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Classification
Scientific Name: North Pacific Lowland Riparian Forest and Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CES204.869
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: Lowland riparian systems occur throughout the Pacific Northwest. They are the low-elevation, alluvial floodplains that are confined by valleys and inlets and are more abundant in the central and southern portions of the Pacific Northwest Coast. These forests and tall shrublands are linear in character, occurring on floodplains or lower terraces of rivers and streams. Major broadleaf dominant species are Acer macrophyllum, Alnus rubra, Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa, Salix sitchensis, Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra, Cornus sericea, and Fraxinus latifolia. Conifers tend to increase with succession in the absence of major disturbance. Conifer-dominated types are relatively uncommon and not well-described; Abies grandis, Picea sitchensis, and Thuja plicata are important. Riverine flooding and the succession that occurs after major flooding events are the major natural processes that drive this system. Very early-successional stages can be sparsely vegetated or dominated by herbaceous vegetation.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: This system is driven by snowmelt and rainfall hydrology. It differs from Alaskan Pacific Floodplain Forest and Shrubland (CES204.154) by the presence of mature black cottonwood gallery forests, and generally narrow linear deciduous riparian forests and shrublands. The Alaskan type includes glacier melt-driven hydrology, which results in very wide riverine habitats with fewer mature deciduous forests, as well as non-glacial rivers common on the island archipelago, but also on the mainland, which are narrower and are mostly dominated by Sitka spruce with and without the codominance of black cottonwood.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES204.154 Alaskan Pacific Floodplain Forest and Shrubland


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL000400 Picea sitchensis / Rubus spectabilis / Carex obnupta - Lysichiton americanus Swamp Forest
CEGL000497 Tsuga heterophylla - (Pseudotsuga menziesii) / Oplopanax horridus / Polystichum munitum Forest
CEGL000517 Acer macrophyllum - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Corylus cornuta / Hydrophyllum tenuipes Forest
CEGL000519 Abies grandis - Acer macrophyllum / Symphoricarpos albus Forest
CEGL000560 Acer macrophyllum / Acer circinatum Forest
CEGL000561 Acer macrophyllum / Rubus spectabilis Riparian Forest
CEGL000577 Populus tremuloides / Carex pellita Riparian Forest
CEGL000639 Alnus rubra / Rubus spectabilis Riparian Forest
CEGL000640 Fraxinus latifolia / Carex obnupta Riparian Forest
CEGL000641 Fraxinus latifolia - Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Symphoricarpos albus Riparian Forest
CEGL000667 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Alnus incana Riparian Forest
CEGL000668 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Alnus rhombifolia Riparian Forest
CEGL000672 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Cornus sericea Riparian Forest
CEGL000674 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Fraxinus latifolia Riparian Forest
CEGL000677 Populus balsamifera (ssp. trichocarpa, ssp. balsamifera) / Symphoricarpos (albus, oreophilus, occidentalis) Riparian Forest
CEGL000949 Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra / Salix fluviatilis Swamp Woodland
CEGL001212 Salix geyeriana - Salix lemmonii / Carex aquatilis var. dives Wet Shrubland
CEGL001213 Salix geyeriana - Salix eriocephala Wet Shrubland
CEGL001939 Corydalis scouleri Wet Meadow
CEGL003254 Picea sitchensis / Oplopanax horridus - Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata Riparian Woodland
CEGL003256 Picea sitchensis - Tsuga heterophylla / Rubus spectabilis - Oplopanax horridus / Rubus pedatus Riparian Forest
CEGL003283 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Rubus spectabilis Riparian Woodland
CEGL003284 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Oplopanax horridus Riparian Woodland
CEGL003291 Acer circinatum / Athyrium filix-femina - Tolmiea menziesii Shrub Swamp
CEGL003292 Cornus sericea - Salix (hookeriana, sitchensis) Shrub Swamp
CEGL003293 Alnus (incana, viridis ssp. sinuata) / Lysichiton americanus - Oenanthe sarmentosa Shrub Swamp
CEGL003296 Salix sitchensis / Equisetum arvense - Petasites frigidus Wet Shrubland
CEGL003297 Acer macrophyllum / Carex deweyana Forest
CEGL003298 Alnus rubra / Acer circinatum / Claytonia sibirica Riparian Forest
CEGL003299 Quercus garryana - (Fraxinus latifolia) / Symphoricarpos albus Forest
CEGL003314 Equisetum arvense Wet Meadow
CEGL003362 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Alnus rubra / Symphoricarpos albus Riparian Forest
CEGL003363 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Acer macrophyllum / Symphoricarpos albus Riparian Forest
CEGL003364 Fraxinus latifolia - Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Corylus cornuta - Physocarpus capitatus Riparian Forest
CEGL003365 Fraxinus latifolia / Carex deweyana - Urtica dioica Riparian Forest
CEGL003389 Alnus rubra / Rubus spectabilis / Carex obnupta - Lysichiton americanus Riparian Forest
CEGL003390 Fraxinus latifolia - (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) / Cornus sericea Riparian Forest
CEGL003393 Fraxinus latifolia / Symphoricarpos albus Riparian Forest
CEGL003394 Acer macrophyllum - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Acer circinatum / Polystichum munitum Forest
CEGL003395 Acer macrophyllum / Rubus ursinus Riparian Forest
CEGL003396 Acer macrophyllum / Symphoricarpos albus / Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis Riparian Forest
CEGL003397 Acer macrophyllum / Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis Riparian Forest
CEGL003398 Alnus rubra / Elymus glaucus Riparian Forest
CEGL003399 Alnus rubra / Oplopanax horridus - Rubus spectabilis Riparian Forest
CEGL003400 Alnus rubra / Oxalis (oregana, trilliifolia) Riparian Forest
CEGL003401 Alnus rubra / Petasites frigidus Riparian Forest
CEGL003402 Alnus rubra / Rubus parviflorus Riparian Forest
CEGL003403 Alnus rubra / Stachys chamissonis var. cooleyae - Tolmiea menziesii Riparian Forest
CEGL003404 Fraxinus latifolia - Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Acer circinatum Riparian Forest
CEGL003405 Fraxinus latifolia - Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Rubus spectabilis Riparian Forest
CEGL003406 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Acer macrophyllum / Equisetum hyemale Riparian Forest
CEGL003407 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Alnus rubra / Rubus spectabilis Riparian Forest
CEGL003408 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Cornus sericea / Impatiens capensis Riparian Forest
CEGL003409 Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra / Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis Swamp Woodland
CEGL003418 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa - Picea sitchensis - (Acer macrophyllum) / Oxalis oregana Riparian Forest
CEGL003425 Deschampsia cespitosa - Artemisia lindleyana Marsh
CEGL005301 Cornus sericea Pacific Shrub Swamp



