SPECIES: Amelanchier alnifolia

Introductory

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia
William R. Hewlett  California Academy of Sciences
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Fryer, Janet L. 1997. Amelanchier alnifolia. 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 : AMEALN SYNONYMS : Amelanchier florida Lind. [53] = A. alnifolia var. semiintegrifolia (Hook) C.L. Hitch. [51,52] A. pallida Greene [55] = A. alnifolia var. pallida (Greene) Jepson [51] SCS PLANT CODE : AMAL2 AMALA AMALC AMALH AMALP2 AMALS COMMON NAMES : Saskatoon serviceberry western serviceberry TAXONOMY : The scientific name of Saskatoon serviceberry is Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. (Rosaceae) [42,51,53,55,67,88,103]. Currently recognized varieties include: A. a. var. alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex M. Roemer Saskatoon serviceberry A. a. var. cusickii (Fern.) C.L. Hitch. Cusick's serviceberry A. a. var. humptulipensis (G.N. Jones) C.L. Hitch. [52,55] Saskatoon serviceberry A. a. var. pumila (Nutt.) Nelson [50,51] dwarf serviceberry A. a. var. semiintegrifolia (Hook.) C.L. Hitch. [51,52,55] Pacific serviceberry Serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.) intergrade and hybridize readily, making species identification difficult [47,52,103]. Saskatoon serviceberry has been successfully crossed with many other species of serviceberry in the laboratory. Intergradation of Saskatoon serviceberry and other serviceberries across the West suggests that such hybridization also occurs in the field [103]. Intergradation and hybridization between Saskatoon serviceberry and low serviceberry (A. humilis) is particularly strong [42,67]. Amelasorbus jackii Rehd. is a hybrid of Saskatoon serviceberry and Greene mountain-ash (Sorbus scopulina) [67]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY



DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Saskatoon serviceberry is distributed from east-central California north to southern Alaska; east to Ontario and southwestern Quebec; and south to southern Colorado and Utah [31,44,52,53,66,88]. Varieties of Saskatoon serviceberry overlap in distribution. Their geographical ranges are as follows: The typical variety of Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia var. alnifolia) occurs from southern Alaska south to southern Oregon, mostly east of the Cascade Range, and east to the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Amelanchier alnifolia var. humptulipensis occurs on the western slope of the Cascade Range in British Columbia and Washington [52]. Cusick's serviceberry is distributed on the east slope of the Cascade Range from British Columbia to Oregon and east in the Rocky Mountains to Wyoming [52]. Dwarf serviceberry is distributed from southeastern Washington south to northeastern California and east to Montana and Colorado [51,52]. Pacific serviceberry is distributed west of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges from central California to Alaska and east to northern Idaho and western Montana [21,51,52]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White-red-jack pine FRES11 Spruce-fir FRES15 Oak-hickory FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood FRES19 Aspen-birch FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES22 Western white pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon-juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie STATES : AK CA CO ID IA MN MT NE NV ND OR SD UT WA WI WY AB BC MB NT 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 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 : K001 Spruce-cedar-hemlock forest K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest K003 Silver fir-Douglas-fir forest K004 Fir-hemlock forest K005 Mixed conifer forest K006 Redwood forest K007 Red fir forest K008 Lodgepole pine-subalpine forest K010 Ponderosa shrub forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K013 Cedar-hemlock-pine forest K014 Grand fir-Douglas-fir forest K015 Western spruce-fir forest K016 Eastern ponderosa forest K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest K020 Spruce-fir-Douglas-fir forest K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland K024 Juniper steppe woodland K026 Oregon oakwoods K028 Mosaic of K002 and K026 K029 California mixed evergreen forest K033 Chaparral K034 Montane chaparral K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub K038 Great Basin sagebrush K055 Sagebrush steppe K056 Wheatgrass-needlegrass shrubsteppe K063 Foothills prairie K074 Bluestem prairie K081 Oak savanna K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100 K093 Great Lakes spruce-fir forest K095 Great Lakes pine forest K098 Northern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 1 Jack pine 12 Black spruce 16 Aspen 42 Bur oak 63 Cottonwood 107 White spruce 204 Black spruce 206 Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir 207 Red fir 210 Interior Douglas-fir 211 White fir 212 Western larch 213 Grand fir 215 Western white pine 216 Blue spruce 217 Aspen 218 Lodgepole pine 219 Limber pine 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 222 Black cottonwood-willow 224 Western hemlock 225 Western hemlock-Sitka spruce 226 Coastal true fir-hemlock 227 Western redcedar-western hemlock 228 Western redcedar 229 Pacific Douglas-fir 230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock 232 Redwood 233 Oregon white oak 234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone 236 Bur oak 237 Interior ponderosa pine 239 Pinyon-juniper 243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer 244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir 245 Pacific ponderosa pine 247 Jeffrey pine 248 Knobcone pine 256 California mixed subalpine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : 101 Bluebunch wheatgrass 102 Idaho fescue 103 Green fescue 104 Antelope bitterbrush-bluebunch wheatgrass 105 Antelope bitterbrush-Idaho fescue 107 Western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass 109 Ponderosa pine shrubland 110 Ponderosa pine-grassland 203 Riparian woodland 208 Ceanothus mixed chaparral 209 Montane shrubland 210 Bitterbrush 301 Bluebunch wheatgrass-blue grama 302 Bluebunch wheatgrass-Sandberg bluegrass 303 Bluebunch wheatgrass-western wheatgrass 304 Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass 305 Idaho fescue-Richardson needlegrass 314 Big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass 315 Big sagebrush-Idaho fescue 316 Big sagebrush-rough fescue 317 Bitterbrush-bluebunch wheatgrass 318 Bitterbrush-Idaho fescue 319 Bitterbrush-rough fescue 320 Black sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass 321 Black sagebrush-Idaho fescue 322 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany-bluebunch wheatgrass 401 Basin big sagebrush 402 Mountain big sagebrush 403 Wyoming big sagebrush 405 Black sagebrush 409 Tall forb 411 Aspen woodland 412 Juniper-pinyon woodland 413 Gambel oak 415 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany 416 True mountain-mahogany 417 Littleleaf mountain-mahogany 419 Bittercherry 420 Snowbrush 421 Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose 422 Riparian 504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland 509 Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association 601 Bluestem prairie 606 Wheatgrass-bluestem-needlegrass 607 Wheatgrass-needlegrass 608 Wheatgrass-grama-needlegrass 608 Wheatgrass-grama-needlegrass 609 Wheatgrass-grama 611 Blue grama-buffalograss 612 Sagebrush-grass 805 Riparian HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Saskatoon serviceberry is common in lower-elevation coniferous forests [91]. It also occurs in montane chaparral [14,21], mountain shrub [91,103], and the upper limits of pinyon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus spp.) communities [91]. In plains grasslands it mostly occurs in wooded draws, grassland-woodland interfaces, and riparian zones [39]. Associated species: Riparian - Saskatoon serviceberry is common in riparian areas throughout its distribution. Riparian associates in the Northern Rocky Mountains include white alder (Alnus rhombifolia) [75], hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), bitter cherry (P. emarginata), Greene mountain-ash, and elderberry (Sambucus spp.) [1]. Montana chaparral - Associates in montane chaparral of California include creeping snowberry (Symphoricarpos mollis), Sierra currant (Ribes nevadensis), Sierra gooseberry (R. roezlii), California rose (Rosa californica), Sierra plum (P. subcordata), Sierra mountain-misery (Chamaebatia foliolosa), and conifer saplings, especially ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) [14]. Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) - Mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.), chokecherry, and snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp.) are common associates throughout the Gambel oak type [21]. Associates in Gambel oak/Saskatoon serviceberry habitat types of Colorado include Oregon-grape (Mahonia repens), chokecherry, mountain snowberry (S. oreophilis), and elk sedge (Carex geyeri) [4]. Pinyon-juniper - Common associates include singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Utah juniper (J. osteosperma), bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), Stansbury cliffrose (P. mexicana var. stansburiana), and curlleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) [107]. Associates in singleleaf pinyon/Saskatoon serviceberry communities in southeastern Nevada include greenleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), black sagebrush (A. nova), rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), Gambel oak, and Stansbury phlox (Phlox stansburyi) [15]. Bur oak (Q. macrocarpa) - In Bur oak/chokecherry woodland of North Dakota, associates of Saskatoon serviceberry include green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), western snowberry (S. occidentalis), and northern bedstraw (Galium boreale) [39,40]. Colorado - Associates in bigtooth aspen (Populus angustifolia)/Saskatoon serviceberry habitat types include Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), water birch (Betula occidentalis), and mountain snowberry. Associates in blue spruce (Picea pungens)/Saskatoon serviceberry types include red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), elk sedge, Thurber fescue (Festuca thurberi), and Lapland cornel (Cornus suecica) [4]. Alaska - Saskatoon serviceberry is uncommon in Alaska [53]. Associates in white spruce-black spruce-quaking aspen (Picea glauca-P. mariana-Populus tremuloides) on the Kenai Peninsula include paper birch (B. papyrifera), Bebb willow (Salix bebbiana), Scouler willow (S. scouleriana), bog birch (B. glandulosa), and Greene mountain-ash [89]. Publications describing plant habitat or community types in which Saskatoon serviceberry is dominant follow. Classification of the forest vegetation of Colorado by habitat type and community type [4] Preliminary plant associations of the southern Oregon Cascade Mountain Province [12] Vegetation and soils of the Pine and Mathews Canyon watersheds [15] (NV) Sagebrush-steppe habitat types in northern Colorado: a first approximation [36] Grassland, shrubland, and forestland habitat types of the White River-Arapaho National Forest [50] Forest vegetation of the Gunnison and parts of the Uncompahgre National Forests: a preliminary habitat type classification [58] Aspen community types of the Intermountain Region [76] The Quercus garryana forests of the Willamette Valley, Oregon [96]

