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Abies grandis / Athyrium filix-femina Riparian Forest
Translated Name: Grand Fir / Common Ladyfern Riparian Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000270
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is found at moderately low to moderately high elevations in the Blue Mountains ecoregion of Oregon, as well as Montana and Washington. The Blue Mountains sites are associated with streambanks and floodplains. V-shaped, moderate- to very high-gradient, narrow valleys are characteristic of this type. Soils are composed of silt loam or silty clay loams over gravels and cobbles. Mean depth to the buried streambed is 25 cm. Spring flooding of these sites is followed the water table retreating 30-60 cm by fall. Rosgen stream reach types of B3 and B4 were identified. Abies grandis dominates the multi-storied tree layer. Picea engelmannii is occasionally abundant as a codominant species. Shrubs are poorly represented in this type with the exception of occasional, well-represented Alnus species: Alnus incana occurs at lower elevations and Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata at higher elevations. Athyrium filix-femina is well-represented to abundant with mean coverage of 53%. A diverse group of forbs and grasses are supported on these wet sites. These include Mitella pentandra, Streptopus amplexifolius, Circaea alpina, Rudbeckia occidentalis, Tiarella trifoliata var. unifoliata, Claytonia cordifolia, Urtica dioica, Saxifraga odontoloma, Adenocaulon bicolor, Maianthemum stellatum, Cinna latifolia, and Bromus vulgaris. Average height of the shrub overstory is 4.6 m. Average height of the shrub understory is 3.1 m. Average height of the herbaceous layer is 31 cm. Average herbaceous biomass is 1293 lbs/acre, ranging from 147-2067 lbs/acre. This association is probably stable and self-perpetuating in species composition with the absence of fire. Moderate fires will kill Abies grandis, and sites may subsequently be dominated by Alnus incana associations until Abies grandis becomes re-established on the site.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association is defined as a PNV vegetation type. If it were renamed as a dominance type, the species would include Abies grandis and Picea engelmannii.

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 Rocky Mountain Grand Fir Riparian Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000280 Abies grandis / Senecio triangularis Riparian Forest
CEGL000473 Thuja plicata / Athyrium filix-femina Forest



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
Montana Abies grandis / Athyrium filix-femina Forest Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002
Oregon Abies grandis / Athyrium filix-femina Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Abies grandis / Athyrium filix-femina
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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: Abies grandis / Athyrium filix-femina 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]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.804 Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3Q (20Apr2000)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MT, OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Regime Mountains
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 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


Vegetation


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Crowe et al. (2004)
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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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