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Classification
Scientific Name: California Maritime Chaparral
Unique Identifier: CES206.929
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: This ecological system includes chaparral in patches restricted by edaphic conditions (sands, sandstones, other marine sediments, and stabilized sand dunes) within the fog belt throughout the central and northern California coast. This system is characterized by a combination of locally endemic species of Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus, species that primarily reproduce by seed rather than resprouting. Shrubs vary in height (up to 3 m tall) and occur in variable densities. More open patches support herbaceous vegetation, while occurrences of high shrub density have no understory. Characteristic species include Arctostaphylos tomentosa, Arctostaphylos nummularia (= Arctostaphylos sensitiva), Arctostaphylos tomentosa ssp. crustacea (= Arctostaphylos crustacea), Arctostaphylos hookeri, Arctostaphylos pajaroensis, Arctostaphylos montaraensis (and others), Ceanothus masonii, Ceanothus griseus, and Ceanothus verrucosus. In occurrences in southern Oregon, Arctostaphylos hispidula is the predominant chaparral shrub. Southernmost stands (San Diego County) can include Cneoridium dumosum and Comarostaphylis diversifolia. Other common widespread woody taxa can include Adenostoma fasciculatum, Eriogonum fasciculatum, Salvia mellifera, Frangula californica (= Rhamnus californica), Rhamnus crocea, and Quercus agrifolia. Controlled burns have resulted in poor survivorship of the Arctostaphylos spp., and current theories are that they need long fire-free intervals to develop a viable seedbank that can reproduce following fire. This system often co-occurs with California Coastal Closed-Cone Conifer Forest and Woodland (CES206.922).

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Shrubland (Shrub-dominated)  
Mediterranean Mediterranean Xeric-Oceanic
Udic  
Evergreen Sclerophyllous Shrub  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland Lowland
Herbaceous  
Sideslope  
Sand Soil Texture  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Arctostaphylos hookeri
  (Hooker's Manzanita)
G3  
Arctostaphylos montaraensis
  (Montara Manzanita)
G1  
Arctostaphylos nummularia
  (Fort Bragg Manzanita)
G3?  
Arctostaphylos otayensis
  (Otay Manzanita)
G1  
Arctostaphylos pajaroensis
  (Pajaro Manzanita)
G1  
Ceanothus griseus
  (Carmel Whitethorn)
G3?  
Ceanothus masonii
  (Mason's Ceanothus)
G1  
Ceanothus verrucosus
  (Warty-stem Ceanothus)
G3  
Cneoridium dumosum
  (Bush-rue)
G2G3  
Comarostaphylis diversifolia
  (Mock Arbute)
G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Adenostoma fasciculatum G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos nummularia G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos otayensis G1 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos tomentosa G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ceanothus oliganthus G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Salvia mellifera G5 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Chamaea fasciata
  (Wrentit)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, OR
Global Range: This systems occurs within the fog belt from southern California to the Mendocino coast of northern California. It extends north into coastal Oregon in very small patches.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
206-Mediterranean California C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
14 California North Coast Confident or certain
15 California Central Coast Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
2 Oregon Coastal Range Confident or certain
3 Northern California Coastal Range Confident or certain
4 Southern California Coastal Range Confident or certain
13 Death Valley Basin Possible

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 5302
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1096
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2096

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

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

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., T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. 2007a. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley.

  • 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.

  • Barbour, M. G., and W. D. Billings, editors. 2000. North American terrestrial vegetation. Second edition. Cambridge University Press, New York. 434 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.

  • Davis, F. W., and M. I. Borchert. 2006. Central Coast bioregion. Pages 321-349 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.

  • Greelee, J. M., and J. H. Langenheim. 1990. Historical fire regimes and their relation to vegetation patterns in the Monterey Bay area of California. The American Midland Naturalist 124:239-253.

  • Griffin, J. R. 1978. Maritime chaparral and endemic shrubs of the Monterey Bay region, California. Madrono 25:65-81.

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

  • Keeley, J. E. 2002. Native American impacts on fire regimes of the California coastal ranges. Journal of Biogeography 29:303-320.

  • Keeley, J. E. 2006a. South Coast bioregion. Pages 350-390 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.

  • Keeley, J. E., and C. J. Fotheringham. 2001a. History and management of crown-fire ecosystems: A summary and response. Conservation Biology 15:1561-1567.

  • Keeley, J. E., and C. J. Fotheringham. 2001b. The historical role of fire in California shrublands. Conservation Biology 15:1536-1548.

  • Keeley, J. E., and F. W. Davis. 2007. Chaparral. Pages 339-366 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley. 712 pp.

  • Landfire [Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Database]. 2007a. Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Models. Landfire Project, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior. (January - last update) [http://www.LANDFIRE.gov/index.php] (accessed 8 February 2007).

  • 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]

  • Sawyer, J. O., T. Keeler-Wolf, and J. Evens. 2009. A manual of California vegetation. Second edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento CA. 1300 pp.

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

  • Van Dyke, E., K. D. Holl, and J. R. Griffen. 2001. Maritime chaparral community transition in the absence of fire. Madrono 48:221-229.

  • Wells, P. V. 1962. Vegetation in relation to geological substratum and fire in the San Luis Obispo Quadrangle, California. Ecological Monographs 32:79-103.


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