Invalid Unit Specified
Division Detail Report: D195
Populus angustifolia - Populus balsamifera - Picea engelmannii Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Flooded & Swamp Forest Division

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Forested riparian and depressional wetlands dominated by broad-leaved deciduous trees or conifers (or both) that occur at mid to high elevations of the Rocky Mountains, ranges of the Intermountain West and the Colorado Plateau, and in the Sierra Nevada and eastern Cascades.
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Translated Name:Narrowleaf Cottonwood - Balsam Poplar - Engelmann Spruce Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Flooded & Swamp Forest Division
Colloquial Name:Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Flooded & Swamp Forest
This division is characterized by forests and woodlands dominated either by montane conifers or riparian phreatophyte broad-leaved deciduous trees, or a mix of the two. Populus angustifolia, Populus balsamifera, or Populus tremuloides along with Alnus oblongifolia, Acer grandidentatum or Acer negundo are the characteristic broadleaf dominants. The common montane conifer dominants include species that are somewhat tolerant of wet or saturated soil conditions such as Abies lasiocarpa, Abies grandis, Picea engelmannii, Picea engelmannii x glauca, and Picea pungens, along with somewhat drier site species such as Juniperus scopulorum, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus contorta, and Pinus ponderosa. Stands commonly have subcanopies or tall-shrub layers that can include Alnus incana, Betula occidentalis, Betula papyrifera, Cornus sericea, Crataegus douglasii, Crataegus rivularis, Prunus virginiana, Ribes americanum, Rhus trilobata, Salix amygdaloides, Salix boothii, Salix drummondiana, Salix exigua, Salix lucida ssp. caudata, and Symphoricarpos albus. The herbaceous undergrowth can be lush to depauperate depending on the site. Graminoids typically include obligate or facultative wetland species such as Alopecurus aequalis, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex aquatilis var. aquatilis, Carex obnupta, Carex pellita, Carex disperma, Carex vesicaria, Deschampsia caespitosa, Eleocharis palustris, and Phalaris arundinacea. Forbs are variable, but wetland indicators are typically present and may include Callitriche heterophylla, Equisetum arvense, Heracleum maximum, Lysichiton americanus, Mentha arvensis, Mitella breweri, Mitella pentandra, Ranunculus alismifolius, Senecio triangularis, and Veratrum californicum. The climate ranges from cool to cold montane or subalpine. Stands typically range between 1500 and 3300 m in elevation to the south and between 900 and 2000 m farther north. They most often occur in mid- to high-montane riparian zones along moderate- to high-gradient (>2%) streams and rivers. The stands become established in seasonally flooded areas along rocky confined channels or on narrow depositional alluvial bars of unconfined mountain valleys. They also can occur on high-elevation, low- gradient (<3%) meandering streams with broad floodplains. Less commonly, they are associated with depressional wetlands, vernal pools, pond and lake margins, or on seeps on gentle slopes (slope wetlands).
Wetland soils supporting forests of broad-leaved deciduous trees and/or conifers along riparian corridors, or surrounding the edges of lakes and marshes or other depressional seeps, at all elevations. Within the context of riparian and forested wetlands, Populus angustifolia and Alnus oblongifolia are strong diagnostic species in the southern portion of the range and Populus tremuloides and Populus balsamifera are moderately diagnostic in the northern portion. Among the subcanopy trees and shrubs, Alnus incana, Betula occidentalis, Crataegus rivularis, Salix boothii, and Salix drummondiana are moderately diagnostic.
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.3 Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest F026 1.B.3
Division 1.B.3.Nc Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Flooded & Swamp Forest D195 1.B.3.Nc
Macrogroup M034 Rocky Mountain-Great Basin Montane Riparian & Swamp Forest M034 1.B.3.Nc.1
Includes both riparian and depressional seep wetlands. And includes riparian forests of Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada of California but does not include the hot Central Valley riparian forests.
Synonomy: > Rocky Mountain Riparian Deciduous Forest (Brown et al. 1979) [This type is a subregional variant of a portion of this division concept.]
> Sierran Cascade Riparian Deciduous Forest (Brown et al. 1979) [This type is a subregional variant of a portion of this division concept.]