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Saskatoon serviceberry is a valuable wildlife plant. Wild ungulates browse twigs and foliage; fur and game mammals such as black bear, beaver, and hares consume twigs, foliage, fruits, and bark. Upland game birds consume the fruits and buds, and many species of rodents and songbirds eat the fruits [20,41,72,101]. Where available in quantity, Saskatoon serviceberry is often a primary or important component of the winter diet of big game species. In Montana, utilization of Saskatoon serviceberry browse was heaviest during periods of deep snow. Second heaviest use was in spring. All big game species, including mountain goat and bighorn sheep, utilized Saskatoon serviceberry. Elk would often browse all available twigs before moving to another area [48]. In Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota, bison browsed Saskatoon serviceberry and used the wooded draws in which it grows for cover [78]. PALATABILITY : Saskatoon serviceberry browse is palatable to all wild and domestic ungulate species [30,84]. It is not among the most preferred browse species, but ungulates consume a considerable amount of it when plentiful. In a feeding trial with captive mule deer in Logan, Utah, Saskatoon serviceberry was ranked 11th in preference out of 14 winter browse species, with 1 being the most preferred species [87]. Palatability has been rated as follows [30,84]: cattle fair to good domestic goats good domestic sheep fair to good mule deer fair to good horses poor to fair Although Saskatoon serviceberry is often a primary component of winter diets [65,84], ungulates normally consume a variety of other shrubs as well. A diet consisting solely of Saskatoon serviceberry can be fatal due to presence of cyanogenic glycosides [70,82]. The glycosides are highly concentrated in young twigs and least concentrated in older leaves. Captive mule deer fed only fresh, winter-collected Saskatoon serviceberry twigs died within a week [82]. Quinton [82] speculated that a winter diet of over 35 percent Saskatoon serviceberry would be fatal to mule deer. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Browse: Nutritional content of fresh Saskatoon serviceberry twigs and leaves (collected at time of flowering) averaged [77]: twigs leaves _____ ______ ash (%) 2.8 8.5 crude fiber (%) 34.8 14.8 ether extract (%) 3.4 6.2 N-free extract (%) 53.5 59.6 protein (digestible, N X 6.25) cattle 2.6 7.2 domestic goats 1.7 6.7 horses 2.2 6.8 rabbits 2.9 7.1 domestic sheep 2.1 7.1 calcium --- 2.32 magnesium --- 0.47 Comparing winter nutrient and fiber content of Saskatoon serviceberry over widely scattered geographical areas of western Colorado, Kufeld and others [60] concluded that variation in protein, carbohydrate, and fiber was small enough to assume constant values for those parameters when calculating nutritional status of big game rangelands. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, Saskatoon serviceberry was found to provide adequate nutrition for white-tailed deer in all seasons. Digestibility for white-tailed deer was 48 percent in spring and 54 percent in winter (in-vitro, oven-dry basis). Seasonal variation in nutritional content of Saskatoon serviceberry is shown below [28]. ___________________________________________________________________________ Nutritional | Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter| Component |_______________|_______________|_______________|_______| | leaves|stems | leaves|stems | leaves|stems | stems | __________________|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______| crude protein (%) | 18.5 | 13.6 | 12.3 | 6.7 | 6.2 | 6.4 | 7.0 | carbohydrates (%) | | | | | | | | ADF | 18.7 | 32.0 | 22.3 | 42.7 | 29.8 | 44.4 | 43.6 | ADL | 7.4 | 6.9 | 9.8 | 15.7 | 15.2 | 19.7 | 20.1 | Cellulose | 13.2 | 24.8 | 12.2 | 22.0 | 13.3 | 25.6 | 21.0 | ash (%) | 6.6 | 5.8 | 6.0 | 4.2 | 5.3 | 3.5 | 3.6 | Ca (%) | 1.1 | 1.3 | 1.2 | 1.6 | 1.5 | 1.6 | 1.5 | P (%) | 0.6 | 0.3 | 0.4 | 0.1 | 0.4 | 0.1 | 0.2 | energy (cal/g) | 4,862 | 4,746 | 4,916 | 4,770 | 4,999 | 4,922 | 4,793 | __________________|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______|_______| ADF - acid-detergent fiber ADL - acid-detergent lignin Asherin [10,11] compared nutritional content of Saskatoon serviceberry on two burned and two unburned control sites near Avery, Idaho. He found Saskatoon serviceberry twigs on burned sites contained more crude protein and less crude fiber than twigs on unburned sites. Twigs were collected during winter dormancy. Two watersheds were used as study sites: one with 1- and 2-year-old prescribed burns, and one with a 3-year-old prescribed burn. Mean percent nutritional content of twigs was as follows [10,11]: Site 1 Site 1 Site 1 Site 2 Site 2 control 1-yr-old burn 2-yr-old burn control 3-yr-old burn _______ _____________ _____________ _______ _____________ moisture 55.09 51.90* 54.42 56.30 53.50* crude protein 9.14 9.28 10.04* 9.44 9.48 crude fiber 27.95 26.74* 27.16 26.39 25.20* ash 2.84 2.77 2.95 2.86 2.79 N-free extract 57.63 57.88 57.90 58.69 59.28 calcium 1.07 0.91* 1.17* 1.10 1.08 phosphorus 0.16 0.15 0.16 0.17 0.15* C:P ratio 6.7:1 6.0:1* 7.2:1 6.5:1 7.1:1* ______________________________________________________________________________ *significantly different from the control (p = 0.01) Fruits: Nutritional content of Saskatoon serviceberry fruits collected in northern Ontario follows [100]. Percent _______ moisture 75.20 dry matter 24.80 fat 0.28 protein 1.51 soluble carbohydrate 11.36 COVER VALUE : The degree to which Saskatoon serviceberry provides cover for wildlife has been rated as follows [30]: CO MT ND UT WY Pronghorn ---- ---- ---- poor poor Elk fair poor ---- fair poor Mule deer good fair good good fair White-tailed deer poor good ---- ---- fair Small mammals good fair ---- good good Small nongame birds good fair good good good Upland game birds good fair good good fair Waterfowl ---- ---- ---- poor poor VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Saskatoon serviceberry is used for reclamation [48] and for wildlife, watershed, and shelterbelt plantings [33]. It can be started from seed or vegetative cuttings. Seed collection, processing, and germination techniques are reviewed by Brinkman [20]. Hermesh and Cole [48] review procedures for starting Saskatoon serviceberry from cuttings. Saskatoon serviceberry has been successfully planted on burned sites [29,91]. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, Saskatoon serviceberry and other browse species were transplanted on 30-year-old burn and open-grown, mature ponderosa pine sites . Establishment and 10-year survival of bareroot Saskatoon serviceberry nursery stock was rated "fair" on both sites; growth was rated "poor" on both sites [29]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Saskatoon serviceberry is planted as an ornamental and to produce commercial fruit crops. The fruits are added to pastries and used for making jelly or syrup [31]. Several cultivars of Saskatoon serviceberry have been developed [35]. Native Americans used Saskatoon serviceberry wood to make arrow shafts, spears, and digging sticks. They made a tea, used for treating colds, by boiling the branches [44]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Control: It may be desirable to control Saskatoon serviceberry on conifer plantations [74]. Glyphosate or triclopyr ester give good control of serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.). Even with several treatments, 2,4-D gives only poor to fair control [104].