Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Introductory

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Crane, M. F. 1991. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. 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 : ARCUVA SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : ARUV COMMON NAMES : kinnikinnick bearberry TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of kinnikinnick is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng [59,67]. The following forms are recognized [117,149]: A. u. forma adenotricha (Fern. & Macbr.) Wells A. u. forma coactilis (Fern. & Macbr.) Wells A. u. forma longipilosa (Packer & Denford) Wells A. u. forma stipitata (Packer & Denford) Wells A. u. forma uva-ursi Kinnikinnick hybridizes with hairy manzanita (A. columbiana) to produce A. Xmedia Greene [59,73]. It occasionally hybridizes with greenleaf manzanita (A. patula) [150]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Kinnikinnick is a widespread, circumpolar species [111].  In North America, it grows from the northern half of California north to Alaska and across Canada and the northern United States to New England and Newfoundland. Its range extends south in the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico.  In eastern North America, it extends south along the Atlantic Coast to New Jersey and in the Appalachian Mountains to Virginia.  Rare, disjunct populations occur in Georgia [59,117,152]. Most infrataxa occur in the Rocky Mountains and are widespread. Distribution of the forms is as follows:     Forma adenotricha is common in the Rocky Mountains but absent in the Appalachian Mountain region and both Coasts.  A closely related taxa is found in the Sierra Nevada [117,149].      Forma coactilis may not be present in Alaska; it is most abundant on both Coasts.  It is found farther south along the Pacific Coast and in the Appalachian Mountains than the other forms [117,149].  It is the primary form in Ohio and New England [15,125].      Forma longipilosa is absent from the Appalachian Mountains and very rare on both Coasts [117,149].      Forma stipitata grows only in the Rocky Mountains and far West [117,149].      Forma uva-ursi extends the farthest north in the Arctic and is circumboreal through Eurasia [117,149].  ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES10  White - red - jack pine    FRES11  Spruce - fir    FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine    FRES19  Aspen - birch    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES22  Western white pine    FRES23  Fir - spruce    FRES25  Larch    FRES26  Lodgepole pine    FRES28  Western hardwoods    FRES29  Sagebrush    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub    FRES36  Mountain grasslands    FRES38  Plains grasslands    FRES44  Alpine STATES :      AK  CA  CO  CT  GA  ID  IL  ME  MA  MI      MN  MT  NV  NH  NJ  NM  ND  OH  OR  PA      SD  UT  VT  VA  WA  WI  WY  AB  BC  LB      MB  NB  NF  NT  NS  ON  PE  PQ  SK  YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     4  Sierra Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     6  Upper Basin and Range     8  Northern Rocky Mountains     9  Middle Rocky Mountains    10  Wyoming Basin    11  Southern Rocky Mountains    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont    15  Black Hills Uplift    16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K005  Mixed conifer forest    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    K017  Black Hills pine forest    K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest    K019  Arizona pine forest    K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest    K021  Southwestern spruce - fir forest    K022  Great Basin pine forest    K026  Oregon oakwoods    K037  Mountain mahogany - oak scrub    K050  Fescue - wheatgrass    K052  Alpine meadows and barren    K056  Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe    K063  Foothills prairie    K064  Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass    K066  Wheatgrass - needlegrass    K067  Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass    K081  Oak savanna    K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest    K095  Great Lakes pine forest    K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest SAF COVER TYPES :      1  Jack pine     12  Black spruce     15  Red pine     18  Paper birch     45  Pitch pine    107  White spruce    202  White spruce - paper birch    206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir    208  Whitebark pine    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    229  Pacific Douglas-fir    237  Interior ponderosa pine    251  White spruce - aspen SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : In British Columbia kinnikinnick indicates sites that are moisture deficient because of rapid drainage [70].  Published classification schemes listing kinnikinnick as an indicator species or a dominant part of vegetation include: The Alaska vegetation classification [141] A classification of spruce-fir and mixed conifer habitat types of   Arizona and New Mexico [94] Forest habitat types in the Apache, Gila, and part of the Cibola   National Forests, Arizona and New Mexico [40] A preliminary classification of the natural vegetation of Colorado [7] Forest habitat types of Montana [107] Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of northern New   Mexico and northern Arizona [77] Climax forest series of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado [28] A classification of forest habitat types of northern New Mexico and   southern Colorado [29] Riparian zone associations: Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont, and Winema   National Forests [72] Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest [57] Plant associations of south Chiloquin and Klamath Ranger   Districts--Winema National Forest [64] Plant associations of the central Oregon Pumice Zone [145] Coniferous forest habitat types of northern Utah [90] Forested plant associations of the Okanogan National Forest [151] The forest communities of Mount Rainier National Park [43]  Forest types of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex [3] Alpine and high subalpine plant communities of the North Cascades Range,   Washington and British Columbia [33] Forest vegetation of eastern Washington and northern Idaho [26] Field guide to forest habitat types of northern Wisconsin [71] Forest vegetation of the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming: a habitat type   classification [61] Forest vegetation of the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern   Wyoming [5] The Pinus contorta forests of Banff and Jasper National Parks: a study   in comparative synecology and syntaxonomy [76] Field guide to forest ecosystems of west-central Alberta [20]

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Kinnikinnick browse is of moderate importance to bighorn sheep, mountain goat, black-tailed deer, and white-tailed deer [9,142].  Kinnikinnick is important to moderately important browse for Rocky Mountain mule deer [9,24,75].  Elk browse it on winter ranges in Alberta [148].  During early spring in Montana, moose browse kinnikinnick in snowfree areas near trees on south and west aspects [133]. Since kinnikinnick's low-quality fruit spoils slowly, it lasts through winter and is available when other fruits are gone [134].  The fruits of kinnikinnick are eaten by songbirds, gamebirds, including five species of grouse and wild turkey, deer, elk, and small mammals [49,89,134,148]. Black bear and grizzly bear eat kinnikinnick fruits in the autumn, but fruits are especially important to bears in the early spring [55,83,84,148].  In Montana, grouse may be attracted to very recent burns by fire-exposed kinnikinnick fruit [68]. Hummingbirds take nectar from the flowers of kinnikinnick and have been observed to alight momentarily to probe low flowers [108].  PALATABILITY : Kinnikinnick is unpalatable to domestic livestock but relished by wildlife [49].  It is palatable to white-tailed deer in the Black Hills of South Dakota from fall to late spring [58].  Kinnikinnick fruits are relished and highly important to black bear in the Yukon [84].  The fruit is of moderate importance to grizzly bear in Montana [83].  The degree of use shown by livestock and wildlife species for kinnikinnick is rated as follows [30]:                          CO      MT      UT      WY      ND Cattle                  poor    poor    poor    poor    poor Sheep                   poor    poor    poor    poor    poor Horses                  poor    poor    poor    poor    poor Pronghorn               ----    ----    poor    poor    poor Elk                     fair    poor    poor    poor    ---- Mule deer               fair    fair    poor    fair    fair White-tailed deer       ----    fair    ----    fair    fair Small mammals           good    fair    good    good    Small nongame birds     good    fair    fair    fair    Upland game birds       good    fair    good    good    Waterfowl               ----    ----    poor    poor    NUTRITIONAL VALUE : The energy and protein values of kinnikinnick browse are low [30].  Results of a nutrient study in stands of sapling and pole-sized ponderosa pine in the Black Hills of South Dakota showed no trends in the nutrients sampled relative to stocking (shade) levels that ranged from 0 (0 m2/ha basal area) to unthinned (40 m2/ha basal area) [124].  Production decreases when crown cover exceeds 40 percent [105].  