Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Great Basin-Intermountain Xeric-Riparian Scrub Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Great Basin-Intermountain Xeric-Riparian Scrub
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: This macrogroup consists of shrublands along temporary watercourses (washes) on sandy terraces, wash bottoms, and basin floors dominated by Artemisia filifolia, Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata, Atriplex canescens, Atriplex confertifolia, Atriplex gardneri, Brickellia longifolia, Ephedra torreyana, Ephedra viridis, Ericameria nauseosa, Fraxinus anomala, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Lycium andersonii, Purshia stansburiana, Quercus havardii, Rhus trilobata, and Suaeda moquinii. Herbaceous cover is sparse, although non-native annuals such as Bromus tectorum and Salsola tragus are sometimes abundant. This macrogroup occurs within the cool temperate desert of the intermountain western U.S.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Open scattered to dense shrublands dominated by Atriplex canescens or Ericameria nauseosa.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: No Data Available
Similar NVC Types:
Physiognomy and Structure: Broadleaf deciduous shrubland.
Floristics: Stands have generally fairly open cover of Atriplex canescens or Ericameria nauseosa. Associated shrubs include Artemisia filifolia, Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata, Atriplex confertifolia, Atriplex gardneri, Brickellia longifolia, Ephedra torreyana, Ephedra viridis, Ericameria nauseosa, Fraxinus anomala, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Lycium andersonii, Purshia stansburiana, Quercus havardii, Rhus trilobata, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, and Suaeda moquinii (= Suaeda torreyana). Herbaceous cover is sparse (<10% cover) with a variety of grasses and forbs such as Achnatherum hymenoides, Artemisia dracunculus, Descurainia pinnata, Elymus elymoides, Glycyrrhiza lepidota, Hesperostipa comata, Hordeum jubatum, Muhlenbergia porteri, Pleuraphis jamesii, Sphaeralcea parvifolia, Sporobolus contractus, Sporobolus cryptandrus, Stanleya pinnata, and Scabrethia scabra (= Wyethia scabra). Non-native annuals such as Bromus tectorum and Salsola tragus are sometimes present to abundant.
Dynamics: This macrogroup experiences severe disturbance by flash floods. The vegetation is usually scattered, occurring in parts of the channel protected from the worst flooding, and shrubs have extensive root systems to allow them to resprout quickly when damaged or partially uprooted by flooding, as well as small roots to immediately take advantage of recent moisture.
Environmental Description: This macrogroup occurs approximately from 1000 to 2500 m in elevation, along dry washes and intermittent stream courses, along the edges or within the flat wash and valley bottoms, and on elevated side terraces. Soils and substrates are rapidly drained, sandy or gravelly soils derived from alluvium, gneiss, shale, cinder and sandstone.
Geographic Range: This macrogroup occurs throughout the intermountain western U.S. extending east into the western Great Plains.
States/Provinces: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)|
Southwest Plateau and Plains Dry Steppe and Shrub Province
Predicted or probable
White Mountains-San Francisco Peaks-Mogollon Rim Section
Predicted or probable
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Synonomy: ? Rabbitbrush association (Chrysothamnnetum nauseosi) (Billings 1945)
< Riparian (422) (Shiflet 1994)
Concept Author(s): Faber-Langendoen et al. (2014)
Author of Description: K.A. Schulz and G. Kittel
Version Date: 15Oct2014
- Billings, W. D. 1945. The plant associations of the Carson Desert region, western Nevada. Butler University Botanical Studies 7:89-123.
- 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.
- 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]
- Knight, D. H. 1994. Mountains and plains: Ecology of Wyoming landscapes. Yale University Press, New Haven, MA. 338 pp.
- Shiflet, T. N., editor. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Society for Range Management. Denver, CO. 152 pp.
- West, N. E. 1983b. Intermountain salt desert shrublands. Pages 375-397 in: N. E. West, editor. Temperate deserts and semi-deserts. Ecosystems of the world, Volume 5. Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam.