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Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Water Birch / Lewis' Mock Orange Wet Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL002668
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This is a riparian, bottomland association found on seasonal streams to third-order perennial streams, in small, U-shaped to V-shaped, valley bottoms. Occurrences occur at relatively low elevations in the mountains of eastern Oregon and adjacent Idaho. Betula occidentalis forms a low, patchy canopy along the stream, and occasionally spreads out throughout the floodplain with cover ranging from 60-90%. Philadelphus lewisii is found throughout the bottomland, creating shrub thickets with overall cover ranging from 20-40%. Other trees and tall shrubs are rare, but can include Salix species (Salix lemmonii, Salix exigua, Salix geyeriana, or Salix lasiolepis), Cornus sericea, or Crataegus douglasii. Low shrubs (Rosa woodsii, Ribes aureum, Toxicodendron radicans), and graminoids (Elymus glaucus, Carex douglasii, Carex amplifolia, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis) dominate the understory, along with some non-native grasses and forbs (Bromus tectorum, Poa pratensis, Verbascum thapsus, and Solanum dulcamara).



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: This association needs crosswalking between stands in Oregon and Idaho to clarify the type.

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 Western North American Montane Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Western Montane-Subalpine Riparian & Seep Shrubland
Alliance Western Water Birch Wet Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000489 Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii - Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland



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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Idaho Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii Shrubland Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Oregon Betula occidentalis - Philadelphus lewisii Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii community type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crawford, R. C. 2003. Riparian vegetation classification of the Columbia Basin, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2003-03. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 98 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Betula occidentalis-Philadelphus lewisii 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
CES304.768 Columbia Basin Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (30Nov1998)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This is a low-elevation, riparian association which has been greatly impacted by cattle grazing. It is currently known from a few sites in eastern Oregon and western Idaho. All of the known sites are on private or BLM lands, and none are protected. The inventory for low-elevation riparian communities is incomplete, which is why this is ranked as a G2. When inventories are completed, given the same low number of sites and the degree of threats to these sites, this association could warrant a G1 rank.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ID, OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This type is known from low-elevation riparian areas along the Oregon-Idaho border in the Idaho Batholith ecoregion or in the Owyhee Uplands section of the Columbia Plateau, in both Oregon and Idaho.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert Province
Province Code: 342 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Owyhee Uplands Section
Section Code: 342C Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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: Idaho Batholith Section
Section Code: M332A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Betula occidentalis forms a low, patchy canopy along streams, and occasionally spreads out throughout the floodplain with cover ranging from 60-90%. Philadelphus lewisii is found throughout the bottomland, creating shrub thickets with overall cover ranging from 20-40%. Other trees and tall shrubs are rare, but can include Salix species (Salix lemmonii, Salix exigua, Salix geyeriana, or Salix lasiolepis), Cornus sericea, or Crataegus douglasii. Low shrubs (Rosa woodsii, Ribes aureum, Toxicodendron radicans), and graminoids (Elymus glaucus, Carex douglasii, Carex amplifolia, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis (= Juncus balticus)) dominate the understory, along with some non-native grasses and forbs (Bromus tectorum, Poa pratensis, Verbascum thapsus, and Solanum dulcamara).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula occidentalis G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Philadelphus lewisii G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Rosa woodsii G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Solanum dulcamara G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Verbascum thapsus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Bromus tectorum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Elymus glaucus G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Juncus balticus var. littoralis G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Poa pratensis G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G2 Liana Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This is a riparian, bottomland association found on seasonal streams to third-order perennial streams, in small, U-shaped to V-shaped, valley bottoms. Occurrences occur at relatively low elevations in the mountains of eastern Oregon and adjacent Idaho.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): J.S. Kagan
Element Description Edition Date: 02Dec1998
Element Description Author(s): J.S. Kagan
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 08Oct1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): J.S. Kagan

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.

  • Crawford, R. C. 2003. Riparian vegetation classification of the Columbia Basin, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2003-03. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 98 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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]

  • IDCDC [Idaho Conservation Data Center]. 2005. Wetland and riparian plant associations in Idaho. Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise. [http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/tech/CDC/ecology/wetland_riparian_assoc.cfm] (accessed 14 June 2005).

  • 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.

  • ORNHP [Oregon Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data files. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Portland, OR.

  • 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