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Classification
Scientific Name: North Pacific Oak Woodland
Unique Identifier: CES204.852
Classification Confidence: 1 - Strong

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Summary: This ecological system is limited to the southern portions of the North Pacific region. It occurs primarily in the Puget Trough and Willamette Valley but trickles down into the Klamath ecoregion and into California. This system is associated with dry, predominantly low-elevation sites and/or sites that experienced frequent presettlement fires. In the Willamette Valley, soils are mesic yet well-drained, and the type is clearly large patch in nature. In the Puget Lowland and Georgia Basin, this system is primarily found on dry sites, typically either shallow bedrock soils or deep gravelly glacial outwash soils. It occurs on various soils in the interior valleys of the Klamath Mountains, and on shallow soils of "bald hill" toward the coast. Even where more environmentally limited, the system is strongly associated with a pre-European settlement, low-severity fire regime. Succession in the absence of fire tends to favor increased shrub dominance in the understory, increased tree density, and increased importance of conifers, with the end result being conversion to a conifer forest. The vegetation ranges from savanna and woodland to forest dominated by deciduous broadleaf trees, mostly Quercus garryana. Codominance by the evergreen conifer Pseudotsuga menziesii is common, and Pinus ponderosa is important in some stands. In the south, common associates also include Quercus kelloggii and Arbutus menziesii. This system merges into Mediterranean California Lower Montane Black Oak-Conifer Forest and Woodland (CES206.923) on sites that support more conifer cover, and into Mediterranean California Mixed Oak Woodland (CES206.909) in the southern portion of its distribution. This system is borderline between small patch and large patch in its dynamics.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: East of the Cascade Crest is a different system dominated by Oregon white oak (i.e., East Cascades Oak-Ponderosa Pine Forest and Woodland (CES204.085)). While Quercus garryana does occur in California, it is uncertain that this system (a Garry oak-dominated woodland) does not occur that far south. Garry oak in California may be mostly shrubby form around the edges of balds or else mixed into woodlands dominated by other species; this needs further review.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES206.909 Mediterranean California Mixed Oak Woodland


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL000548 Quercus garryana / Carex inops ssp. inops - Camassia quamash Woodland
CEGL000930 Quercus garryana / Ceanothus cuneatus / Festuca idahoensis Woodland
CEGL000932 Quercus garryana / Toxicodendron diversilobum / Elymus glaucus Woodland
CEGL003353 Quercus garryana / Symphoricarpos albus / Polystichum munitum Forest
CEGL003354 Quercus garryana / Viburnum ellipticum - Toxicodendron diversilobum Woodland
CEGL003355 Pseudotsuga menziesii - Quercus garryana / Melica subulata Forest
CEGL003358 Quercus garryana / Symphoricarpos albus / Carex inops ssp. inops Woodland



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Forest and Woodland
Spatial Pattern: Large patch, Small 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)  
Temperate Temperate Oceanic
Quercus garryana  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland Foothill
Lowland Lowland

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Callophrys dumetorum
  (Coastal Green Hairstreak)
G2G3  
Deroceras hesperium
  (Evening Fieldslug)
G2Q  
Horkelia congesta ssp. congesta
  (Shaggy Horkelia)
G4T2  
Icaricia icarioides fenderi
  (Fender's Blue)
G5T1 LE: Listed endangered
Kalmiopsis fragrans
  (North Umpqua Kalmiopsis)
G2  
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana
  (Bellinger's Meadowfoam)
G4T3  
Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii
  (Kincaid's Lupine)
G4T2 LT: Listed threatened
Monadenia chaceana
  (Siskiyou Shoulderband)
G2G3  
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
  (Columbian White-tailed Deer)
G5T3Q  
Polites mardon
  (Mardon Skipper)
G2G3  
Sidalcea hirtipes
  (Bristly-stem Sidalcea)
G2  
Trillium parviflorum
  (Small-flowered Trillium)
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  
 
 
Pinus ponderosa G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus sabiniana G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pseudotsuga menziesii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Kalmiopsis fragrans G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Horkelia congesta ssp. congesta T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sidalcea hirtipes G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Trillium parviflorum G2 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
Callophrys dumetorum
  (Coastal Green Hairstreak)
G2G3      
Deroceras hesperium
  (Evening Fieldslug)
G2Q      
Diadophis punctatus
  (Ringneck Snake)
G5      
Elgaria multicarinata
  (Southern Alligator Lizard)
G5      
Icaricia icarioides fenderi
  (Fender's Blue)
G5T1 LE: Listed endangered    
Melanerpes formicivorus
  (Acorn Woodpecker)
G5      
Monadenia chaceana
  (Siskiyou Shoulderband)
G2G3      
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
  (Columbian White-tailed Deer)
G5T3Q      
Pituophis catenifer
  (Gophersnake)
G5      
Plestiodon skiltonianus
  (Western Skink)
G5      
Polites mardon
  (Mardon Skipper)
G2G3      
Sceloporus occidentalis
  (Western Fence Lizard)
G5      
Sciurus griseus
  (Western Gray Squirrel)
G5      
Thamnophis elegans
  (Terrestrial Gartersnake)
G5      
Thomomys talpoides
  (Northern Pocket Gopher)
G5      
Vespericola sierranus
  (Siskiyou Hesperian)
G2      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, OR, WA
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: BC
Global Range: This system occurs primarily in the Puget Trough and Willamette Valley and extends southward at low elevations in the Klamath Mountains on both sides of the Oregon/California stateline.

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
14 California North Coast Confident or certain
2 Puget Trough - Willamette Valley - Georgia Basin Confident or certain
5 Klamath Mountains Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
1 Northern Cascades Confident or certain
2 Oregon Coastal Range Confident or certain
3 Northern California Coastal Range Confident or certain
6 Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Possible
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4101
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1008
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2008

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): C. Chappell, G. Kittel and 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
  • Alverson, E. 2009. Key ecological attributes and indicators for Willamette Valley prairie and oak systems. Unpublished Excel spreadsheet. The Nature Conservancy, Eugene, OR.

  • Chappell, C. B., and J. Kagan. 2001. Westside oak and dry Douglas-fir forest and woodlands. In: D. H. Johnson and T. A. O'Neil. Wildlife-habitat relationships in Oregon and Washington. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.

  • 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.

  • Fuchs, M. A. 2001. Towards a recovery strategy for garry oak and associated ecosystems in Canada: Ecological assessment and literature review. Technical Report GBEI/EC-00-030. Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific and Yukon Region.

  • 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).

  • 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]

  • Pike, L. H. 1973. Lichens and bryophytes of a Willamette Valley oak forest. Northwest Science 47(3):149-158.

  • Thysell, D. R., and A. B. Carey. 2001. Quercus garryana communities in the Puget Trough, Washington. Northwest Science 75(3):219-234.

  • 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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