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Saskatoon serviceberry is a native, deciduous shrub or small tree reaching 3 to 26 feet (1-8 m) at maturity. Grown alone, the crown is rounded with spreading to erect branches [51]. Growth form is highly variable, however; Saskatoon serviceberry often forms thickets, mats, or grows in clumps [48]. The flowers and fruits are borne in terminal clusters; the fruits are berrylike pomes. Each fruit contains 4 to 10 small seeds, some of which are usually infertile. The seedcoat is leathery in texture [20]. Underground portions of Saskatoon serviceberry include a massive root crown, horizontal and vertical rhizomes, and an extensive root system [19,101]. Bradley [19] reported that the root crown a 9-year-old individual excavated in Pattee Canyon, Montana, measured 4 inches (10.5 cm) in diameter and 8 inches (20.7 cm) in length. Rhizomes extending from the root crown were long and massive; horizontal rhizomes reached at least 7.8 inches (20 cm) and vertical rhizomes extended at least 30.4 inches (78 cm). Roots of a 12-inch-tall (30 cm) Saskatoon serviceberry excavated in Idaho extended 32 inches (80 cm) below ground [105]. Saskatoon serviceberry is relatively short lived. Lonner (cited in [48]) reported that in western Montana, 61 percent of 470 plants were between 6 and 20 years old (mean = 17.9). The oldest individual was 85. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Saskatoon serviceberry reproduces from seed, by sprouting from the root crown and/or rhizomes, and by layering [19,20,35,95]. Vegetative reproduction by sprouting is most common. On four western Montana sites, Hemmer [48] found that over 90 percent of new stems sampled were sprouts from previously existing plants. On two burns, all sprouts originated from root crowns. On two clearcuts, most sprouts came from rhizomes. Regeneration from seed is apparently rare, being limited by moisture, low spring temperature, and/or disease [16,20]. In several locations in western Montana, Hemmer [48] found that sprouting from top-killed plants was common, but only one site, on the Yaak River, had Saskatoon serviceberry seedlings. Flowers are produced almost every year, but because of drought, spring frost, and/or juniper rust (Gymnosporangium spp.), good seed crops may be produced only every 3 to 5 years [16,48]. Even under good conditions, most fruits contain some unviable seed [51]. Seed is dispersed by frugivorous birds and mammals [20,90]. It is dormant and requires overwinter stratification. In the laboratory, seventy percent germination was obtained from fresh seed stratified for 180 days and then given day/night temperatures of 86/68 degrees Fahrenheit (30/19 deg C) for a month [20]. Good seed may remain viable for years. Seed stored in an unheated warehouse in Utah showed 91, 80, 91, 85, and 84 percent germination after 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years of storage, respectively [92]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Saskatoon serviceberry grows on mountain slopes, hillsides, prairies, and riparian zones [31]. Pfister and others [81] reported Saskatoon serviceberry in every habitat type in Montana except timberline and moist subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) types. Atzet and McCrimmon [12] noted that in the Cascade Range of Oregon, white fir-lodgepole pine (A. concolor-Pinus contorta)/Saskatoon serviceberry associations tend to occur in frost pockets. Saskatoon serviceberry grows on relatively infertile soils but also occurs on nutrient-rich substrates [91]. Soils are well-drained and typically mesic, although moisture regime varies from moist to seasonally dry [48,57,91]. Saskatoon serviceberry apparently does not tolerate prolonged drought. In Montana it does not occur on sites with less than 14 inches (355 mm) of annual precipitation [48]. Saskatoon serviceberry occurs from near sea level to timberline [48]. Elevational range by state is: California 160 to 8,530 feet (50-2,600 m) [51] Colorado 5,000 to 10,000 feet (1,500-3,000 m) [46] Utah 4,000 to 9,500 feet (1,220-2,900 m) [103] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Saskatoon serviceberry grows in open sun to moderate shade. It is intolerant of deep shade, and declines with canopy closure [3,9,43]. It rarely establishes from seed in early stages of primary succession [26,37]. Eleven years after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington, mature Saskatoon serviceberry plants occurred only on refugia plots on the volcano slope. Neither seedlings nor mature plants occurred on sites of volcanic deposition [26]. Riparian succession: In riparian areas in southeastern British Columbia, Saskatoon serviceberry occurred mostly in stabilized black cottonwood (Populus deltoides) galleries on the upper floodplain. It did not occur on low gravel bars subject to frequent flooding [37]. A study on the Yellowstone River of Montana had similar findings. The successional sere there is: plains black cottonwood (P. deltoides var. monilifera) seedling; plains black cottonwood-Sandbar willow (Salix interior) sapling; pole plains black cottonwood; mature plains black cottonwood; shrub thicket; and grass. Saskatoon serviceberry was most common in mature plains black cottonwood stands and in shrub thickets. It was sparse on grassland and absent in seres with young plains black cottonwood [17]. Secondary succession: Saskatoon serviceberry is common after disturbances such as fire, logging, or insect outbreak [6,9,95]. Saskatoon serviceberry increased significantly (P < 0.1) after a stand-destroying mountain pine beetle attack in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in Glacier National Park, Montana. Maximum foliage production of Saskatoon serviceberry occurred 2 years after the overstory was killed [6]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Saskatoon serviceberry flowers early in the growing season [20]. It is usually the first shrub to bloom in spring. Anthesis is a mass event lasting about 2 weeks [90]. Leaves emerge during or just after flowering [20]. Fruits ripen 1 to 2 months later, from July to September, depending upon location [101]. General fruiting and flowering periods are given below. flowers fruits _________ ______ Alaska June July [102] North Dakota May -- [23] Ontario June July and August [88] Saskatchewan May-July -- [109] A more detailed calendar of phenological development of Saskatoon serviceberry east of the Continental Divide of Montana and in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, is presented below [85]. Event Dates ___________________ _________________________ leaf buds open April 12- May 29 flowering starts April 15 - June 18 flowering stops May 15 - July 3 leaves fully expanded May 15 - July 13 fruits ripe July 10 - August 19 seed fall starts July 11 - September 15 leaves change color July 23 - September 25 leaf fall begins August 13 - October 1 leaves fallen September 5 - October 21

