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Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland

This riparian woodland system is comprised of seasonally flooded forests and woodlands found at montane to subalpine elevations of the Rocky Mountain cordillera, from southern New Mexico north into Montana, and west into the Intermountain region and the Colorado Plateau. It occurs throughout the interior of British Columbia and the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. This system contains the conifer and aspen woodlands that line montane streams. These are communities tolerant of periodic flooding and high water tables. Snowmelt moisture in this system may create shallow water tables or seeps for a portion of the growing season. Stands typically occur at elevations between 1500 and 3300 m (4920-10,830 feet), farther north elevation ranges between 900 and 2000 m. This is confined to specific riparian environments occurring on floodplains or terraces of rivers and streams, in V-shaped, narrow valleys and canyons (where there is cold-air drainage). Less frequently, occurrences are found in moderate-wide valley bottoms on large floodplains along broad, meandering rivers, and on pond or lake margins. Dominant tree species vary across the latitudinal range, although it usually includes Abies lasiocarpa and/or Picea engelmannii; other important species include Pseudotsuga menziesii, Picea pungens, Picea engelmannii X glauca, Populus tremuloides, and Juniperus scopulorum. Other trees possibly present but not usually dominant include Alnus incana, Abies concolor, Abies grandis, Pinus contorta, Populus angustifolia, Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa, and Juniperus osteosperma.

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