Average percentages of the six nutrients studied for kinnikinnick forage are given below [124]: Attribute                    Pole Stands              Sapling Stands                           Mean  Standard Error     Mean  Standard Error Crude Protein              5.5       0.1            5.7       0.1 Acid Detergent Fiber      25.8       0.6           26.8       0.1 Acid Detergent Lignin     12.6       0.3           13.3       0.2 Ash                        3.15      0.55           3.08      0.09 Calcium                    0.63      0.01           0.60      0.01 Phosphorus                 0.14      0.01           0.14      0.01 A similar nutrient study done previously in the Black Hills gave the percent composition by season [45]: Attribute               Oct. 1      Jan. 1     April 1     July 1   Carotene (micrograms  per gram)               18.67       10.86      31.97       38.10 Moisture                 47.54       49.11      36.65       60.81 Ash                       1.93        2.01       2.27        1.66 Crude Fat                 5.97        4.88       8.28        4.72 Crude Fiber               9.00        8.29       9.18        6.22 Crude Protein             2.70        2.55       2.98        3.30 N-Free Extract           32.86       33.16      40.63       23.29 Phosphorus                0.064       0.067      0.09        0.08 Calcium                   0.39        0.60       0.52        0.22 Iron (ppm)              270.75      309.28     236.51      173.70 Manganese (ppm)          12.38       13.36      20.91       16.29 COVER VALUE : Kinnikinnick has little or no cover value for most game animals but may have fair cover value for upland game birds in Colorado and Utah.  It offers fair to good cover for small mammals and small nongame birds [30].  VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Kinnikinnick is very useful in erosion control plantings and attractive along highway embankments [11,73,118,148].  It is recommended for revegetation projects on well-drained soils in Alaska and moist to dry sites in most of Alberta.  It is well suited to coarse-textured soils that are low in nutrients.  Kinnikinnick can be aggressive on open sites and may invade disturbed sites vegetatively [148].  Its potential is better as a long-term revegetative species than as a short-term revegatative species because its growth rate is moderate [30,148].  Growth is good on gentle to steep sites [30]. Stem cuttings taken in the fall are described as the best method of establishment [11,63,148].  Kinnikinnick roots normally form endomycorrhizae, and cuttings can be inoculated with endomycorrhizal fungi prior to rooting [99].  Propagation by root cuttings has been done successfully [63].  Good seed crops occur at 1- to 5-year intervals. Seedling establishment is difficult and time consuming [11,30,46,146,148].  Details on seed cleaning, stratification, scarification, and germination as well as culture are well known and described [11,46,142,146,148].  Seed is available commercially [148]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Smoking the leaves as a tobacco substitute is the most widely mentioned human use of kinnikinnick.  However, medical uses of kinnikinnick leaves were recognized by early Romans, Native Americans, and settlers [54,95,142]. At the present, kinnikinnick leaves are used medicinally in Poland and many other countries [46].  The most important medical use of the leaves is for treating urinary tract disease.  They can also be used to make a highly astringent wash and as a vasoconstrictor for the endometrium of the uterus [46,54,79,95].  Some Native American tribes powdered the leaves and applied them to sores [54].  For medical use the leaves are best collected in the fall [46]. The berrylike drupes have dry, insipid, and tasteless flesh when raw but are useful emergency food [53,54,142].  Native Americans fried them or dried them and used them in pemmican [54].  The fruit is also used in jelly, jam, and sauces [53].  In Scandinavia, kinnikinnick is used commercially to tan leather [79]. Kinnikinnick is an attractive and excellent garden ground cover on sunny, sandy banks, along roadways, rock walls, rockeries, parking strips, and other sunny places in urban areas [73,128].  It withstands low summer moisture; some forms will withstand salt spray, grow very slowly, or grow under semishady conditions [73,128].  Branches with fruit are used for fall and Christmas decorations [53].  Kinnikinnick plants are available in nurseries [11,119].  Propagation by layering or rooted cuttings is easy and well described [46,73,128]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Kinnikinnick increases following moderate disturbances [151].  In western Montana, it increased strongly after clearcutting with no further treatment but showed little change after clearcutting with broadcast burning or mechanical scarification [6].  It is easily killed by scraping or fire but is able to regenerate from surviving parts or seed [6].  