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Classification
Scientific Name: Columbia Basin Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CES304.768
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: This is a low-elevation riparian system found on the periphery of the mountains surrounding the Columbia River Basin, along major tributaries and the main stem of the Columbia at relatively low elevations. This is the riparian system associated with all streams at and below lower treeline, including permanent, intermittent and ephemeral streams with woody riparian vegetation. These forests and woodlands require flooding and some gravels for reestablishment. They are found in low-elevation canyons and draws, on floodplains, or in steep-sided canyons, or narrow V-shaped valleys with rocky substrates. Sites are subject to temporary flooding during spring runoff. Underlying gravels may keep the water table just below the ground surface and are favored substrates for cottonwood. Large bottomlands may have large occurrences, but most have been cut over or cleared for agriculture. Rafted ice and logs in freshets may cause considerable damage to tree boles. Beavers crop younger cottonwood and willows and frequently dam side channels occurring in these stands. In steep-sided canyons, streams typically have perennial flow on mid to high gradients. Important and diagnostic trees include Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa, Alnus rhombifolia, Populus tremuloides, Celtis laevigata var. reticulata, Betula occidentalis, or Pinus ponderosa. Important shrubs include Crataegus douglasii, Philadelphus lewisii, Cornus sericea, Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra, Salix eriocephala, Rosa nutkana, Rosa woodsii, Amelanchier alnifolia, Prunus virginiana, and Symphoricarpos albus. Grazing is a major influence in altering structure, composition, and function of the system.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES306.804 Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL000002 Alnus rubra / Physocarpus capitatus - Philadelphus lewisii Swamp Forest
CEGL000008 Alnus rubra / Athyrium filix-femina - Asarum caudatum Swamp Forest
CEGL000489 Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii - Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland
CEGL000550 Quercus garryana / Elymus glaucus Woodland
CEGL000553 Quercus garryana / Symphoricarpos albus Woodland
CEGL000577 Populus tremuloides / Carex pellita Riparian Forest
CEGL000630 Alnus rhombifolia - Abies grandis Riparian Forest
CEGL000631 Alnus rhombifolia / Amelanchier alnifolia Riparian Forest
CEGL000632 Alnus rhombifolia / Betula occidentalis Riparian Forest
CEGL000633 Alnus rhombifolia / Celtis laevigata var. reticulata Riparian Forest
CEGL000634 Alnus rhombifolia / Philadelphus lewisii Riparian Forest
CEGL000635 Alnus rhombifolia / Prunus virginiana Riparian Forest
CEGL000636 Alnus rhombifolia / Rosa woodsii Riparian Forest
CEGL000637 Alnus rhombifolia / Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea Riparian Forest
CEGL000667 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Alnus incana Riparian Forest
CEGL000671 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Cicuta douglasii Riparian Forest
CEGL000672 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Cornus sericea Riparian Forest
CEGL000673 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Crataegus douglasii Riparian Forest
CEGL000675 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Mixed Herbs Riparian Forest
CEGL000676 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix exigua Riparian Forest
CEGL000677 Populus balsamifera (ssp. trichocarpa, ssp. balsamifera) / Symphoricarpos (albus, oreophilus, occidentalis) Riparian Forest
CEGL000792 Celtis laevigata var. reticulata / Philadelphus lewisii Wet Scrub
CEGL000866 Pinus ponderosa / Symphoricarpos albus Riparian Woodland
CEGL000875 Philadelphus lewisii / Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland
CEGL000948 Salix amygdaloides / Salix exigua Riparian Woodland
CEGL001080 Betula occidentalis Wet Shrubland
CEGL001081 Betula occidentalis / Crataegus douglasii Wet Shrubland
CEGL001085 Celtis laevigata var. reticulata / Pseudoroegneria spicata Wet Scrub
CEGL001094 (Populus tremuloides) / Crataegus douglasii / Heracleum maximum Wet Shrubland
CEGL001095 Crataegus douglasii / Rosa woodsii Wet Shrubland
CEGL001096 (Populus tremuloides) / Crataegus douglasii / Symphoricarpos albus Wet Shrubland
CEGL001149 Populus tremuloides / Alnus incana / Betula nana - Ribes spp. Riparian Forest
CEGL001167 Cornus sericea / Heracleum maximum Wet Shrubland
CEGL001170 Philadelphus lewisii Wet Shrubland
CEGL002600 Alnus rubra / Adiantum pedatum Swamp Forest
CEGL002602 Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata / Rubus (lasiococcus, parviflorus) Wet Shrubland
CEGL002633 Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata / Mesic Forbs Wet Shrubland
CEGL002668 Betula occidentalis / Philadelphus lewisii Wet Shrubland
CEGL003431 Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa / Salix lucida ssp. caudata Riparian Woodland
CEGL003441 Pinus monticola / Deschampsia cespitosa Riparian Forest
CEGL003450 Betula occidentalis - Celtis laevigata var. reticulata Wet Shrubland
CEGL003451 Celtis laevigata var. reticulata / Toxicodendron rydbergii Wet Scrub



