Berberis repens



INTRODUCTORY


 

creeping barberry, Mahonia repens  (Ranunculales: Berberidaceae)

ęDave Powell, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org


AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION:
Ulev, Elena D. 2006. Berberis repens. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

FEIS ABBREVIATION:
BERREP

SYNONYMS:
Berberis amplectens (Eastw.) L.C. Wheeler
Berberis pumila
Greene
Berberis sonnei
(Abrams) McMinn [98]
Mahonia amplectens
Eastw. [61,98]
Mahonia repens
(Lindl.) G. Don [3,68,71,85,98,99,100,109,124,135,157,210,214,216]
Odostemon repens
(Lindl.) Cockerell [124,169,207]

NRCS PLANT CODE [208]:
MARE11

COMMON NAMES:
Oregon-grape
creeping Oregon-grape
dwarf Oregon-grape
Oregon barberry
creeping barberry
creeping western barberry
ash barberry
creeping mahonia
holly grape
creeping holly grape
mountain holly

TAXONOMY:
The currently accepted scientific name for Oregon-grape is Berberis repens Lindl. (Berberidaceae) [58,58,88,110,169].

LIFE FORM:
Shrub

FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
No special status

OTHER STATUS:
Oregon-grape is imperiled in North Dakota [146].

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Berberis repens
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION:
Oregon-grape is native to the western United States and Canada. It occurs from central British Columbia and southern Alberta to western South Dakota, south to California, and east to southern Arizona and New Mexico, and Minnesota [34,61,133,207,216]. Isolated populations are also present in western Texas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania [61]. The Flora of North America provides a distributional map of Oregon-grape.

ECOSYSTEMS [62]:
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

STATES/PROVINCES: (key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES

AZ CA CO ID IN MN MT NE NV NM
ND OR PA SD TX UT WA WY

CANADA
AB BC ON

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [31]:
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
14 Great Plains
15 Black Hills Uplift
16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

KUCHLER [104] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:
K001 Spruce-cedar-hemlock forest
K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest
K004 Fir-hemlock forest
K005 Mixed conifer 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
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
K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland
K033 Chaparral
K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub
K038 Great Basin sagebrush
K050 Fescue-wheatgrass

SAF COVER TYPES [56]:
16 Aspen
42 Bur oak
63 Cottonwood
109 Hawthorn
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
220 Rocky Mountain juniper
224 Western hemlock
226 Coastal true fir-hemlock
227 Western redcedar-western hemlock
228 Western redcedar
229 Pacific Douglas-fir
230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock
234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone
237 Interior ponderosa pine
239 Pinyon-juniper
243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer
244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir
245 Pacific ponderosa pine

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [178]:
101 Bluebunch wheatgrass
102 Idaho fescue
109 Ponderosa pine shrubland
110 Ponderosa pine-grassland
207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral
210 Bitterbrush
215 Valley grassland
217 Wetlands
239 Pinyon-juniper
304 Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass
312 Rough fescue-Idaho fescue
317 Bitterbrush-bluebunch wheatgrass
319 Bitterbrush-rough fescue
401 Basin big sagebrush
402 Mountain big sagebrush
404 Threetip sagebrush
409 Tall forb
411 Aspen woodland
412 Juniper-pinyon woodland
413 Gambel oak
415 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany
416 True mountain-mahogany
418 Bigtooth maple
420 Snowbrush
421 Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose
422 Riparian
612 Sagebrush-grass

HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES:
Oregon-grape is recognized as a dominant species in the following vegetation classifications:

Arizona:
Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)/Oregon-grape habitat type [7,113]
White fir (Abies concolor)/Oregon-grape habitat type [69,113,125,138]
White fir/Douglas-fir habitat type, Oregon-grape phase
White fir/Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum) habitat type, Oregon-grape phase[7]

Colorado
White fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [125]
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type
Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)/Oregon-grape habitat type [6]

Idaho
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [88,180,185,187].
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [180,185,187,189,189]
Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa)/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [185]
Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)/Oregon-grape [180]
Singleleaf pinyon/curlleaf mountain mahogany-mountain snowberry-Oregon-grape/bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pinus monophylla/Cercocarpus ledifolius-Symphoricarpos oreophilus/Pseudoroegneria spicata) [170]
Ponderosa pine/common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Oregon-grape phase [180]