In north-central Washington it is often the only species growing on abandoned stock driveways [151].  Kinnikinnick is moderately resistant to trampling and has low short-term and long-term resilience [19].  In northern Idaho, its cover was sharply reduced in grazed stands, and it was considered to be less resistant to trampling due to its small size and shallow rhizomes (buried stems) [153].  In the Wind River Range of Wyoming, kinnikinnick increases in response to heavy livestock grazing and trampling and becomes characteristic of disturbed aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands [110]. Kinnikinnick is a host to yellow witch's broom, which also affects three species of spruce (Picea spp.) in Alberta [148].  Kinnikinnick's sensitivity to herbicides varies from susceptible to intermediate resistance, depending on both the type of treatment and the life stage treated [9,13].  Resprouts following disturbance are easily killed by herbicides, while old-growth is more difficult to kill [13].  Detailed treatment information is available [13,104]. Kinnikinnick is relatively insensitive to the effects of sulfur dioxide gas [60].  Concentrations of heavy metals due to air pollution have been determined for fruit, stems, and leaves [126].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Kinnikinnick is a prostrate, evergreen shrub that produces extensive trailing stems [92].  The bark is thin and exfoliates in largish flakes [142].  The leathery, dark green leaves are about 0.5 to 1 inch (1.27-2.54 cm) long.  The flowers are borne in terminal racemes [59] and are followed by bright red berrylike drupes, 0.25 to 0.4 inch (6-10 mm) broad. Each drupe contains five (sometimes four) single-seeded nutlets [50,59]. In western Montana, kinnikinnick roots were found to extend to a depth of 36 inches (91 cm) on one site and 72 inches (183 cm) on a drier site with the same soil type [100].  In two jack pine stands in central Alberta, kinnikinnick roots extended from 43.3 to 53.1 inches deep (110-135 cm) [135]. The forms (sometimes classed as varieties) of kinnikinnick are primarily distinguished by the types of pubescence.  These have been described in detail [15,117,142]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Chamaephyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Vegetative:  Regeneration is primarily asexual [129].  After the second year, the stems (stolons) produce adventitious, feeding roots at the nodes which seldom grow deeper than the duff layer [92].  If a stem is severed from the original plant, roots develop which penetrate into mineral soil [92].  When plants are growing in sandy soil or loose duff, the creeping stems often grow under the surface [14,111,129].  After 7 or 8 years, small nodules may appear at intervals along buried stems. These nodules resemble nitrogen-fixing root nodules but examination has shown these nodules to be composed of latent buds that have no ability to fix nitrogen [38,136].  In eastern North America and Scotland, plants subjected to physical damage or fire appear to have more of these structures [136].  On 10-year-old or older stems, there may be as many as 100 buds surrounding the lignotuber [111].  Kinnikinnick's clonal pattern is generally compact.  Recruitment of new seedlings into established clones has been reported [36].  A growth model based on a detailed study of the morphology and growth of kinnikinnick is available [111,112]. Seed:  The berrylike drupes persist on the plants through winter and are dispersed by animals and gravity [114,134].  Seeds have hard seedcoats and dormant embryos, and may be stored in the soil [11,81].  Soil-stored seed has been found near the surface [87].  Study results indicate that removing the surface litter increases seedling establishment, although the total number of germinants in this study was very small [87].  In a natural environment, seedling growth is slow for the first 3 years, then increases.  During the first year, root growth exceeds shoot growth [111].  Kinnikinnick plants which originated naturally as seedlings appear to be rare [111]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Habitat:  Kinnikinnick is most often a dominant understory species in open pine forests under jack pine (Pinus banksiana), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), limber pine (P. flexilis), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) or pitch pine (P. rigida) [47,96,113,138,148].  It is also found in the understories of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), white spruce (Picea glauca), black spruce (P. mariana), paper birch (Betula papyrifera), aspen, and some eastern deciduous forests [6,30,96,134].  In the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains, it grows on steep, sunny, dry slopes [41,131].  In the southern boreal forests of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, kinnikinnick is characteristic of dry and very dry forests [113].  