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland Lowland
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Riverine / Alluvial  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Temperate Temperate Oceanic

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Agrostis howellii
  (Howell's Bentgrass)
G2  
Batrachoseps wrightorum
  (Oregon Slender Salamander)
G3  
Cardamine pattersonii
  (Saddle Mountain Bittercress)
G2  
Cortinarius pavelekii
  (a fungus)
G2  
Delphinium pavonaceum
  (Peacock Larkspur)
G1Q  
Eanus hatchi
  (Hatch's Click Beetle)
G1  
Erigeron peregrinus var. thompsonii
  (Thompson's Wandering Daisy)
G5T3  
Erythronium elegans
  (Coast Range Fawnlily)
G2  
Filipendula occidentalis
  (Queen-of-the-Forest)
G2G3  
Hemphillia burringtoni
  (Keeled Jumping-slug)
G1G2  
Hesperarion mariae
  (Tillamook Westernslug)
G3  
Hydnotrya inordinata
  (a fungus)
G2  
Lilium occidentale
  (Western Lily)
G1G2 LE: Listed endangered
Limbella fryei
  (Frye's Limbella Moss)
G1  
Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii
  (Kincaid's Lupine)
G4T2 LT: Listed threatened
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
  (Columbian White-tailed Deer)
G5T3Q  
Oenothera wolfii
  (Wolf's Evening-primrose)
G2  
Otidea smithii
  (a fungus)
G2  
Phacelia argentea
  (Silvery Phacelia)
G2  
Phaeocollybia dissiliens
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Phaeocollybia gregaria
  (a fungus)
G1G2  
Pristiloma johnsoni
  (Broadwhorl Tightcoil Snail)
G3  
Pristiloma pilsbryi
  (Crowned Tightcoil)
G1  
Prophysaon vanattae pop. 1
  (Scarletback Taildropper var. pardalis)
G4G5T2  
Rhyacophila haddocki
  (Haddock's Rhyacophilan Caddisfly)
G1  
Sidalcea hirtipes
  (Bristly-stem Sidalcea)
G2  
Sidalcea nelsoniana
  (Nelson's Sidalcea)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened
Speyeria zerene hippolyta
  (Oregon Silverspot)
G5T1 LT, XN: Listed threatened, nonessential experimental population
Trillium parviflorum
  (Small-flowered Trillium)
G2G3  
Vertigo sp. 1
  (Hoko Vertigo)
G1  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer macrophyllum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cornus sericea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Fraxinus latifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa T5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Picea sitchensis G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pseudotsuga menziesii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Alnus rubra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Rubus spectabilis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra T5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Salix sitchensis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Cardamine pattersonii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Delphinium pavonaceum G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Erigeron peregrinus var. thompsonii T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Erythronium elegans G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Filipendula occidentalis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lilium occidentale G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Oenothera wolfii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Phacelia argentea G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sidalcea hirtipes G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sidalcea nelsoniana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Trillium parviflorum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Agrostis howellii G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Limbella fryei G1 Moss Nonvascular      
 
