Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Geranium richardsonii


Introductory

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1994. Geranium richardsonii. 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 : GERRIC SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : GERI COMMON NAMES : Richardson's geranium Richardson's cranesbill white geranium TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of Richardson's geranium is Geranium richardsonii Fisch and Trautv. [26,28,40,59]]. It is a member of the Geraniaceae family. There are no recognized infrataxa. Richardson's geranium may hybridize with sticky geranium (G. viscosissimum) [20]. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Richardson's geranium is the most widespread native geranium (Geranium spp.) in North America [29,51]. It occurs from Alaska and the Yukon Territory south to California, Arizona, and New Mexico [30,59]. Richardson's geranium is also found in the Black Hills of South Dakota [25,30]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES41 Wet grasslands FRES44 Alpine STATES : AK AZ CA CO ID MT NV NM OR SD UT WA WY AB BC SK YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K005 Mixed conifer forest K007 Red fir forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K015 Western spruce - fir forest K016 Eastern ponderosa forest K017 Black Hills pine forest K018 Pine - Douglas-fir forest K019 Arizona pine forest K020 Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest K021 Southwestern spruce - fir forest K022 Great Basin pine forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K031 Oak - juniper woodlands K032 Transition between K031 and K037 K037 Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub K052 Alpine meadows and barren K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass K098 Northern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 63 Cottonwood 206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir 207 Red fir 209 Bristlecone pine 210 Interior Douglas-fir 211 White fir 216 Blue spruce 217 Aspen 218 Lodgepole pine 219 Limber pine 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 235 Cottonwood - willow 236 Bur oak 237 Interior ponderosa pine 239 Pinyon - juniper 241 Western live oak 243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer 256 California mixed subalpine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Richardson's geranium occurs in a wide variety of forested habitat types, as well as grassland, meadow, alpine, and riparian zones [4,14,54,59,60]. Richardson's geranium occurs in both climax and seral communities. It is a member of the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)-mixed conifer forest in the Sierra Nevada of California [3]. Richardson's geranium is abundant in the true pinyon-Rocky Mountain juniper (Pinus edulis-Juniperus scopulorum) habitat type of Utah [14]. It is an important understory species in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), blue spruce (P. pungens), white fir (A. concolor), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) habitat types of Arizona and New Mexico [1,18,35]. Richardson's geranium is a common understory species in subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce habitat types of the Intermountain West [6,31]. Richardson's geranium is found in seral quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)-dominated community types in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Montana [2,34,36,39]. In Wyoming, Richardson's geranium occurs in spruce/field horsetail (Picea spp./Equisetum arvense) and spruce/sweet-scented bedstraw (Galium triflorum) riparian community types [60]. In wet meadows of Utah, Richardson's geranium is codominant with western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) [23]. Richardson's geranium is a dominant understory species in the subalpine fir/mountain bluebells (Mertensia ciliata) habitat type and in aspen-dominated communities of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado [13]. In Canada, Richardson's geranium is a member of the subboreal, aspen-dominated spruce zone [44]. The following publication lists Richardson's geranium as a community dominant: A classification of forest habitat types of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado [13] Species not previously mentioned but commonly associated with Richardson's geranium include sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), willows (Salix spp.), black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa var. hastata), narrowleaf cottonwood (P. angustifolia), thinleaf alder (Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), boxelder (Acer negundo), alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana), Utah juniper (J. utahensis), Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum), Rocky Mountain maple (A. glabrum), dwarf bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), grouse whortleberry (V. scoparium), red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), rose (Rosa spp.), russet buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis), mountain snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus), shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa), common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus), California brome (Bromus carinatus), Letterman needlegrass (Stipa lettermanii), Arizona fescue (Festuca arizonica), mountain muhly (Muhlenbergia montana), Ross sedge (Carex rossii), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratense), western meadowrue (Thalictrum occidentale), northern bedstraw (Galium boreale), western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), and starry Solomon-seal (Smilacina stellata) [4,6,14,31,35,45].