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Classification
Scientific Name: Rocky Mountain Gambel Oak-Mixed Montane Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CES306.818
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: This ecological system occurs in the mountains, plateaus and foothills of the southern Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau, including the Uinta and Wasatch ranges and the Mogollon Rim. These shrublands are most commonly found along dry foothills, lower mountain slopes, and at the edge of the western Great Plains from approximately 2000 to 2900 m in elevation and are often situated above pinyon-juniper woodlands. Substrates are variable and include soil types ranging from calcareous, heavy, fine-grained loams to sandy loams, gravelly loams, clay loams, deep alluvial sand, or coarse gravel. The vegetation is typically dominated by Quercus gambelii alone or codominant with Amelanchier alnifolia, Amelanchier utahensis, Artemisia tridentata, Cercocarpus montanus, Prunus virginiana, Purshia stansburiana, Purshia tridentata, Robinia neomexicana, Symphoricarpos oreophilus, or Symphoricarpos rotundifolius. There may be inclusions of other mesic montane shrublands with Quercus gambelii absent or as a relatively minor component. This ecological system intergrades with the lower montane-foothills shrubland system and shares many of the same site characteristics. Density and cover of Quercus gambelii and Amelanchier spp. often increase after fire. In Texas, this system includes high mountain shrublands dominated by the deciduous oak species Quercus gambelii. This species often forms nearly monotypic shrublands, but other species present may include Cercocarpus montanus, Robinia neomexicana, Symphoricarpos oreophilus, and Rhus trilobata. These shrubland patches represent southern outliers of the extensive and diverse system further north.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: LANDFIRE modeled this BpS with Coahuilan Chaparral (Madrean Oriental Chaparral (CES302.031)). Quercus gambelii apparently occurs as a significant component of a shrubland of the Trans-Pecos of Texas. This system was not previously attributed to Texas, as it seems more appropriate to modify the description of CES302.031 to allow for the presence of Quercus gambelii as a significant component of some occurrences. All disjunct Quercus gambelii-dominated shrublands found in the Davis Mountains are included in the concept of Madrean Oriental Chaparral (CES302.031). However, information gathered as part of the 2007-2013 Texas ecological systems mapping project supports a role for Quercus gambelii in two additional ecological systems in the Texas Chisos and Guadalupe mountains based on associated species and landscape position: Rocky Mountain Gambel Oak-Mixed Montane Shrubland (CES306.818) and Madrean Lower Montane Pine-Oak Forest and Woodland (CES305.796). Quercus gambelii / Symphoricarpos oreophilus Shrubland (CEGL001117) is an association found in the Trans-Pecos and included in Madrean Lower Montane Pine-Oak Forest and Woodland (CES305.796). Also, there is a need to clarify the relationship with Rocky Mountain Lower Montane-Foothill Shrubland (CES306.822).

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES306.822 Rocky Mountain Lower Montane-Foothill Shrubland


