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Palouse grasslands (WWF ecoregion NA0813)

Lower Methow valley, Washington
Lower Methow valley, Washington
(c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf

Palouse grasslands map
Source of bioregions data: Olson, D. M. and E. Dinerstein. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. (PDF file) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89:125-126.

Distinctiveness (1=highest,4=lowest): 2 (regionally outstanding)
This grassland is distinctive due to its combination of dominant grass species and the presence of shrubs.*

Conservation Status (1=most endangered, 5=most intact): 2 (endangered)
Less than 1% of this ecoregion is intact.  Nearly all has been converted to agriculture.  Remaining patches are highly fragmented.*

Characteristic species*
Agropyron spicatum or

Pseudoroegneria spicata ssp. spicata

 (bluebunch wheatgrass)  
Festuca idahoensis (Idaho fescue)
Elymus condensatus (giant wild rye)
Poa scabrella (pine bluegrass)
Koeleria cristata (June grass)
Elymus sitanion (squirrel tail)
Stipa comata or

Hesperostipa comata

 (needle and thread)  

Agropyron smithii (western wheatgrass)

Associated habitats

Grassland with sage, near Chelan, Washington

Grassland with sage near Chelan, Washington Grassland with sage, near Chelan, Washington Grassland with sage, near Chelan, Washington South-facing slope near Chelan, Washington North-facing slope near Chelan, Washington
Left three images: In this area, elements of the nearby the Snake-Columbia shrub steppe ecoregion (notably sage) are present in the grassland. Middle right: The aspect influences the distribution of species, with south-facing slopes having primarily grass with scattered shrubs.  Far right: north-facing slopes have a significant number of trees in addition to the grass and shrubs.  (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf  hires  hires  hires   hires  hires

Higher elevation grassland, Methow Valley, Washington

Upper Methow Valley, Washington
As the upper Methow Valley extends northwestward into the Cascade Mountains leeward forests ecoregion, conifers typical of that region become more prevalent on the north-facing slopes. Eventually they cover all of the slopes, leaving the valley bottom as the only grassland areas. (c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf hires

Riparian area, Methow River near Methow, Washington

Riparian area, Methow River, Washington Riparian area, Methow River, Washington
(c) 2005 Steven J. Baskauf  hires  hires

* Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C.J. Loucks, et al.  (1999) Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment.  World Wildlife Fund - United States and Canada.  Island Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 275-276.

Except as noted, images copyright 2002-2005 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use