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«Classification of Vegetation Associations from the Mount Tamalpais Watershed, Nicasio Reservoir, and Soulajule Reservoir in Marin County, California ...»

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Classification of Vegetation Associations from the Mount Tamalpais

Watershed, Nicasio Reservoir, and Soulajule Reservoir

in Marin County, California

Julie Evens, Vegetation Ecologist In cooperation with

With the assistance of

Ed Kentner, Vegetation Staff Janet Klein, Vegetation Ecologist

California Native Plant Society Marin Municipal Water District

2707 K Street, Suite 1 220 Nellen Avenue

Sacramento, CA 95816 Corte Madera, CA 94925 Final Report



Background and Standards


Study Area

Field Sampling

Figure 1. Study area map of the Marin Municipal Water District lands (in dark green) for the 2005-2006 vegetation project.

Figure 2. Sample locations in the Marin Municipal Water District from 2005 in the study area with general geologic types.

Vegetation Classification and Key

Vegetation Classification and Key

Description Writing


Basic Species and Vegetation Data

Classification Analyses

Invasive Broom Species

Figure 3. Example of the cluster analysis output for the Relevé dataset with 7 group levels showing (from right to left) the arrangement and relationship of plots in the cluster dendrogram and the derived alliance classification

Figure 4. Example of the cluster analysis output for the Relevé dataset with 10 group levels showing (from right to left) the arrangement and relationship of plots in the cluster dendrogram and the derived association classification

Table 1. Significant indicator species (with p-values 0.

05) from the Indicator Species Analyses for the Relevé dendrograms at the cluster group levels of 7 and 10

Table 2. Final vegetation classification from the Marin Municipal Water District, California, with alliances and associations nested within a higher-level hierarchy of divisions per the International Vegetation Classification System (IVCS)

Table 3. Plant communities containing invasive broom species (Cytisus scoparius or Genista monspessulana), with average cover and frequency of the broom species provided.

Key to Vegetation

Table 4. Field key to the main groups and vegetation associations of Mount Tamalpais, Nicasio Reservoir, and Soulajule Reservoir

Tree Overstory Vegetation

Aesculus californica Alliance or Habitat

Aesculus californica-Umbellularia californica/Mimulus aurantiacus Association.................. 37 Alnus rubra Alliance or Habitat

Arbutus menziesii Alliance or Habitat

Arbutus menziesii-Quercus agrifolia Association

Arbutus menziesii-Umbellularia californica (-Lithocarpus densiflorus) Association.............. 44 Arbutus menziesii-Umbellularia californica-Quercus kelloggii Association

Chrysolepis chrysophylla Alliance or Habitat

Chrysolepis chrysophylla-Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association

i Chrysolepis chrysophylla/Vaccinium ovatum Association

Cupressus macrocarpa Alliance or Habitat

Cupressus sargentii Alliance or Habitat

Cupressus sargentii (Pure) Association

Cupressus sargentii (Riparian) Association

Cupressus sargentii/Arctostaphylos hookeri subsp. montana Association

Lithocarpus densiflorus Alliance or Habitat

Lithocarpus densiflorus-Arbutus menziesii Association

Lithocarpus densiflorus-Umbellularia californica Association

Pinus muricata Alliance or Habitat

Pinus muricata/Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association

Pinus muricata/Vaccinium ovatum Association

Pseudotsuga menziesii Alliance or Habitat

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Pure) Association

Pseudotsuga menziesii-Chrysolepis chrysophylla-Lithocarpus densiflorus Association...... 73 Pseudotsuga menziesii-Quercus agrifolia Association

Pseudotsuga menziesii-Quercus chrysolepis Association

Pseudotsuga menziesii-Umbellularia californica/Polystichum munitum Association........... 80 Pseudotsuga menziesii-Umbellularia californica/Toxicodendron diversilobum Association 83 Pseudotsuga menziesii-Lithocarpus densiflorus Alliance or Habitat