Montana
Quaking aspen/Oregon-grape habitat type [81,82]
Ponderosa pine/Oregon-grape habitat type [167,180]
Ponderosa pine/common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [116,180]
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [180]

Nevada
Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [144]

New Mexico
White fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [113,125]
White fir/Rocky Mountain maple habitat type-Oregon-grape phase [4,7]
White fir/sparse habitat type (white fir/Douglas-fir habitat type)-Oregon-grape phase [7]
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [113],

Oregon
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape community type [42]

South Dakota
Quaking aspen/Oregon-grape/roughleaf ricegrass (Oryzopsis asperifolia) habitat type [44,136,176]
Ponderosa pine/common juniper (Juniperus communis)-common snowberry-Oregon-grape habitat type [200]
Ponderosa pine-bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)/common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)-common snowberry-Oregon-grape habitat type [200]

Utah
Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [57,79,126]
White fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [57,219]
White-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [126,219]
Blue spruce (Picea pungens)/Oregon-grape habitat type [57,126,180,219]
Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)/Oregon-grape habitat type [126]
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [180,219]
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [126,180,219]
Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [219]
Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [219]

Wyoming
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [5,44,180,185]
Douglas-fir/Oregon-grape habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [185]
Quaking aspen/Oregon-grape cover type [5,136,220]
Quaking aspen/subalpine fir habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [220]
Subalpine fir/Oregon-grape habitat type [5,185]
Subalpine fir/Oregon grape cover type [5]
Subalpine fir/Oregon grape cover type, Oregon-grape phase [185]
Subalpine fir/Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) habitat type, Oregon-grape phase [44]

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Berberis repens
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [3,68,71,85,88,99,100,109,124,214,216].

Oregon-grape is a perennial, evergreen, creeping subshrub [71,100,109,135,157,210,216]. Stem height is 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm) [61,68,85,88,99,100,109,135,157,216]. Each aerial stem arises from a rhizome that gives rise to other aerial stems at intervals [3,85,110,135,149,181,210,216]. Leaves are pinnately compound with 3 to 7 spine-toothed leaflets [61,68,71,85,100,109,124,135,153,210]. Flowers occur in dense racemes or umbels [3,68,85,99,100,110,124,153,157,210,216]. Fruits are berries, 0.4 inches long (1 cm) and borne in grape-like clusters [3,68,71,85,99,110,124,135,210,216]. Each berry contains 1 to 4 seeds, 0.2 to 0.4 inches (0.6-1.0 cm) long [61,110]. Each Oregon-grape fruit contains several seeds [3,68,71,85,99,110,116,124,135,149,210,216]. Oregon-grape produces 71,120 seeds per pound [96].

Roots: Oregon-grape has fibrous rhizomes and roots that typically grow 0.6 to 2.0 inches (1.5-5 cm) below the mineral soil surface [35,36,88,128,132,147]. Rhizomes can sprout from relatively great depth without the stimulus of fire [35,78]. Bradley [35] found 1 active rhizome branch originating from 5.9 inches (15 cm) below the soil surface that was nearly emergent in Pattee Canyon, in western Montana. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, a 6 ft study plot identified 31 stems originating from the same root system [32]. Roots can reach a maximum rooting depth of 6 feet (1.8 m), providing adaptability to water stress [40,145].

RAUNKIAER [161] LIFE FORM:
Chamaephyte
Geophyte

REGENERATION PROCESSES:
Oregon-grape reproduces both sexually and vegetatively.

Pollination: Oregon-grape is pollinated by bees and butterflies. If cross-pollination does not occur, self-pollination may occur, frequently producing no fruits [135].

Breeding system: Oregon-grape is monoecious.

Seed production: Good fruit crops are produced almost annually from cross-pollinated plants [135].

Seed dispersal: Seeds are dispersed by birds and mammals [22,169].

