Invalid Unit Specified
Division Detail Report: D007
Quercus agrifolia - Umbellularia californica - Cupressus spp. Forest & Woodland Division

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This division is comprised of mesic to dry upland forests, woodlands, and savannas that are dominated by warm-temperate endemic and/or naturalized broad-leaved and conifer tree species in lowland to low montane settings throughout cismontane California, on the mainland of and on islands of Baja California, and in the foothills of the Cascade Range in southwestern Oregon.
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Translated Name:California Live Oak - California Laurel - Cypress species Forest &Woodland Division
Colloquial Name:Californian Forest & Woodland
The division is comprised of mesic to dry upland forests, woodlands, and savannas that are dominated by warm-temperate endemic and/or naturalized broad-leaved and conifer tree species in lowland to low montane settings throughout cismontane California, on the mainland of and on islands of Baja California, and in the foothills of the Cascade Range in southwestern Oregon. The division includes closed-canopy forests, usually in mesic settings and open woodlands or savannas in drier habitats. They are dominated by native evergreen or deciduous broad-leaved trees and/or conifers, including evergreen and deciduous Quercus spp., Pinus spp., Cupressus spp. (= Hesperocyparis spp.), Pseudotsuga spp., Lithocarpus densiflorus, Arbutus menziesii, Umbellularia californica, Juniperus californica,and other species and, less commonly, by planted or naturalized non-native tree species, including Eucalyptus spp., Acacia spp., Schinus spp., and others. The frequent importance of evergreen broad-leaved (hardwood) tree species and/or of closed-cone conifers in stands is characteristic. The climate is Mediterranean, with strongly seasonal (dry summers, wetter winter) precipitation patterns, little to no snowfall, and long (up to year-round) growing seasons. Within its preferred climate and elevation range, stands tend to occupy sites that are moderately dry. Topographic and edaphic settings within this division are diverse. Elevations of stands range from sea level to about 700 m in the north and to about 1500 m in the south.
This division is comprised of upland forests, woodlands, and savannas in lowland to low montane settings in the Californian Floristic Province. The strongly Mediterranean climate with little to no snowfall, and long (up to year-round) growing seasons, is unique among other North American forests and woodlands. Strongly diagnostic tree taxa that are relatively widespread throughout the range of the division include Quercus agrifolia, Quercus chrysolepis, Quercus douglasii, Quercus engelmannii, Quercus lobata, Quercus wislizeni, Pinus attenuata, Pinus coulteri, Pinus radiata, Pinus muricata, Pinus sabiniana, Cupressus macnabiana (= Hesperocyparis macnabiana), Cupressus macrocarpa (= Hesperocyparis macrocarpa), Cupressus sargentii (= Hesperocyparis sargentii), Juniperus californica, Umbellularia californica, and Eucalyptus spp.
The nominal species are the same as those of the primary macrogroup of this division, which includes all of the non-ruderal vegetation of the division.
Vegetation Hierarchy
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 1 Forest & Woodland C01 1
Subclass 1.B Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland S15 1.B
Formation 1.B.1 Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland F018 1.B.1
Division 1.B.1.Nc Californian Forest & Woodland D007 1.B.1.Nc
Macrogroup M009 Californian Forest & Woodland M009 1.B.1.Nc.1
Macrogroup M513 Californian Ruderal Forest M513 1.B.1.Nc.90
The concept of this division includes all warm-temperate forests and woodlands of the California Floristic Province (CA-FP) (Baldwin et al. 2012). It combines ruderal (semi-natural) forests with combinations of more natural forest units of the CA-FP that have been described by various authors [see Synonymy]. With the exception of Brown et al. (1979) and Brown et al. (1998), treatments of forests and woodlands in the CA-FP generally have not been specifically differentiated between warm-temperate units and their cool-temperate counterparts; however, conceptually finer units usually can be assigned, in large part, to either warm-temperate or cool-temperate units, as defined by Brown et al. (1979) or by Brown et al. (1998).
Synonomy: > Closed-cone Pine and Cypress Forests (Barbour 2007) [combination of Oak Woodlands and Forests (Allen-Diaz et al. 2007), Closed-cone Pine and Cypress Forests (Barbour 2007), Southern California Conifer Forests (in part) (Minnich 2007b), and Forests of Northwestern California (in part) (Sawyer 2007).]
