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Classification
Scientific Name: Temperate Pacific Subalpine-Montane Wet Meadow
Unique Identifier: CES200.998

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Summary: Montane and subalpine wet meadows occur in open wet depressions, basins and flats among montane and subalpine forests from California's Transverse and Peninsular ranges north to British Columbian coastal forests at varying elevations depending on latitude. Sites are usually seasonally wet, often drying by late summer, and many occur in a tension zone between perennial wetlands and uplands, where water tables fluctuate in response to long-term climatic cycles. They may have surface water for part of the year, but depths rarely exceed a few centimeters. Soils are mostly mineral and may show typical hydric soil characteristics, and shallow organic soils may occur as inclusions. This system often occurs as a mosaic of several plant associations with varying dominant herbaceous species that may include Camassia quamash, Carex bolanderi, Carex utriculata, Carex exsiccata, Dodecatheon jeffreyi, Glyceria striata, Carex nigricans, Calamagrostis canadensis, Juncus nevadensis, Caltha leptosepala ssp. howellii, Veratrum californicum, and Scirpus and/or Schoenoplectus spp. Trees occur peripherally or on elevated microsites and include Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa, Abies amabilis, Tsuga mertensiana, and Callitropsis nootkatensis. Common shrubs may include Salix spp., Vaccinium uliginosum, Betula glandulosa, and Vaccinium macrocarpon. Wet meadows are tightly associated with snowmelt and typically are not subjected to high disturbance events such as flooding.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Rocky Mountain Alpine-Montane Wet Meadow (CES306.812) occurs to the east of the coastal and Sierran mountains, in the semi-arid interior regions of western North America. Boreal wet meadow systems occur further north and east in boreal regions where the climatic regime is generally colder than that of the Rockies or Pacific Northwest regions. Floristics of these three systems are somewhat similar, but there are differences related to biogeographic affinities of the species composing the vegetation. Wet meadows in southeastern Alaska have been placed into a new system (2008), Alaskan Pacific Maritime Fen and Wet Meadow (CES204.158).

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES204.158 Alaskan Pacific Maritime Fen and Wet Meadow
CES206.940 Mediterranean California Subalpine Meadow


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL001250 Vaccinium uliginosum / Deschampsia cespitosa Wet Shrubland
CEGL001559 Calamagrostis canadensis Western Wet Meadow
CEGL001599 Deschampsia cespitosa Wet Meadow
CEGL001802 Carex aquatilis Wet Meadow
CEGL001810 Carex lasiocarpa Fen
CEGL001813 Carex nebrascensis Wet Meadow
CEGL001816 Carex nigricans Wet Meadow
CEGL001817 Carex nigricans - Erythronium montanum Wet Meadow
CEGL001819 Carex nigricans - Luetkea pectinata Wet Meadow
CEGL001822 Carex scopulorum Wet Meadow
CEGL001825 Carex simulata Fen
CEGL001832 Eleocharis acicularis Marsh
CEGL001833 Eleocharis palustris Marsh
CEGL001838 Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis Wet Meadow
CEGL001857 Carex interior - Hypericum anagalloides Wet Meadow
CEGL001946 Veratrum californicum Wet Meadow
CEGL001988 Senecio triangularis - Mimulus guttatus Wet Meadow
CEGL001989 Senecio triangularis - Veratrum californicum Wet Meadow
CEGL001994 Tauschia stricklandii - Vaccinium deliciosum Alpine Meadow
CEGL003427 Carex amplifolia Wet Meadow
CEGL003438 Vaccinium cespitosum / Sanguisorba officinalis Fen
CEGL003439 Xerophyllum tenax - Sanguisorba officinalis Meadow