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Richardson's geranium is a valuable forage species for livestock, deer and elk [9,55]. It provides forage for mule deer in wet meadows of Utah [12]. In mixed conifer forests of Arizona, Richardson's geranium is an important forage species for deer and elk on logged and unlogged sites [55]. In Montana, Richardson's geranium is utilized by deer, elk, pronghorn, upland game birds, passerine birds, waterfowl, and small mammals [9]. PALATABILITY : Palatability of Richardson's geranium is rated good for sheep and fair for cattle and horses [9]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Richardson's geranium is rated good in nutritional value for elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer, poor for pronghorn and waterfowl, and fair for small mammals, small nongame birds, and upland game birds. Energy rating and protein content are poor [9]. Throughout the Intermountain region, nutritional value of Richardson's geranium is rated good to excellent for cattle and sheep during early growth stages, and poor to good in later growth stages [51]. COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Erosion control, short-term revegetation potential, and long-term revegetation potential are rated as medium for Richardson's geranium [9]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : The effects of clearcutting on wildlife habitat were studied in a moist subalpine forest in central Colorado. Percent understory cover of Richardson's geranium before and after clearcutting was [11]: before logging years after logging (1978-1982) (1976) 1 2 3 4 5 5.1 3.9 4.2 3.7 3.2 7.5 Richardson's geranium can withstand heavy grazing by cattle because of its stout woody taproot [51]. It is an increaser species and dominant forb on cattle-grazed rangelands in Utah. However, Richardson's geranium decreases on sheep-grazed rangelands [16]. Half of a 4-acre fenced plot in a subalpine grassland of central Utah was trapped from 1942 to 1950 to free it from pocket gophers. Pocket gophers in the other half were not disturbed. Richardson's geranium increased slightly in percent cover on sites where pocket gophers were present and also on sites where they were absent. Pocket gophers did not seem to influence the percent cover of Richardson's geranium [15].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Richardson's geranium is a native, perennial herb 12 to 36 inches (30-90 cm) tall [21,24,29,40]. It grows from a stout, simple or branched, sometimes rhizomatous caudex [21,28,42,58,59]. Young plants (1-3 years) generally do not have rhizomes; older plants develop rhizomes in the upper 2.8 to 4.0 inches (7-10 cm) of soil [21]. Rhizomes are 1.2 to 6.8 inches (3-17 cm) long and arise from a stout woody taproot [51,58]. Leaves are 1.2 to 6.0 inches (3-15 cm) wide and 2 to 12 inches (5-30 cm) long [24,26,40]. In addition to rhizomes, Richardson's geranium has a fibrous root system that can grow from 24 to 28 inches (60-70 cm) deep [21]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Richardson's geranium reproduces by seed and rhizomes [21,51,58]. Bees are common pollinators, and flower beetles may also pollinate Richardson's geranium. It is an active ballist; seed is throw 3.3 feet (1 m) or more from the parent plant. Flower beetles may aid in dispersal. Seed does not remain viable for more than one winter [21]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Richardson's geranium occurs in a variety of habitats including woodlands, forest openings, grasslands, meadows, and riparian areas such as stream terraces, alluvial benches, wet valley bottoms, and stream and lake margins [22,23,26,61]. It is most commonly found in moist areas [28,40,41,61]. Richardson's geranium grows best on moist to semiwet soils with good drainage [14,48,51]. It is moderately tolerant of drought [51]. It grows best on loam, sandy loam, and clayey loam soils derived from shale and limestone, but occurs on gravelly substrates as well [11,36,48,51]. Elevations for Richardson's geranium for several states are as follows: Arizona 6,500-12,000 feet (1,950-3,600 m) [30,33] California 3,960-8,900 feet (1,200-2,700 m) [26] Colorado 5,500-12,000 feet (1,650-3,600 m) [6,24] Idaho 5,900-10,500 feet (1,770-3,150 m) [61] Montana 2,880-7,400 feet (878-2,257 m) [22] New Mexico 8,000-11,800 feet (2,400-3,540 m) [1,13] Utah 5,725-10,675 feet (1,735-3,235 m) [51,59] Wyoming 5,900-10,500 feet (1,770-3,150 m) [61] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Richardson's geranium occurs in seral and climax communities. It is shade tolerant, but also grows in some open habitats [14,27,31,36]. It is a facultative wetland species in California [47], and a facultative upland species in Montana [9]. Richardson's geranium is a common understory species in aspen community types, which are usually successional to coniferous climax types in subalpine forests of Colorado and the Intermountain region [8,14,36,37]. Richardson's geranium is a member of aspen stands of northwestern Wyoming that are 81 to 120 years old [31]. It is a facultative species in aspen and Douglas-fir forests of Utah [14]. In Utah, Richardson's geranium is present in seral stands of lodgepole pine [12]. It is a member of the scrub climax and forest climax communities of the Black Hills [25]. Richardson's geranium occurs in mature to climax subalpine forests in Utah, which are dominated by subalpine fir and Engelmann spruce [64]. In Utah, Richardson's geranium is a chief invader of cattle-grazed rangelands [16]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Richardson's geranium flowering dates for several states are as follows: Arizona April-Oct [30] California July-Aug [40] Montana late July [34] Utah June-Aug [21] Great Plains May-Aug [20] In the Intermountain West, Richardson's geranium flowers in July and early August and seed matures in September [51]. In Oregon, seed is produced in the fall and germinates in March. Dormancy begins in the second or third week of August and is complete after the first frost, in late September [21].