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Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Alnus rhombifolia Riparian Forest
Translated Name: Black Cottonwood - White Alder Riparian Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000668
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This is a deciduous broad-leaved forest association found in the lower Quercus garryana zone or shrub-steppe zone in eastern Washington and Oregon. It is a riparian community typically found in narrow canyons with some floodplain development. The tree layer is characterized by an open layer of Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa over a denser layer of Alnus rhombifolia. The tree canopy is mostly closed. The undergrowth is poorly documented and maybe highly variable displaying tall-shrub to herbaceous dominance. This is an existing vegetation type that merges into more strict potential types indicated by Alnus rhombifolia.



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 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa and Alnus rhombifolia. This plant association was created from Daubenmire (1970) to include all Alnus rhombifolia stands in Washington. Evans (1989a) mentions Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa scattered with Alnus rhombifolia along the Touchet River. It is a floodplain forest with Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa trees over a second canopy of Alnus rhombifolia, and is transitional to Alnus rhombifolia forest without flooding or other stand replacement disturbance.

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.Ng - Vancouverian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Vancouverian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group North-Central Pacific Lowland Riparian Forest
Alliance Oregon Ash - Black Cottonwood - Alder Riparian Forest

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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Alnus rhombifolia Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus rhombifolia Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Daubenmire, R. F. 1970. Steppe vegetation of Washington. Washington State University Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 62. 131 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Evans, S. 1989a. Riparian survey of Washington's Columbia Basin. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Washington.
Related Concept Name: Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Alnus rhombifolia 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
CES204.869 North Pacific Lowland Riparian Forest and Shrubland
CES306.804 Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (20Jan2000)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community has a restricted range to south-central and southeastern Washington and adjacent Oregon. This is a mid-seral riparian forest community that depends upon a specific flood regime to regenerate cottonwood. It occurs as part of a riparian mosaic that reflects natural disturbance cycles. Its extent has been reduced by alteration of whole river hydrology (dams) and local level alteration by ditching, diking and land conversion. There are few viable occurrences remaining (fewer than twenty) although a directed inventory might produce some occurrences albeit in poor condition. Continued local level alteration of floodplains and invasion of exotic plants, such as Acer negundo and Salix alba represent major long-term threats that may result in the future extinction or degradation of this community type.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: Restricted to northern foothills of Blue Mountains and a few low-elevation drainages in the east Cascades foothills of Washington.

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
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: Oregon and Washington Coast Ranges Section
Section Code: M242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Cascades Section
Section Code: M242B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The tree layer is characterized by an open layer of Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa over a denser layer of Alnus rhombifolia. The tree canopy is mostly closed. The undergrowth is poorly documented and maybe highly variable displaying tall-shrub to herbaceous dominance.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Alnus rhombifolia G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This is a deciduous broad-leaved forest association found in the lower Quercus garryana zone or shrub-steppe zone in eastern Washington and Oregon. It is a riparian community typically found in narrow canyons with some floodplain development.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): R.C. Crawford
Element Description Edition Date: 26Nov1997
Element Description Author(s): R.C. Crawford
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 23Nov1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): R.C. Crawford

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.

  • Daubenmire, R. F. 1970. Steppe vegetation of Washington. Washington State University Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 62. 131 pp.

  • Evans, S. 1989a. Riparian survey of Washington's Columbia Basin. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Washington.

  • Holmstead, G. 2001. Vegetation of the Snake River corridor in Hells Canyon-Weiser, Idaho to the Salmon River. Technical Report Appendix E.3.3-1 prepared for FERC License No. 1971, Hells Canyon Complex by Idaho Power Company, Boise, ID. 49 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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.

  • Titus, J. H., M. Kerr, E. Crowe, and B. Kovalchik. 1998. Riparian zones of eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland.

  • 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