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL001064 Amelanchier alnifolia / Artemisia tridentata / Festuca idahoensis Shrubland
CEGL001065 Amelanchier alnifolia / Pseudoroegneria spicata - Bunchgrass Shrubland
CEGL001067 Amelanchier utahensis Shrubland
CEGL001068 Amelanchier utahensis - Mixed Shrub / Carex geyeri Shrubland
CEGL001069 Amelanchier utahensis / Pseudoroegneria spicata Shrubland
CEGL001109 Quercus gambelii / Amelanchier alnifolia Shrubland
CEGL001110 Quercus gambelii / Amelanchier utahensis Shrubland
CEGL001111 Quercus gambelii / Artemisia tridentata Shrubland
CEGL001112 Quercus gambelii / Carex inops ssp. heliophila Shrubland
CEGL001113 Quercus gambelii - Cercocarpus montanus / (Carex geyeri) Shrubland
CEGL001114 Quercus gambelii / Paxistima myrsinites Shrubland
CEGL001115 Quercus gambelii / Robinia neomexicana Shrubland
CEGL001116 Quercus gambelii / Robinia neomexicana / Symphoricarpos rotundifolius Shrubland
CEGL001117 Quercus gambelii / Symphoricarpos oreophilus Shrubland
CEGL002337 Quercus gambelii / Sparse Understory Shrubland
CEGL002338 Quercus gambelii / Rhus trilobata Shrubland
CEGL002341 Quercus gambelii - Holodiscus dumosus Shrubland
CEGL002477 Quercus gambelii Shrubland
CEGL002569 Amelanchier alnifolia / Symphoricarpos oreophilus Shrubland
CEGL002695 Arctostaphylos patula - Quercus gambelii - (Amelanchier utahensis) Shrubland
CEGL002783 Jamesia americana - (Physocarpus monogynus, Holodiscus dumosus) Rock Outcrop Shrubland
CEGL002805 Quercus gambelii / Festuca thurberi Shrubland
CEGL002915 Quercus gambelii / Hesperostipa comata Shrubland
CEGL002949 Quercus gambelii / Poa fendleriana Shrubland
CEGL002967 Juniperus scopulorum - Quercus gambelii Woodland
CEGL003971 Ostrya knowltonii Riparian Woodland
CEGL005375 Robinia neomexicana / Carex inops ssp. heliophila Shrubland
CEGL005379 Quercus gambelii - Robinia neomexicana / Carex inops ssp. heliophila Shrubland
CEGL005380 Quercus gambelii - Robinia neomexicana / Muhlenbergia montana Shrubland
CEGL005501 Ceanothus fendleri / Poa fendleriana Shrub-Steppe
CEGL005505 Robinia neomexicana Shrubland
CEGL005885 Amelanchier alnifolia / (Mixed Grass, Forb) Shrubland
CEGL005994 Quercus gambelii / Prunus virginiana Shrubland
CEGL005995 Quercus gambelii / Carex geyeri 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)  
Shallow Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon <10 cm  
Loam Soil Texture  
Sand Soil Texture  
Ustic  
Unconsolidated  
Intermediate Disturbance Interval Periodicity/Polycyclic Disturbance
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Shrub  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Montane
Montane Lower Montane
Lowland Foothill
Ridge/Summit/Upper Slope  
Sideslope  
Temperate Temperate Continental
F-Patch/Medium Intensity  
F-Landscape/Medium Intensity  
Short (50-100 yrs) Persistence  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Astragalus desereticus
  (Deseret Milkvetch)
G1  
Centrocercus minimus
  (Gunnison Sage-Grouse)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened
Centrocercus urophasianus
  (Greater Sage-Grouse)
G3G4  
Ivesia jaegeri
  (Jaeger's Ivesia)
G2G3  
Lesquerella pruinosa
  (Frosty Bladderpod)
G2  
Phacelia cronquistiana
  (Cronquist's Phacelia)
G1  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Prunus virginiana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus gambelii G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Robinia neomexicana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Amelanchier alnifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Amelanchier utahensis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ptelea trifoliata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Symphoricarpos oreophilus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Symphoricarpos rotundifolius G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Arctostaphylos patula G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Artemisia tridentata G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana T4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Cercocarpus montanus G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Purshia stansburiana G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Purshia tridentata G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Astragalus desereticus G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ivesia jaegeri G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lesquerella pruinosa G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Phacelia cronquistiana G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Thalictrum fendleri G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Bouteloua gracilis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex inops G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Centrocercus minimus
  (Gunnison Sage-Grouse)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened    
Centrocercus urophasianus
  (Greater Sage-Grouse)
G3G4      
Melanerpes lewis
  (Lewis's Woodpecker)
G4      
Microtus longicaudus
  (Long-tailed Vole)
G5      
Opheodrys vernalis
  (Smooth Greensnake)
G5      
Peromyscus boylii
  (Brush Deermouse)
G5      
Pipilo chlorurus
  (Green-tailed Towhee)
G5      
Sceloporus graciosus
  (Sagebrush Lizard)
G5      
Tympanuchus phasianellus
  (Sharp-tailed Grouse)
G5      
Vireo vicinior
  (Gray Vireo)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AZ, CO, NM, TX, UT, WY
Global Range: This system occurs in the mountains, plateaus and foothills of the southern Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau, including the Uinta and Wasatch ranges and the Mogollon Rim. It also extends into the high mountains of the Trans-Pecos of Texas.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
302-North American Warm Desert C: Confident or certain
304-Inter-Mountain Basins C: Confident or certain
306-Rocky Mountain C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
10 Wyoming Basins Predicted or probable
18 Utah High Plateaus Confident or certain
19 Colorado Plateau Confident or certain
20 Southern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
21 Arizona-New Mexico Mountains Confident or certain
24 Chihuahuan Desert Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
12 Western Great Basin Possible
15 Mogollon Rim Confident or certain
16 Utah High Plateaus Confident or certain
17 Eastern Great Basin Confident or certain
22 Wyoming Basin Confident or certain
23 Colorado Plateau Confident or certain
24 Navajo Plateau Confident or certain
25 Rio Grande Basin Confident or certain
26 Chihuahuan Desert Confident or certain
27 Great Plains Tablelands Confident or certain
28 Southern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
29 Wyoming Highlands Never was there
30 Northwestern Great Plains Never was there
33 Western Great Plains Possible

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 5313
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1107
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2107

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


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