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : 
Fire adaptations:  Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts from the root crown
and/or rhizomes after fire [9,19,48,95].  Bradley [19] concluded that
because Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts from existing plants, fire is
not likely to alter its frequency unless plants were in poor condition
before fire.  After light- to moderate-severity fire, it usually sprouts
from the root crown or from shallowly buried rhizomes [19].  However,
deeply buried rhizomes enable Saskatoon serviceberry to sprout after
even the most intense wildfire.  For example, the Sundance Fire on the
Kaniksu National Forest of northern Idaho was an intense, running crown
fire that reached firestorm proportions in the Pack River Valley.  (The
fire broke out on Aug. 23, 1967.)  Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts were a
principle component of Pack River Valley vegetation at postfire year 1,
with 12 percent frequency and 4 percent cover [93].

Seedling establishment is apparently not an important postfire
regeneration strategy.  After wildfire in quaking aspen-paper birch in
northern Saskatchewan, a single Saskatoon serviceberry seedling was
found at postfire year 2 on one of seven plots [108].  Leege [62] found
an occasional Saskatoon serviceberry seedling after prescribed burning on
the Clearwater National Forest of northern Idaho, but the seedlings
survived for only a few postfire years.  Stickney [93] found that on 21
plots on the Sundance Burn, 100 percent of Saskatoon serviceberry
regeneration resulted from sprouting of burned plants.

Fire ecology:  Forests - Saskatoon serviceberry in forests is
fire-dependent and declines with fire exclusion [8,43].  It may persist
in the understory for decades, but eventually dies out with canopy
closure.  Through time-series photographs, Gruell [43] has documented
decline of Saskatoon serviceberry in ponderosa pine habitat types in the
Northern Rocky Mountains due to canopy closure with fire exclusion.

Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) - In sagebrush steppe in southeastern Idaho,
Saskatoon serviceberry was prominent on burn sites of all ages.  Field
sampling was conducted on 2- to 36-year-old burns [54].

Fire frequency:  Forests - Saskatoon serviceberry occurs in forests with
fire regimes varying from frequent, low-severity fire to infrequent,
severe fire.  In low-elevation forests, where Saskatoon serviceberry is
most common, the historical regime was frequent, low-severity fire
[1,2,8].  Wright [106] compiled historical fire frequencies of ponderosa
pine communities in which Saskatoon serviceberry occurs:

State(s)                          Fire Frequency
_____________________________     ______________
Arizona and New Mexico            4.8 - 11.9 yrs 
California and eastern Oregon       8 - 10 yrs
Colorado and Wyoming               12 - 25 yrs
western Montana                     2 - 48 yrs
South Dakota (Black Hills)         15 - 20 yrs
eastern Washington                  6 - 47 yrs

On the west slope of the Cascade Range of Washington, mean historical
fire return intervals in forests with Saskatoon serviceberry were [2]:

ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir*    52 years
lodgepole pine-Douglas-fir     76 years
Douglas-fir-grand fir**        93 years
_______________________________________
*Pseudotsuga menziesii
**Abies grandis
 


POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : 
   Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown
   Geophyte, growing points deep in soil

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : 
Saskatoon serviceberry is top-killed by moderate to severe fire.  Larger
branches may survive light-severity fire [19,80,95].


DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : 
NO ENTRY

PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : 
Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts after top-kill by fire [9,19,95].
Bradley [19] found that on burn sites in western Montana, Saskatoon
serviceberry sprouted mostly from upper portions of the root crown.
When the root crown was killed by fire, Saskatoon serviceberry sprouted
from rhizomes further beneath the soil surface.  Seed production may
resume soon after fire:  Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts produced fruits
the second summer after a July 1977 wildfire in Pattee Canyon near
Missoula, Montana [56].

Saskatoon serviceberry cover usually increases [9] or is unaffected
[9,97] by fire.  Even when there is little change between pre- and
postfire cover, fire usually makes Saskatoon serviceberry more
accessible as wildlife browse by lowering shrub height [97].  Arno and
others [9] found that in western Montana, Saskatoon serviceberry cover
generally increased after wildland or prescribed fires in
Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat types.  It sometimes took 10 or more years
before the increase occurred, however.  The authors suggested that slow
recovery in some areas may be due to big game browsing pressure after
fire.

Current-year annual twig production is usually greater after fire in the
absence of heavy browsing pressure [9,24].  In a mountain brush
community in Wyoming, Saskatoon serviceberry mortality was 12 percent,
15 percent, and 15 percent, 1, 2, and 3 years after fall wildfire,
respectively.  Mortality after spring prescribed burning a nearby site
was one, two, and two percent at postfire years 1, 2, and 3.  Postfire
browsing pressure was not heavy, but wildfire- and prescription-burned
areas were browsed more than unburned areas.  Despite this, current-year
twig production was significantly greater on burned sites than on
unburned sites in postfire years 1 to 3.  Current-year annual twig
production was greater on the wildfire-burned site than on the spring
prescribed-burned site (37 vs.  15 g/plant) [24].

Fire season:  In a western Montana study contrasting the ability of
spring vs. fall prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat, severe fall
fire killed 15 percent of Saskatoon serviceberry plants on the site,
while a less severe spring treatment killed only 5 percent.  Sprouting
response in the first 2 postfire years was greater on the spring burn
[79].

Fire in various habitat/plant community types:  In a western redcedar
(Thuja plicata)/ninebark habitat type of central Idaho, Saskatoon
serviceberry sprouted from the root crown and grew rapidly after
prescribed burning.  Height growth of sprouts follows [11].  (Prefire
height not available.)
                             Height (m)
                    __________________________
                    Avery Site     Lochsa Site
postfire year 1         0.9            1.2
postfire year 2         1.5            1.3
postfire year 3         1.2            3.0
unburned control        2.3            3.2 

In Douglas-fir/blue huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) habitat types
of western Montana, prescribed fire had little effect on Saskatoon
serviceberry cover [11].

