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Classification
Scientific Name: Mediterranean California Lower Montane Black Oak-Conifer Forest and Woodland
Unique Identifier: CES206.923
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: This ecological system is found throughout California's middle and inner North Coast Ranges, as well as the southern and eastern Klamath Mountains from 600-1600 m (1800-4850 feet) elevation, and the lower slopes of the western Sierra Nevada. It occurs in valleys and lower slopes on a variety of parent materials, including granitics, metamorphic and Franciscan metasedimentary parent material and deep, well-developed soils. It is characterized by woodlands or forests of Pinus ponderosa with one or more oaks, including Quercus kelloggii, Quercus garryana, Quercus wislizeni, or Quercus chrysolepis. Pseudotsuga menziesii may co-occur with Pinus ponderosa, particularly in the North Coast Ranges and Klamath Mountains. On most sites, the oaks are dominant, forming a dense subcanopy under a more open canopy of the conifers. On many sites, Quercus kelloggii is the dominant; in late-seral stands on more mesic sites, conifers such as Pinus ponderosa or Pseudotsuga menziesii will form a persistent emergent canopy over the oak. Stands may have shrubby understories (in the Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada) and, more rarely, grassy understories (in North Coast Ranges). Common shrubs include Arctostaphylos viscida, Arctostaphylos manzanita, Ceanothus integerrimus, and Toxicodendron diversilobum. Grasses can include Festuca californica, Festuca idahoensis, and Melica spp. Historical fire in this system was likely high frequency but of low intensity. Conifer species, such as Pseudotsuga menziesii, become more abundant with wildfire suppression.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: The floristic and geographic transition from this system to North Pacific Oak Woodland (CES204.852) needs to be further detailed. This system generally has lower tree species richness in the canopy and a lower canopy density than Mediterranean California Dry-Mesic Mixed Conifer Forest and Woodland (CES206.916), although the oaks can form a dense subcanopy in the mixed conifer system.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES206.919 Mediterranean California Mixed Evergreen Forest
CES206.936 California Lower Montane Blue Oak-Foothill Pine Woodland and Savanna


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL008674 Pinus ponderosa - Calocedrus decurrens - Quercus chrysolepis / Chamaebatia foliolosa Forest
CEGL008694 Pinus ponderosa - Quercus kelloggii / Arctostaphylos viscida Woodland



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Franciscan Formation Soils  
Deep Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Lower Montane
Lowland Foothill
Ustic  
Short Disturbance Interval  
F-Patch/Low Intensity  
Quercus kelloggii  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Alpova olivaceotinctus
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Boletus pulcherrimus
  (Red-pored Bolete)
G3  
Callophrys dumetorum
  (Coastal Green Hairstreak)
G2G3  
Hastingsia bracteosa
  (Large-flower Rushlily)
G2  
Limnanthes alba ssp. gracilis
  (Slender Meadowfoam)
G4T3  
Monadenia chaceana
  (Siskiyou Shoulderband)
G2G3  
Monadenia fidelis celeuthia
  (Pacific Sideband)
G4G5T1  
Plagiobothrys figuratus ssp. corallicarpus
  (Coral-seeded Allocarya)
G4T1  
Ranunculus austrooreganus
  (Southern Oregon Buttercup)
G2  
Trilobopsis loricata
  (Scaly Chaparral)
G2G3  
Vespericola sierranus
  (Siskiyou Hesperian)
G2  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus garryana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Quercus chrysolepis G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Quercus wislizeni G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Pinus ponderosa G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Pseudotsuga menziesii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Quercus kelloggii G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Ceanothus integerrimus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos viscida G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Hastingsia bracteosa G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Limnanthes alba ssp. gracilis T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Plagiobothrys figuratus ssp. corallicarpus T1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ranunculus austrooreganus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Toxicodendron diversilobum G5 Liana Herb (field)    
 
 
Alpova olivaceotinctus G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Boletus pulcherrimus G3 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Callophrys dumetorum
  (Coastal Green Hairstreak)
G2G3      
Monadenia chaceana
  (Siskiyou Shoulderband)
G2G3      
Monadenia fidelis celeuthia
  (Pacific Sideband)
G4G5T1      
Sciurus griseus
  (Western Gray Squirrel)
G5      
Trilobopsis loricata
  (Scaly Chaparral)
G2G3      
Vespericola sierranus
  (Siskiyou Hesperian)
G2      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, OR
Global Range: This system is found throughout California's middle and inner North Coast Ranges, as well as the Klamath Mountains from 600-1600 m (1800-4850 feet) elevation, and the lower slopes of the western Sierra Nevada.

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
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
5 California Central Valley Predicted or probable
6 Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Confident or certain
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain
13 Death Valley Basin Possible

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4217
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1030
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2030

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., 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.

  • 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.


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Data last updated: March 2018