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Abies grandis / Symphoricarpos albus Forest
Translated Name: Grand Fir / Common Snowberry Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL000282
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest community type of Oregon and Washington has been sampled on the Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur national forests of the eastern Blue Mountains Ecoregion. Geomorphic surfaces are floodplains and terraces in narrow to moderately steep, moderately wide, V-, flat- and trough-shaped valleys with moderately steep sideslopes. Valley aspects range from southwest- to north- and northwest-facing. Overstory vegetation is characterized by shade-tolerant Abies grandis; common seral tree species include Picea engelmannii, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, and Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa. Symphoricarpos albus dominates the shrub layer, with Ribes lacustre, Alnus incana, Acer glabrum, Rubus parviflorus, Amelanchier alnifolia, Philadelphus lewisii, Cornus sericea, Spiraea betulifolia, and Crataegus douglasii occasionally associated. Herbaceous species commonly encountered include Arnica cordifolia, Circaea alpina, Adenocaulon bicolor, Maianthemum stellatum, Achillea millefolium, Elymus glaucus, and Festuca occidentalis.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

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 Mesic Lower Montane Forest
Group Central Rocky Mountain Mesic Grand Fir - Douglas-fir Forest
Alliance Central Rocky Mountain Grand Fir - Douglas-fir Forest & Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000267 Abies grandis / Acer glabrum 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Oregon Abies grandis / Symphoricarpos albus Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Abies grandis / Symphoricarpos albus - Floodplain
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: Abies grandis / Symphoricarpos albus 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]
Related Concept Name: Abies grandis / Symphoricarpos albus Floodplain Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kovalchik, B. L. 2001. Classification and management of aquatic, riparian and wetland sites on the national forests of eastern Washington. Part 1: The series descriptions. 429 pp. plus appendix. [http://www.reo.gov/col/wetland_classification/wetland_classification.pdf]
Related Concept Name: Abies grandis / Symphoricarpos
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Topik, C., N. M. Halverson, and T. High. 1988. Plant associations and management guide of the ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and grand fir zone, Mt. Hood National Forest. R6-ECOL-TP-004-88. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 136 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.086 East Cascades Mesic Montane Mixed-Conifer Forest and Woodland
CES306.805 Northern Rocky Mountain Dry-Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3? (01Feb1996)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR, WApotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This forest community type occurs in Oregon and Washington.

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: Western Cascades Section
Section Code: M242B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Dry Domain
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: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Overstory vegetation is characterized by shade-tolerant Abies grandis; common seral tree species include Picea engelmannii, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, and Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa. Symphoricarpos albus dominates the shrub layer with Ribes lacustre, Alnus incana, Acer glabrum, Rubus parviflorus, Amelanchier alnifolia, Philadelphus lewisii, Cornus sericea, Spiraea betulifolia, and Crataegus douglasii occasionally associated. Herbaceous species commonly encountered include Arnica cordifolia, Circaea alpina, Adenocaulon bicolor, Maianthemum stellatum, Achillea millefolium, Elymus glaucus, and Festuca occidentalis. The height of the shrub layer averages 0.6 m, and the height of the herbaceous layer averages 30 cm.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Abies grandis G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Symphoricarpos albus G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community type was sampled on the Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur national forests of the eastern Blue Mountains Ecoregion (Crowe et al. 2004). Geomorphic surfaces are floodplains and terraces in narrow to moderately steep, moderately wide, V-, flat- and trough-shaped valleys with moderately steep sideslopes. Valley aspects range from southwest- to north- and northwest-facing. Rosgen (1996) stream types associated with sites sampled are B3, C4, C5 and E4.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The major species of this association, Abies grandis and Symphoricarpos albus, are probably self-perpetuating given a lack of moderate to severe fires. Other associated tall shrubs, Acer glabrum, Amelanchier alnifolia, and Cornus sericea, will decrease in abundance with increasing shade by the overstory Abies grandis and Picea engelmannii canopy. Moderate to severe fires will generally kill the Abies grandis and Picea engelmannii seedlings, saplings and mature trees, and generally leave mature Pinus ponderosa trees on the site. All of the common shrubs characteristic of this association will resprout from root crowns and/or rhizomes following fires and persist over time.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Western Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 26Oct2005
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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Kovalchik, B. L. 2001. Classification and management of aquatic, riparian and wetland sites on the national forests of eastern Washington. Part 1: The series descriptions. 429 pp. plus appendix. [http://www.reo.gov/col/wetland_classification/wetland_classification.pdf]

  • Rosgen, D. 1996. Applied river morphology. Wildland Hydrology, Pagosa Springs, CO.

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

  • Topik, C., N. M. Halverson, and T. High. 1988. Plant associations and management guide of the ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and grand fir zone, Mt. Hood National Forest. R6-ECOL-TP-004-88. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 136 pp.

  • 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.

  • Williams, C. K., and B. G. Smith. 1990. Forested plant associations of the Wenatchee National Forest. Unpublished draft prepared by the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 217 pp.


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