Near Ketchum, Idaho, a prescribed fire was conducted on August 1, 1963,
to reduce dwarf-mistletoe (Arceuthobium douglasii) infestation in
Douglas-fir and to promote sprouting of browse, which was above
browseline.  The fire was successful in both respects.  Saskatoon
serviceberry recovered from the fire as follows [68,69]:

            Plants*/1,000 sq ft      Percent Canopy Cover
            ___________________      ____________________
prefire            0.2                       0.25 
postfire yr 1      0.1                       0.03
postfire yr 2      0.1                       0.05
postfire yr 3      0.2                       0.06
postfire yr 4      0.1                       0.06
postfire yr 5      0.1                       0.09
postfire yr 6      0.3                       0.12
postfire yr 7      0.2                       0.12
___________________________________________________________________________
*only plants over 18 inches in height were included in density measurements

After prescribed fire in Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) woodlands
in western Washington, Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts were most common
on sites that were treated with low-severity fire and had no prefire
mechanical disturbance.  Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts usually
co-occurred with Oregon white oak sprouts on such sites.  Neither
Saskatoon serviceberry sprouts, Saskatoon serviceberry seedlings, nor
Oregon white oak sprouts occurred on microsites that were heavily
disturbed before fire.  After prescribed fire, those microsites were
colonized by herbs, especially exotic herbs, and Oregon white oak
seedlings [1].

Saskatoon serviceberry appears to be slow to recover from prescribed
burning in the sub-boreal spruce-fir (Picea-Abies spp.) zone in British
Columbia [45]. 

Response to very frequent fire:  Saskatoon serviceberry response to
repeated burning is unclear.  In a quaking aspen-rough fescue (Festuca
scabrella) ecotone in Alberta, Saskatoon serviceberry was one of the few
woody shrubs that was not harmed by low-severity annual spring
prescribed fire.  Frequency was 8 percent on unburned sites and 16
percent on annually burned sites.  Canopy cover was not significantly
different between the two areas (4 and 1.4 percent, respectively) [5].

In the Willamette Valley of Oregon, Kalapuyan Indians apparently
controlled Saskatoon serviceberry with frequent fire in order to promote
acorn production by Oregon white oak.  Open oak savannas were noted by
early travellers, but in the absence of aboriginal burning, Saskatoon
serviceberry has formed a closed subcanopy in Oregon white oak woodlands
[18].

On ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir communities in the Blue Mountains
of northeastern Oregon, Saskatoon serviceberry cover and frequency were higher
on unburned control sites than on prescribed burned, thinned, or
thinned-and-burned sites.  Saskatoon serviceberry was determined to be an indicator
species for unburned sites (P0.05).  For further information on the effects
of thinning and burning treatments on Saskatoon serviceberry and 48 other species,
see the Research Project Summary of Youngblood and others' [110] study.



DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : 
For further information on Saskatoon serviceberry response to fire, see 
Fire Case Studies.  The following Research Project Summaries also provide 
information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant community 
species, including Saskatoon serviceberry, that was not available when 
this species review was originally written:
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : 
Saskatoon serviceberry is most vigorous in seral plant communities
[9,48,51], and prescribed fire can be used to maintain and/or promote
seral communities.  On big game rangelands, prescribed fire can improve
condition of Saskatoon serviceberry and other shrubs by reducing shrub
height, promoting growth of new twigs, and increasing nutritional
content of browse [9,68,73].  Sites where prescribed burning may harm
Saskatoon serviceberry in the long term include harsh (especially very
dry) sites with low Saskatoon serviceberry density [48], and very cold
sites where postfire growth would be limited by temperature [45].

Fire stimulates production of Saskatoon serviceberry by killing
understory conifers, removing old Saskatoon serviceberry topgrowth, and
promoting sprouting [9,73].  On Douglas-fir/ninebark winter elk range on
the Lolo National Forest, Montana, Makela [71] found that after spring
prescribed fire, biomass production of new Saskatoon serviceberry twigs
was significantly greater (p < 0.1) on burned sites than on unburned
sites the first two growing seasons after fire.
        
Ponderosa pine:  Saskatoon serviceberry usually occurs in the moister,
cooler ponderosa pine habitat types.  Average loading of downed and dead
woody fuels is slightly higher than in drier ponderosa pine types.  Fire
hazard is further increased by the tendency of this type to form
subcanopies and dog-hair thickets of conifer saplings.  Wildfire hazard
is particularly high in this type during drought.  Common management
objectives are to eliminate large areas of overstocking and create a
two-storied stand rather than a multilayered one.  Periodic prescribed
surface fire in early spring or late fall is recommended.  Fuels
management includes treatment of slash following logging and thinning,
and controlling stocking levels.  Scattered thickets of Saskatoon
serviceberry and other shrubs can be left for wildlife [34].

Quaking aspen:  Light fuels and grazing can inhibit fire spread in
quaking aspen.  Brown and Simmerman [22] assigned probabilities of
successful prescribed burning in quaking aspen/Saskatoon serviceberry
habitat types as follows:

                                            Fuel Type
                        _____________________________________________________
       
Grazing    Woody Fuel   Aspen/serviceberry   Mixed aspen-conifer/serviceberry
_____________________________________________________________________________
ungrazed     light            high                       high
ungrazed     heavy            high                       high
grazed       light            moderate                   moderate
grazed       heavy            high                       high 

FIRE CASE STUDIES

SPECIES : Amelanchier alnifolia

1st CASE STUDY:


FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION:
Fryer, Janet L., compiler. 1997. Effect of fire severity and phenological stage on Saskatoon serviceberry on the Lolo National Forest, Montana. In: Amelanchier alnifolia. 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/ [ ].

REFERENCE :
Noste, Nonan V.; Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Wilson, Ralph A., Jr. 1989. Fire effects on Amelanchier alnifolia during phenological development stages. In: Wallace, Arthur; McArthur, E. Durant; Haferkamp, Marshall R., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on shrub ecophysiology and biotechnology; 1987 June 30-July 2; Logan, UT. Gen. Tech.Rep. INT-256. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 158-163. [80].

SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION :
spring, summer, and fall (simulated)/light to severe

STUDY LOCATION :
The study site was near the Nine Mile Ranger Station on the Lolo National Forest in western Montana.

PREFIRE VEGETATIVE COMMUNITY :
The study site was in a Douglas-fir/common snowberry (Pseudotsuga menziesii/Symphoricarpos albus) habitat type.

TARGET SPECIES PHENOLOGICAL STATE :
Individual Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) plants were treated with fire during four different phenological stages. Selected plants were mature, growing in an open stand condition on relatively level ground, and not heavily browsed. The four phenological stages were:

1. Before leaf bud burst
2. After leaves were fully expanded
3. After initial change in fruit color
4. After first leaf coloring in fall

SITE DESCRIPTION :
Not stated

FIRE DESCRIPTION :
Saskatoon serviceberry plants were burned in 1984 and 1985, using artificial fuelbeds to produce high-, moderate- and low-intensity, long- and short-duration fires by manipulating loading and fuel particle size. Heat pulses to stems and soil were measured to characterize treatments from fuels. Five treatments used fire; the sixth was mechanical removal of aboveground stems:

                                        Surface/
    Treatment          Fuel load        volume      Diameter
____________________________________________________________
    Severity-
    duration          kg/m2  (T/ac)      1/cm        (inch)

1.  moderate-moderate   1     (5)          6         (1/8-1/4)
2.  light-moderate      0.4   (2)          6         (1/8-1/4)
3.  heavy-moderate      2     (10)         6         (1/8-1/4)
4.  moderate-fast       1     (5)         81         excelsior 
5.  moderate-slow       1     (5)          3         (1/2)
6.  clipped             --     --         --          --
Plants were measured before treatment to determine their size and condition. All stems within 0.5 m of the plant center were tallied by diameter class, height, and status (live or dead). Ratio of live to dead plant material was used as an indicator of plant vigor.