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Richardson's geranium has rhizomes which may produce new stems after fire [21,58]. Richardson's geranium is a member of moist or wet subalpine fir-Engelmann spruce habitat types in Idaho and Wyoming which have estimated average fire-free intervals of about 330. Stands are susceptible to severe burns when drought occurs [66]. Richardson's geranium also occurs in communities characterized by more frequent fire, including lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) [65], subalpine fir [67], and quaking aspen [63]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil Caudex, growing points in soil Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Richardson's geranium is probably top-killed by fire. In north-central Colorado, two quaking aspen stands containing some lodgepole pine were prescribed burned in November, 1981. Richardson's geranium was present before burning in both stands, but only in one stand in postfire year 1 [62]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Richardson's geranium may sprout from rhizomes following fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Since Richardson's geranium is considered an increaser species when grazed by cattle, fire plans to ensure Richardson's geranium seedling establishment or inhibition may have to be coordinated with grazing management.

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Geranium richardsonii
REFERENCES : 1. Alexander, Billy G., Jr.; Fitzhugh, E. Lee; Ronco, Frank, Jr.; Ludwig, John A. 1987. A classification of forest habitat types of the northern portion of the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-143. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p. [4207] 2. Allen, Robert B.; Peet, Robert K.; Baker, William L. 1991. Gradient analysis of latitudinal variation in Southern Rocky Mountain forests. Journal of Biogeography. 18(2): 123-138. [14875] 3. Anderson, R. Scott. 1990. Modern pollen rain w/i and adjacent to two giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) groves, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, California. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1289-1305. [15166] 4. Anderson, R. Scott; Shafer, David S. 1991. Holocene biogeography of spruce-fir forests in southeastern Arizona-- implications for the endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel. Madrono. 38(4): 287-295. [17107] 5. Arno, Stephen F. 1979. Forest regions of Montana. Res. Pap. INT-218. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 39 p. [340] 6. Baker, William L. 1989. Classification of the riparian vegetation of the montane and subalpine zones in western Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist. 49(2): 214-228. [7985] 7. 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] 8. Betters, David R. 1983. Overstory-understory relationships: aspen forests. In: Bartlett, E.T.; Betters, David R., eds. Overstory-understory relationships in Western forests. Western Regional Research Publication No. 1. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University Experiment Station: 5-8. [3309] 9. Boggs, Keith; Hansen, Paul; Pfister, Robert; Joy, John. 1990. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, Montana Riparian Association. 217 p. Draft Version 1. [8447] 10. Bradley, Anne F.; Fischer, William C.; Noste, Nonan V. 1992. Fire ecology of the forest habitat types of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-290. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 92 p. [19558] 11. Crouch, Glenn L. 1985. Effects of clearcutting a subalpine forest in central Colorado on wildlife habitat. Res. Pap. RM-258. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 12 p. [8225] 12. Deschamp, Joseph A.; Urness, Philip J.; Austin, Dennis D. 1979. Summer diets of mule deer from lodgepole pine habitats. 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H. 1903. Some ecological notes on the vegetation of the Uintah Mountains. In: Proceedings, Iowa Academy of Sciences. 10: 57-68. [16302] 44. Pojar, J.; Trowbridge, R.; Coates, D. 1984. Ecosystem classification and interpretation of the sub-boreal spruce zone, Prince Rupert Forest Region, British Columbia. Land Management Report No. 17. Victoria, BC: Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Forests. 319 p. [6929] 45. Pope, C. Arden, III; Wagstaff, Fred J. 1987. An economic evaluation of the Oak Creek Range Management Area, Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-224. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 14 p. [1906] 46. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 47. Reed, Porter B., Jr. 1988. National list of plant species that occur in wetlands: California (Region O). Biological Report 88(26.10). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 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