> Forests of Northwestern California (in part) (Sawyer 2007) [combination of Oak Woodlands and Forests (Allen-Diaz et al. 2007), Closed-cone Pine and Cypress Forests (Barbour 2007), Southern California Conifer Forests (in part) (Minnich 2007b), and Forests of Northwestern California (in part) (Sawyer 2007).]
> Oak Woodlands and Forests (Allen-Diaz et al. 2007) [combination of Oak Woodlands and Forests (Allen-Diaz et al. 2007), Closed-cone Pine and Cypress Forests (Barbour 2007), Southern California Conifer Forests (in part) (Minnich 2007b), and Forests of Northwestern California (in part) (Sawyer 2007).]
> Southern California Conifer Forests (in part) (Minnich 2007b) [combination of Oak Woodlands and Forests (Allen-Diaz et al. 2007), Closed-cone Pine and Cypress Forests (Barbour 2007), Southern California Conifer Forests (in part) (Minnich 2007b), and Forests of Northwestern California (in part) (Sawyer 2007).]
> combination of Blue Oak woodland, Southern Oak Woodland, and Mixed Evergreen Forest (Barbour 1988)
> combination of Californian Evergreen Forest and Woodland (123.2), and Relict Conifer Forest (123.4) (in part) (Brown et al. 1998)
> combination of Californian Mixed Evergreen Forest (123.2) and Californian Evergreen Forest and Woodland (123.4), and Relict Conifer Forests and Woodlands (123.5) (in part) (Brown et al. 1979)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Allen-Diaz et al. 2007
  • Baldwin et al. 2012
  • Barbour 1988
  • Barbour 2007
  • Barbour et al. 2007a
  • Bossard and Randall 2007
  • Brown 1994b
  • Brown et al. 1979
  • Brown et al. 1998
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Holland and Keil 1995
  • McLaughlin 2007
  • Minnich 2007a
  • Minnich 2007b
  • O'Geen et al. 2007
  • Sawyer 2007
  • Sawyer et al. 2009
States/Provinces:CA, MXBC, OR
Nations:MX, US
Range:Stands of this division are found throughout lower elevation cismontane California. They generally occur below 700 m in elevation in the north and below 1500 m in elevation in the south. Their distribution includes coastal valleys and foothills, the Great Valley, low to moderate elevations of the Klamath Mountains, Transverse, Coast, Peninsular, Sierra Nevada, and Cascade ranges, and some mountains within the Mojave Desert. The division extends southward into the northern and central mainland and islands of Baja California, from coastal to cismontane regions and northward into the valleys and foothills of the Cascades and Klamath Mountains in southwestern Oregon.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
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Stands are dominated by short to tall (5-35 m) trees that are evergreen needle-leaved, evergreen sclerophyllous broad-leaved and deciduous broad-leaved. Shrub, herbaceous, and nonvascular strata usually are present and are variable in cover and height.
This macrogroup consists of stands with a tree stratum that is comprised of various mixtures of oak, oak with pine or other conifers, conifers with broad-leaved evergreen trees, and closed-cone cypress and pines. Native tree taxa that are relatively widespread throughout the range of the division, and that also are strongly to moderately diagnostic, include Arbutus menziesii, Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. chrysophylla, Cupressus macnabiana (= Hesperocyparis macnabiana), the partially native Cupressus macrocarpa (= Hesperocyparis macrocarpa), Cupressus sargentii (= Hesperocyparis sargentii), Juniperus californica, Lithocarpus densiflorus, Pinus attenuata, Pinus coulteri, Pinus muricata, Pinus radiata, Pinus sabiniana, Quercus agrifolia, Quercus chrysolepis, Quercus douglasii, Quercus engelmannii, Quercus lobata, Quercus wislizeni, and Umbellularia californica. Non-native tree taxa include Acacia dealbata, Acacia melanoxylon, Ailanthus altissima, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus globulus, Ficus carica, Robinia pseudoacacia, and Schinus molle. Native trees with constancy, but common in other divisions include Calocedrus decurrens, Pinus ponderosa, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus garryana, and Quercus kelloggii. More localized endemic tree taxa of this division include Cupressus abramsiana (= Hesperocyparis abramsiana), Cupressus arizonica (= Hesperocyparis arizonica), Cupressus bakeri (= Hesperocyparis bakeri), Cupressus goveniana (= Hesperocyparis goveniana), Lyonothamnus floribundus, Pinus contorta var. bolanderi, Pinus torreyana, and Quercus tomentella. Localized non-native species include Acacia cyclops, Acacia redolens, Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus cladocalyx, Eucalyptus polyanthemos, Eucalyptus pulverulenta, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, Eucalyptus tereticornis, Eucalyptus viminalis, Myoporum laetum, Pinus halepensis, and Schinus terebinthifolius.

