Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Geocaulon lividum


Introductory

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Matthews, Robin F. 1994. Geocaulon lividum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

ABBREVIATION : GEOLIV SYNONYMS : Comandra livida Richards [[14] SCS PLANT CODE : COLI3 COMMON NAMES : northern comandra northern toadflax TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of northern comandra is Geocaulon lividum (Richardson) Fern. (Santalaceae) [13,26,28,35]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : See OTHER STATUS OTHER STATUS : The Montana Natural Heritage Program lists northern comandra as globally secure (G4) but imperiled in Montana (S2) because of rarity or because other factors make it vulnerable to extirpation [20]. The U.S. Forest Service classifies northern comandra as sensitive in Montana; it has been located on the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests [31]. Northern comandra is included on Maine's list of Plant Species of Special Concern [43] and is considered threatened in New Hampshire [40]; however, it is widespread in the Mahoosuc Range on the Maine-New Hampshire border [29,40]. It is also threatened in New York and has been assigned a state rank of S1 (critically imperiled in New York state because of extreme rarity or is extremely vulnerable to extirpation from New York State due to biological factors) [41,42]. Northern comandra was known from a single site in Vermont, a tiny bog on Mt. Mansfield, but has not been found since 1901 and is now presumed extirpated in that state [40].


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Northern comandra is distributed from Newfoundland to Alaska south to northern Washington, northern Idaho, northwest Montana, New England, New York, and northern portions of the Great Lakes States [9,13,14,20,26]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White - red - jack pine FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES18 Maple - beech - birch FRES19 Aspen - birch FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce FRES28 Western hardwoods STATES : AK ID ME MI MN MT NH NY WA WI AB BC MB NB NF NT NS ON PQ SK YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 8 Northern Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K094 Conifer bog K095 Great Lakes pine forest K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest SAF COVER TYPES : 1 Jack pine 5 Balsam fir 12 Black spruce 13 Black spruce - tamarack 16 Aspen 18 Paper birch 35 Paper birch - red spruce - balsam fir 37 Northern white-cedar 38 Tamarack 201 White spruce 202 White spruce - paper birch 203 Balsam poplar 204 Black spruce 206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir 217 Aspen 222 Black cottonwood - willow 251 White spruce - aspen 252 Paper birch 253 Black spruce - white spruce 254 Black spruce - paper birch SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Northern comandra is not listed as a dominant or codominant understory species in available publications. Species commonly associated with northern comandra throughout its range include American green alder (Alnus viridis ssp. crispa), bog Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), willow (Salix spp.), crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), twinflower (Linnaea borealis), prickly rose (Rosa acicularis), mountain cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), highbush cranberry (Viburnum edule), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), one-sided wintergreen (Pyrola secunda), bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), horsetails (Equisetum spp.), feathermosses (Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi), and lichens (Cladonia spp. and Peltigera aphthosa) [3,5,21,38]. Northern comandra has a significantly (p<.10) higher presence (a classification of relative frequency values) in black spruce (Picea mariana) forests than in white spruce (P. glauca) forests throughout the boreal spruce-fir forests of North America [19].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : In Alaska, spruce grouse consume small amounts of northern comandra berries in the fall [7]. The berries are also eaten by red-backed voles [37]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Northern comandra is an alternate host for the canker-producing comandra blister rust fungus (Cronartium comandrae). The rust infects jack pine (Pinus banksiana) but is not a "serious enemy" [35].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Northern comandra is a perennial, hemiparasitic forb. It has creeping rhizomes, located in the humus layer of the soil. The leafy stems are 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) tall. The inflorescence is a cymule with two to three green or purple flowers. The central flower is perfect, but the others have stamens only. The fruit is a one-seeded, orange drupe [9,13,28,35,36]. Northern comandra is a root parasite that forms haustoria (lateral outgrowths of the root) which connect it to a host's roots or rhizomes. The haustoria are white when young but become brown with age. They have been described in detail. Some host genera include spruce (Picea spp.), pine (Pinus spp.), birch (Betula spp.), willow (Salix spp.), alder (Alnus spp.), and twinflower (Linnaea spp.). A more complete list of host genera is available [36]. Northern comandra is difficult to distinguish from low sweet blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) varieties, and from bog blueberry (V. uliginosum var. alpinum) [29]. It also closely resembles bastard toadflax (Comandra umbellata) [40]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Northern comandra presumably reproduces by seed and sprouting from rhizomes. However, specific information on regeneration is not available in the literature. Zasada [39] stated that undisturbed feathermoss mats may inhibit germination of northern comandra seeds, but not vegetative reproduction. