Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Hepatica acutiloba


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Pavek, Diane S. 1992. Hepatica acutiloba. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : HEPACU SYNONYMS : Hepatica nobilis Schreb. var. acuta SCS PLANT CODE : HENOA COMMON NAMES : sharp-lobed hepatica sharp-lobed liverleaf TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of sharp-lobed hepatica is Hepatica acutiloba DC. There has been disagreement in the literature about retaining this name. Steyermark and Steyermark [19] synonymized this entity as a form of Hepatica nobilis Schreb. var. acuta. However, other authors do not agree [6,16]. Five recognized forms are based on differences in leaf lobes and sepal color [6]: Hepatica acutiloba f. acutiloba R. Hoffm. Hepatica acutiloba f. diversiloba Raymond Hepatica acutiloba f. albiflora R. Hoffm. Hepatica acutiloba f. rosea R. Hoffm. Hepatica acutiloba f. plena Fern. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Sharp-lobed hepatica is found in most states east of the Mississippi River. Extending from Ontario, Quebec, and Maine [8,15,18], it proceeds south through the eastern United States to Missouri, Georgia, and Alabama [9,13,16]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES18 Maple - beech - birch STATES : AL CT GA ID IL IA KY ME MA MI MN NH NJ NY NC OH PA RI SC TN VT VA WV WI ON PQ BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K099 Maple - basswood forest K102 Beech - maple forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K106 Northern hardwoods K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest SAF COVER TYPES : 16 Aspen 24 Hemlock - yellow birch 25 Sugar maple - beech 26 Sugar maple - basswood 27 Sugar maple 28 Black cherry - maple 60 Beech - sugar maple 108 Red maple 109 Hawthorn SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Field guide to forest habitat types of northern Wisconsin [10].


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : NO-ENTRY PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : No food value is listed for sharp-lobed hepatica. A lipid-rich eliasome is attached to seeds which attracts ants and rodent herbivores [17]. COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Projects using sharp-lobed hepatica have not been found in the literature. However, as a rhizomatous perennial, it could be used as a soil stabilizer in shaded habitats. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Sharp-lobed hepatica is a small, native, rhizomatous perennial, 2 to 7 inches (5-18 cm) tall [18]. Three leaves arise from the plant base. Leaves are simple but deeply lobed. The three leaves are longer than they are wide, with acutely pointed lobe tips and indented (cordate) bases [6,15,18]. Long, hairy flowerstalks have a single small (0.05-0.1 inch [12-25 mm]) flower. Achenes are very hairy. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sharp-lobed hepatica sprouts from short rhizomes, producing small colonies [15,18]. Mature achenes form aggregates. Seeds are carried away from the parent plant by ants and rodents. Ant dispersal is most successful for establishment in young sparse populations. Seedling establishment is low in older dense populations of sharp-lobed hepatica [17]. Seeds have epicotyl dormancy which requires a warm stratification [1]. This is followed by a cold stratification of 2 to 3 months before cotyledons emerge [1]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Sharp-lobed hepatica is found on topography that varies from gently rolling hills to bluffs and outcroppings [3]. It occurs on soils of low fertility and low moisture-holding capacity (e.g. sandy loam) to calcareous moist upland woods [3,8]. Sharp-lobed hepatica is often found on north-facing wooded slopes [8]. Species associated with sharp-lobed hepatica are those found in upland mesic deciduous forests. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is often dominant with red elm (Ulmus rubra) and basswood (Tilia americana) [20]. Of the numerous herbaceous species, the dominant plants are eastern springbeauty (Claytonia virginica), catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine), recurved wakerobin (Trillium recurvatum), common mayapple (Podophyllum pedatum), and black snakeroot (Sanicula gregaria) [20]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Obligate Climax Series Sharp-lobed hepatica occurs in late-intermediate to early climax forests of sugar maple (Acer saccharum), basswood (Tilia americana), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), and white ash (Fraxinus americana) [4,20]. Daubenmire [4] also reported sharp-lobed hepatica present in subclimax associations of red oak (Quercus rubra), white oak (Quercus alba), and aspen (Populus tremuloides). Although an early vernal species, it is shade tolerant. It occurs infrequently; Brundrett and Kendrick [3] reported 0.22 percent importance value for sharp-lobed hepatica in Ontario forests. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Thick leaves are kept through the winter on this clonal perennial, allowing photosynthesis to begin quickly in the spring before the canopy closes [3]. With this physiological jump-start, sharp-lobed hepatica flowers from February to June throughout its range [6,8,9,13,16,18]. After flowering, the overwintering leaves become senescent, and new leaves are produced. The new leaves are more shade tolerant and, therefore, more efficient at light harvesting [3]. Seeds mature approximately 1 month after flowering [17]. Sharp-lobed hepatica remains green when all other herbs have senesced in the fall.