Shrub, herbaceous, and nonvascular stratum species are exceedingly diverse; a summary of the most widespread, frequent, and/or dominant taxa awaits further investigation.
The warm-temperate Mediterranean climate is the primary factor for the development of this division. Elevations of stands range from sea level to about 700 m in the north and to about 1500 m in the south (Minnich 2007b); montane cool-temperate forests (primarily of 1.B.2.Nd ~Vancouverian Forest & Woodland Division (D192)$$ predominate at higher elevations that abut the range of this division. Topographic and edaphic settings within this division are diverse. Within its preferred climate and elevation range, stands tend to occupy sites that are lower in moisture availability than those dominated by lowland types of (more mesic) cool-temperate forests or by (more hydric) riparian. In turn, this division tends to yield dominance to shrublands and grasslands on more xeric sites or those that are more prone to stress from wind (coastal areas) or fire (interior areas). Ruderal stands of this division probably require proximity to a planted source of the dominant non-native species.

Climate: Most areas that support stands of this division experience an average of 250 to 365 frost-free days per year. Mean January temperatures are from about 7°C (44°F) (Orland, CA) to 13°C (56°F) (San Diego, CA) (Minnich 2007a). Mean January temperatures are from about 16°C (60°F) (Monterey, CA) to 29°C (84°F) (Bakersfield, CA). In general, coastal areas experience less summer to winter temperature variation than do inland areas (Minnich 2007a). Annual precipitation generally ranges from 15 cm (6 inches) (Bakersfield, CA) to 62 cm (24 inches) (Three Rivers, CA), with up to 160 cm (63 inches) in the northern extremes of the range (northern Klamath Mountain region of northern California and southern Oregon) (Minnich 2007a). The precipitation distribution is strongly seasonal; at locations that support vegetation of this division, 85-92% of the annual precipitation falls during the wetter months of November through April. Mean annual snowfall is usually less than 1 cm (1 inch). In contrast, locations within or adjacent to the California Mediterranean climate region that support primarily cool-temperate forests and woodlands (e.g., in the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Klamath, Great Basin, Mojave, or southern California Peninsular/Transverse ranges) show a less strongly seasonal pattern of 60-85% of annual precipitation occurring during the November to April period, and/or have much higher total annual precipitation (e.g., along the California North Coast).

Soils/substrate: Soil and substrate conditions over this large region are diverse. Entisols, Inceptisols, Alfisols, and Mollisols are the most abundant soil orders (O'Geen et al. 2007).

