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Ecological System Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected. View Glossary
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Classification
Scientific Name: Columbia Plateau Silver Sagebrush Seasonally Flooded Shrub-Steppe
Unique Identifier: CES304.084

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Summary: This ecological system includes sagebrush communities occurring at lowland and montane elevations in the Columbia Plateau-northern Great Basin region, east almost to the Great Plains. These are generally depressional wetlands or non-alkaline playas, occurring as small- or occasionally large-patch communities, in a sagebrush or montane forest matrix. Climate is generally semi-arid, although it can be cool in montane areas. This system occurs in poorly drained depressional wetlands, the largest characterized as playas, the smaller as vernal pools, or along seasonal stream channels in valley bottoms or mountain meadows. Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi or Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula are dominant, with Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata, Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis, or Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana occasionally codominant; Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda can also be codominant. Understory graminoids and forbs are characteristic, with Poa secunda, Poa cusickii, Festuca idahoensis, Muhlenbergia filiformis, Muhlenbergia richardsonis, and Leymus cinereus dominant at the drier sites; Eleocharis palustris, Deschampsia cespitosa, and Carex species dominate at wetter or higher-elevation sites.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL001071 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Festuca thurberi Shrubland
CEGL001073 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Purshia tridentata Shrubland
CEGL001074 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Deschampsia cespitosa Wet Shrubland
CEGL001075 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula - (Salix spp.) / Festuca idahoensis Wet Shrubland
CEGL001076 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Festuca ovina Wet Shrubland
CEGL001460 Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) / Leymus cinereus Wet Shrubland
CEGL001548 Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) / Poa secunda Wet Shrubland
CEGL001549 Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) - Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana / Poa cusickii Shrub Grassland
CEGL001551 Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) / Poa fendleriana ssp. fendleriana Shrub Grassland
CEGL001552 Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula / Festuca idahoensis Shrub Wet Meadow
CEGL001743 Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi / Muhlenbergia richardsonis Wet Shrub Meadow
CEGL002987 Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi / Eleocharis palustris Wet Shrubland
CEGL002988 Artemisia cana (ssp. bolanderi, ssp. viscidula) / Poa pratensis Ruderal Wet Shrubland



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Upper Montane
Montane Montane
Montane Lower Montane
Lowland Lowland
Playa  
Temperate Temperate Xeric
Depressional  
Impermeable Layer  
Intermittent Flooding  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi
  (Bolander's Silver Sagebrush)
G5T3?  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Artemisia cana ssp. bolanderi T3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula T4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata T4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana T4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis T5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda T5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Deschampsia caespitosa G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eleocharis palustris G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Festuca idahoensis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Leymus cinereus G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Muhlenbergia filiformis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Muhlenbergia richardsonis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Poa cusickii G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Poa secunda 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
Spea intermontana
  (Great Basin Spadefoot)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, UTpotentially occurs, WApotentially occurs, WY
Global Range: This ecological system includes sagebrush communities occurring at lowland and montane elevations in the Columbia Plateau-northern Great Basin region, east almost to the Great Plains.

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
12 Sierra Nevada Confident or certain
18 Utah High Plateaus Confident or certain
19 Colorado Plateau Confident or certain
20 Southern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
6 Columbia Plateau Confident or certain
7 Canadian Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
8 Middle Rockies - Blue Mountains Confident or certain
9 Utah-Wyoming Rocky Mountains Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
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
12 Western Great Basin Possible
18 Snake River Plain Predicted or probable
20 Missouri River Plateau Never was there
21 Middle Rocky Mountains Possible
22 Wyoming Basin Possible
29 Wyoming Highlands Never was there

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9321

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 28Sep2007
Element Description Author(s): J. Kagan 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
  • 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.

  • Shiflet, T. N., editor. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Society for Range Management. Denver, CO. 152 pp.

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


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