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Northern comandra is found in bogs and moist coniferous or deciduous woods [6,13,20,28]. It often occupies acid or sterile soils and damp sands [26]. In British Columbia, northern comandra is an indicator of continental boreal and cool temperate climates and nitrogen-poor soils. It is found in montane to subalpine coniferous forests [17]. In New England, northern comandra is found from sea level to 4,100 feet (1,200 m) elevation [15,29,40]. Populations in Montana are found in moist spruce (Picea spp.) forests, often bordering wetland areas, from 3,000 to 3,300 feet (900-1,000 m) elevation [20]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Northern comandra is found in both open and closed, mature white spruce and black spruce forests in Alaska that range in age from 70 to over 180 years [4,21,25]. Northern comandra often occupies bottomland spruce-hardwood forests on floodplains of the taiga of Alaska. It is found in balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) and black cottonwood (P. trichocarpa) stands with thick shrub understories that follow the initial shrub (alder and willow) stage after flooding. These stands are usually present for 20 to 100 years and are then replaced by white spruce if subsequent flooding has not occurred. Northern comandra persists through the spruce stage and can be found in closed white spruce stands with a thick feathermoss mat. Greatest cover is reached in later successional stages such as in open white spruce stands (250+ years old), and in black spruce stands on older terraces above the active floodplain [23,34]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Northern comandra flowers from May to August [9,13,28].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Little information is available on northern comandra fire survival strategies. It probably survives fire by sprouting from buried rhizomes. Since fires in riparian and mesic sites are often discontinuous, northern comandra may also colonize from unburned patches. Northern comandra is present in black spruce and jack pine woodlands that result from fire and have a fire return interval of less than 100 years, and often as little as 50 years [2,22,27]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Northern comandra is probably top-killed by most fires. Survival of rhizomes is dependent on depth of burial and fire severity. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Northern comandra is found in postfire communities in the taiga of interior Alaska. It may be present after fire in white spruce forests on floodplains and river terraces on sites that are well drained, or in black spruce forests that are poorly drained and underlain by permafrost. Northern comandra generally appears early in postfire succession, increases slowly, and reaches greatest cover in late successional, spruce-dominated forest. Mean percent frequency (f) and cover (c) of northern comandra in postfire communities on white spruce or black spruce sites follow [10]: White spruce Black spruce Stage Postfire YR f c Postfire YR f c _____________________________________________________________________ Newly burned 0-1 0 0 0-1 2 <0.5 Moss-herb 1-5 4 <0.5 1-5 2 <0.5 Tall shrub-sapling 3-30 9 <0.5 5-30 1 <0.5 Dense tree 26-45 0 0 30-55 28 1 Hardwood 46-150 6 <0.5 -- -- -- Mixed hardwood-spruce -- -- -- 56-90 23 1 Spruce 150-300+ 60 3 91-200+ 70 4 In northeast Alaska, northern comandra was present on one of four sites in postfire year 4 following the Porcupine River Fire of August, 1950. The fire had burned all or most of the undecomposed material present and was considered "severe" on the site where northern comandra was found. Northern comandra was present in postfire years 7 and 11, but was not reported in postfire years 23 or 31 [11]. Northern comandra had the following percent frequency and cover in severely burned stands after the Wickersham Dome Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska in June of 1971 [33]: Black spruce Aspen f c f c _________________________________________________________________ 1971 5 .05 -- -- 1972 10 .10 0 0 1973 15 .25 0 0 1974 5 .05 0 0 unburned control 90 2.60 20 .65 In postfire succession in white spruce, black spruce, and balsam fir (Abies balsamifera) stands on Isle Royale, Michigan, northern comandra increases with stand age. It remains relatively unimportant in stands less than 100 years old, then steadily increases until stands reach 200+ years of age [16]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Geocaulon lividum