It is common in heathland communities but grows in a variety of boreal forest sites, including eroded banks and peat bogs.  It also grows in sand-dune areas of subboreal regions [111].  Kinnikinnick is fairly abundant in the alpine zone of the Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains and may be dominant on stable, well drained, south-facing sites [10,27,31,32,33].  It grows under Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) in Washington woodlands [42]. Kinnikinnick is conspicuous in the Badlands of eastern Alberta [96].  In the foothills of the northern Great Plains, it grows in the rough fescue (Festuca scabrella) prairie [21,80].  In the Alaskan taiga, kinnikinnick occupies warmer sites [140]. In Michigan and Wisconsin, kinnikinnick is found on dry sand plains, and in Wisconsin it grows in bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)-grasslands [18,25].  In Ohio it grows on the beaches and dunes along Lake Erie [15].  In Ontario, it frequently grows on the shores of lakes and rivers and in semiopen coniferous woods [127].  In New England it grows in dry sandy open woods [125].  Kinnikinnick is one of the most abundant low understory species in the fire-prone, pygmy pine forests of the New Jersey Pine Barrens [91]. Habitat variation by form:  Collections of North American kinnikinnick plants exhibit form differences between sites.  In the Rocky Mountains these ecological differences between forms are less pronounced [116,117].  Forma coactilis grows best on the driest sites and is generally more common on acidic and drier substrates.  It is the only form found along the Coasts (pH of most sites <6.6) and on the relatively moist substrates of the Appalachian Mountains (pH of most sites 3.7-5.5).  Forma coactilis grows most frequently in full sunlight and is relatively uncommon on shaded sites [116,117].  Forma adenotricha is most common on basic substrates and seldom occurs on very acidic soils.  It seems to grow better on relatively moist sites.  In the Great Lakes area, it is the most shade-tolerant form [116,117].  Forma stipitata is more frequent on relatively basic sites; forma longpilosa grows well on acidic soils.  Both grow well on sites with intermediate moisture status.  Forma stipitata is most common on open sites in the Rocky Mountains; forma longipilosa grows in intermediate light conditions [116,117]. Soils:  Kinnikinnick grows on a wide range of soil textures, although it is commonly found on well-drained soils that have relatively low amounts of clay and silt [8,76,142,147,148].  It frequently occurs on sandy soils, shallow soils, soils on rock outcrops, and rapidly drained coarse-skeletal soils [70,127].  Along both Coasts and in conifer forests, kinnikinnick occurs on dry, acidic substrates [117].  In the Appalachian Mountains, it usually grows on moist, acidic soils.  The sandy to rocky soils on which kinnikinnick grows in the Great Lakes region are neutral to basic [117].  In Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, kinnikinnick growth is fair to good on acidic soils; poor to fair on organic soils and poor on saline, sodic and sodic-saline soils. Optimum soil depth in this area is 10 to 20 inches (25.4-50.8 cm) [30]. In the subalpine zone of western Montana, kinnikinnick grows on soils derived from granite and quartzite parent materials but not on soils developed on limestone [48].  However, it grows on soils formed from calcareous parent materials in the alpine zone [10].  It is found on basaltic lava flows, mudflow deposits, serpentine outcrops, and coarse glacial outwash in the Pacific Northwest [42]. Kinnikinnick is common on dry, nutrient-poor soils [8,76,148].  Information relating kinnikinnick growth habits to specific soil nutrient levels is available for British Columbia [147].  Results of one study indicate that leaves are retained longer on plants growing on a sandy, nutrient-poor substrate than on plants growing on a site with better nutrient availability [111]. Elevation:  Elevational ranges in some western regions are [20,30,142,150]:                      Minimum                   Maximum                    feet      meters         feet      meters Alberta             500       150            2000      610 Colorado           6000      1829           11700     3566 Montana            2900       884            7700     2347 New Mexico         5000      1524           10000     3048 Utah               7021      2140           11516     3510 Wyoming            4000      1219            9700     2957 SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Kinnikinnick is a seral, shade-intolerant species often found in seral, open pine forests [47,69,96,113,114,148].  