Abies bracteata Forest Alliance
Santa Lucia fir groves

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation250-1400 m
  • State RarityS3.2
  • Global RarityG3
  • DistributionUSA: CA (NatureServe) (FEIS)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaYes
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsYes
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Abies bracteata is dominant or co-dominant in the tree canopy with Alnus rhombifolia, Arbutus menziesii, Notholithocarpus densiflorus, Pinus coulteri, Pinus lambertiana, Pinus ponderosa and Quercus chrysolepis.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 50 m; canopy is continuous and it may be two tiered. Shrub layer is open to intermittent. Herbaceous layer is sparse.

Membership Rules

  • Abies bracteata > 30% relative cover when co-dominant with Quercus chrysolepis (CNDDB 2003).


Canyon bottoms, raised stream terraces, steep slopes with north or east aspects.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Santa Lucia fir series
NVCS (2009) Abies bracteata forest alliance
Calveg Santa Lucia fir
Holland Santa Lucia fir forest
Munz Coniferous forest
WHR Montane hardwood-conifer
CDFW CA Code 88.300.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Cool Temperate Forest
Division Western North America Cool Temperate Forest
Macro Group Californian-Vancouverian Montane and Foothill Forest
Group Californian montane conifer forest