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Herbaceous  
Muck  
Graminoid  
30-180-day hydroperiod  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane  
Temperate Temperate Oceanic
Depressional  
Riverine / Alluvial  
Circumneutral Water  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Agriades podarce
  (Arrowhead Arctic Blue)
G3G4  
Anaxyrus canorus
  (Yosemite Toad)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened
Antennaria pulchella
  (Sierra Pussytoes)
G3  
Arnica chamissonis var. bernardina
  (Leafy Leopardbane)
G5T2T3  
Astragalus lentiginosus var. kernensis
  (Kern Plateau Milkvetch)
G5T2  
Carex sartwelliana
  (Yosemite Sedge)
G3?  
Carex tiogana
  (Tioga Pass Sedge)
G1Q  
Castilleja lasiorhyncha
  (San Bernardino Owl's-clover)
G2?  
Cinna bolanderi
  (Bolander's Woodreed)
G2  
Crepis runcinata ssp. andersonii
  (Naked-stem Hawk's-beard)
G5T3?  
Delphinium hesperium ssp. cuyamacae
  (Cuyamaca Larkspur)
G4T2  
Eanus hatchi
  (Hatch's Click Beetle)
G1  
Gentiana plurisetosa
  (Bristly Gentian)
G2  
Ivesia unguiculata
  (Yosemite Ivesia)
G3  
Juncus duranii
  (Duran's Rush)
G3  
Juncus macrandrus
  (Long-anther Rush)
G3G4  
Lilium occidentale
  (Western Lily)
G1G2 LE: Listed endangered
Lilium pardalinum ssp. shastense
  (Leopard Lily)
G5T3T4  
Lilium parryi
  (Lemon Lily)
G3  
Limnanthes montana
  (Mountain Meadowfoam)
G3?  
Lophochlaena californica var. davyi
  (Davy's Semaphore Grass)
G5T3  
Lotus oblongifolius var. cupreus
  (Copper-flower Bird's-foot-trefoil)
G5T2  
Lupinus polyphyllus ssp. bernardianus
  (Largeleaf Lupine)
G5T2T3  
Lupinus polyphyllus var. grandifolius
  (Largeleaf Lupine)
G5T3?  
Madia yosemitana
  (Yosemite Tarweed)
G3  
Mimulus biolettii
  (Hetch Hetchy Monkeyflower)
G2G3  
Mimulus exiguus
  (San Bernardino Mountain Monkeyflower)
G2  
Mimulus filicaulis
  (Slenderstem Monkeyflower)
G2  
Mimulus grayi
  (Gray's Monkeyflower)
G2G3Q  
Mimulus platycalyx
  (Wide-calyx Monkeyflower)
G3?  
Mimulus primuloides var. linearifolius
  (Primrose Monkeyflower)
G4T2T3  
Mimulus pulchellus
  (Pansy Monkeyflower)
G2  
Mimulus purpureus
  (Little Purple Monkeyflower)
G2  
Navarretia peninsularis
  (Baja Navarretia)
G3?  
Oreostemma elatum
  (Plumas Mountaincrown)
G2  
Packera bernardina
  (San Bernardino Butterweed)
G2  
Parnassia cirrata
  (Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus)
G2  
Perideridia parishii ssp. parishii
  (Parish's Yampah)
G4T3T4  
Phacelia orogenes
  (Mountain Phacelia)
G3  
Phalacroseris bolanderi
  (Bolander's Mock Dandelion)
G3G4  
Phalacroseris bolanderi var. bolanderi
  (Bolander's Mock Dandelion)
G3G4T3?  
Phalacroseris bolanderi var. coronata
  (Bolander's Mock Dandelion)
G3G4T2T3  
Plagiobothrys distantiflorus
  (California Popcorn-flower)
G3?  
Plagiobothrys tener var. subglaber
  (Slender Popcorn-flower)
G4T1T3  
Poa atropurpurea
  (San Bernardino Bluegrass)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Potentilla glandulosa ssp. ewanii
  (Ewan's Cinquefoil)
G5T2  
Raillardella pringlei
  (Showy Raillardella)
G2G3  
Rana cascadae
  (Cascades Frog)
G3G4  
Rana pretiosa
  (Oregon Spotted Frog)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Ranunculus eschscholtzii var. oxynotus
  (Eschscholtz's Buttercup)
G5T3?  
Rudbeckia californica var. intermedia
  (California Coneflower)
G4T2?  
Scirpus diffusus
  (Umbrella Bulrush)
G3G4  
Sidalcea hirsuta
  (Hairy Checker-mallow)
G3G4  
Sidalcea nelsoniana
  (Nelson's Sidalcea)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened
Sidalcea oregana ssp. eximia
  (Coast Checkerbloom)
G5T1  
Sidalcea oregana ssp. hydrophila
  (Water-loving Checker-mallow)
G5T2  
Sidalcea pedata
  (Pedate Checker-mallow)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Sidalcea ranunculacea
  (Marsh Checker-mallow)
G3?  
Sisyrinchium sarmentosum
  (Pale Blue-eyed-grass)
G2  
Taraxacum californicum
  (California Dandelion)
G1G2 LE: Listed endangered
Thelypodium stenopetalum
  (Slender-petal Thelypody)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Thermopsis californica var. semota
  (California Golden-banner)
G4T2  
Trichophorum clementis
  (Yosemite Bulrush)
G3  
Trifolium barbigerum var. andrewsii
  (Bearded Clover)
G5T3?  
Trifolium bolanderi
  (Bolander's Clover)
G3  
Veratrum fimbriatum
  (Fringed False Hellebore)
G3  
Viola adunca var. kirkii
  (Sand Violet)
G5T1T3  
Zigadenus fontanus
  (Small-flower Deathcamas)
G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Caltha leptosepala ssp. howellii T5 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Camassia quamash G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Dodecatheon jeffreyi G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Lilium occidentale G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Mimulus inconspicuus G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Mimulus primuloides var. linearifolius T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Oreostemma elatum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sidalcea nelsoniana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sisyrinchium sarmentosum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Veratrum californicum G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Calamagrostis canadensis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex bolanderi G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex exsiccata G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex nigricans G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex utriculata G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Glyceria striata G5 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Juncus nevadensis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Agriades podarce
  (Arrowhead Arctic Blue)
G3G4      
Anaxyrus canorus
  (Yosemite Toad)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened    
Eanus hatchi
  (Hatch's Click Beetle)
G1      
Microtus montanus
  (Montane Vole)
G5      
Rana cascadae
  (Cascades Frog)
G3G4      
Rana pretiosa
  (Oregon Spotted Frog)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Sorex vagrans
  (Vagrant Shrew)
G5      
Thamnophis elegans
  (Terrestrial Gartersnake)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, NV, OR, WA
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: BC
Global Range: This system is found from California's Transverse and Peninsular ranges north to British Columbian coastal forests at varying elevations depending on latitude.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
204-North American Pacific Maritime C: Confident or certain
206-Mediterranean California C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
12 Sierra Nevada Confident or certain
16 California South Coast Confident or certain
3 North Cascades Confident or certain
4 Modoc Plateau and East Cascades Confident or certain
5 Klamath Mountains Confident or certain
69 S.E. Alaska - B.C. Coastal Forest and Mountains Possible
81 West Cascades Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
1 Northern Cascades Confident or certain
2 Oregon Coastal Range Confident or certain
3 Northern California Coastal Range Confident or certain
4 Southern California Coastal Range Confident or certain
6 Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Confident or certain
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain
8 Grande Coulee Basin of the Columbia Plateau Possible
9 Blue Mountain Region Predicted or probable
12 Western Great Basin Possible