Biogeography: Stands of this division are found throughout the California [floristic] Province of McLaughlin (2007). This corresponds to the California Floristic Province as defined by Baldwin et al. (2012), excluding the High Sierra Nevada (SNH) and High Cascade Range (CaRH) subregions, and the higher elevations of the Klamath Ranges (KR) subregion.
High
Concept is defined as occurring only in Mediterranean North America, where climate conditions are limited and well known.
Fire is an important factor for much of this division. The closed-cone pines and cypress species are serotinous and, therefore, rely on fires, including those of stand-replacing intensity, for regeneration (Barbour 2007). In general, low-intensity fires are important for maintaining the composition and structure of open oak woodlands, but fires in general are rare in more mesic and more closed-canopy forest types. Herbivory by ungulates, particularly in oak woodlands by livestock during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries (Allen-Diaz et al. 2007), has had a profound influence on vegetation structure. Other processes that influence stand structure and composition include insect and disease outbreaks and severe weather events (landslides following rainfall events, wind). Stands dominated by non-native, naturalized tree species are established from dispersal of propagules from plantings established for windbreaks and horticultural purposes; woodland stands dominated by native tree species are often dominated by non-native annual grasses that have become well-established since the increase in agricultural use of land in about 1860 (Bossard and Randall 2007).
6:C, 7:C, 8:C, 78:C
Authors:
C. Lea      Version Date: 26Oct2015


References:
  • Allen-Diaz, B., R. Standiford, and R. D. Jackson. 2007. Oak woodlands and forests. Pages 313-338 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California. Third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Baldwin, B. G., D. H. Goldman, D. J. Keil, R. Patterson, T. J. Rosatti, and D. H. Wilken, editors. 2012. The Jepson manual: Vascular plants of California, second edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Barbour, M. G. 1988. Californian upland forests and woodlands. Pages 131-164 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.
  • Barbour, M. G. 2007. Closed-cone pine and cypress forests. Pages 296-312 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Barbour, M. G., T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. 2007a. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Bossard, C. C., and J. M. Randall. 2007. Nonnative plants of California. Pages 107-123 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California. Third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Brown, D. E. 1994b. Californian evergreen forest and woodland. Pages 66-69 in: D. E. Brown, editor. Biotic communities: Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Brown, D. E., C. H. Lowe, and C. P. Pase. 1979. A digitized classification system for the biotic communities of North America with community (series) and association examples for the Southwest. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 14:1-16.
  • Brown, D. E., F. Reichenbacher, and S. E. Franson. 1998. A classification of North American biotic communities. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 141 pp.
  • 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. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • Holland, V. L., and D. J. Keil. 1995. California vegetation. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, IA. 516 pp.
  • McLaughlin, S. P. 2007. Tundra to Tropics: The floristic plant geography of North America. Sida Botanical Miscellany Publication 30:1-58.
  • Minnich, R. A. 2007a. Climate, paleoclimate, and paleovegetation. Pages 43-70 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California. Third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Minnich, R. A. 2007b. Southern California conifers. Pages 502-538 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California. Third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • O'Geen, A. T., R. A. Dahlgren, and D. Sánchez-Mata. 2007. California soils and examples of ultramafic vegetation. Pages 71-93 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley. 712 pp.
  • Sawyer, J. O. 2007. Forests of northwestern California. Pages 253-295 in: M. G. Barbour, T. Keeler-Wolf, and A. Schoenherr, editors. Terrestrial vegetation of California, third edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Sawyer, J. O., T. Keeler-Wolf, and J. Evens. 2009. A manual of California vegetation. Second edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento CA. 1300 pp.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

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About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Division level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

U.S. Government
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
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  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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Disclaimer:
Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the USNVC.org website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. [http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/vegetation/NVCS_V2_FINAL_2008-02.pdf]

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (amckerrow@usgs.gov)
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber- langendoen@natureserve.org)
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions Scott.Franklin@unco.edu
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (mburke@fs.fed.us)
The description incorporates floristic and dynamics information from macrogroup descriptions as provided by Gwen Kittel, Todd Keeler-Wolf, Julie Evens, Marion Reid, Chris Chappell, and Rex Crawford.