It grows best in high light situations and becomes very rare when shade becomes intense [8,41,123]. In the open, kinnikinnick forms a compact and intricate mat; under a canopy, long, thin trailing stems creep along the forest floor. Shoots are more upright under partial shade than in the open [111].  Pubescence of cuttings from the same plant may vary with light intensity and substrate [117].  Results of a Rocky Mountain study of postdisturbance vegetation cover indicate that the primary variables governing early seral kinnikinnick cover are overtopping cover of other shrubs and site variables such as elevation [78]. Kinnikinnick pioneers on dry rock outcrops in the Pacific Northwest [42]. It is an integral part of succession on dry, stable, sand dunes in the Great Lakes and along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts [34,42].  On Lake Michigan sand dunes, it invades bunchgrass communities and thrives under slow burial by drifting sand that covers part of the plant [103]. On drier sites in Yukon Territory and the Alaskan taiga, kinnikinnick is part of secondary succession in communities with aspen and willows (Salix spp.)  [56,140].  Kinnikinnick enters seral communities on glacial outwash in the pioneer stage, reaches its highest cover early in the meadow stage, and continues declining in the early shrub stage [139]. Kinnikinnick succeeds lichens in northern Manitoba when the lichens are damaged by caribou use [93]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Fruit dispersal in eastern deciduous forests occurs between August and March [134].  In California, flowering primarily occurs between March and May, fruit ripening between June and August, and seed dispersal from August to March [11].  In Ontario, bloom is in May and June, and fruit is ripe by August or September [127].  In the northern Great Plains, flowering is in June, and fruit develops by September [132].  In New England, flowering is from May 1 to June 10 [125].  Virginia and disjunct Georgia populations bloom in May and June [152].  In the Black Hills of South Dakota, growth begins in May and ends in September, but over half the season's total growth occurs during June [123]. Phenological observations of kinnikinnick made over an 8-year period east of the Continental Divide in Montana and in Yellowstone National Park are summarized below [121]:                             Earliest        Average          Latest                               Date            Date            Date Leaf buds burst                May 27          June  6         June 22 Leaves full grown             July 21        August  2       August 15 Flowers start                  May 15           May 30         June 20 Flowers end                    May 31          June 11         June 30 Fruits ripe                    May 25        August 23    September 25 Seed fall starts (2   observations)                October 16       October 16      October 16

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Kinnikinnick is a sprouting species that is best suited to short fire cycles with low fuel buildup and low fire intensities [65,76,114,122]. It possesses latent buds on the horizontal stems and dormant buds on the stembase or root crown that allow sprouting of surviving plants or rooted stems [22,23,39,85].  In northern Saskatchewan, it is a strong sprouter from golfball-sized lignotubers located in mineral soil [114]. The crown of kinnikinnick plants may lie just below the top of mineral soil, but as duff increases it migrates into the duff layer and becomes susceptible to fire [14,92,114].  Kinnikinnick's main roots extend into mineral soil, but it has been considered to be incapable of regeneration from the roots if the crown is killed [81,92].  Since it can be propagated from root cuttings [63], it might be capable of regeneration from the roots under some circumstances.  Kinnikinnick may be a seedbanking species with fire resistant seed [81,114]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Prostrate woody plant, stem growing on organic mantle    Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown    Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)    Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)    Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire effects vary with the season, severity and intensity of the fire, site and surface soil characteristics, and the age, location, and vigor of the plants.  When kinnikinnick is rooted in mineral soil, it can survive moderate fire [114].  However, when kinnikinnick is rooted in organic soil horizons, a fire that removes those horizons will kill kinnikinnick [6,14,39].  If the duff and soil are moist and not completely consumed by fire, some kinnikinnick root crowns may survive [23].  Rooted stolons under rocks, moist logs, or in other protected microsites may also survive [22].  