Fuels were conditioned to 6 percent moisture content by storing them indoors. Litter and dead stems were removed from a 2 X 2-meter area around each shrub before building the fuelbed. Fires were ignited along the downslope-downwind edge of the fuelbed. Mean fire behavior characteristics of the five fire treatments follow.

            Rate of    Flame     Flame  Residence  Total heat
             spread    depth    length    time      release
Treatment   (m/min)     (cm)     (cm)     (min)     (mJ/m2)
______________________________________________________________
    1         0.47       36       51       1.6        52.0
    2         0.16       23       21       4.1        20.0
    3         0.37       49       99       1.4       105.0
    4         4.05       48      142       0.6        41.0
    5         0.12       30       28       4.5        44.0
FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES :
All fire treatments top-killed all plants. Little heat increase was observed below 1 cm depth in soil. All plants sprouted vigorously after fire. No significant differences were found between the five fire treatments and the clipping treatment. Number of postfire sprouts was significantly related to prefire size of shrub; however, sprouting response was not significantly correlated to ratio of live:dead stems. The relationship between sprouting and phenological stage was not significant (p = 0.12). Saskatoon serviceberry response by treatment was as follows:

Phenological stage            Sprouts/plant (mean)
_________________________     _____________
before leaf bud burst               89
after leaf expansion                59
initial fruit color change          70
1st leaf color in fall              90

Treatment                     Sprouts/plant (mean)
____________________          _____________
1  moderate-moderate                88
2  light-moderate                   72
3  heavy-moderate                   75
4  moderate-fast                    81
5  moderate-slow                    81
6  clipping                         73
   _________________                __
   mean                             78
FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS :
Evidently managers in western Montana have a large window of opportunity to treat Saskatoon serviceberry with fire. All aboveground stems were killed by all fire treatments, while rhizomes did not receive much heat treatment. This indicates that even low-intensity fires are sufficient to top-kill Saskatoon serviceberry, and that fires in natural fuels are unlikely to kill underground buds and remove Saskatoon serviceberry from the site.

The weak relationship between sprouting response and phenological stage suggests that the season in which Saskatoon serviceberry is burned is not critical to postfire response of Saskatoon serviceberry in western Montana. Similar results can be expected from spring, summer, or fall fire.

The size of the plant was positively related to sprouting response, while proportion of dead stem in the plant was not a deterrent to sprouting. The management implication is that even decadent plants may be successfully treated with fire.

2nd CASE STUDY:


FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION:
Fryer, Janet L., compiler. 1997. Prescribed fire effects on Saskatoon serviceberry in a northern Idaho rangeland. In: Amelanchier alnifolia. 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/ [ ].

REFERENCES :
Leege, Thomas A. 1978. Changes in browse intercept, production and seedlings after burning--Holly Creek. Job Completion Report No. W-160-R. Elk ecology: Range rehabilitation by spring burning: July 1, 1965 to June 30, 1978. Boise, ID: Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 11 p. [62].

Leege, Thomas A. 1978. Changes in browse production after burning vs. slashing and burning on the four cardinal aspects--Polar Ridge. Job Completion Report No. W-160-R. Elk ecology: Range rehabilitation by spring burning: July 1, 1967 to June 30, 1978. Boise, ID: Idaho Department of Fish & Game. 20 p. [63].

Leege, Thomas A. 1979. Effects of repeated prescribed burns on northern Idaho elk browse. Northwest Science. 53(2): 107-113. [64].

Leege, Thomas A.; Hickey, William O. 1966. Lochsa elk study. Big Game Surveys and Investigations: W 85-R-17, Job No. 8. July 1, 1965 to June 30, 1966. Boise, ID: State of Idaho Fish and Game Department. 22 p. [65].

SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION :
Holly Creek: spring/severity not given
Polar Ridge: spring and fall/severity not given
Fish Creek: repeat spring/severity not given

STUDY LOCATION :
Three areas on Lochsa River watersheds of the Clearwater National Forest, northern Idaho, were selected for study. The study areas were Holly Creek, Polar Ridge, and Fish Creek [62,63,64].

Holly Creek flows into the Lochsa River from the north, about halfway between the Lowell and Powell Ranger Stations along U.S. Highway 12. Study plots were located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the mouth of Holly Creek [62].

Polar Ridge is located between the Polar and Walde Creek drainages, which are tributaries of Pete King Creek. Pete King Creek flows into the Lochsa River [63].

Fish Creek is a major tributary of the Lochsa River. The study site was on lower slopes of the Fish Creek drainage [64].

PREFIRE VEGETATIVE COMMUNITY :
Due to wildfires, all three study sites were dominated by shrubs. The Holly Creek site had some conifer regeneration on north slopes and along watercourses. Habitat type of the Holly Creek site was not given. Scouler willow (Salix scouleriana) and thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) were dominant. Other common shrubs included Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor), common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), and ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus) [62].

The Polar Ridge site was on a grand fir-pachistima (Abies grandis/Pachistima myrsinites) habitat type. Thimbleberry, common snowberry, oceanspray, redstem ceanothus (Ceanothus sanguineus), and Saskatoon serviceberry were dominant shrubs; Saskatoon serviceberry dominated slopes with southerly aspects. Other common shrubs included Rocky mountain maple (Acer glabrum), Scouler willow, bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata), and white spiraea (Spiraea betufolia). Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) was common on the site [65].

The Fish Creek study area was on a grand fir-pachistima habitat type [64,65]. Redstem ceanothus and Scouler willow were dominant. Other common shrubs included Saskatoon serviceberry, oceanspray, paper birch (Betula papyrifera), Rocky Mountain maple, and bitter cherry. Common herbaceous species included false lupine (Thermopsis montana), bracken fern, St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum), western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) [64].

TARGET SPECIES PHENOLOGICAL STATE :
Not given

SITE DESCRIPTION :
The Holly Creek drainage was completely burned by wildfire in 1919 and again in 1929. Slope on the study site averaged 55 percent. Soil was derived from granitic parent material and was coarse on steep terrain but more loamy on gentler terrain [62].

Polar Ridge was completely burned by wildfire in 1934. Study plots were selected on each cardinal aspect and ranged from 3,000 to 3,200 feet (900-960 m) elevation. Average slope was 60 to 80 percent [63].

The Fish Creek site area was completely burned by wildfire in 1934 and in 1954. Slope on the study site ranged from 35 to 50 percent. Soil was derived from granitic parent material [64].

FIRE DESCRIPTION :
Elk populations were declining on the Lochsa River watershed at the time of these studies, possibly because most larger shrubs that had become dominant after the wildland fires had grown above browseline. The burn objectives on all three sites were to make more browse available to big game species by reducing shrub heights, and to increase shrub productivity [62,63,64,65].

