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Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum Forest
Translated Name: Douglas-fir / Rocky Mountain Maple Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000418
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This montane forest association occurs in the montane zone in the southern, central and northern Rocky Mountains. Elevations vary from 1465 to 2654 m (4800-8700 feet). Sites are cool and moist, generally occurring on northern or eastern aspects, on steep, mid to lower slopes, and ravines or stream bottoms where cold-air drainage is a factor. Substrates are variable and may be gravelly or not, with soil texture ranging from sandy loam to clay derived from colluvium. The vegetation is characterized by a Pseudotsuga menziesii-dominated tree canopy with Acer glabrum dominating or codominating the understory. The evergreen needle-leaved tree canopy is generally moderately dense to dense (50-80% cover). Mature seral tree species such as Pinus contorta, Pinus flexilis, Pinus ponderosa, Larix occidentalis, Populus angustifolia, or Populus tremuloides may be present to codominant. Abies concolor is typically absent. The tall-shrub layer is open (patchy) to moderately dense and dominated or codominated by Acer glabrum with other tall shrubs such as Amelanchier alnifolia, Cornus sericea, Quercus gambelii, Prunus virginiana, Sorbus scopulina, Spiraea betulifolia, or Salix scouleriana. An open to moderately dense short-shrub layer is usually present and often dominated by Physocarpus malvaceus with other species such as Lonicera utahensis, Mahonia repens, Paxistima myrsinites, Rosa spp., Ribes cereum, Symphoricarpos albus, or Symphoricarpos oreophilus. The vine Clematis columbiana may also be present in small amounts. In some stands the tall- and short-shrub layers are not distinct. Herbaceous layer generally has low cover and is composed of diverse forbs with graminoids present to codominant.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: All phases of the Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum Habitat Type are included in the concept of this association (Steele et al. 1981, 1983, Mauk and Henderson 1984).

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.2 - Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.2.Nb - Rocky Mountain Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Central Rocky Mountain Dry Lower Montane-Foothill Forest
Group Middle Rocky Mountain Montane Douglas-fir Forest & Woodland
Alliance Middle Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir Mesic-Wet Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000240 Abies concolor - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum Forest
CEGL000294 Abies lasiocarpa - Picea engelmannii / Acer glabrum Forest
CEGL000354 Picea engelmannii / Acer glabrum Forest
CEGL000563 Populus tremuloides / Acer glabrum Forest
CEGL002754 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer negundo Riparian Woodland



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 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum / Physocarpus malvaceus Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Johnson, C. G., Jr., and S. A. Simon. 1987. Plant associations of the Wallowa-Snake Province Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Technical Paper R6-ECOL-TP-255A-86. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. 399 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum Habitat Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Henderson, J. A., R. L. Mauk, D. L. Anderson, R. Ketchie, P. Lawton, S. Simon, R. H. Sperger, R. W. Young, and A. Youngblood. 1976. Preliminary forest habitat-types of northwestern Utah and adjacent Idaho. A report for the Department of Forestry and Outdoor Recreation, Utah State University, Logan. 99 pp.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Mauk, R. L., and J. A. Henderson. 1984. Coniferous forest habitat types of northern Utah. General Technical Report INT-170. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 89 pp.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Steele, R., R. D. Pfister, R. A. Ryker, and J. A. Kittams. 1981. Forest habitat types of central Idaho. General Technical Report INT-114. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 138 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum Habitat Type, Pachistima myrsinites Phase
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Steele, R., S. V. Cooper, D. M. Ondov, D. W. Roberts, and R. D. Pfister. 1983. Forest habitat types of eastern Idaho - western Wyoming. General Technical Report INT-144. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 122 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer glabrum plant association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Johnston, B. C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. R2-ECOL-87-2. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Lakewood, CO. 429 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.825 Southern Rocky Mountain Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest and Woodland


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

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CO, ID, MTpotentially occurs, OR, UT, WY
Canadian Province Distribution: AB
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This forest association occurs in the montane zone in the southern, central and northern Rocky Mountains from northern Colorado, through Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho, extending into Oregon and Alberta, and possibly Montana.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert and Desert Province
Province Code: 341 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Canyon Lands Section
Section Code: 341B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert Province
Province Code: 342 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northwestern Basin and Range Section
Section Code: 342B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bear Lake Section
Section Code: 342E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Regime Mountains
Province Name: Southern Rocky Mountain Steppe - Open Woodland - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Overthrust Mountains Section
Section Code: M331D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: South-Central Highlands Section
Section Code: M331G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North-Central Highlands Section
Section Code: M331H Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bitterroot Valley Section
Section Code: M332B Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Rocky Mountain Front Section
Section Code: M332C Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Belt Mountains Section
Section Code: M332D Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Beaverhead Mountains Section
Section Code: M332E Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Challis Volcanics Section
Section Code: M332F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This minor Rocky Mountain conifer association is characterized by a Pseudotsuga menziesii-dominated tree canopy with Acer glabrum dominating or codominating the understory. The evergreen needle-leaved tree canopy is generally moderately dense to dense (50-80% cover), although occasionally the cover will be as low as 15%. Mature seral tree species such as Pinus contorta, Pinus flexilis, Pinus ponderosa, Larix occidentalis, Populus angustifolia, or Populus tremuloides may be present to codominant. Abies concolor is typically absent. The tall-shrub layer is open (patchy) to moderately dense and dominated or codominated by Acer glabrum with other tall shrubs such as Amelanchier alnifolia, Cornus sericea, Quercus gambelii, Prunus virginiana, Sorbus scopulina, Spiraea betulifolia, or Salix scouleriana. An open to moderately dense short-shrub layer is usually present and often dominated by Physocarpus malvaceus with other species such as Holodiscus dumosus, Lonicera utahensis, Mahonia repens, Paxistima myrsinites, Prunus virginiana, Rosa spp., Ribes cereum, Ribes inerme, Sambucus racemosa, Symphoricarpos albus, or Symphoricarpos oreophilus. The vine Clematis columbiana may also be present in small amounts. In some stands the tall- and short-shrub layers are not distinct. Herbaceous layer generally has low cover and is composed of diverse forbs with graminoids present to codominant. Species may include Agrostis scabra, Arnica cordifolia, Calamagrostis rubescens, Carex geyeri, Cystopteris fragilis, Elymus glaucus, Erigeron speciosus, Heracleum maximum (= Heracleum lanatum), Eurybia conspicua, Fragaria vesca, Galium triflorum, Mitella stauropetala, Moehringia macrophylla (= Arenaria macrophylla), Osmorhiza berteroi (= Osmorhiza chilensis), Penstemon wilcoxii, Poa nervosa, Maianthemum racemosum ssp. amplexicaule, Thalictrum fendleri, or Thalictrum occidentale.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pseudotsuga menziesii G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy
 
