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Community Field Guide

Scientific Name:
Festuca idahoensis - Carex filifolia Herbaceous Vegetation

Common Name:
Idaho fescue - thread leaf sedge Meadow

Community Description

This montane grassland association occurs in the mountains of southwestern Montana and north-central Wyoming. Stands are found infrequently on gentle terrain (5-20% slope) in or near mountain saddles. Elevation ranges from 2400-2800 m. The vegetation has a dense and diverse herbaceous layer codominated by medium-tall perennial graminoids and perennial forbs. The dominant species are Festuca idahoensis, Carex filifolia, Danthonia intermedia, Geum triflorum, Gentiana affinis, Antennaria rosea, and Achillea millefolium. The lack of Pseudoroegneria spicata, Pascopyrum smithii, or Elymus caninus as a codominant species make this association distinct.

These montane grasslands have been found in the Bull Mountains, Pioneer Mountains and Gravelly Range in southwestern Montana, and in the Bighorn mountains in north-central Wyoming.

Global Rank: G3 State Rank: S3

Global Rank Comments:
This association is known from three mountain ranges in Montana and one in Wyoming. Stands are found in and near mountain saddles between 2400-2800 m elevation, and are infrequent because they restricted to this relatively uncommon topography. Overgrazing by livestock can degrade these grasslands and is the major threat. Current extent and condition of these grasslands is unknown, but there are at least 6 stands sampled and over 100 occurrences estimated.

Community References


K.A. Schulz

Bourgeron and Engelking 1994, Despain 1973a, Driscoll et al. 1984, Hurd 1961, Mueggler and Stewart 1980

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This information is from the:
Montana Natural Heritage Program
Montana State Library--Natural Resource Information System
1515 East Sixth Ave., Helena, MT 59620-1800
406 444-5354