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Scientific Name: Great Basin Foothill and Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CES304.045

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Summary: This system occurs in mountain ranges of the Great Basin and along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada within a broad elevation range from about 1220 m (4000 feet) to over 2135 m (7000 feet). This system often occurs as a mosaic of multiple communities that are tree-dominated with a diverse shrub component. The variety of plant associations connected to this system reflects elevation, stream gradient, floodplain width, and flooding events. Dominant trees may include Abies lowiana, Alnus incana, Betula occidentalis, Populus angustifolia, Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa, Populus fremontii, Salix laevigata, Salix gooddingii, and Pseudotsuga menziesii. Dominant shrubs include Artemisia cana, Cornus sericea, Salix exigua, Salix lasiolepis, Salix lemmonii, or Salix lutea. Herbaceous layers are often dominated by species of Carex and Juncus, and perennial grasses and mesic forbs such Deschampsia cespitosa, Elymus trachycaulus, Glyceria striata, Iris missouriensis, Maianthemum stellatum, or Thalictrum fendleri. Introduced forage species such as Agrostis stolonifera, Poa pratensis, Phleum pratense, and the weedy annual Bromus tectorum are often present in disturbed stands. These are disturbance-driven systems that require flooding, scour and deposition for germination and maintenance. Livestock grazing is a major influence in altering structure, composition, and function of the system.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL000191 Pinus ponderosa - Populus tremuloides / Carex spp. - (Poa spp.) Riparian Forest
CEGL000648 Populus angustifolia / Betula occidentalis Riparian Woodland
CEGL000652 Populus angustifolia / Rhus trilobata Riparian Woodland
CEGL000662 Populus fremontii / Acer negundo Riparian Forest
CEGL000666 Populus fremontii / Salix exigua Riparian Forest
CEGL000667 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Alnus incana Riparian Forest
CEGL000675 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Mixed Herbs Riparian Forest
CEGL000943 Populus fremontii / Salix geyeriana Riparian Woodland
CEGL001074 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Deschampsia cespitosa Wet Shrubland
CEGL001145 Alnus incana / Cornus sericea Wet Shrubland
CEGL001161 Betula occidentalis / Cornus sericea Wet Shrubland
CEGL001162 Betula occidentalis / Maianthemum stellatum Wet Shrubland
CEGL001165 Cornus sericea Rocky Mountain Wet Shrubland
CEGL001217 Salix lasiolepis / Rosa woodsii / Mixed Herbs Wet Shrubland
CEGL001220 Salix lutea / Carex utriculata Wet Shrubland
CEGL001460 Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) / Leymus cinereus Wet Shrubland
CEGL002470 Populus fremontii / Mesic Forbs Riparian Woodland
CEGL002473 Populus fremontii / Mesic Graminoids Riparian Woodland
CEGL002654 Betula occidentalis / Mesic Graminoids Wet Shrubland
CEGL002756 Populus fremontii / Leymus triticoides Riparian Woodland
CEGL002771 Salix lemmonii / Mesic-Tall Forbs Wet Shrubland
CEGL002772 Salix lemmonii / Rosa woodsii Wet Shrubland
CEGL002773 Artemisia nova - Ericameria nana Shrubland
CEGL002774 Salix lutea / Mesic Forbs Wet Shrubland
CEGL005485 Populus fremontii / Tamarix sp. Ruderal Riparian Woodland


Land Cover Class: Woody Wetland
Spatial Pattern: Linear
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: No
Wetland: Yes
Isolated Wetland: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Riverine / Alluvial  
Short (<5 yrs) Flooding Interval  
Riparian Mosaic  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Lower Montane
Lowland Foothill
Temperate Temperate Continental

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Anaxyrus microscaphus
  (Arizona Toad)
Angelica scabrida
  (Rough Angelica)
Centrocercus urophasianus
  (Greater Sage-Grouse)
Delphinium viridescens
  (Wenatchee Larkspur)
Empidonax traillii extimus
  (Southwestern Willow Flycatcher)
G5T2 LE: Listed endangered
Howellia aquatilis
  (Water Howellia)
G3 LT: Listed threatened
Juncus uncialis
  (Inch-high Rush)
Lanx alta
  (Highcap Lanx)
Rana pretiosa
  (Oregon Spotted Frog)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Rubus bartonianus
  (Barton's Blackberry)
Sidalcea oregana var. calva
  (Oregon Checker-mallow)
G5T1 LE: Listed endangered
Sisyrinchium radicatum
  (Big-root Blue-eyed-grass)
Spiranthes diluvialis
  (Ute Ladies'-tresses)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Betula occidentalis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
Cornus sericea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
Populus angustifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa T5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
Populus fremontii G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
Abies concolor var. lowiana T5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
Pseudotsuga menziesii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
Salix gooddingii G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
Alnus incana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
Salix exigua G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
Salix laevigata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
Salix lasiolepis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
Salix lemmonii G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
Salix lutea G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
Rubus bartonianus G2 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling      
Ribes oxyacanthoides ssp. irriguum T4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling      
Artemisia cana G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
Angelica scabrida G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Cleomella plocasperma G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Damasonium californicum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Delphinium viridescens G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Downingia bacigalupii G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Epipactis gigantea G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Iris missouriensis G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
Maianthemum stellatum G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
Mimulus washingtonensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Salicornia rubra G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Sidalcea oregana var. calva T1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Sisyrinchium radicatum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Sisyrinchium septentrionale G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Spiranthes diluvialis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Spiranthes porrifolia G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Teucrium canadense var. occidentale T5 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
Thalictrum fendleri G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
Isoetes nuttallii G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
Ophioglossum pusillum G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
Carex hendersonii G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
Carex sychnocephala G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
Cyperus bipartitus G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
Deschampsia caespitosa G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
Elymus trachycaulus G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
Glyceria striata G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
Juncus uncialis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
Lipocarpha aristulata G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
Howellia aquatilis G3 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic      

Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
Alces americanus
Anaxyrus boreas
  (Western Toad)
Anaxyrus microscaphus
  (Arizona Toad)
Centrocercus urophasianus
  (Greater Sage-Grouse)
Coccyzus americanus
  (Yellow-billed Cuckoo)
Empidonax traillii extimus
  (Southwestern Willow Flycatcher)
G5T2 LE: Listed endangered    
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  (Bald Eagle)
Histrionicus histrionicus
  (Harlequin Duck)
Lanx alta
  (Highcap Lanx)
Pandion haliaetus
Pekania pennanti
Plestiodon skiltonianus
  (Western Skink)
Rana pretiosa
  (Oregon Spotted Frog)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Sceloporus occidentalis
  (Western Fence Lizard)

Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, NV, OR, UT
Global Range: Occurs in mountain ranges of the Great Basin and along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada within a broad elevation range from about 1220 m (4000 feet) to over 2135 m (7000 feet).

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
304-Inter-Mountain Basins C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
11 Great Basin Confident or certain
12 Sierra Nevada Confident or certain
6 Columbia Plateau Predicted or probable

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
6 Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Confident or certain
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain
9 Blue Mountain Region Confident or certain
10 Northwestern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
12 Western Great Basin Confident or certain
13 Death Valley Basin Confident or certain
16 Utah High Plateaus Possible
17 Eastern Great Basin Confident or certain
18 Snake River Plain Confident or certain
21 Middle Rocky Mountains Predicted or probable

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9168

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): J. Nachlinger, K.A. Schulz, G. Kittel

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