Seed banking: Regeneration from seed banks is common [35,78]. Seed banking of Oregon-grape has not been studied in the field; however, seeds are viable for many years under warehouse conditions. Plummer and others [156] claim that Oregon-grape seeds can be stored up to 5 years with good viability; Jorgensen and Stevens [96] claim that seeds can be kept under uncontrolled warehouse conditions for 13 or more years with good viability and or 16 or more years of dry storage without a great loss in viability [192]. Oregon-grape had a germination rate of 25% for freshly collected seed and decreased to 23% germination after 13 years in an open warehouse, showing no great change in germination percentage [192].

Soils were sampled in mature Douglas-fir/ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus), grand fir/Rocky Mountain maple, and grand fir/globe huckleberry (Vaccinium globulare) habitat types on the Payette and Boise National Forests in west central Idaho for viable Oregon-grape seeds. In samples covering a total area of 2.28 m▓, 13 viable Oregon-grape seeds were found-10 seeds in the 0 to 2.0 inch (0-5 cm) layer and 3 seeds in the 2.0 to 3.9 inch (5-10 cm) layer [103].

Germination: Oregon-grape requires stratification. In the laboratory, Oregon-grape is considered a "medium germinator" [96] but is considered a "poor" germinator when planted on game ranges of Utah [156]. According to Jorgensen and Stevens [96], Oregon-grape seeds require cold stratification from 1 to 3 months. Plummer and others [156] claim that seeds can require up to 196 days cold stratification to stimulate germination.

Seedling establishment/growth: Growth of Oregon-grape is rapid after a disturbance but is slow when considered over the life of a forest stand [199]. Individual stems can live for 10 years or more [61]. As the overstory increases in density or cover, the establishment and growth of Oregon-grape generally diminish due to lack of sunlight [112,151,199]; however, in a ponderosa pine habitat in the Fort Lewis National Forest in Colorado, the percent ground cover of Oregon-grape increased as the density of trees increased. This was probably due to the affinity of Oregon-grape to acid soils created by the ponderosa pine needles [143].

Survival measurements and "vigor" estimates were made on Oregon-grape plants planted on road cut and fill slopes on 3 National Forests in eastern Washington. The survival of Oregon-grape was generally low and vigor was fair to poor on all sites [201].

Asexual regeneration: Oregon-grape regenerates by rhizomes [133,135,147,190] and layering [34,96,133].

SITE CHARACTERISTICS:
Oregon-grape is abundant on north-facing slopes [133,151]. It occurs in dry to moist foothill shrublands and montane areas [68,85,99,109,110,124,135,157,210,214,216] with sparse understory vegetation [61]. Oregon-grape also occurs in moist sites on plains, low-elevation woodlands [119,133], riparian areas, and occasionally wetland areas [83]. Oregon-grape is among the most resistant plants to winter sun exposure [213].

Elevation: Oregon-grape grows at elevations ranging from near sea level on the Pacific coast to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in the Rocky Mountains [85,216]. Elevational ranges by state are shown below:

Arizona 5,000- 8,500 feet (1,500-2,600 m) [100]
California 1,000-7,200 feet (300-2,200 m) [88]
Colorado 5,500-10,000 feet (1,700-3,100 m) [85]
Nevada 5,000-10,000 feet (1,500-3,100 m) [99]
New Mexico 6,500-10,000 feet (2,000-3,100 m) [124]
Texas 4,500-8,000 feet (1,400-2,400 m) [157,210]
Utah 3,600-9,800 feet (1,100-3,000 m) [216]

Soil: Oregon-grape is found in medium-textured, well-drained sandy loam, chalky, or granitic soil in coniferous forests [34,71,213] and sometimes on shallow, rocky sites where other vegetation is sparse [46,213]. Oregon-grape grows well on soils derived from limestone and quartzite in western Montana [67]. It is intolerant of poor drainage and high water tables [85,156,213] and is weakly tolerant to saline soils [182]. Oregon-grape is tolerant of very strongly acid to mildly alkaline soils [34,213] with pH ranging from 4.6 to 7.6 [34,182,185,189].

Climate: Oregon-grape tolerates a wide range of climates including xeric continental [81,142], Pacific maritime, core maritime, northern and southern continental [142,176,188], and subhumid montane [217].

Precipitation: Oregon-grape tolerates annual precipitation ranging from 12 inches (305 mm) per year in the Uinta Mountains of Utah [57] to 140 inches (3,556 mm) per year in northwest Oregon [120].