HOLLY CREEK: The study site was burned on May 2, 1966. Eight hundred and ten acres were burned, mostly that afternoon. Ignition time was 13:00. Temperature at that time was 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 deg C); relative humidity was 18 percent. At 15:30, temperature and relative humidity were 85 degrees and 14 percent, respectively. Wind was negligible. Fuels were "dry and abundant," except that fuels on northern exposures were moist enough to retard lateral fire spread. Snowline was at 4,500 feet (1,350 m). Vegetation on all plots was mostly consumed [65].

POLAR RIDGE: Four fires, one on each cardinal aspect, were set. It had rained 3 days prior to burning on the south aspect. Rain had not fallen for at least 4 days prior to burning on other aspects [63]. North aspect: North slope plots were fired on May 9, 1969. Maximumtemperature was 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 deg C); minimum relativehumidity was 35 percent. The burn was not successful. This wasattributed to lack of enough flammable herbaceous material to carry afire and because microclimate on the north slope prevented fuels from drying adequately. However, one area with a northeast exposure andadundant cover of dry bracken fern did burn despite the presence ofgreen forbs and grasses growing up among the bracken fern [a href="all.html#63>63].
It was decided to slash the vegetation and reburn the area in fall 1972. All woody vegetation was cut to ground level during the summer and fall of 1971. The area was again fired on October 4, 1972. Maximum temperature was 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 deg C) and minimum relative humidity was 50 percent. In the previous winter, snow had compressed the slashed fuels to ground level and there was an abundance of green vegetation, mostly Scouler willow sprouts, covering the slash. The reburn was unsuccessful [63].

East aspect: The site was fired on May 6, 1969. Based upon measurements taken at the Kooskia Ranger Station, maximum temperature was estimated at 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 deg C); relative humidity was estimated at 38 percent. The burn was not successful: only 2 of 25 plots burned. Failure was attributed to lack of flash fuels in the understory and a cool, damp microclimate [63].

The area was slashed in the summer and fall of 1971 and reburned on October 6, 1972. Maximum temperature was 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 deg C); minimum relative humidity was 50 percent. The burn was marginally successful: 10 of 25 plots burned [63].

West aspect: Vegetation was not uniform over the entire area. Slope with a southwesterly aspect had more herbaceous vegetation, particularly bracken fern. Slopes with a northwesterly aspect had a dense overstory of young conifers. The site was burned on May 6, 1969. Maximum temperature and minimum relative humidity at Kooskia Ranger Station were 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 deg C) and 28 percent, respectively. Fourteen of 25 plots burned. Portions of the study area with minimum conifer overstory and abundant bracken fern burned best [63].

South aspect: The site was burned on April 16, 1969. Onsite maximum temperature was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 deg C) and minimum relative humidity was 35 percent. A continuous cover of surface fuels, primarily bracken fern, was present. All 25 plots burned [63].

FISH CREEK: Three spring prescribed fires were set on the same site at 5-year intervals. Each fire achieved 100 percent top-kill of shrubs on all plots. The first prescribed fire was set on March 31, 1965. Maximum temperature at the Kooskia Ranger Station was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 deg C); minimum relative humidity was 35 percent. There was a westerly wind at 8 km/hr. Shrubs were dormant [64].

The area was reburned on May 3, 1970. Maximum temperature was 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 deg C); minimum relative humidity was 16 percent. Wind was negligible. Small leaves had emerged on some shrubs [64].

The third burn was conducted on May 14, 1975. Weather readings at the Kooskia Ranger Station were: maximum temperature 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 deg C) and minimum relative humidity 27 percent. Wind was negligible. Leaves had expanded on shrubs and herbaceous vegetation was greening up. Green vegetation appeared to retard fire spread [64].

FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES :
Holly Creek: Saskatoon serviceberry was lower in average height after fire, but productivity did not increase. Production of Saskatoon serviceberry stayed at approximate prefire levels for the first 2 postfire years, but the third postfire growing season was the beginning of a decline that stabilized at about 15 percent of prefire production at postfire years 9 through 12. Leege [62] speculated that the decline was due to elk and mule deer use of Saskatoon serviceberry during active summer growth. Saskatoon serviceberry production was [62]:
                  Twigs/ha     Avg. twig weight (g)     Kg/ha*
                  ________     ____________________     _____ 
1966 (prefire)      672                0.26             16.6
1966 (postfire)     137                1.19             15.5
1967                215                0.72             14.7
1968                312                0.26              7.8
1969                229                0.10              2.1
1970                458                0.11              4.8
1971                387                0.20              7.4
1972                645                0.11              6.9
1973                387                0.15              5.4
1974                312                0.07              2.0
1975                270                0.07              1.9
1976                219                0.11              2.2
1977                195                0.13              2.5 
_______________
*new growth
Polar Ridge: The fires on the west and south slopes lowered average height of Saskatoon serviceberry but had little effect on productivity. On the south slope, where a good prescription burn was obtained, average height was reduced from prefire levels for at least 10 postfire years. Production did not change greatly until 1977, when average twig length and kilograms of new growth produced per hectare were reduced on south slopes. However, 1977 was a poor growth year for all shrub species measured. Production of Saskatoon serviceberry on west and south slopes follows [63]. (East slope data were not stated and the north slope did not burn.)

                     Twigs/ha       Twig length (cm)           Kg/ha
                   ____________     ________________        ____________ 
                   west   south     west       south        west   south  
prefire (1967)     257     413       2.5        10.4         0.8    6.8
1969                42      73      50.8        32.5        10.9    4.2
1970               185     226      17.8        15.2        13.4    9.3
1971               255     177       7.6        11.7         7.0    5.6
1972               179     326       5.1        10.2         2.7    6.8
1977               171     248       7.6         6.4         4.2    2.1   
Fish Creek: Saskatoon serviceberry was top-killed by and sprouted after each prescribed fire, but average sprout height and maximum crown diameter were significantly lower (p = 0.05) after each successive burn. Changes in Saskatoon serviceberry follow [64].

                 Height (cm)      Crown diameter (cm)
                 ___________      ___________________
prefire              378                  125
postfire yr 2
  1966 fire          183                  140
  1970 fire          162                  134
  1975 fire          134                  128


                 Sprouts/plant    Sprout height (cm)
                 _____________    __________________ 
postfire yr 1
  1965 fire          > 50                  94 
  1970 fire          149.4                 67
  1975 fire          112.2                 55
FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS :
HOLLY CREEK - Elk use of the area increased after burning. Overall, the burning objectives were met: height of most palatable browse species was lowered and remained below browseline until at least postfire year 11. Browse productivity also increased for most shrub species. It increased greatly from prefire levels at postfire year 1, returned to prefire levels at postfire year 2, then gradually rose. At postfire year 11, browse productivity was about two times prefire levels [62].

Average height of Saskatoon serviceberry was reduced by fire, and Saskatoon serviceberry remained below browseline for at least 11 years after fire [62,65]. Productivity, however, declined after fire and had not reached prefire levels by postfire year 11 [63]. Although common on the study site, Saskatoon serviceberry was not dominant. Browsing pressure on Saskatoon serviceberry may have increased after fire to the point that little new growth was achieved.