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Occurring in mixed mesophytic forest, sharp-lobed hepatica has evolved with fire. The degree of resistance sharp-lobed hepatica has to fire depends upon the protection its caudex and rhizomes receive from soil cover. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire effects have not been studied on sharp-lobed hepatica. It is probably top-killed by fire. Rhizomes probably would survive. Seedlings most likely would be killed. If the lipid sack (eliasome) attached to the seed burns, the seed probably dies. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Fire severity and rooting depth of caudex and rhizomes control the recovery of sharp-lobed hepatica. Surviving rhizomes probably sprout and produce leaves postfire. Sharp-lobed hepatica grows vigorously in sparsely vegetated areas with freed nutrients (e.g., ant hills high in nitrogen and phosphorus) [17]. It probably will flower and produce seed in the first postfire year. Long-term postfire recovery should be fairly successful. Sharp-lobed hepatica reproduces vegetatively by short rhizomes, ensuring on-site colony growth. Sexual reproduction results in seeds that are readily transported by ants and rodents, which ensures wide areas of dispersal [17]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Hepatica acutiloba
REFERENCES : 1. Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C. 1985. Epicotyl dormancy in seeds of Cimicifuga racemosa and Hepatica acutiloba. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 112(3): 253-257. [18960] 2. 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] 3. Brundrett, Mark C.; Kendrick, Bryce. 1988. The mycorrhizal status, root anatomy, and phenology of plants in a sugar maple forest. Canadian Journal of Botany. 66(6): 1153-1173. [14483] 4. Daubenmire, Rexford F. 1936. The "big woods" of Minnesota: its structure, and relation to climate, fire, and soils. Ecological Monographs. 6(2): 233-268. [2697] 5. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 6. 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] 7. 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] 8. Gleason, Henry A. 1952. Illustrated flora of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Vol. 2. Choripetalous Dicotyledoneae. Lancaster, PA: Lancaster Press, Inc. 655 p. [18962] 9. Jones, G. N.; Fuller, G. D. 1955. Vascular plants of Illinois. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. 593 p. [18964] 10. Kotar, John; Kovach, Joseph A.; Locey, Craig T. 1988. Field guide to forest habitat types of northern Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Forestry; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 217 p. [11510] 11. 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] 12. 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] 13. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606] 14. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 15. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Ottawa, Canada: National Museums of Canada. (4 volumes). [18143] 16. 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] 17. Smith, Brent H.; Forman, Paul D.; Boyd, Amy E. 1989. Spatial patterns of seed dispersal and predation of two myrmecochorous forest herbs. Ecology. 70(6): 1649-1656. [15861] 18. Steyermark, J. A. 1963. Flora of Missouri. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 1725 p. [18144] 19. Steyermark, J. A.; Steyermark, C. S. 1960. Hepatica in North America. Rhodora. 62: 223-232. [18965] 20. Struik, Gwendolyn J.; Curtis, J. T. 1962. Herb distribution in an Acer saccharum forest. American Midland Naturalist. 68(2): 285-296. [18966] 21. 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]

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