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Community Field Guide

Scientific Name:
Picea engelmannii / Cornus sericea Woodland

Common Name:
Engelmann spruce / red-osier dogwood Woodland

Community Description

This woodland is found on cool, moist sites in the mountains of the northern Rockies west into Oregon and Washington. This community occurs from 820-2300 m in elevation across its range. This community is restricted to flat or gently sloping alluvial terraces or benches and, less frequently, moist toeslopes or margins of fens or marshes. Stands may be temporarily flooded in the spring, and due to its location in riparian zones, the water table is usually within 1 m of the surface. Water flow and aeration in the rooting zone is usually good. The overstory canopy is dominated by Picea engelmannii or Picea (engelmannii X glauca) hybrids. Other conifers or Populus spp. are often present. Shrub cover is typically high, with Cornus sericea usually the dominant shrub, although other species like Alnus incana or Ribes lacustre are often present. Forb species richness is high but cover is low.

Global Rank: G3 State Rank: S3

Global Rank Comments:
This community has a broad range, and the environmental conditions capable of supporting the community (i.e., alluvial terraces) are not uncommon. Although it has been impacted by human activities like logging and stream channelization, it is nevertheless a relatively common riparian type in areas where lack of disturbance has allowed succession from cottonwood to spruce dominated communities. In addition, this type is the result of merging two G3 associations, and should be maintained until more range information is available.

Community References


99-10-18 / J. Greenlee

Bourgeron and Engelking 1994, Crowe and Clausnitzer 1997, Hall and Hansen 1997, Hansen et al. 1995, Kovalchik 1993, Padgett et al. 1989, Youngblood et al. 1985a, Youngblood et al. 1985b

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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