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Classification
Scientific Name: North Pacific Montane Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CES204.087

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Summary: This system occurs as small to large patches scattered throughout the North Pacific region, but it is largely absent from the windward sides of the coastal mountains where fires are rare due to very wet climates. It is defined as long-lived seral shrublands that persist for several decades or more after major wildfires, or smaller patches of shrubland on dry sites that are marginal for tree growth and that have typically also experienced fire. This system occurs on ridgetops and upper to middle mountain slopes and is more common on sunny southern aspects. It occurs from about 152 m (500 feet) elevation up to the lower limits of subalpine parkland. Vegetation is mostly deciduous broadleaf shrubs, sometimes mixed with shrub-statured trees or sparse evergreen needleleaf trees. It can also be dominated by evergreen shrubs, especially Xerophyllum tenax (usually considered a forb). Species composition is highly variable; some of most common species include Acer circinatum, Arctostaphylos nevadensis, Acer glabrum, Vaccinium membranaceum, Ceanothus velutinus, Holodiscus discolor, Shepherdia canadensis, Sorbus spp., and Rubus parviflorus. On the west side of the Cascades, Gaultheria shallon is an important dominant.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL001066 Amelanchier alnifolia / Xerophyllum tenax Grassland
CEGL001127 Rubus parviflorus / Chamerion angustifolium - Heracleum maximum Shrubland
CEGL003291 Acer circinatum / Athyrium filix-femina - Tolmiea menziesii Shrub Swamp
CEGL003439 Xerophyllum tenax - Sanguisorba officinalis Meadow
CEGL005891 Vaccinium membranaceum / Xerophyllum tenax 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)  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Phaeocollybia californica
  (a fungus)
G3  
Taricha granulosa mazamae
  (Crater Lake Newt)
G5T1Q  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer circinatum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Acer glabrum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Holodiscus discolor G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Rubus parviflorus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Shepherdia canadensis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Sorbus scopulina G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Sorbus sitchensis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium membranaceum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arctostaphylos nevadensis G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Ceanothus velutinus G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Gaultheria shallon G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Xerophyllum tenax G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Phaeocollybia californica G3 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
Callospermophilus saturatus
  (Cascade Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel)
G5      
Lepus americanus
  (Snowshoe Hare)
G5      
Microtus longicaudus
  (Long-tailed Vole)
G5      
Mustela erminea
  (Ermine)
G5      
Neotamias amoenus
  (Yellow-pine Chipmunk)
G5      
Taricha granulosa mazamae
  (Crater Lake Newt)
G5T1Q      


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 as small to large patches scattered throughout mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest, from the southern Cascade and Coast ranges north to southern British Columbia. Its northernmost distribution is not clear, but it does not appear to occur in Alaska.

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
3 North Cascades Confident or certain
4 Modoc Plateau and East Cascades 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): 5261
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1084
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2084

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 21Aug2008
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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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Data last updated: March 2019