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Classification
Scientific Name: North Pacific Dry-Mesic Silver Fir-Western Hemlock-Douglas-fir Forest
Unique Identifier: CES204.098

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Summary: This forested system occurs only in the Pacific Northwest mountains, primarily west of the Cascade Crest. It generally occurs in an elevational band between Pseudotsuga menziesii - Tsuga heterophylla forests and Tsuga mertensiana forests. It dominates mid-montane dry to mesic maritime and some submaritime climatic zones from northwestern British Columbia to northwestern Oregon. In British Columbia and in the Olympic Mountains, this system occurs on the leeward side of the mountains only. In the Washington Cascades, it occurs on both windward and leeward sides of the mountains (in other words, it laps over the Cascade Crest to the "eastside"). Stand-replacement fires are regular with mean return intervals of about 200-500 years. Fire frequency tends to decrease with increasing elevation and continentality but still remains within this typical range. A somewhat variable winter snowpack that typically lasts for 2-6 months is characteristic. The climatic zone within which it occurs is sometimes referred to as the "rain-on-snow" zone because of the common occurrence of major winter rainfall on an established snowpack. Tsuga heterophylla and/or Abies amabilis dominate the canopy of late-seral stands, though Pseudotsuga menziesii is usually also common because of its long lifespan, and Callitropsis nootkatensis can be codominant, especially at higher elevations. Abies procera forests (usually mixed with silver fir) are included in this system and occur in the Cascades from central Washington to central Oregon and rarely in the Coast Range of Oregon. Pseudotsuga menziesii is a common species (unlike the mesic western hemlock-silver fir forest system) that regenerates after fires and therefore is frequent as a codominant, except at the highest elevations; the prevalence of this species is an important indicator in relation to the related climatically wetter North Pacific Mesic Western Hemlock-Silver Fir Forest (CES204.097). Abies lasiocarpa sometimes occurs as a codominant on the east side of the Cascades and in submaritime British Columbia. Understory species that tend to be more common or unique in this type compared to the wetter North Pacific Mesic Western Hemlock-Silver Fir Forest (CES204.097) include Achlys triphylla, Mahonia nervosa, Xerophyllum tenax, Vaccinium membranaceum, Rhododendron macrophyllum, and Rhododendron albiflorum. Vaccinium ovalifolium, while still common, only dominates on more moist sites within this type, unlike in the related type where it is nearly ubiquitous.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Unlike North Pacific Mesic Western Hemlock-Silver Fir Forest (CES204.097), the dominant natural process here is stand-replacing fires which occur on average every 200-500 years. Where old-growth does exist, it is mostly "young old-growth" 200-500 years in age. Natural-origin stands less than 200 years old are also common. More mixed-severity fires occur to the south in this system, so structure, patch size and proportions will be different; further north is more stand-replacing fires. In mapzone 7 this system will get modeled as 2 different BpS because of the differences in regimes. In Oregon there are more mixed-severity fires.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES204.097 North Pacific Mesic Western Hemlock-Silver Fir Forest
CES204.840 Alaskan Pacific Maritime Western Hemlock Forest


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL000215 Abies amabilis - Abies lowiana / Mahonia nervosa Forest
CEGL000216 Abies amabilis - Abies lowiana / Maianthemum stellatum Forest
CEGL000217 Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Mahonia nervosa Forest
CEGL000218 Abies amabilis / Rhododendron macrophyllum - Mahonia nervosa Forest
CEGL000222 Abies amabilis / Rhododendron macrophyllum - Gaultheria shallon Forest
CEGL000237 Abies amabilis / Vaccinium membranaceum - Tiarella trifoliata Forest
CEGL000238 Abies amabilis / Vaccinium scoparium Forest
CEGL000239 Abies amabilis - (Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies procera) / Vaccinium membranaceum / Xerophyllum tenax Forest
CEGL000351 Callitropsis nootkatensis / Vaccinium ovalifolium Forest
CEGL005511 Abies amabilis - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Achlys triphylla Forest
CEGL005513 Abies amabilis - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Rhododendron macrophyllum / Cornus unalaschkensis Forest
CEGL005514 Abies amabilis - (Pseudotsuga menziesii) / Vaccinium membranaceum / Achlys triphylla Forest
CEGL005516 Abies amabilis - (Tsuga heterophylla) / Vaccinium membranaceum / Orthilia secunda Forest
CEGL005517 Abies amabilis - (Tsuga heterophylla) / Vaccinium membranaceum - Vaccinium alaskaense Forest
CEGL005518 Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis - (Pseudotsuga menziesii) / Vaccinium alaskaense Forest
CEGL005548 Abies amabilis - (Pseudotsuga menziesii, Tsuga heterophylla) / Rhododendron macrophyllum Forest
CEGL005565 Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis / Vaccinium alaskaense / Rubus pedatus Forest
CEGL005566 Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis / Vaccinium alaskaense / Tiarella trifoliata var. unifoliata Forest
CEGL005567 Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Gaultheria shallon Forest
CEGL005585 Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis / Vaccinium alaskaense Forest