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9265

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 13Jan2012
Element Description Author(s): P. Comer, G. Kittel and C. Chappell

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


References
  • Banner, A., W. MacKenzie, S. Haeussler, S. Thomson, J. Pojar, and R. Trowbridge. 1993. A field guide to site identification and interpretation for the Prince Rupert Forest Region. Ministry of Forests Research Program. Victoria, BC. Parts 1 and 2. Land Management Handbook Number 26.

  • Barbour, M. G., and J. Major, editors. 1988. Terrestrial vegetation of California: New expanded edition. California Native Plant Society, Special Publication 9, Sacramento. 1030 pp.

  • Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, K. Snow, J. Teague, and R. White. 2003-present. Ecological systems of the United States: A working classification of U.S. terrestrial systems. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

  • DeLong, C. 2003. A field guide to site identification and interpretation for the southeast portion of the Prince George Forest Region. Land Manage. Handbook No. 51. Province of British Columbia, Research Branch, Ministry of Forestry, Victoria, BC. [http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/Docs/Lmh/Lmh51.htm]

  • DeLong, C., A. MacKinnon, and L. Jang. 1990. A field guide for identification and interpretation of ecosystems of the northeast portion of the Prince George Forest Region. Land Management Handbook No. 22. Province of British Columbia, Research Branch, Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC.

  • DeLong, C., D. Tanner, and M. J. Jull. 1993. A field guide for site identification and interpretation for the southwest portion of the Prince George Forest Region. Land Management Handbook No. 24. British Columbia Ministry of Forests Research Branch, Victoria, British Columbia.

  • Holland, V. L., and D. J. Keil. 1995. California vegetation. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, IA. 516 pp.

  • Lloyd, D. A., K. Angove, G. Hope, and C. Thompson. 1990. A guide for site identification and interpretation of the Kamloops Forest Region. 2 volumes. Land Management Handbook No. 23. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC. [http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/docs/lmh/lmh23.htm]

  • MacKenzie, W. H., and J. R. Moran. 2004. Wetlands of British Columbia: A guide to identification. Land Management Handbook No. 52. Research Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Lands, Victoria, BC. 287 pp.

  • MacKinnon, A., C. DeLong, and D. Meidinger. 1990. A field guide for identification and interpretation of ecosystems of the northwest portion of the Prince George Forest Region. Land Management Handbook No. 21. Province of British Columbia, Research Branch, Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC.

  • Meidinger, D., A. McLeod, A. MacKinnon, C. DeLong, and G. Hope. 1988. A field guide for identification and interpretation of ecosystems of the Rocky Mountain Trench, Prince George Forest Region. Land Management Handbook No. 15. Province of British Columbia, Research Branch, Ministry of Forests and Lands, Victoria, BC.

  • Sawyer, J. O., and T. Keeler-Wolf. 1995. A manual of California vegetation. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 471 pp.

  • Shiflet, T. N., editor. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Society for Range Management. Denver, CO. 152 pp.

  • Skinner, C. N. 1997. Fire history in riparian reserves of the Klamath Mountains. In: S. Cooper and N. Sugihara, editors. Proceedings - Fire in California Ecosystems: Integrating Ecology, Prevention, and Management. 17-20 November 1997; San Diego, CA. California Association for Fire Ecology (CAFE).

  • Steen, O. A., and R. A. Coupé. 1997. A field guide to forest site identification and interpretation for the Cariboo Forest Region. Land Management Handbook No. 39. Parts 1 and 2. British Columbia Ministry of Forests Research Program, Victoria, BC.

  • WNHP [Washington Natural Heritage Program]. 2018. Unpublished data files. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA.


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