Kinnikinnick plants are sufficiently resistant to ignition to inhibit fire spread in light, flashy fuels [46,68]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : In a controlled experiment, five kinnikinnick plants were burned at different temperatures.  Heat treatments lasted about 2 minutes apiece. Kinnikinnick response was strongest at the middle temperature of 1112 degrees F (600 degrees C).  The number of postfire sprouts after 3 months, and the amount of cover, height of the sprouts, and oven-dry biomass after 17 months were recorded [86]:                         Temperature in degrees F (degrees C)                    752 (400)           1112 (600)          1472 (800)                   mean  S.E.          mean  S.E.          mean  S.E. Sprout numbers     44    20            48    13            26     7 Percent cover      42    15            78    19            45    19 Height (in)         2.4   3.5           2.4   0.4           1.6   0.4        (cm)         6     9             6     1             4     1 Biomass (oz)        1.1   0.4           1.9   0.5           0.9   0.4         (g)        30    11            54    15            26    10 PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Kinnikinnick sprouts from the root crown and establishes from seedbank-stored seed after fire [85,114,115,129].  Kinnikinnick seeds have been reported to survive fire in the upper soil and be stimulated to germinate by heat from the fire [114].  Rowe [114] suggests that kinnikinnick may be a shade-intolerant species that stores seed in the soil. After fire in heathland, kinnikinnick sprouts vigorously and expands rapidly [85].  Kinnikinnick reinvades burned sites from adjacent, unburned vegetation and/or from seed [6,23,39,81,148].  In boreal forest, kinnikinnick has regenerated from surviving basal sprouts following fire [115,129].  Full recovery in many areas has been slow [17,32,120]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Kinnikinnick's response is variable and dependent upon survival of shallow regenerative organs and seed sources.  Several studies seem to indicate a slow postfire response with a definite increase in early succession. Immediate postfire results of a study in Scotland heath were variable. In one set of plots, seedling establishment during the first 3 years after a March fire was good [87].  A second set of plots monitored following the same fire had good vegetative recovery but no seedlings [88].  Results of a northwestern Montana study showed the following average percent cover of kinnikinnick 3 years after fire on plots burned at different intensities [130]:     Unburned       Light burn     Medium burn     Hot burn       3.27            1.80            0.89          none Following spring burning in a Montana shrubfield created 35 years previously by wildfire, kinnikinnick volume decreased the first two seasons, but kinnikinnick appeared to be recovering well [101].  Kinnikinnick had an average of 0.6 percent frequency in samples from sites where slash pile fires occurred 2 to 15 years previously and was considered to be a retreater on hotly burned sites [144].  Following fire in Colorado lodgepole pine forest stands, kinnikinnick was one of the major shrub dominants during the first century of succession [17].  However, data from this study do not show any kinnikinnick in the first few years after fire [17].  Ten or 11 years after fire on the Tillamook Burn in Oregon, kinnikinnick had 11 percent frequency on burned areas and was not present in or near plots in adjacent unburned forest [98].  Following fire in British Columbia, kinnikinnick cover is weakly correlated with environmental factors.  Evidently, kinnikinnick is able to grow on a variety of sites under postfire conditions [41].  Twenty-nine years after an alpine wildfire in British Columbia, kinnikinnick cover and frequency were slightly higher in burned areas of both krummholz and heath than in unburned areas [32]. During the first 3 years after prescribed fire on jack pine clearcuts in Michigan, kinnikinnick cover and frequency were very low when compared to similar clearcuts that were not burned or undisturbed forest [1]. Another Michigan study found the highest postfire frequency of kinnikinnick occurred 31 years after fire [120].  Results of a paired plot study in the northern Wisconsin pine barrens indicated that kinnikinnick frequency decreases after a single fire or repeated fires [143]. The following Research Project Summaries provide information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant community species including kinnikinnick:
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : 
Equations have been developed for estimating the fuel loading of kinnikinnick from
cover and plant height values in the northern and central
Rocky Mountains [4,16].

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
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