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Classification
Scientific Name: Modoc Basalt Flow Vernal Pool
Unique Identifier: CES204.996

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Summary: This system includes shallow ephemeral waterbodies found in very small depressions (typically no larger than 50 square meters) throughout the Lassen, Klamath, and upper Pit river drainages, as well as the Devils Garden area of northern California, and along the eastern flanks of the Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon-Washington border. These vernal pools are located on top of massive basalt flows where soils are very thin over solid bedrock. Where soils are better developed, they trend towards Vertisols (freeze-thaw characteristics). Characteristic species include Blennosperma nanum, Epilobium densiflorum, Callitriche marginata, Cicendia quadrangularis, Eryngium vaseyi, Psilocarphus brevissimus, and Sedella pumila. Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi can occur on better developed soils. Endemic plant species Eryngium mathiasiae, as well as several species of Mimulus and Pogogyne, may occur.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Depressional  
Impermeable Layer  
1-29-day hydroperiod  
Vernal Pool Mosaic  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Montane
Montane Lower Montane
Herbaceous  
Mediterranean Mediterranean Xeric-Oceanic
Temperate Temperate Oceanic
Isolated Wetland Strictly Isolated
Consolidated  
Short (50-100 yrs) Persistence  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi
  (Bolander's Silver Sagebrush)
G5T3?  
Downingia bicornuta
  (Double-horn Downingia)
G3G4  
Downingia bicornuta var. bicornuta
  (Double-horn Downingia)
G3G4T3T4  
Eryngium mathiasiae
  (Mathias' Coyote-thistle)
G3  
Gratiola heterosepala
  (Boggs Lake Hedge-hyssop)
G2G3  
Polygonum polygaloides ssp. esotericum
  (Modoc County Knotweed)
G4G5T3  
Sedella pumila
  (Sierra Mock Stonecrop)
G3?  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Blennosperma nanum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Cicendia quadrangularis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Downingia bicornuta G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Downingia bicornuta var. bicornuta T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Epilobium densiflorum G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Psilocarphus brevissimus G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Sedella pumila G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Callitriche marginata G4 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Lepidurus packardi
  (Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp)
G4 LE: Listed endangered    


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, OR, WA
Global Range: Throughout the Lassen, Klamath, and upper Pit river drainages, as well as the Devils Garden area of northern California, and along the eastern flanks of the Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon-Washington border.

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
4 Modoc Plateau and East Cascades Confident or certain
5 Klamath Mountains Predicted or probable

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

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9264

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): P. Comer, T. Keeler-Wolf, G. Kittel

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


References
  • Barbour, M. G. 1998. Forward. In: C. W. Witham, editor. Ecology, conservation and management of vernal pool ecosystems. Proceedings from a 1996 Conference, California Native Plant Society, Sacramento.

  • Barbour, M. G., A. I. Solomeshch, R. F. Holland, C.W. Witham, R. L. Macdonald, S. S. Cilliers, J. A. Molina, J. J. Buck, and J. M. Hillman. 2005. Vernal pool vegetation of California: Communities of long-inundated deep habitats. Phytocoenologia 35:177-200.

  • Barbour, M. G., A. Solomeshch, C. Witham, R. Holland, R. Macdonald, S. Cilliers, J. A. Molina, J. Buck, and J. Hillman. 2003. Vernal pool vegetation of California: Variation within pools. Madroņo 50:129-146.

  • 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.

  • Bjork, C. R. 1997. Vernal pools of the Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington. Report to the Washington Field Office of The Nature Conservancy. 29 pp. plus 7 appendices.

  • Bjork, C. R., and P. W. Dunwiddie. 2004. Floristics and distribution of vernal pools on the Columbia Plateau of eastern Washington. Rhodora 106(928):327-347.

  • Brown, W. 1999. Evaluation of cattle grazing effects on floristic composition in eastern Washington vernal pools. M.S. thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.

  • 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.

  • Dalton, M. M., P. W. Mote, and A. K. Snover, editors. 2013. Climate change in the Northwest: Implications for our landscapes, waters, and communities. Island Press, Washington, DC.

  • Dlugolecki, L. 2010. A characterization of seasonal pools in central Oregon's high desert. M.Sc. thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 76 pp. [http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/15038]

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

  • Keeley, J. E., and P. H. Zedler. 1998a. Evolution of life histories in Pinus. Pages 219-250 in: D. M. Richardson, editor. Ecology and biogeography of Pinus. The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

  • PRBO Conservation Science. 2011. Projected effects of climate change in California: Ecoregional summaries emphasizing consequences for wildlife. Version 1.0. PRBO Conservation Science, Petaluma, CA. [http://data.prbo.org/apps/bssc/climatechange]

  • Pollak, O., and T. Kan. 1998. The use of prescribed fire to control invasive exotic weeds at Jepson Prairie Preserve. In: C. W. Witham, editor. Ecology, conservation and management of vernal pool ecosystems. Proceedings from a 1996 Conference, California Native Plant Society, Sacramento.

  • Rocchio, Joe. Personal communication. Ecologist. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA.

  • 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.

  • Solomeshch, A., M. G. Barbour, and R. F. Holland. 2007. Chapter 15: Vernal pools. In: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press.

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

  • Wills, R. 2006. Central Valley bioregion. Pages 295-320 in: N. G. Sugihara, J. W. van Wagtendonk, K. E. Shaffer, J. Fites-Kaufman, and A. E. Thode, editors. Fire in California's ecosystems. University of California Press, Berkeley.


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