Quercus agrifolia Alliance or Habitat

Quercus agrifolia/Grass (Annual) Association

Quercus agrifolia/Grass (Perennial Native) Association

Quercus agrifolia/Toxicodendron diversilobum/Grass Association

Quercus agrifolia-Arbutus menziesii-Umbellularia californica Association

Quercus chrysolepis Alliance or Habitat

Quercus chrysolepis-Arbutus menziesii-Lithocarpus densiflora Association

Quercus garryana Alliance or Habitat

Quercus kelloggii Alliance or Habitat

Quercus kelloggii-Arbutus menziesii-Quercus agrifolia Association

Quercus lobata Alliance or Habitat

Quercus lobata/Grass Association

Quercus wislizeni Alliance or Habitat

Quercus wislizeni/Arctostaphylos glandulosa (Woodland) Association

Quercus wislizeni/Heteromeles arbutifolia Association

Quercus wislizeni-Quercus chrysolepis Alliance or Habitat

Salix laevigata Alliance or Habitat

Salix laevigata-Cornus sericea/Scirpus microcarpus Association

Salix lasiolepis Alliance or Habitat

Salix lasiolepis/Baccharis pilularis-Rubus ursinus Association

Salix lucida Alliance or Habitat

Sequoia sempervirens Alliance or Habitat

Sequoia sempervirens-Acer macrophyllum-Umbellularia californica (Riparian) Association

Sequoia sempervirens-Arbutus menziesii/Vaccinium ovatum Association

Sequoia sempervirens-Chrysolepis chrysophylla/Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association 123 Sequoia sempervirens-Lithocarpus densiflorus/Vaccinium ovatum Association................ 125 Sequoia sempervirens/Woodwardia fimbriata (Riparian) Association

Sequoia sempervirens-Pseudotsuga menziesii-Umbellularia californica Association....... 129 Sequoia sempervirens-Umbellularia californica Association

Umbellularia californica Alliance or Habitat

Umbellularia californica (Pure - Coastal) Association

Umbellularia californica/Polystichum munitum Association

Umbellularia californica-Acer macrophyllum Association

Umbellularia californica-Aesculus californica/Holodiscus discolor Association.................. 142 Umbellularia californica-Alnus rhombifolia Association

ii Umbellularia californica-Lithocarpus densiflorus Association

Umbellularia californica-Pseudotsuga menziesii/Rhododendron occidentale Association 148 Umbellularia californica-Quercus agrifolia Association

Umbellularia californica-Quercus agrifolia/Genista monspessulana Association............... 153 Umbellularia californica-Quercus agrifolia/Toxicodendron diversilobum (Corylus cornuta) Association

Umbellularia californica-Quercus chrysolepis Association

Shrubland Vegetation

Adenostoma fasciculatum Alliance or Habitat

Adenostoma fasciculatum/Annual Grass-Forb Association

Adenostoma fasciculatum-Arctostaphylos glandulosa-Ceanothus jepsonii/Calamagrostis ophitidis Association

Adenostoma fasciculatum-Mimulus aurantiacus Association

Adenostoma fasciculatum-Arctostaphylos glandulosa Alliance or Habitat

Adenostoma fasciculatum-Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association

Adenostoma fasciculatum-Arctostaphylos glandulosa-Quercus wislizeni Association...... 169 Adenostoma fasciculatum-Ceanothus cuneatus Alliance or Habitat

Arctostaphylos canescens Alliance or Habitat

Arctostaphylos canescens-Arctostaphylos glandulosa-Adenostoma fasciculatum Association

Arctostaphylos glandulosa Alliance or Habitat

Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association

Arctostaphylos hookeri subsp. montana Alliance or Habitat

Arctostaphylos hookeri subsp. montana Association

Arctostaphylos hookeri subsp. montana-Adenostoma fasciculatum Association............... 180 Arctostaphylos nummularia Alliance or Habitat

Arctostaphylos nummularia-Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association

Arctostaphylos nummularia-Vaccinium ovatum(-Chrysolepis chrysophylla) Association.. 185 Artemisia californica Alliance or Habitat

Artemisia californica-Mimulus aurantiacus Association

Baccharis pilularis Alliance or Habitat

Baccharis pilularis/Native Grass (Mixed) Association

Baccharis pilularis/Native Grass (Nassella pulchra) Association

Baccharis pilularis-Artemisia californica-Toxicodendron diversilobum/Monardella villosa Association

Baccharis pilularis-Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Association

Baccharis pilularis-Toxicodendron diversilobum Association

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Alliance or Habitat

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus-Rubus ursinus Association

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus-Vaccinium ovatum-Rubus parviflorus Association

