Invalid Unit Specified
G565 Nonvascular Rocky Mountain Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation Group

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: This group consists of dry barren and sparsely vegetated rock outcrops and cliff faces of the Rocky Mountains and Cascade Range in North America, where there is often very high cover of nonvascular lichens and, in wetter places, mosses.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Nonvascular Rocky Mountain Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation Group
Colloquial Name: Rocky Mountain Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation
Hierarchy Level: Group
Type Concept: This group consists of barren and sparsely vegetated rock outcrops and cliff faces located throughout the Rocky Mountains and northeastern Cascade Range in North America. These sparsely vegetated surfaces (generally <10% plant cover) are found from foothill to subalpine elevations on steep cliff faces, narrow canyons, and smaller rock outcrops of various igneous (intrusives), sedimentary, and metamorphic bedrock types. It also occurs on unstable scree and talus slopes that can occur below cliff faces. In general these are the dry, sparsely vegetated places. The biota reflects what is surrounding them, unless it is an extreme parent material. There is often very high cover of nonvascular lichens and, in wetter places, mosses. There may be small patches of dense vascular vegetation and can include scattered trees and/or shrubs. Characteristic trees include species from the surrounding landscape, such as Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus flexilis, Populus tremuloides, Abies concolor, Abies lasiocarpa, or Pinus edulis and Juniperus spp. at lower elevations. There may be scattered shrubs present, such as species of Holodiscus, Ribes, Physocarpus, Rosa, Juniperus, and Jamesia americana, Mahonia repens, Rhus trilobata, or Amelanchier alnifolia. Soil development is limited, as is herbaceous cover. Characteristic nonvascular species information is not available
Diagnostic Characteristics: Dense covering of mosses and/or nonvasculars and sparse cover of herbaceous and woody vascular plants on exposed bedrock or talus.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Need moss and other nonvascular species information. Cliff, scree and rock vegetation in Alaska is placed into North Vancouverian Montane Bedrock, Cliff & Talus Vegetation Group (G318), Western Boreal Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation Group (G822), Arctic Lichen Barrens Group (G868), or Arctic Open Scree, Rock & Cliff Barrens Group (G869).
Similar NVC Types:
G318 North Vancouverian Montane Bedrock, Cliff & Talus Vegetation, note: occurs in the Pacific Northwest mountains.
G571 Rocky Mountain & Sierran Alpine Bedrock & Scree, note: occurs above treeline.
G319 North Pacific Alpine-Subalpine Bedrock & Scree, note: occurs above treeline in the Pacific Northwest mountains.
G567 Great Plains Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation, note:
G570 Intermountain Basins Cliff, Scree & Badland Sparse Vegetation, note:
G569 North American Warm Semi-Desert Cliff, Scree & Pavement Sparse Vegetation, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: Nonvascular, woody and herbaceous vascular plants.
Floristics: Herbaceous cover is limited. Characteristic trees include species from the surrounding landscape, such as Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus ponderosa, Pinus flexilis, Populus tremuloides, Abies concolor, Abies lasiocarpa, or Pinus edulis and Juniperus spp. at lower elevations. There may be scattered shrubs present, such as species of Holodiscus, Ribes, Physocarpus, Rosa, Juniperus, and Jamesia americana, Mahonia repens, Rhus trilobata, or Amelanchier alnifolia. Characteristic nonvascular species information is not available. Floristic information compiled from Hess and Wasser (1982), Andrews and Righter (1992), Ecosystem Working Group (1998), and Larson et al. (2000).
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: Climate: Temperate. Soil/substrate/hydrology: Foothill to subalpine elevations on steep cliff faces, narrow canyons, and smaller rock outcrops of various igneous (intrusives), sedimentary, and metamorphic bedrock types. Also included are unstable scree and talus slopes that typically occur below cliff faces. In general these are the dry, sparsely vegetated places. Soil development is limited. Environmental information compiled from Hess and Wasser (1982), Andrews and Righter (1992), Ecosystem Working Group (1998), and Larson et al. (2000).
Geographic Range: This group is located throughout the Rocky Mountain, including the isolated island ranges of central Montana, and northeastern Cascade Ranges in North America.