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Brown et al. 1979
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Mitsch and Gosselink 2000
  • Muldavin et al. 2000a
States/Provinces:AB, AZ, BC, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY
Nations:CA, MX, US
Range:This division occurs throughout the northern Interior West from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and eastern Cascades, the ranges of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, and in the Rocky Mountains from southern British Columbia to New Mexico and Arizona.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
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Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
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This division is characterized by tall broad-leaved deciduous and conifer trees of 30 m or more. The canopies can range from very open to closed. Tall- and short-shrub layers may be present and sometimes high in cover. The herbaceous layer is commonly dominated by graminoids and may be high in cover, and forbs can also be abundant.
This division is characterized by forests and woodlands dominated either by montane conifers or riparian phreatophyte broad-leaved deciduous trees, or a mix of the two. Populus angustifolia, Populus balsamifera, or Populus tremuloides along with Alnus oblongifolia, Acer grandidentatum or Acer negundo are the characteristic broadleaf dominants. The common montane conifer dominants include species that are somewhat tolerant of wet or saturated soil conditions such as Abies lasiocarpa, Abies grandis, Picea engelmannii, Picea engelmannii x glauca, and Picea pungens, along with somewhat drier site species such as Juniperus scopulorum, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus contorta, and Pinus ponderosa. Thuja plicata, Tsuga heterophylla, Tsuga mertensiana and Pinus flexilis are also occasional dominants.

Riparian stands commonly have subcanopies or tall-shrub layers that can include Alnus incana, Betula occidentalis, Betula papyrifera, Cornus sericea, Crataegus douglasii, Crataegus rivularis, Prunus virginiana, Ribes americanum, Rhus trilobata, Salix amygdaloides, Salix boothii, Salix drummondiana, Salix exigua, Salix lucida ssp. caudata, and Symphoricarpos albus. The herbaceous undergrowth can be lush to depauperate depending on the site. Graminoids are commonly dominant under marsh conditions where they can form high-cover stands of obligate or facultative wetland species such as Alopecurus aequalis, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex aquatilis var. aquatilis, Carex obnupta, Carex pellita, Carex disperma, Carex vesicaria, Deschampsia caespitosa, Eleocharis palustris, and Phalaris arundinacea. Forbs are variable, but wetland indicators are typically present such as Callitriche heterophylla, Equisetum arvense, Heracleum maximum, Lysichiton americanus, Mentha arvensis, Mitella breweri, Mitella pentandra, Ranunculus alismifolius, Senecio triangularis, and Veratrum californicum.
The local environments of this division are variable but they are all within a cool to cold montane or subalpine climate. Stands typically range between 1500 and 3300 m in elevation to the south and between 900 and 2000 m farther north. They most often occur in mid- to high-montane riparian zones along moderate- to high-gradient (>2%) streams and rivers. The stands become established in seasonally flooded areas along rocky confined channels or on narrow depositional alluvial bars of unconfined mountain valleys (where the water table is typically at or near the soil surface during the growing season). They also can occur on high-elevation, low-gradient (<3%) meandering streams with broad floodplains mixed with wet meadows and wetlands. More uncommonly, they are associated with depressional wetlands, vernal pools, pond and lake margins, or on seeps on gentle slopes (slope wetlands) with poorly drained soils, which are saturated year-round or may have seasonal flooding in the spring.
Moderate
Reproduction of the broadleaf species is by a combination of seed germination following flood events or clonal via root suckering. Clonal reproduction can be very successful for Populus spp. and they are capable of quickly establishing on disturbed wet sites.
Authors:
E. Muldavin and G. Kittel      Version Date: 30Jan2015


References:
  • 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.
  • 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]
  • Mitsch, W. J., and J. G. Gosselink. 2000. Wetlands. Third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 920 pp.
  • Muldavin, E., P. Durkin, M. Bradley, M. Stuever, and P. Mehlhop. 2000a. Handbook of wetland vegetation communities of New Mexico. Volumn I: Classification and community descriptions. Final report to the New Mexico Environment Department and the Environmental Protection Agency prepared by the New Mexico Natural Heritage Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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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:

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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)