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Abies lasiocarpa / Vaccinium membranaceum / Valeriana sitchensis Forest
Translated Name: Subalpine Fir / Thinleaf Huckleberry / Sitka Valerian Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL002612
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association occurs in the Cascades and in the northeastern Olympic Mountains at relatively high elevations and usually in relatively dry climatic zones. Sites have well-drained soils and usually southern aspects. Abies lasiocarpa dominates or codominates in a forest with a semi-open to closed tree canopy. Abies amabilis is usually present as the dominant regenerating tree and occasionally is codominant in the canopy. Picea engelmannii is sometimes prominent to codominant. The shrub layer is typically moderate in density and dominated by Vaccinium membranaceum. Sorbus sitchensis and Vaccinium deliciosum are frequent. Occasionally shrubs are only sparsely represented. The well-developed, diverse, and variable herbaceous layer almost always has Valeriana sitchensis prominent to codominant. Rubus lasiococcus, Arnica latifolia, and Veratrum viride are usually present to codominant. Clintonia uniflora, Rubus pedatus, Tiarella trifoliata, Luzula glabrata var. hitchcockii, and Erythronium montanum are less frequent but can be prominent to codominant.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: This type differs from Abies lasiocarpa / Valeriana sitchensis - Luzula glabrata var. hitchcockii Forest (CEGL000345) by having a greater abundance of Vaccinium membranaceum and Abies amabilis and a more diverse flora.

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.Nd - Vancouverian Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Vancouverian Subalpine-High Montane Forest
Group North-Central Pacific Mountain Hemlock - Silver Fir Woodland
Alliance Cascadian Pacific Silver Fir - Mountain Hemlock - Subalpine Fir Forest & Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL000341 Abies lasiocarpa - Picea engelmannii / Vaccinium membranaceum Rocky Mountain Forest
CEGL000345 Abies lasiocarpa / Valeriana sitchensis - Luzula glabrata var. hitchcockii Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Abies amabilis/Veratrum viride Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Franklin, J. F. 1966. Vegetation and soils in the subalpine forests of the southern Washington Cascade Range. Ph.D. dissertation, Washington State University, Pullman. 132 pp.
Related Concept Name: Abies lasiocarpa / Valeriana sitchensis Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Franklin, J. F., W. H. Moir, M. A. Hemstrom, S. E. Greene, and B. G. Smith. 1988. The forest communities of Mount Rainier National Park. USDI National Park Service. Scientific Monograph Series 19. Washington, DC. 194 pp.
Related Concept Name: Abies lasiocarpa-(Abies amabilis)/Vaccinium membranaceum/Valeriana sitchensis Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crawford, R. C., C. B. Chappell, C. C. Thompson, and F. J. Rocchio. 2009. Vegetation classification of Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic national parks. Plant association descriptions and identification keys: Appendices A-G. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR--2009/D-586. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 586 pp.
Related Concept Name: Abies lasiocarpa Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fonda, R. W., and L. C. Bliss. 1969. Forest vegetation of the mountain and subalpine zones, Olympic Mountains, Washington. Ecological Monographs 39(3):271-301.
Related Concept Name: Abies lasiocarpa-(Abies amabilis)/Vaccinium membranaceum/Valeriana sitchensis Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Chappell, C. B. 2006a. Plant associations of balds and bluffs of western Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2006-02. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/communities/pdf/balds_veg.pdf]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.830 Rocky Mountain Subalpine Mesic-Wet Spruce-Fir 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: WA
Global Distribution: United States

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


Vegetation


Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Abies lasiocarpa G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Vaccinium membranaceum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Valeriana sitchensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Crawford et al. (2009)
Element Description Edition Date: 12Jun2015
Element Description Author(s): Crawford et al. (2009)

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.

  • Chappell, C. B. 2006a. Plant associations of balds and bluffs of western Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2006-02. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/communities/pdf/balds_veg.pdf]

  • Chappell, C. B. 2006b. Upland plant associations of the Puget Trough ecoregion, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2006-01. Washington Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, WA. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/communities/pdf/intro.pdf]

  • Crawford, R. C., C. B. Chappell, C. C. Thompson, and F. J. Rocchio. 2009. Vegetation classification of Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic national parks. Plant association descriptions and identification keys: Appendices A-G. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCCN/NRTR--2009/D-586. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 586 pp.

  • Fonda, R. W., and L. C. Bliss. 1969. Forest vegetation of the mountain and subalpine zones, Olympic Mountains, Washington. Ecological Monographs 39(3):271-301.

  • Franklin, J. F. 1966. Vegetation and soils in the subalpine forests of the southern Washington Cascade Range. Ph.D. dissertation, Washington State University, Pullman. 132 pp.

  • Franklin, J. F., W. H. Moir, M. A. Hemstrom, S. E. Greene, and B. G. Smith. 1988. The forest communities of Mount Rainier National Park. USDI National Park Service. Scientific Monograph Series 19. Washington, DC. 194 pp.

  • Franklin, J. F., W. H. Moir, M. A. Hemstrom, and S. Greene. 1979. Forest ecosystems of Mount Rainier National Park. Unpublished report prepared for the USDI National Park Service.

  • 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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