Callitropsis nootkatensis Forest Alliance
Alaska yellow-cedar stands

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation1500-2150 m
  • State RarityS1
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionCAN: BC. USA: AK, CA, OR, WA (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Callitropsis nootkatensis is dominant or co-dominant in the tree canopy with Abies concolor, Abies procera, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Juniperus communis, Picea breweriana, Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana, Pinus monticola, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Taxus brevifolia and Tsuga mertensiana.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 35 m; canopy is continuous. Shrubs are sparse. Herbaceous layer is sparse.

Membership Rules

  • Callitropsis nootkaensis > 25% absolute cover in short tree layer (NatureServe 2007).


Steep, north-facing slopes near ridgelines and lake borders. Soils derived from granitic or serpentine substrates. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Callitropsis nootkatensis as a FAC plant.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Alaska yellow-cedar stands
NVCS (2009) Chamaecyparis nootkatensis forest alliance
Calveg Klamath mixed conifer
Holland Siskiyou enriched coniferous forest
Munz Subalpine forest
WHR Klamath mixed conifer
CDFW CA Code 81.200.00

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 Vancouverian Subalpine Forest
Group Vancouverian mesic montane coniferous forest and woodland