Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Trifolium repens


Introductory

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1993. Trifolium repens. 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 : TRIREP SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : TRRE3 COMMON NAMES : white clover Dutch white clover TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for white clover is Trifolium repens L. [14,32]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : White clover has a circumboreal distribution. It was introduced in North America from Europe and has naturalized throughout Canada and the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska [12,15,41]. ECOSYSTEMS : White clover occurs in most ecosystems. STATES : AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY AB BC MB NT NS ON PQ SK YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower 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 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : White clover occurs in most Kuchler Plant Associations. SAF COVER TYPES : White clover occurs in most SAF Cover Types. SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : White clover is an introduced species and is therefore not used in habitat typing. It has, however, naturalized across North America is often a major understory species in aspen (Populus tremuloides) communities in the West [30].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : White clover is an excellent forage plant for livestock and wildlife [15,20]. The leaves and flowers are grazed by grizzly bear, moose, mule, white-tailed deer, and blue grouse [2,18,21,26]. It comprises nearly 6 percent of the annual forage of the white-footed vole [37]. The seeds are eaten by the northern bobwhite, bufflehead, American coot, sage grouse, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, horned lark, mallard, gray partridge, greater prairie chicken, willow ptarmigan, American pintail, California quail, and American robin [13]. PALATABILITY : Palatability ratings for white clover are as follows [7]: UT CO WY MT ND cattle good good good good good sheep good good good good good horses good good fair good good NUTRITIONAL VALUE : White clover is highly nutritious to cattle [15]. The leaves are high-quality feed, and, on a dry-weight basis are high in protein and carbohydrates [6,11]. COVER VALUE : The cover value for white clover has been rated as follows [7]: UT WY MT ND elk poor poor ---- ---- mule deer poor poor ---- ---- white-tailed deer ---- poor ---- ---- pronghorn poor ---- ---- ---- upland game birds poor ---- ---- ---- waterfowl poor ---- good good small nongame birds poor ---- ---- ---- small mammals poor ---- ---- ---- VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : White clover is a common component of reclamation mixes in Canada and the United States [15]. It is commonly used for corridor reclamation on seismic lines and pipeline rights-of-way in Alberta. It has been successfully used to revegetate acid coal mine wastes in New Brunswick. White clover had good performance when seeded on disturbed sites above 5,500 feet (1,650 m) in southeastern British Columbia but gave poor results when seeded on some alpine sites in Colorado. At other alpine locations in Colorado, white clover was difficult to establish but performed well on moist sites at 11,760 feet (3,530 m) elevation [39]. White clover is used on minespoils in the eastern United States to provide plant diversity, especially in food patches or openings planted for wildlife [36]. Because white clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant, it is often included in grass mixtures or grass-forb mixtures [5,16]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : White clover is used extensively by bees to produce honey [33]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : White clover is normally used to provide a source of nitrogen for a sown companion grass such as smooth brome (Bromus inermis), timothy (Phleum pratense), or orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata) while itself yielding herbage rich in protein [1]. In southeastern United States rangelands, grass forages grown with white clover average as high as or higher than monospecific grass forage fertilized at nitrogen rates up to 300 pounds/acre (336 kg/ha). The inclusion of white clover also increases the calcium concentration of the forage compared to grass alone. Including a legume such as white clover in a forage mixture probably offers more opportunity to increase forage nutritional yield than any other practice generally available [28,38]. Spring mowing may decrease grass vigor and enhance growth of white clover. Where midsummer mowing increases grass vigor, white clover declines due to increased competition [1].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : White clover is a cool-season perennial forb. It produces stolons that root at the nodes. The leaves are located along the creeping stems. The small seeds have a hard seed coat [11,32,40]. A tap root develops in young plants and persists from less than 1 year to 2 years. The majority of the roots are shallow and fibrous, forming at stolon nodes [1]. Most of the roots of white clover are in the top 4 to 10 inches (10-25 cm) of the soil [1]. Some roots occur as deep as 24 inches (60 cm). Roots of at least one cultivar can penetrate up to 5 feet (1.5 m), depending on soil texture and structure [40]. Harberd [42] reported that most white clover clones live about 20 years, but some may live to 100 or more years of age. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : White clover reproduces by seed and by stoloniferous stems [15]. The seeds are dispersed by wind, water, birds, and grazing animals [4,11,38]. Hull [17] reported that seeds stored for 25 years in unheated sheds had a germination rate of 73 percent. In at least one cultivar, the taproot supports vegetative regrowth [1]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : White clover can grow in a wide range of soil and moisture conditions but grows best in the humid areas of the temperate zone [39]. It is found along roads, in meadows, and in wooded areas [12]. White clover grows on well drained or poorly drained soils but optimal growth occurs on moist, deep soils with 0 to 8 percent slope. It is not tolerant of drought, excess water, or soils that are saline, highly alkaline, or acid [11]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Faculative Seral Species White clover thrives in full sunlight and declines as grass cover increases. It will grow in partial shade of aspen and oak woodlands [38]. White clover rapidly invades canopy gaps [25]. In a study of oldfield-deciduous forest succession in southwestern Ohio, white clover was present on sites 2, 10, and 50 years after disturbance but not present on sites that were 90 or more years old [35]. In British Columbia, white clover is one of the first plants to colonize river gravel bars [10]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : White clover begins new growth in early to midspring, later in higher elevations and latitudes. It flowers from May to July or throughout the summer in cool, moist areas but becomes semidormant under hot, dry conditions. The seeds mature about 3 to 4 weeks after flowering [36].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Information regarding white clover survival following fire is lacking in the literature. White clover is probably a decreaser following fire since most of its growing parts are above ground and fire would quickly defoliate these aboveground parts [3]. White clover probably regenerates following fire via soil-stored seed. It may also sprout from the taproot and/or caudex [19,23]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community) Surface rhizome/chamaephytic root crown Caudex, growing points in soil

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : The stolons of white clover are killed by fire. If fire occurs in a young population, where taproots are still vigorous, plants may resprout, although probably with reduced vigor. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : Where fire enhances grass cover, the increase competition may reduce cover of white clover further. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Very little information about how white clover responds to fire was given in the literature. Following mid-May precribed burning of a Wisconsin oldfield being reclaimed to bluestem (Andropogon spp.) prairie, white clover frequency was 4 percent. Frequency was 1 percent on control and 6 percent on mowed plots [43]. Johnson [19] reported that white clover seeds germinated on both burned and unburned plots in central Iowa. After white clover was planted on the Sleeping Child Burn in western Montana, it was present in postfire year 3 but was not present in successional years [24]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Trifolium repens
REFERENCES : 1. Aldrich, D. T. A.; Anslow, R. C.; Boyce, R.; [and others]. 1972. White clover (Trifolium repens). Commonwealth Bureau of Pastures and Field Bulletin. 49: 347-369. [22365] 2. Almack, Jon. 1986. Grizzly bear habitat use, food habits, and movements in the Selkirk Mountains, northern Idaho. In: Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium; 1985 April 30 - May 2; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 150-157. [10815] 3. Anderson, Roger C. 1972. The use of fire as a management tool on the Curtis Prairie. Arboretum News. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin; 21(3): 1-9. [18377] 4. Barrett, Juliana Panos; Silander, John A., Jr. 1992. Seedling recruitment limitation in white clover (Trifolium repens; Leguminosae). American Journal of Botany. 79(6): 643-649. [18733] 5. Bormann, Bernard T. 1988. A masterful scheme: Symbiotic nitrogen-fixing plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Arboretum Bulletin. 51(2): 10-14. [6796] 6. Cook, C. Wayne. 1966. Carbohydrate reserves in plants. Utah Research Series No. 31. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]. 47 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. [20962] 7. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806] 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. Fyles, J. W.; Bell, M. A. 1986. Vegetation colonizing river gravel bars in the Rocky Mountains of southeastern British Columbia. Northwest Science. 60(1): 8-14. [5981] 10. 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] 11. Gibson, P. B.; Cope, W. A. 1985. White clover. In: Clover science and technology. Agronomy Monograph No. 25. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America. 25: 471-490. [22366] 12. 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] 13. Graham, Edward H. 1941. Legumes for erosion control and wildlife. Misc. Publ. 412. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 153 p. [10234] 14. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603] 15. Hardy BBT Limited. 1989. Manual of plant species suitability for reclamation in Alberta. 2d ed. Report No. RRTAC 89-4. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council. 436 p. [15460] 16. Helvey, J. D.; Fowler, W. B. 1979. Grass seeding and soil erosion in a steep, logged area in northeastern Oregon. PNW-343. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [7253] 17. Hull, A. C., Jr. 1973. Germination of range plant seeds after long periods of uncontrolled storage. Journal of Range Management. 26(3): 198-200. [18728] 18. Irwin, Larry L. 1985. Foods of moose, Alces alces, and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, on a burn in boreal forest. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(2): 240-245. [4513] 19. Johnson, Louise Adele. 1987. The effect of fires at different times of the year vegetative and sexual reproduction of grasses, and on establishment of seedlings. Ames, IA: Iowa State University. 91 p. Thesis. [20303] 20. Kauffman, J. Boone; Krueger, W. C.; Vavra, M. 1983. Effects of late season cattle grazing on riparian plant communities. Journal of Range Management. 36(6): 685-691. [16965] 21. King, R. Dennis; Bendell, James F. 1982. Foods selected by blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus fuliginosus). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 60(12): 3268-3281. [10169] 22. 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] 23. Livingston, R. B.; Allessio, Mary L. 1968. Buried viable seed in successional field and forest stands, Harvard Forest, Massachusetts. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 95(1): 58-69. [3377] 24. Lyon, L. Jack. 1976. Vegetal development on the Sleeping Child burn in western Montana, 1961 to 1973. Res. Pap. INT-184. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 24 p. [138] 25. Matlack, G. R.; Gibson, D. J.; Good, R. E. 1993. Clonal propagation, local disturbance, and the structure of vegetation: Ericaceous shrubs in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Biological Conservation. 63: 1-8. [20098] 26. Olson, Rich. 1992. Mule deer habitat requirements and management in Wyoming. B-965. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, Cooperative Extension Service. 15 p. [20679] 27. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 28. Rumbaugh, M. D. 1983. Legumes--their use in wildland plantings. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers. Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats: Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24; Elko, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 115-122. [16104] 29. Schmidt, F. J. W. 1936. Winter food of the sharp-tailed grouse and pinnated grouse in Wisconsin. Wilson Bulletin. September: 186-203. [16729] 30. Severson, Kieth E.; Thilenius, John F. 1976. Classification of quaking aspen stands in the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains. Res. Pap. RM-166. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 24 p. [2111] 31. 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] 32. Stubbendiek, James; Conard, Elverne C. 1989. Common legumes of the Great Plains: an illustrated guide. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. 330 p. [11049] 33. Stubbendieck, James; Nichols, James T.; Butterfield, Charles H. 1989. Nebraska range and pasture forbs and shrubs (including succulent plants). Extension Circular 89-118. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Nebraska Cooperative Extension. 153 p. [10168] 34. 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] 35. Vankat, John L.; Snyder, Gary W. 1991. Floristics of a chronosequence corresponding to old field - deciduous forest succession in southwestern Ohio. I. Undisturbed vegetation. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 118(4): 365-376. [18759] 36. Voth, Elver H.; Maser, Chris; Johnson, Murray L. 1983. Food habits of Arborimus albipes, the white-footed vole, in Oregon. Northwest Science. 57(1): 1-7. [9122] 38. Wasser, Clinton H. 1982. Ecology and culture of selected species useful in revegetating disturbed lands in the West. FWS/OBS-82/56. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 347 p. [4837] 39. Watson, L. E.; Parker, R. W.; Polster, D. F. 1980. Manual of plant species suitablity for reclamation in Alberta. Vol. 2. Forbs, shrubs and trees. Edmonton, AB: Land Conservation and Reclamation Council. 537 p. [8855] 40. Wheeler, W. A.; Hill, D. D. 1957. Grassland seeds. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. 628 p. [18902] 41. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944] 42. Harberd, D. J. 1963. Observations on natural clones of Trifolium repens L. New Phytology. 62: 198-204. [22500] 43. Diboll, Neil. 1986. Mowing as an alternative to spring burning for control of cool season exotic grasses in prairie grass plantings. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 204-209. [3574]


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