Broom (Cytisus, Genista, Ulex) Alliance or Habitat

Quercus durata Alliance or Habitat

Quercus durata-Arctostaphylos glandulosa Association

Quercus wislizeni Alliance or Habitat

Arctostaphylos glandulosa-Quercus wislizeni (Shrubland) Association

Quercus wislizeni (Shrubland) Association

Rhododendron occidentale Alliance or Habitat

Herbaceous Vegetation

California Annual Grassland Alliance or Habitat

Annual Grassland - Native - Non-native Association

Briza maxima-Trifolium depauperatum-Lupinus spp. Association

Cynosurus echinatus-Linum bienne-Brodiaea elegans Association

Trifolium variegatum Alliance

Carex Alliance or Habitat

iii Carex barbarae Alliance

Carex obnupta Alliance

Carex serratodens Alliance

Carex subfusca-Carex amplifolia Association

Carex densa Alliance (Carex - Juncus Habitat)

Carex densa-Lolium perenne-Juncus spp. Association

Carex densa- Juncus xiphioides Association

Juncus Alliance or Habitat

Juncus effusus Alliance

Perennial Grassland Alliance or Habitat

Dipsacus sativus Association

Festuca arundinacea-Carex densa Association

Festuca californica Alliance

Festuca idahoensis-Bromus carinatus Association

Festuca idahoensis-Festuca rubra Association

Hordeum brachyantherum Alliance

Iris douglasiana-Holcus lanatus Association

Nassella pulchra (Mixed herbaceous) Association

Nassella pulchra-Melica californica-Annual Grass Association

Phalaris aquatica Alliance

Thermopsis californica- Bromus carinatus-Annual Brome Association

Scirpus microcarpus Alliance or Habitat

Scirpus microcarpus Alliance

Serpentine Bald Alliance or Habitat

Quercus durata/Allium falcifolium-Streptanthus batrachopus Association

Serpentine grassland Alliance or Habitat

Melica torreyana Alliance

Nassella pulchra-Lolium multiflorum-Trifolium spp. Association

Plantago erecta-Calycadenia multiglandulosa-Annual Grass Association

Typha Alliance or Habitat

Typha angustifolia Association

Typha latifolia Association


Appendix 1. Field forms used by MMWD for the vegetation sampling

Appendix 2. List of plants identified in the MMWD surveys with scientific names and native status accepted by UCB (2004) and codes and common names by USDA-NRCS (2005)

Appendix 3. Sensitive plants recorded in the 2005 vegetation surveys, with listing and habitat information by CNPS 2005.

–  –  –

The Vegetation Program of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has worked collaboratively with the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) and Aerial Information Systems (AIS) to produce a fine-scale vegetation classification and map on MMWD lands. At least 55 different plant communities, described floristically at the alliance level of the National Vegetation Classification (Grossman et al. 1998), are discussed in this report.

Two main project goals are 1) to provide detailed, floristic classification of the vegetation with a report defining the different vegetation types, 2) to provide a detailed vegetation map of the region. Field data are being collected using standard CNPS protocols (e.g., Vegetation Rapid Assessment and Relevé protocols). The field-based classification depicts vegetation types that were sampled in 419 CNPS Vegetation Rapid Assessments and Relevés by MMWD staff.

The classification has been produced by CNPS using the National Vegetation Classification System’s hierarchy of alliances and associations. These are floristically and environmentally defined plant communities, such as those described in the CNPS publication of A Manual of California Vegetation (Sawyer and Keeler Wolf 1995). In this project, the vegetation types are depicted in standard descriptions and a field key to concisely differentiate 59 alliances and habitats, of which 88 associations are determined.

With these and other data, aerial photography is being analyzed to create a vegetation map by AIS at a fine-scale resolution (with minimum mapping units of 1-2.2 acres). The map is being created by interpreting detailed, digital color aerial photography and delineating boundaries around the individual stands of vegetation in the study area. This detailed map is being produced in a Geographic Information System (GIS) digital format, through a “head’s-up” digitizing process. With the field data collected and classified, the mapping is guided by plot sampling and reconnaissance points. The final map will include digitization of polygons and attribution of the vegetation type, overstory cover, and tree size.

This report mainly represents the results of the vegetation classification from the field sampling effort.

This approach allows for baseline information on floristics, vegetation structure, site environment and impacts to be represented in a consistent and accurate manner. As each vegetation type is mapped with the field reference data, the vegetation types can be represented and compared quantitatively. By representing vegetation in this manner, the MMWD is better equipped to manage the vegetation for longterm ecological sustenance. In the future, agencies can compare areas based on vegetation diversity and habitat quality to identify best management regimes for such things as fire hazards, proper trail/road placement, restoration, and other management considerations.


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