SUCCESSIONAL STATUS:
Oregon-grape is present throughout all successional stages [65,77,120]. It tolerates full sun and partial to deep shade [133,151]. It is considered a "stress tolerator" due to its shade tolerance and longevity, surviving in environments from clearcuts to dense conifer stands. As the overstory increases in density or cover, the establishment and growth of Oregon-grape diminish due to lack of sunlight [112,151,199]. Oregon-grape responds favorably to disturbances and increases after low-severity fire [11,12,183,184] as well as severe fire [9,15,30,33,54,95,160,204,217] and logging [151,175,218].

Oregon-grape is classified by various authors as a seral to climax species throughout its range. In studies by Habeck [75,76] in Glacier National Park, Montana, the forest succession of major understory species, including Oregon-grape, was studied in western redcedar-western hemlock (Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla) communities after the 1967 Flathead Fire. The following table presents the percent frequency of Oregon-grape from pioneer to climax stages of succession. The gradient segments begin with pioneer communities dominated by lodgepole pine that are less than 50 years old and end with a climax community dominated by western hemlock, averaging 400 years old [75,76]:

Gradient segments I
(dominated by lodgepole pine)
II
(dominated by Engelmann spruce)
III
(dominated by western hemlock)
IV
(dominated by western redcedar/western hemlock)
V
(dominated by western hemlock)
VI
(dominated by western hemlock)
Frequency (%) 7.0 26.7 3.5 2.5 4.3 0.3

Oregon-grape was a pioneer species following the Tillamook Fires in northwestern Oregon, which burned a total of 355,000 acres (143,663 ha) over 20 years. Before the burns, the forests were dominated by Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and western hemlock at medium to high elevations, and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) at lower elevations [120].

On some site types, Oregon-grape is considered seral. Oregon-grape occurs in seral communities of Douglas-fir habitat types in central Idaho [48,187], ponderosa pine communities in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho [77], Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)/roughleaf ricegrass habitat in the northern Great Plains, Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) -subalpine fir forests in northwest Wyoming [26] and quaking aspen woodlands in the West [5,6,44,81,82,136,136,137,176,220]. Oregon-grape occurs in late-seral stages in riparian areas of Zion National Park [84].

After disturbances in a ponderosa pine/common juniper habitat type in the Custer National Forest within the Missouri Plateau of Montana, Oregon-grape quickly invaded, but decreased with time and lack of disturbance [81].

Oregon-grape occurs as a climax understory dominant in the following habitats: Douglas-fir [7,48,64,80,91,113,126,168,185,186,187,187,203], grand fir [64,65,77,168,186,186], western redcedar and western hemlock forests [77,168], subalpine fir [5,44,144,185,185,219], ponderosa pine forests [116,167,168,180,200], white fir [4,7,57,69,113,125,126,138,219], quaking aspen [5,6,44,81,82,136,136,176,220], lodgepole pine [126], and blue spruce [57,126,180,219].

SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Oregon-grape flowers from early spring to mid-summer. Flower development likely depends on climate and site conditions:

Arizona April-June
Idaho March-July
Nevada March-June
New Mexico April-June
Uinta Basin May-June

The fruit of Oregon-grape ripens from June to September in Utah [156] and June in the Great Plains [71].

Schmidt and Lotan [173] provide phenological data on Oregon-grape east of the Continental Divide in Montana and Yellowstone National Park, and in northern Idaho and Montana west of the Continental Divide. The growing season for Oregon-grape generally begins earlier west of the Continental Divide. The table below presents the phenology of Oregon-grape based on observations from 1928 to 1937 [173]:

East of the Continental Divide in Montana and Yellowstone National Park
  leaf buds burst leaves full grown flowers start flowers end fruits ripe seeds fall starts leaves start to color/wither leaves begin to fall leaves fallen withered
average date May 6 June 12 May 28 June 22 Aug. 11 Aug. 9 Sep. 8 Sep. 20 Oct. 15
earliest date Apr. 20 May 15 Apr. 28 May 15 June 23 July 16 Aug. 25 Sep. 17 Oct. 10
latest date May 30 June 28 July 4 Aug.2 Sep. 15 Sep. 1 Sep. 15 Sep. 24 Oct. 18
standard error (days) 2 2 3 4 4 6 4 2 2
number of observations 25 24 32 31 22 7 5 4 4
Northern Idaho and west of the Continental Divide in Montana
  leaf buds burst leaves full grown flowers start flowers end fruits ripe seeds fall starts leaves start to color/wither leaves begin to fall leaves fallen withered
average date May 2 May 24 May 6 May 29 Aug. 2 Aug. 12 Sep.27 ---- ----
earliest date Mar. 20 Apr. 11 Mar. 20 Apr. 15 June 21 July 16 Sep. 24 ---- ----
latest date May 28 July1 May 28 June 16 Sep. 1 Sep. 14 Oct. 1 ---- ----
standard error (days) 4 4 3 3 3 6 2 ---- ----
number of observations 23 28 29 30 30 8 3 ---- ----

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Berberis repens
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS:
Fire adaptations: Oregon-grape is adapted to fire due to its well-developed rhizome systems [3,35,36,88,128,132,147,195]; however, plants with rhizomes above the mineral layer may be killed in the case of severe fires [11,35,78,132,158,184,212].

Fire regimes: Oregon-grape occurs in plant communities with a variety of fire regimes including frequent, low-severity surface fires, mixed-severity fires, and crown fires.

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where Oregon-grape is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or ecosystem Dominant species Fire return interval range (years)
grand fir Abies grandis 35-200 [16]
basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata 12-43 [171]
mountain big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana 15-40 [18,38,131]
curlleaf mountain-mahogany* Cercocarpus ledifolius 13-1,000 [21,174]
mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii <35 to <100
Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum <35 [154]
western larch Larix occidentalis 25-350 [17,29,51]
Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa 35 to >200
blue spruce* Picea pungens 35-200 [16]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [154]
whitebark pine* Pinus albicaulis 50-200 [2,13]
Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. latifolia 25-340 [28,29,198]
Sierra lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. murrayana 35-200 [16]
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-400+ [59,70,101,154]
western white pine* Pinus monticola 50-200
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [16]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [16,24,115]
quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains) Populus tremuloides 7-120 [16,72,129]
mountain grasslands Pseudoroegneria spicata 3-40 (Á=10) [14,16]
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca 25-100 [16,18,19]
coastal Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii 40-240 [16,134,165]
oak-juniper woodland (Southwest) Quercus-Juniperus spp. <35 to <200 [154]
western redcedar-western hemlock Thuja plicata-Tsuga heterophylla >200 [16]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [195]:
Small shrub, adventitious bud/root crown
Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil
Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Berberis repens
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT:
Fire top-kills Oregon-grape. Mortality of the entire plant is induced when sufficient heat is diverted to its rhizomes which are near or below the ground surface [11,78,132,158,184,212].

DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT:
Oregon-grape has "medium" resistance to fire [132,153,158,158,184,212]. This rating is interpreted as a 35-64% chance that 50% of a population will survive or immediately reestablish after a fire with an average flame length of 12 inches (30 cm) [158] and regain its prefire frequency or cover in 5 to 10 years [153,158]. Oregon-grape may be killed by severe fire (over 572║ F (300░ C)) that removes duff and causes heating of the soil, killing rhizomes [11,35,78,132,158,184,212]. Occasionally, Oregon-grape survives severe fires [9,15,30,33,54,95,160,204,217].

PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE:
Oregon-grape sprouts from rhizomes after fire. Seedling regeneration can occur from onsite or offsite sources [147]. Seedling establishment following fire has been reported by Bradley [35], possibly originating from a short-term seedbank. Oregon-grape seeds may be dispersed onto burns by birds and mammals [22,147,169].

Oregon-grape is considered an "endurer," or "survivor" due to its adaptability to survive fire by sprouting, and growth from deep-buried perennating buds [147,193,194,195,196]. Rhizomatous species, such as Oregon-grape, often increase by the end of the 1st year after fire [33,195]. If shallow rhizomes are killed by fire, the remaining rhizomes below the mineral soil surface can survive to form separate plants [35].

DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE:
The postfire recovery time for Oregon-grape varies according to fire severity, site characteristics, and climatic factors.

Oregon-grape sprouted 4 months after a fire that killed all but old growth ponderosa pine trees in a mixed-conifer forest in Zion National Park, Utah [217].

Oregon-grape sprouted from rhizomes 1 year after fire in old-growth western hemlock-Douglas-fir forest in the Pacific Northwest [1].

In a 1996 lightning-ignited fire in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, 4,781 acres (1,935 ha) burned. Postfire recovery was studied the following year in 3 habitats: mountain shrublands, pinyon-juniper/shrublands, and pinyon-juniper woodlands. Oregon-grape occurred in 10 to 20% of all habitat types. The numbers below indicate the relative frequency of Oregon-grape [60]:

Habitat  
Mountain shrublands 0.19
Pinyon-juniper/shrublands 0.12
Pinyon-juniper woodlands 0.14

Severe wildfires: Oregon-grape increased after severe fires in the following habitats:

Subalpine fir/Engelmann spruce habitat: In a 1974 lightning-ignited fire in Waterfalls Canyon in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 3,494 ac (1,414 ha) burned before it was extinguished by snow in late November. Data were collected from permanent plots in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1983, and 1991 in 60 unburned plots, 60 moderately burned (40% of the canopy trees alive 1 year after the fire) plots, and 60 severely burned plots (all trees killed and the aboveground portions of understory species are consumed). Oregon-grape was considered one of the most important postfire understory species in the severely burned areas, making up a maximum cover of 1-3%. The mean percent cover of Oregon-grape is shown below [54]:

Year 1975 1976 1977 1983 1991
Unburned 1 trace
(<1% cover)
1 1 t
Moderate burn t 0 0 0 0
Severe burn t 1 1 2 1

Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir and lodgepole pine stands: Oregon-grape appeared 1 year after a severe subalpine wildfire in northern Colorado [30].

Douglas-fir: Oregon-grape was a common undergrowth species 10 years after a severe fire in an advanced mature/early old-growth Douglas-fir forest in the Warner Creek Basin on the Willamette National Forest near Eugene, Oregon [160].

Following a severe wildfire in 1977 in a second-growth Douglas-fir forest in western Montana, the percent cover of Oregon-grape increased over time [204]:

Year 1979 1982 1987
Postfire year 2 5 10
Percent cover 3 5 11

Ponderosa pine/common snowberry, grand fir/queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), grand fir/birchleaf spirea (Spiraea betulifolia), and grand fir/pinegrass (Calamagrostis rubescens): Oregon-grape increased after severe fires in these northeastern Oregon communities and utilized habitat after a severe burn in a cool, moist grand fir forest [95].

Douglas-fir, quaking aspen, and subalpine fir: Oregon-grape appeared 5 years after a severe fire in 1998 in Yellowstone National Park [9], perhaps due to seed dispersal by birds and mammals.

Prescribed burning: Oregon-grape can have an unfavorable, favorable, or no response to prescribed burning based on the habitat, severity of the burn, and how long after fire Oregon-grape is measured.

Unfavorable responses to prescribed burning:
Gambel oak habitat: The frequency of Oregon-grape was higher in unburned stands versus stands burned within 8 years of the sampling date in central Utah [107]:

Treatment 9 unburned stands 14 burned stands
Average percent frequency 7.7 2.6

Douglas-fir/ponderosa pine habitat: Arno [15] studied the response of Oregon-grape for 4 years following low and high-consumption prescribed burning in a shelterwood cutting unit in western Montana. The average percent cover of Oregon-grape was highest overall in the no burn areas, and greater in the high-consumption burns compared to the low-consumption burns. Burn treatment severity was indicated by the consumption of woody fuels, which ranged from 0% in the no-burn to 80% in the high-consumption burn treatment. Mineral soil exposure was 4% in the no-burn, 8% in the low-consumption burn and 9% in the high-consumption burn [15]:

Postfire year Pretreatment  1  2  3  4
No burn 3.0 2.6 2.7 3.0 3.9
Low-consumption burn 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.6 2.9
High-consumption burn 2.1 1.7 2.8 3.4 3.9

