NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
 
Ecological System Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected. View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Classification
Scientific Name: California Montane Woodland and Chaparral
Unique Identifier: CES206.925
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

Search for Images on Google
Summary: This ecological system includes chaparral or open shrubby woodlands found among montane forests above 1500 m (4550 feet) elevation from the southern Cascades of Oregon to the Peninsular Ranges of California into Baja California, Mexico, where much annual precipitation occurs as snow. These are often locations with steep, exposed slopes with rocky and/or shallow soils, often glaciated. Stands are not found in the foothills but rather occur commonly above 1524 m (5000 feet) in elevation. These are mosaics of woodlands with chaparral understories, shrub-dominated chaparral, or short-lived chaparral with conifer species invading, if good seed source is available. Shrubs will often have higher densities than the trees, which are more limited due to the rocky/thin soils. These can also be short-duration chaparrals in previously forested areas that have experienced crown fires. Trees tend to have a scattered open canopy or can be clustered, over a usually continuous dense shrub layer. Trees can include Pinus jeffreyi, Abies lowiana (= Abies concolor var. lowiana), Abies magnifica, Pinus monticola, Pinus lambertiana, Pinus coulteri, Pinus attenuata, Hesperocyparis forbesii (= Cupressus forbesii), Hesperocyparis stephensonii (= Cupressus arizonica ssp. stephensonii), and Hesperocyparis nevadensis (= Cupressus nevadensis). Typical sclerophyllous chaparral shrubs include Arctostaphylos nevadensis, Arctostaphylos patula, Arctostaphylos glandulosa, Ceanothus cordulatus, Ceanothus diversifolius, Ceanothus pinetorum, Ceanothus velutinus, and Chrysolepis sempervirens (= Castanopsis sempervirens). Some stands can be dominated by winter deciduous shrubs, such as Prunus emarginata, Prunus subcordata and Ceanothus sanguineus (in Oregon), Prunus virginiana, Ceanothus integerrimus, Holodiscus discolor (= Holodiscus microphyllus), and Quercus garryana var. fruticosa (= var. breweri). Most chaparral species are fire-adapted, resprouting vigorously after burning or producing fire-resistant seeds. Occurrences of this system likely shift across montane forested landscapes with catastrophic fire events.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Two phases are recognized: first, early-seral and post-fire shrub fields with conifers, and second, edaphically controlled sites, with soils that are too dry or shallow-soiled for trees, hence sites where shrubs stay dominant (such as Quercus vacciniifolia, Arctostaphylos patula, Chrysolepis sempervirens). This treatment combines "interior closed-cone conifer" woodlands (obligate fire-reproducing species) with montane chaparral and may need to be revisited.

Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003023 Ceanothus cordulatus Shrubland
CEGL003039 Chrysolepis sempervirens Shrubland
CEGL003129 Holodiscus discolor / Sedum obtusatum ssp. boreale - Cryptogramma acrostichoides Shrubland
CEGL003130 Holodiscus discolor - Sambucus racemosa Shrubland
CEGL005817 Arctostaphylos viscida Sierran Chaparral Shrubland
CEGL005820 Arctostaphylos patula Sierran Chaparral Shrubland
CEGL005821 Ceanothus cordulatus / Sparse Understory Sierran Shrubland
CEGL005822 Prunus emarginata Sierran Chaparral Shrubland
CEGL008695 Chrysolepis sempervirens / Sparse Understory Sierran Shrubland



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
Shallow Soil  
Short (50-100 yrs) Persistence  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Montane
Sideslope  
Xeric  
F-Patch/Medium Intensity  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Ceanothus diversifolius
  (Trailing Whitethorn)
G3?  
Ceanothus pinetorum
  (Coville's Ceanothus)
G3  
Chloealtis aspasma
  (Siskiyou Chloealtis Grasshopper)
G1  
Cupressus arizonica ssp. nevadensis
  (Paiute Cypress)
G4T2  
Cupressus arizonica ssp. stephensonii
  (Cuyamaca Cypress)
G4T1  
Cupressus forbesii
  (Tecate Cypress)
G2  
Fluminicola sp. 19
  (Keene Creek Pebblesnail)
G1  
Lilium occidentale
  (Western Lily)
G1G2 LE: Listed endangered
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana
  (Bellinger's Meadowfoam)
G4T3  
Monadenia chaceana
  (Siskiyou Shoulderband)
G2G3  
Monadenia fidelis flava
  (Pacific Sideband)
G4G5T1T2  
Plagiobothrys figuratus ssp. corallicarpus
  (Coral-seeded Allocarya)
G4T1  
Polites mardon
  (Mardon Skipper)
G2G3  
Quercus garryana var. breweri
  (Brewer Oak)
G5T3  
Trilobopsis loricata
  (Scaly Chaparral)
G2G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pinus jeffreyi G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus lambertiana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ceanothus integerrimus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Holodiscus discolor G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Prunus emarginata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Prunus subcordata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Prunus virginiana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Quercus garryana var. breweri T3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos glandulosa G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos nevadensis G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos patula G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ceanothus cordulatus G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ceanothus diversifolius G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ceanothus sanguineus G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Chrysolepis sempervirens G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Lilium occidentale G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Plagiobothrys figuratus ssp. corallicarpus T1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Chloealtis aspasma
  (Siskiyou Chloealtis Grasshopper)
G1      
Fluminicola sp. 19
  (Keene Creek Pebblesnail)
G1      
Monadenia chaceana
  (Siskiyou Shoulderband)
G2G3      
Monadenia fidelis flava
  (Pacific Sideband)
G4G5T1T2      
Pituophis catenifer
  (Gophersnake)
G5      
Polites mardon
  (Mardon Skipper)
G2G3      
Trilobopsis loricata
  (Scaly Chaparral)
G2G3      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, OR
Distribution Outside Canada and the United States: Mexico
Global Range: This system occurs above 1500 m (4550 feet) elevation from the southern Cascades of Oregon to the Klamath Mountains and Peninsular Ranges of California into Baja California, Mexico.

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
12 Sierra Nevada Confident or certain
14 California North Coast Confident or certain
15 California Central Coast Confident or certain
16 California South Coast Confident or certain
5 Klamath Mountains 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
6 Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Confident or certain
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain
12 Western Great Basin Predicted or probable
13 Death Valley Basin Possible

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 5304
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1098
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2098

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 12Jan2012
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., 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.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

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

  • 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.


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2019
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: March 2019