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Ecological System Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected. View Glossary
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Classification
Scientific Name: Middle Rocky Mountain Montane Douglas-fir Forest and Woodland
Unique Identifier: CES306.959
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: This ecological system occurs throughout the middle Rocky Mountains of central and southern Idaho (Lemhi, Beaverhead and Lost River ranges), south and east into the greater Yellowstone region, and south and east into the Wind River, Gros Ventre and Bighorn ranges of Wyoming. It extends north into Montana on the east side of the Continental Divide, north to about the McDonald Pass area, and also into the Rocky Mountain Front region of Montana. This is a Pseudotsuga menziesii-dominated system without the maritime floristic composition; these are forests and woodlands occurring in the central Rockies where the southern monsoon influence is less and maritime climate regime is not important. This system includes extensive Pseudotsuga menziesii forests, occasionally with Pinus flexilis on calcareous substrates, and Pinus contorta at higher elevations. True firs, such as Abies concolor, Abies grandis, and Abies lasiocarpa, are absent in these occurrences, but Picea engelmannii can occur in some stands. Understory components include shrubs such as Physocarpus malvaceus, Juniperus communis, Symphoricarpos oreophilus, and Mahonia repens, and graminoids such as Calamagrostis rubescens, Carex rossii, and Leucopoa kingii. The fire regime is of mixed severity with moderate frequency. This system often occurs at the lower treeline immediately above valley grasslands, or sagebrush steppe and shrublands. Sometimes there may be a "bath-tub ring" of Pinus ponderosa at lower elevations or Pinus flexilis between the valley non-forested and the solid Pseudotsuga menziesii forest. In the Wyoming Basins, this system occurs as isolated stands of Pseudotsuga menziesii, with Artemisia tridentata, Pseudoroegneria spicata, Leucopoa kingii, and Carex rossii.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL000210 Pinus ponderosa - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Calamagrostis rubescens Woodland
CEGL000429 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Calamagrostis rubescens Woodland
CEGL000431 Abies concolor - Pseudotsuga menziesii / Carex rossii Forest
CEGL000439 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Juniperus communis Forest
CEGL000440 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Juniperus osteosperma Forest
CEGL000441 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Linnaea borealis Forest
CEGL000442 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Mahonia repens Forest
CEGL000445 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Osmorhiza berteroi Forest
CEGL000447 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Physocarpus malvaceus Forest
CEGL000457 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Spiraea betulifolia Forest
CEGL000459 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Symphoricarpos albus Forest
CEGL000462 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Symphoricarpos oreophilus Forest
CEGL000900 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Festuca idahoensis Woodland
CEGL000903 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Juniperus scopulorum Woodland
CEGL000904 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Leucopoa kingii Woodland
CEGL000906 Pseudotsuga menziesii - Pinus flexilis / Leucopoa kingii Woodland
CEGL000908 Pseudotsuga menziesii / Pseudoroegneria spicata Woodland



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
Montane Montane
Montane Lower Montane
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Aridic  
Intermediate Disturbance Interval  
F-Patch/Medium Intensity  
F-Landscape/Medium Intensity  
Needle-Leaved Tree  
RM Montane Mesic Mixed Conifer  
Moderate (100-500 yrs) Persistence  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pseudotsuga menziesii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Holodiscus discolor G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Physocarpus malvaceus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Spiraea betulifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Symphoricarpos albus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arnica cordifolia G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Thalictrum occidentale G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Calamagrostis rubescens G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: ID, MT, ORpotentially occurs, WY
Global Range: This system occurs throughout the middle Rocky Mountains of central and southern Idaho (Lemhi, Beaverhead and Lost River ranges), south and east into the greater Yellowstone region, and south and east into the Wind River, Gros Ventre and Bighorn ranges of Wyoming. It extends north into Montana on the east side of the Continental Divide to the Rocky Mountain Front and includes all of the Beaverhead Mountains Section (M332E) (Bailey et al. 1994). It may also occur in scattered patches in southeastern Oregon.

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
10 Wyoming Basins Confident or certain
6 Columbia Plateau Predicted or probable
7 Canadian Rocky Mountains Possible
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 Never was there
9 Blue Mountain Region Possible
10 Northwestern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
18 Snake River Plain Possible
19 Northern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
20 Missouri River Plateau Possible
21 Middle Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
22 Wyoming Basin Confident or certain
29 Wyoming Highlands Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4266
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1166
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2166

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 23Jan2006
Element Description Author(s): 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
  • Bailey, R. G., P. E. Avers, T. King, and W. H. McNab, editors. 1994. Ecoregions and subregions of the United States (map). U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, DC. Scale 1:7,500,000 colored. Accompanied by a supplementary table of map unit descriptions compiled and edited by W. H. McNab and R. G. Bailey. Prepared for the USDA Forest Service.

  • 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.

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


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