 
Acer glabrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling
 
 
Angelica ampla G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Arnica cordifolia G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Maianthemum racemosum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Osmorhiza berteroi G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Thalictrum fendleri G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Thalictrum occidentale G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Calamagrostis rubescens G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex geyeri G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Angelica ampla
  (Giant Angelica)
G3G4  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This montane forest association occurs in the montane zone in the southern, central and northern Rocky Mountains. Elevations vary from 1465 to 2654 m (4800-8700 feet). Sites are cool and moist, generally occurring on northern or eastern aspects, on steep, mid to lower slopes, and ravines or stream bottoms where cold-air drainage is a factor. Substrates are variable and may be gravelly or not, with soil texture ranging from sandy loam to clay derived from colluvium. Parent materials include loess, basalt, diorite, dolomite, limestone, granite, quartz monzonite or sandstone. Ground surface has high cover of litter 3-7 cm deep, sometimes with significant cover of rock, and low cover of bare soil.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Western Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 05Jan2007
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz, G. Kittel and J. Coles

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • ANHIC [Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Community database files. Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre, Parks and Protected Areas Division, Alberta Community Development, Edmonton.

  • 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.

  • CNHP [Colorado Natural Heritage Program]. 2006-2017. Tracked natural plant communities. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. [https://cnhp.colostate.edu/ourdata/trackinglist/plant_communities/]

  • Clark, D., M. Dela Cruz, T. Clark, J. Coles, S. Topp, A. Evenden, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, and J. Von Loh. 2009. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Capitol Reef National Park. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2009/187. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 882 pp.

  • Cogan, D., K. Varga, and G. Kittel. 2005. USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Final Project Report 2002-2005 Vegetation Mapping Project. Technical Memorandum 8260-06-02. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO. 87 pp. plus Appendixes A-F.

  • Coles, J., A. Tendick, J. Von Loh, G. Bradshaw, G. Manis, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, and A. Evenden. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2010/361. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Henderson, J. A., R. L. Mauk, D. L. Anderson, R. Ketchie, P. Lawton, S. Simon, R. H. Sperger, R. W. Young, and A. Youngblood. 1976. Preliminary forest habitat-types of northwestern Utah and adjacent Idaho. A report for the Department of Forestry and Outdoor Recreation, Utah State University, Logan. 99 pp.

  • Hop, K., M. Reid, J. Dieck, S. Lubinski, and S. Cooper. 2007. U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI. 131 pp. plus Appendices A-L.

  • Johnson, C. G., Jr., and S. A. Simon. 1987. Plant associations of the Wallowa-Snake Province Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Technical Paper R6-ECOL-TP-255A-86. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. 399 pp. plus appendices.

  • Johnston, B. C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. R2-ECOL-87-2. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Lakewood, CO. 429 pp.

  • Jones, G., and S. Ogle. 2000. Characterization abstracts for vegetation types on the Bighorn, Medicine Bow, and Shoshone national forests. Prepared for USDA Forest Service, Region 2 by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming.

  • 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.

  • Mauk, R. L., and J. A. Henderson. 1984. Coniferous forest habitat types of northern Utah. General Technical Report INT-170. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 89 pp.

  • Reid, M. S., S. V. Cooper, and G. Kittel. 2004. Vegetation classification of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Final report for USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, International Peace Park Mapping Project. NatureServe, Arlington VA.

  • Romme, W. H., K. D. Heil, J. M. Porter, and R. Fleming. 1993. Plant communities of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. USDI National Park Service, Technical Report NPS/NAUCARE/NRTER-93/02. Cooperative Park Studies Unit, Northern Arizona University. 37 pp.

  • Steele, R., R. D. Pfister, R. A. Ryker, and J. A. Kittams. 1981. Forest habitat types of central Idaho. General Technical Report INT-114. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 138 pp.

  • Steele, R., S. V. Cooper, D. M. Ondov, D. W. Roberts, and R. D. Pfister. 1983. Forest habitat types of eastern Idaho - western Wyoming. General Technical Report INT-144. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT. 122 pp.

  • Stevens, J. E., D. S. Jones, and K. J. Benner. 2015. Vegetation classification and mapping project report: Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Natural Resource Report NPS/GRYN/NRR--2015/1070. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 350 pp.

  • Tendick, A., J. Coles, P. Williams, G. Bradshaw, G. Manis, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, and A. Evenden. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Curecanti National Recreation Area. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR--2010/408. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 797 pp.

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

  • Western Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boulder, CO.


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