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Forest and Woodland
Spatial Pattern: Matrix
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: Yes
Wetland: No
Isolated Wetland: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Tsuga heterophylla - Abies amabilis  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Allomyia scotti
  (Scott's Caddisfly)
G1  
Arabis hastatula
  (Hell's Canyon Rockcress)
G2  
Batrachoseps wrightorum
  (Oregon Slender Salamander)
G3  
Botrychium ascendens
  (Upward-lobed Moonwort)
G3  
Botrychium paradoxum
  (Peculiar Moonwort)
G3G4  
Erigeron howellii
  (Howell's Fleabane)
G2  
Erythronium elegans
  (Coast Range Fawnlily)
G2  
Gastroboletus vividus
  (a fungus)
G2?  
Hemphillia burringtoni
  (Keeled Jumping-slug)
G1G2  
Hemphillia pantherina
  (Panther Jumping-slug)
G1  
Lathyrus holochlorus
  (Thinleaf Peavine)
G2?  
Octaviania cyanescens
  (a fungus)
G2?  
Otidea smithii
  (a fungus)
G2  
Pedicularis rainierensis
  (Mount Rainier Lousewort)
G2G3  
Phaeocollybia gregaria
  (a fungus)
G1G2  
Phaeocollybia lilacifolia
  (a fungus)
G2?  
Pristiloma johnsoni
  (Broadwhorl Tightcoil Snail)
G3  
Ramaria rubribrunnescens
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Rana pretiosa
  (Oregon Spotted Frog)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Rhizopogon alexsmithii
  (a fungus)
G2  
Rhizopogon brunneiniger
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Rhizopogon ellipsosporus
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Rhizopogon inquinatus
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Russula aromatica
  (a fungus)
G2G3  
Russula castellanoi
  (a fungus)
G1G2  
Sidalcea hirtipes
  (Bristly-stem Sidalcea)
G2  
Sidalcea nelsoniana
  (Nelson's Sidalcea)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened
Sisyrinchium sarmentosum
  (Pale Blue-eyed-grass)
G2  
Sullivantia oregana
  (Oregon Sullivantia)
G2  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Abies amabilis G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pseudotsuga menziesii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Tsuga heterophylla G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Vaccinium membranaceum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arabis hastatula G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Erigeron howellii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Erythronium elegans G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lathyrus holochlorus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Pedicularis rainierensis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sidalcea hirtipes G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sidalcea nelsoniana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sisyrinchium sarmentosum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sullivantia oregana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Botrychium ascendens G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Botrychium paradoxum G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Bryoria pikei G5 Lichen Nonvascular      
 
 
Gastroboletus vividus G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Octaviania cyanescens G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Otidea smithii G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Phaeocollybia gregaria G1 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Phaeocollybia lilacifolia G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Ramaria rubribrunnescens G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Rhizopogon alexsmithii G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Rhizopogon brunneiniger G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Rhizopogon ellipsosporus G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Rhizopogon inquinatus G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Russula aromatica G2 Non-plant Nonvascular      
 
 
Russula castellanoi G1 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
Allomyia scotti
  (Scott's Caddisfly)
G1      
Batrachoseps wrightorum
  (Oregon Slender Salamander)
G3      
Erethizon dorsatum
  (North American Porcupine)
G5      
Hemphillia burringtoni
  (Keeled Jumping-slug)
G1G2      
Hemphillia pantherina
  (Panther Jumping-slug)
G1      
Lepus americanus
  (Snowshoe Hare)
G5      
Mustela erminea
  (Ermine)
G5      
Mustela frenata
  (Long-tailed Weasel)
G5      
Myodes gapperi
  (Southern Red-backed Vole)
G5      
Pristiloma johnsoni
  (Broadwhorl Tightcoil Snail)
G3      
Rana pretiosa
  (Oregon Spotted Frog)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Tamiasciurus douglasii
  (Douglas' Squirrel)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: OR, WA
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: BC
Global Range: This system only occurs in the Pacific Northwest mountains, on the leeward side of coastal mountains in both British Columbia and in the Olympic Mountains of Washington. It occurs throughout most of the Washington Cascades on both west and east sides (sporadically on the east) and in the western Cascades of northern to central Oregon. It occurs very sporadically in the Willapa Hills of southwestern Washington and in the northern Oregon Coast Range. This type may also occur on the east side of the Oregon Cascades north of 45°N latitude (Mount Hood National Forest - Hood River and Barlow ranger districts, and possibly the northern edge of Warm Springs Reservation in part of the McQuinn Strip).

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
69 S.E. Alaska - B.C. Coastal Forest and Mountains Confident or certain
70 Gulf of Alaska Mountains and Fjordlands 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
3 Northern California Coastal Range Possible
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4272
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1174
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2174

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 23Jan2006
Element Description Author(s): C. Chappell

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.

  • DeMeo, T., J. Martin, and R. A. West. 1992. Forest plant association management guide, Ketchikan Area, Tongass National Forest. R10-MB-210. USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region. 405 pp.

  • DeVelice, R. L., C. J. Hubbard, K. Boggs, S. Boudreau, M. Potkin, T. Boucher, and C. Wertheim. 1999. Plant community types of the Chugach National Forest: South-central Alaska. Technical Publication R10-TP-76. USDA Forest Service, Chugach National Forest, Alaska Region. 375 pp.

  • 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.

  • Martin, R. R., S. J. Trull, W. W. Brady, R. A. West, and J. M. Downs. 1995. Forest plant association management guide, Chatham Area, Tongass National Forest. R10-RP-57. USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region.

  • Viereck, L. A., C. T. Dyrness, A. R. Batten, and K. J. Wenzlick. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. General Technical Report PNW-GTR286. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 278 pp.

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


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