POLAR RIDGE - Where prescribed burning was successful, the effect of fire was to increase availability of palatable browse species including Saskatoon serviceberry. Productivity of Saskatoon serviceberry and other browse increased until postfire year 4, then stabilized at approximate prefire levels. At postfire year 4, Scouler willow, the dominant shrub, was greatly reduced by an outbreak of a willow borer insect [63], and browsing pressure on Saskatoon serviceberry probably increased. Had the Scouler willow die-back not occurred, Saskatoon serviceberry productivity after postfire year 4 might have been greater.

Based upon his experiences at Polar Ridge, Leege [63] gave recommendations for prescribed burning northern Idaho brushfields on north, east, and west aspects. Those recommendations follow.

North slopes: On north slopes with a high percentage of overstory, burning is difficult in either spring or fall because of a lack of flash fuels to carry fire. Fuel flammability can be improved by cutting woody vegetation to ground level and then burning; however, burning should be done the first fall after slashing, before snow compacts the fuels and new spring growth appears. Recommended treatment is to slash during July and August and burn during warm October days after the first killing frost [63].

East slopes: The east aspect was difficult to treat with fire due to sparse understory fuels and unfavorable microclimate. Such sites would be difficult to burn in spring even with good burning conditions. Slashing and fall burning produced a marginal burn. Leege [63] speculated that the burn would have been more successful if slash had been burned the first fall after cutting, instead of the second year, and burning had been done with a warmer temperature and especially a lower relative humidity.

West slopes: Prescribed burning was successful where bracken fern and other herbaceous fuels were present. Dense conifer regeneration on northwest slopes eliminated the understory and prevented the fire from carrying. Leege [63] recommended cutting down at least 50 percent of the conifers in early summer to create continuous surface fuels.

FISH CREEK - There were indications that Saskatoon serviceberry declined in vigor with repeat prescribed burning at 5-year intervals. Sprout numbers and height were less in 1975 than in 1970 despite twice the precipitation in 1975. However, the data are inconclusive because sample size was small (n = 5) and because Saskatoon serviceberry had put on more spring growth (and therefore may have been more harmed) before the 1975 fire than before the 1970 fire. Leege [64] speculated that on northern Idaho brushfields, prescribed fire at 5-year intervals will favor Scouler willow and redstem ceanothus. Burning at 10- to 15-year intervals would better maintain prefire shrub species composition, including Saskatoon serviceberry, while lowering shrub height and providing browse for big game species.


3rd CASE STUDY:


FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION:
Fryer, Janet L., compiler. 1997. Prescribed fire effects on Saskatoon serviceberry in a British Columbia rangeland. In: Amelanchier alnifolia. 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/ [ ].

REFERENCES :
Thomson, Sandra. 1988. The effects on vegetation of prescribed burning for wildlife habitat and range improvement in southeastern British Columbia. In: Feller, M. C.; Thomson, S. M., eds. Wildlife and range prescribed burning workshop proceedings; 1987 October 27-28; Richmond, BC. Vancouver, BC: The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry: 120-133. [97].

SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION :
Operational burns: spring/severity not given
Experimental burns: fall/moderate severity

STUDY LOCATION :
The study areas were located in the Purcell Mountains near Cranbrook, British Columbia, within four different range units. The range units were Pickering Hills, Luckhurst, Power Plant, and Newgate.

PREFIRE VEGETATIVE COMMUNITY :
Study sites were located in a Douglas-fir/bitterbrush (Pseudotsuga menziesii/Purshia tridentata) habitat type. The overstory was a sparse canopy of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa); there were a few Douglas-fir in the understory. Shrub cover varied between 5 and 60 percent. Common shrub species included Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), western snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), and snowbrush ceanothus (Ceanothus velutinus). Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) and Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) were the dominant herbs. Rough fescue (Festuca scabrella) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) were also present.

TARGET SPECIES PHENOLOGICAL STATE :
Not stated

SITE DESCRIPTION :
All study sites but one were located on thick glacial moraine; one was on fluvial glacial deposits. Soils were Orthic Eutric Brunisols, varying in coarse fragment and sand content. Slopes were gentle to flat. The area is a key winter range for elk, white-tailed deer, and mule deer, and is used as summer range for cattle.

FIRE DESCRIPTION :
Operational burns: Six sites were prescription burned to thin conifers and increase availability of browse and grasses for elk, deer, and cattle. Each of the six sites was burned once, in April. Burning years were 1976, 1978, 1983, 1985, and 1986 (2 sites were burned in 1986). Fuels and fire behavior data were not collected for the operational burns [98].

Experimental burns: Two sites were prescription burned, one in October 1986 and one in October 1987. Fire-related data for the site burned in 1987 were not given. Weather conditions during the 1986 fire were less than ideal. Temperature was low and relative humidity high, making fire intensity less than desired. Relatively low rates of spread and flame heights were obtained. Weather conditions and fire behavior data for the 1986 fire follow [98].

Date of burn            Oct. 8, 1986
Relative humidity       70%
Temperature             12.6 deg C
Wind speed              7.5 m/s
Rate of fire spread     0.1-0.9 m/min
flame height            0.15-1.50 m                                 
The live fuel component (shrubs and grasses) was highly variable, but reduction was significant. The forest floor was not reduced at time of postfire measurement, but this could have been due to partially burned vegetation dropping to the ground and becoming part of the postfire forest floor. Fuels data follow.

Fuel component          Prefire biomass         % consumption
______________          _______________         _____________
coarse fuels             0.39 kg/sq m                 66
forest floor             0.06 kg/sq m                  0
shrubs                   0.61 kg/sq m                 39
grasses                  0.02 kg/sq m                 90
                         ____________                 __
                 total   1.08 kg/sq m                 52
FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES :
Operational spring fires: Saskatoon serviceberry was not greatly affected by spring prescribed burning. Percent cover of Saskatoon serviceberry on burned and unburned control plots follows. (Data from the 6 operational burns were pooled.)

                             Percent cover
                _______________________________________
                postfire year 1         postfire year 2
                _______________         _______________
unburned               5.0                     4.5
burned                 6.5*                    8.2
_______________________________________________________
*significantly different at P = 0.05
Experimental fall 1986 fire: Saskatoon serviceberry was not greatly affected by fall prescribed burning either. In postfire year 1, the only year for which data are available, percent cover increased slightly but not significantly on burned plots compared to unburned plots, and current annual growth decreased slightly but not significantly:

                             unburned        burned
                             ________        ______
percent cover                   2.5           5.0
current annual growth (g/m)     3.8           2.5 
FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS :
Neither spring nor fall prescribed burning had much short-term effect on Saskatoon serviceberry cover or production in this study. This is consistent with other short-term studies in southeastern British Columbia. Davidson [25] found a slight decrease in Saskatoon serviceberry 2 years after prescribed burning. Demarchi and Lofts [27] found production of current-annual twigs was greater, but leaf production less, the first 2 years after prescribed burning.

This is not to say that the prescribed fires were unsuccessful. Shrubs were reduced an average of 39 percent by spring prescribed burning, making Saskatoon serviceberry and other browse more accessible to ungulates. Comparing percent cover in short-term studies can be deceiving because unburned areas may contain a few tall, inaccessible shrubs while burned areas contain a number of small shoots. Data from the long term may show that the number of sprouts on burned areas exceeds sprouts on unburned areas.

Thomson [97] suggested that total grass biomass prior to burning is important in determining success of burning on sparsely-treed Douglas-fir habitat types in the extreme northern Rocky Mountains. Moisture content of grass and other herbaceous fuels was not reported in this study, but is also an important factor in success of burning.

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