeriana and Spiraea douglasii are present on many stands but are low in cover.


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association is strongly associated with deep pumice mantles. It is similar to Picea engelmannii / Carex angustata Swamp Forest (CEGL000359) but occurs below the elevational distribution of Picea engelmannii. Elevations are low to moderate. Landforms include forested floodplains along streams, small forested basins, the margins of meadows, and shallow, concave, subirrigated drainages. The microrelief is flat to very slightly undulating to concave. Soils are deep pumice alluvia. Most sites have a moderately deep surface horizon of organic loam. Others classify as sandy loams but still have considerable proportions of organic matter in their surface horizons. Subsurface soils are coarse, saturated, erosive pumice. Available water-holding capacity is moderately high. The water table is near to slightly above the soil surface in June and July and is within 60-90 cm of the soil surface in September. The local climate for this association is much drier (less precipitation and less snowfall), has a shorter frost-free period, and has greater temperature extremes than Picea engelmannii / Carex angustata Swamp Forest (CEGL000359).

This association is abundant in the southeastern East Cascades ecoregion and at moderate to high elevations in the central Blue Mountains ecoregion of Oregon. It is found in landforms supporting active floodplains, shores of lakes and ponds, and forested basins. Microtopography is flat, smooth to slightly undulating, or slightly concave. Valleys are flat, low- to moderate-gradient and moderately wide to wide. Surface textures range from sandy loam to silt loam. One plot had a thin layer of sedge peat on top of a sandy loam subsurface soil at the edge of a pond. Available water-holding capacity is moderate to high. The water table is near to slightly above the soil surface in June and is within 60 cm of the surface in August and September.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: With overuse by livestock, species such as Calamagrostis canadensis, Poa pratensis, Elymus glaucus, and a complex mixture of forbs become codominant. The soil surface is somewhat trampled and broken. With continued overuse, streambank erosion and streambed downcutting may lead to lowering of the water table. Under such hydrologic conditions the site potential is often changed to a lodgepole pine / Kentucky bluegrass community type. Wildfire was probably infrequent in this association. Lodgepole pine is sensitive to all but the coolest surface fire. The sedges will regenerate from rhizomes.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Western Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 17Nov2005
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.

  • 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]

  • Crowe, E. A., and R. R. Clausnitzer. 1997. Mid-montane wetland plant associations of the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman national forests. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-22-97. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR.

  • 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.

  • Titus, J. H., and J. A. Christy. 1996a. Vegetation of Big Marsh, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon. Report to Deschutes National Forest. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Portland.

  • Volland, L. A. 1976. Plant communities of the central Oregon pumice zone. USDA Forest Service R-6 Area Guide 4-2. Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 113 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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