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Community Field Guide

Scientific Name:
Festuca idahoensis - Leucopoa kingii Herbaceous Vegetation

Common Name:
Idaho fescue - spike fescue Herbaceous Vegetation

Community Description

Summary:
The association purportedly occurs in the mountains of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Composition and distribution data for the association are scant. High elevation grassland stands of the Blackpine Mountains of southern Idaho are tentatively classified within this plant association. The stands occur on well-drained ribbon scree formations of steep, west-facing slopes with convex microtopographical configuration at 8700 feet. The association appears to be restricted to high elevation sites of intermediate productivity where combined factors of duration of snow cover, exposure to winter desiccation, and growing-season soil-moisture availability allow the occurrence of the association. Leucopoa kingii (= Festuca kingii) is well represented to abundant on this exposed, stabilized scree. Festuca idahoensis and Pseudoroegneria spicata are common to well represented. Stenotus acaulis (= Haplopappus acaulis), Packera cana (= Senecio canus), Erigeron linearis, and Artemisia frigida are common. Leucopoa kingii and Pseudoroegneria spicata codominate cushion plant associations occurring on adjacent more harsh, ridgetop sites. Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana-dominated stands are adjacent on less harsh downslope sites.

Range:
The range of the association has not been determined.

Global Rank: G2? State Rank: S?

Global Rank Comments:
This is a poorly documented plant association. Its range of distribution is unknown, but it appears to be restricted to central Idaho, and possibly northwestern Wyoming. It occurs on high-elevation sites of intermediate productivity where combined factors of duration of snow cover, exposure to winter desiccation, and growing-season soil-moisture availability allow the occurrence of the association. The association probably is unevenly distributed in dispersed, isolated stands. It is estimated that there are less than 1000 acres of this type. Condition of the occurrences is unknown.

Community References

Identifier:
CEGL001901

Author:
S.K. Rust

Citations:
Bourgeron and Engelking 1994, Driscoll et al. 1984, IDCDC n.d., MTNHP n.d.

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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
http://mtnhp.org
mtnhp@mt.gov