REFERENCES : 1. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 2. Carroll, S. B.; Bliss, L. C. 1982. Jack pine - lichen woodland on sandy soils in northern Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta. Canadian Journal of Botany. 60: 2270-2282. [7283] 3. Daubenmire, Rexford. 1953. Notes on the vegetation of forested regions of the far northern Rockies and Alaska. Northwest Science. 27: 125-138. [10816] 4. Dyrness, C. T.; Grigal, D. F. 1979. Vegetation-soil relationships along a spruce forest transect in interior Alaska. Canadian Journal of Botany. 57: 2644-2656. [12488] 5. Dyrness, C. T.; Norum, Rodney A. 1983. The effects of experimental fires on black spruce forest floors in interior Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 13: 879-893. [7299] 6. Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L. 1988. The boreal forest. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Billings, William Dwight, eds. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press: 33-62. [13878] 7. Ellison, Laurence. 1966. Seasonal foods and chemical analysis of winter diet of Alaskan spruce grouse. Journal of Wildlife Management. 30(4): 729-735. [9735] 8. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 9. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2). [14935] 10. Foote, M. Joan. 1983. Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities after fire in the taiga of interior Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-307. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 108 p. [7080] 11. Foote, M. Joan. 1993. Revegetation following the 1950 Porcupine River Fire: 1950-1981. Fairbanks, AK: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Institute of Northern Forestry. 71 p. Review draft. [19874] 12. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 13. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329] 14. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168] 15. Hodgdon, A. R. 1974. Carex exilis, Geocaulon lividum and other plants of interest in Pittsburg, New Hampshire. Rhodora. 76(806): 307-309. [22489] 16. Janke, Robert A.; Lowther, John L. 1980. Post-fire succession in the boreal forest type of Isle Royale National Park. In: Proceedings, 2nd conference on scientific research in the National Parks; 1979 November 26-30; San Francisco, CA. Volume II. [Place of publication unknown]. The American Institute of Biological Sciences; U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 99-135. [19929] 17. Klinka, K.; Krajina, V. J.; Ceska, A.; Scagel, A. M. 1989. Indicator plants of coastal British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press. 288 p. [10703] 18. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 19. La Roi, George H. 1967. 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[University of Alaska, Fairbanks]: 109-136. [19933] 24. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 25. Reynolds, Keith M. 1990. Preliminary classification of forest vegetation of the Kenai Penninsula, Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-424. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 67 p. [14581] 26. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158] 27. Scotter, George W. 1962. Productivity of arboreal lichens and their possible importance to barren ground caribou (Rangifer arcticus). Arch. Soc. Fenn. Vanamo. 16: 155-161. [17022] 28. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604] 29. Stern, Roger. 1979. Geocaulon lividum in the Mahoosuc Range, New Hampshire and Maine. Rhodora. 81(825): 141-143. [22490] 30. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 31. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Region. 1988. Sensitive plant field guide [Montana]. Missoula, MT. [12279] 32. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 33. Viereck, L. A.; Dyrness, C. T. 1979. Ecological effects of the Wickersham Dome Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-90. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 71 p. [6392] 34. Viereck, L. A.; Dyrness, C. T.; Foote, M. J. 1993. An overview of the vegetation and soils of the floodplain ecosystems of the Tanana River, interior Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 23: 889-898. [21887] 35. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472] 36. Warrington, Patrick D. 1970. The haustorium of Geocaulon lividum; a root parasite of the Santalaceae. Canadian Journal of Botany. 48: 1669-1675. [22491] 37. West, Stephen D. 1982. Dynamics of colonization and abundance in central Alaskan populations of the northern red-backed vole, Clethrionomys rutilus. Journal of Mammalogy. 63(1): 128-143. [7300] 38. Youngblood, Andrew. 1993. Community type classification of forest vegetation in young, mixed stands, interior Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-458. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 42 p. [22029] 39. Zasada, J. 1986. Natural regeneration of trees and tall shrubs on forest sites in interior Alaska. In: Van Cleve, K.; Chapin, F. S., III; Flanagan, P. W.; [and others], eds. Forest ecosystems in the Alaska taiga: A synthesis of structure and function. New York: Springer-Verlag: 44-73. [2291] 40. Zika, Peter F. 1992. Contributions to the alpine flora of the northeastern United States. Rhodora. 94(877): 15-37. [18123] 41. Zika, Peter F.; Jenkins, Jerry C. 1992. Contributions to the flora of the Adirondacks, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 119(4): 442-445. [20903] 42. Young, Stephen M., editor. 1992. New York state rare plant status list. August 1992. Latham, NY: Department of Environmental Conservation, Divisison of Lands and Forests, Natural Heritage Program. 79 p. [22563] 43. Dibble, Alison C.; Campbell, Christopher S.; Tyler, Harry R., Jr.; Vickery, Barbara St. J. 1989. Maine's official list of endangered and threatened plants. Rhodora. 91(867): 244-269. [4258]


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