Nations: CA, US
States/Provinces: AB, AZ, BC, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY
US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Southwest Plateau and Plains Dry Steppe and Shrub Province
Province Code: 315    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions: 9:P, 9e:P, 10:P, 10a:P, 10c:P, 10e:P, 10f:P, 10g:P, 10j:P, 10k:P, 10l:P, 10m:P, 10n:P, 11:P, 11b:P, 11c:P, 11d:P, 11e:P, 11f:P, 11g:P, 11h:P, 11i:P, 11l:P, 11m:P, 13:P, 13c:P, 13d:P, 13e:P, 13f:P, 13g:P, 13i:P, 13k:P, 13l:P, 13m:P, 13n:P, 13o:P, 13q:P, 13s:P, 13t:P, 13x:P, 13y:P, 14:P, 14b:P, 14c:P, 14d:P, 15:P, 15a:P, 15d:P, 15e:P, 15f:P, 15h:P, 15i:P, 15j:P, 15k:P, 15l:P, 15m:P, 15o:P, 15p:P, 15q:P, 15r:P, 15t:P, 15u:P, 15v:P, 15x:P, 15y:P, 16:P, 16a:P, 16b:P, 16c:P, 16d:P, 16e:P, 16f:P, 16g:P, 16h:P, 16i:P, 16j:P, 16k:P, 17:P, 17b:P, 17c:P, 17d:P, 17e:P, 17f:P, 17g:P, 17h:P, 17i:P, 17j:P, 17k:P, 17l:P, 17m:P, 17n:P, 17o:P, 17p:P, 17q:P, 17r:P, 17s:P, 17t:P, 17v:P, 17w:P, 17x:P, 17y:P, 17z:P, 17aa:P, 17ab:P, 17ac:P, 17ad:P, 17ae:P, 17af:P, 17ag:P, 17ah:P, 17ai:P, 17aj:P, 17ak:P, 17am:P, 17ao:P, 17ap:P, 18:P, 18a:P, 18b:P, 18c:P, 18d:P, 18f:P, 18g:P, 19:P, 19a:P, 19b:P, 19c:P, 19d:P, 19e:P, 19f:P, 19g:P, 20:P, 20b:P, 20c:P, 20d:P, 20e:P, 20f:P, 20g:P, 21:P, 21a:P, 21b:P, 21c:P, 21d:P, 21e:P, 21f:P, 21g:P, 21h:P, 21i:P, 21j:P, 22:P, 22a:P, 22b:P, 22f:P, 22g:P, 22h:P, 22i:P, 22j:P, 22l:P, 22m:P, 22q:P, 22r:P, 22t:P, 23:P, 23a:P, 23b:P, 23c:P, 23d:P, 23e:P, 23f:P, 23g:P, 23i:P, 23j:P, 23k:P, 23l:P, 24:P, 24a:P, 24b:P, 24c:P, 24d:P, 26:P, 26h:P, 41:P, 41a:P, 41b:P, 41c:P, 41d:P, 41e:P, 42:P, 42q:P, 42r:P, 43:P, 43g:P, 43n:P, 43p:P, 43s:P, 43t:P, 43u:P, 43v:P, 43x:P, 77:P, 77c:P, 77f:P, 77g:P, 77h:P, 80:P, 80a:P, 80b:P, 80f:P, 80g:P, 80j:P, 80k:P
Plot Analysis Summary:
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: GNR
Greasons:
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: < CL Cliff (Ecosystems Working Group 1998)
< RO Rock (Ecosystems Working Group 1998)
< TA Talus (Ecosystems Working Group 1998)
Concept Author(s): G. Kittel, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2011)
Author of Description: G. Kittel and M.S. Reid
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 21Dec2010
References:
  • Andrews, R. R., and R. R. Righter. 1992. Colorado birds. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver.
  • 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]
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, S. Gawler, M. Hall, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, K. Schulz, J. Teague, M. Russo, K. Snow, and P. Comer, editors. 2010-2019a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • Hess, K., and C. H. Wasser. 1982. Grassland, shrubland, and forest habitat types of the White River-Arapaho National Forest. Unpublished final report 53-82 FT-1-19. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. 335 pp.
  • Larson, D. W., U. Matthes, J. A. Gerrath, N. W. K. Larson, J. M. Gerrath, C. Nekola, G. L. Walker, S. Porembski, and A. Charlton. 2000a. Evidence for the widespread occurrence of ancient forest on cliffs. Journal of Biogeography 27(2):319-331.
  • NCC [The Nature Conservancy of Canada]. 2002. Canadian Rockies ecoregional plan. The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Victoria, BC.
  • Neely, B., P. Comer, C. Moritz, M. Lammerts, R. Rondeau, C. Prague, G. Bell, H. Copeland, J. Humke, S. Spakeman, T. Schulz, D. Theobald, and L. Valutis. 2001. Southern Rocky Mountains: An ecoregional assessment and conservation blueprint. Prepared by The Nature Conservancy with support from the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and Bureau of Land Management.
  • Peet, R. K. 1981. Forest vegetation of the Colorado Front Range. Vegetatio 45:3-75.