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
Montane Lower Montane
Lowland Foothill
Riverine / Alluvial  
Short (<5 yrs) Flooding Interval  
Short (50-100 yrs) Persistence  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Shrubland (Shrub-dominated)  
Temperate Temperate Continental
Unconsolidated  
Needle-Leaved Tree  
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Tree  
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Shrub  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Centrocercus urophasianus
  (Greater Sage-Grouse)
G3G4  
Lophochlaena oregona
  (Oregon Semaphore Grass)
G1  
Oreohelix sp. 1
  (Chelan Mountainsnail)
G2  
Thelypodium howellii ssp. spectabilis
  (Howell's Spectacular Thelypody)
G1T1 LT: Listed threatened

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula occidentalis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa T5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cornus sericea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Prunus virginiana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Salix eriocephala G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra T5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Thelypodium howellii ssp. spectabilis T1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex retrorsa G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Lophochlaena oregona G1 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
Antigone canadensis tabida
  (Greater Sandhill Crane)
G5T5      
Castor canadensis
  (American Beaver)
G5      
Centrocercus urophasianus
  (Greater Sage-Grouse)
G3G4      
Chrysemys picta
  (Northern Painted Turtle)
G5      
Coccyzus americanus
  (Yellow-billed Cuckoo)
G5      
Corynorhinus townsendii
  (Townsend's Big-eared Bat)
G4      
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
  (Bobolink)
G5      
Euderma maculatum
  (Spotted Bat)
G4      
Histrionicus histrionicus
  (Harlequin Duck)
G4      
Lithobates pipiens
  (Northern Leopard Frog)
G5      
Myotis thysanodes
  (Fringed Myotis)
G4      
Oreohelix sp. 1
  (Chelan Mountainsnail)
G2      
Rana luteiventris
  (Columbia Spotted Frog)
G4      
Thamnophis sirtalis
  (Common Gartersnake)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, ID, MTpotentially occurs, NV, OR, UT, WA
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: BC
Global Range: Found on the periphery of the northern Rockies in the Columbia River Basin, along major tributaries and the main stem of the Columbia at relatively low elevations.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
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
6 Columbia Plateau Confident or certain
68 Okanagan Confident or certain
7 Canadian Rocky Mountains Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
1 Northern Cascades Confident or certain
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain
8 Grande Coulee Basin of the Columbia Plateau Confident or certain
9 Blue Mountain Region Confident or certain
10 Northwestern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
16 Utah High Plateaus Possible
17 Eastern Great Basin Possible
18 Snake River Plain Confident or certain
21 Middle Rocky Mountains Possible

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9170

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): 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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ecosystems Working Group. 1998. Standards for broad terrestrial ecosystem classification and mapping for British Columbia. Prepared by the Ecosystems Working Group, Terrestrial Ecosystem Task Force, Resources Inventory Committee, for the Province of British Columbia. 174 pp. plus appendices. [http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/risc/pubs/teecolo/tem/indextem.htm]

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

  • Johnson, C. G., and S. A. Simon. 1985. Plant associations of the Wallowa Valley Ranger District, Part II: Steppe. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. 258 pp.

  • Kauffman, J. B., A. S. Thorpe, and E. N. J. Brookshire. 2004. Livestock exclusion and belowground ecosystem responses in riparian meadows of eastern Oregon. Ecological Applications 14(6):1671-1679.

  • 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.

  • 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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