 
Cortinarius pavelekii G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Hydnotrya inordinata G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Otidea smithii G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Phaeocollybia dissiliens G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Phaeocollybia gregaria G1 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
Aplodontia rufa
  (Mountain Beaver)
G5      
Batrachoseps wrightorum
  (Oregon Slender Salamander)
G3      
Castor canadensis
  (American Beaver)
G5      
Eanus hatchi
  (Hatch's Click Beetle)
G1      
Ensatina eschscholtzii
  (Ensatina)
G5      
Hemphillia burringtoni
  (Keeled Jumping-slug)
G1G2      
Hesperarion mariae
  (Tillamook Westernslug)
G3      
Microtus townsendii
  (Townsend's Vole)
G5      
Neurotrichus gibbsii
  (Shrew-mole)
G5      
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
  (Columbian White-tailed Deer)
G5T3Q      
Peromyscus keeni
  (Northwestern Deermouse)
G5      
Plethodon vehiculum
  (Western Redback Salamander)
G5      
Pristiloma johnsoni
  (Broadwhorl Tightcoil Snail)
G3      
Pristiloma pilsbryi
  (Crowned Tightcoil)
G1      
Prophysaon vanattae pop. 1
  (Scarletback Taildropper var. pardalis)
G4G5T2      
Rhyacophila haddocki
  (Haddock's Rhyacophilan Caddisfly)
G1      
Sorex bendirii
  (Marsh Shrew)
G4      
Sorex cinereus
  (Cinereus Shrew)
G5      
Sorex monticolus
  (Dusky Shrew)
G5      
Sorex vagrans
  (Vagrant Shrew)
G5      
Speyeria zerene hippolyta
  (Oregon Silverspot)
G5T1 LT, XN: Listed threatened, nonessential experimental population    
Vertigo sp. 1
  (Hoko Vertigo)
G1      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: BC
Global Range: This system occurs throughout the Pacific Northwest below the Silver Fir Zone in elevation.

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

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
1 Pacific Northwest Coast Confident or certain
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
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9106
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1156
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2156

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): 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
  • Boes, T. K., and S. H. Strauss. 1994. Floral phenology and morphology of black cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa (Salicaceae). American Journal of Botany 81(5):562-567.

  • Chappell, C., and J. Christy. 2004. Willamette Valley-Puget Trough-Georgia Basin Ecoregion Terrestrial Ecological System EO Specs and EO Rank Specs. Appendix 11 in: J. Floberg, M. Goering, G. Wilhere, C. MacDonald, C. Chappell, C. Rumsey, Z. Ferdana, A. Holt, P. Skidmore, T. Horsman, E. Alverson, C. Tanner, M. Bryer, P. Lachetti, A. Harcombe, B. McDonald, T. Cook, M. Summers, and D. Rolph. Willamette Valley-Puget Trough-Georgia Basin Ecoregional Assessment, Volume One: Report prepared by The Nature Conservancy with support from The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources (Natural Heritage and Nearshore Habitat programs), Oregon State Natural Heritage Information Center and the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre.

  • 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.

  • Franklin, J. F., and C. T. Dyrness. 1973. Natural vegetation of Oregon and Washington. General Technical Report PNW-8. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Portland, OR. 417 pp.

  • Littell, J. S., M. McGuire Elsner, L. C. Whitely Binder, and A. K. Snover, editors. 2009. The Washington climate change impacts assessment: Evaluating Washington's future in a changing climate. Executive summary. Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle. [www.cses.washington.edu/db/pdf/wacciaexecsummary638.pdf]

  • Merritt, D. M., and E. E. Wohl. 2002 Processes governing hydrochory along rivers: Hydraulics, hydrology, and dispersal phenology. Ecological Applications 12(4):1071-1087.

  • Naiman, R. J., and R. E. Bilby. 1998. River ecology and management: Lessons from the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion. Springer-Verlag, New York.

  • 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.

  • WNHP [Washington Natural Heritage Program]. 2011. Ecological integrity assessments for the ecological systems of Washington. Version: 2.22.2011. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. [http://www1.dnr.wa.gov/nhp/refdesk/communities/eia_list.html] (accessed September 9, 2013).

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


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