Mixed conifer: The effectiveness of shelterwood cutting and underburning was tested on a ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir-grand fir forest on the Priest River Experimental Forest in northern Idaho. Treatments included a moist fuels underburn, a dry fuels underburn, and a no burn in the cut units. The percent canopy coverage of Oregon-grape was measured 1 year following the moist and dry burns. Oregon-grape changed little after the shelterwood cut in the no burn and moist underburn areas but decreased after the dry burn [179]:

No burn Moist burn Dry burn
Precut Postcut Prefire Postfire Prefire Postfire
4.6 4.0 3.8 3.7 3.9 1.3

Favorable responses of Oregon-grape to prescribed burning:
Big sagebrush/grass: The effects of prescribed burning were studied by Blaisdell [33] in the Snake River Plains in Idaho. Four hundred circular plots, each having an area of 100 ft, were established at regular intervals. Immediately after the plots were burned, they were classified by intensity of burn as follows: "light burn"-smaller branches and twigs of sagebrush unburned, only leaves consumed by fire; "moderate burn"- larger branches of sagebrush remaining, but smaller branches and twigs consumed; and "heavy burn"- trunk or mainstem of sagebrush plants consumed by fire. Fifteen years following the prescribed burns, Oregon-grape was favored by the heavy burn treatment [33]:

  Unburned Light burn Moderate burn Heavy burn
Lbs/acre 6.3 4.4 7.0 33.9

Great Basin big sagebrush: The percent cover of Oregon-grape was greater after prescribed spring and fall fires in 1973 compared to a control site on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming [127]:

Treatment Spring burn Fall burn Unburned control
Year 1974 1975 1976 1974 1975 1976 1974 1975 1976
Cover (%) trace 1 trace trace ---- 1 ---- trace ----
Frequency (%) 3 5 5 3 ---- 10 ---- 3 ----

Mixed conifer, quaking aspen/mixed conifer and quaking aspen: Oregon-grape responded quickly after a prescribed burn applied in late September in Manning Basin in the Caribou National Forest, Idaho. In the mixed conifer stand, the burn severity was "moderate", indicating that litter was consumed, duff was deeply charred, but with some remaining charcoal; shrubs were killed and partially consumed; and most aspen stems were charred and appeared killed. In the upper-elevation and lower-elevation aspen stands, the burn severity was "high", indicating that litter and duff were completely consumed and mineral soil exposed; shrubs were mostly consumed; and all aspen stems were killed. The biomass of Oregon-grape was 2/3rds of prefire quantities 5 years after fire. The numbers below indicate biomass kg/ha [36]:

Stand

Mixed conifer

Upper-elevation aspen

Lower-elevation aspen

Prefire 60 65 85
Postfire 47 93 47

Ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir: The Research Project Summary Vegetation response to restoration treatments in ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests of western Montana provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant species in this community including Oregon-grape.

Douglas-fir: Vegetation was compared between clearcuts, uncut, and cut and burned stands by Lafferty [111] in the Gold Creek drainage, 17 miles northeast of Missoula, Montana. The clearcuts were burned in the fall between 1961 and 1964, and the study was conducted in 1967. The burn classifications are as follows: "Unburned"-no apparent effect of fire on the slash or soil; "lightly burned"-twigs finger-size and smaller consumed, larger materials partly burned with needles scorched and fuel components discernible; and "severely burned"-fire consumed most of the organic layer, all 4 inch materials absent and logs deeply charred. Oregon-grape was most abundant on south aspects of the "lightly burned" stand [111]:

Treatment Unburned Lightly burned Severely burned
Aspect North East South North East South North East South
Cover (%) 5 5 13 5 5 13 0 5 5
Frequency (%) 6 9 14 3 4 62 0 1 1

Douglas-fir/globe huckleberry: After spring and fall prescribed fires in the Lubrecht Experimental forest in western Montana, the total number of Oregon-grape plants increased in 3 of 5 plots, and frequency increased in 2 of 5 plots in both postfire years [130]:

Plot number Prefire 1973 Postfire 1974 Postfire 1975
Total no. of plants No. of sample quadrats with plants Total no. of plants No. of sample quadrats with plants Total no. of plants No. of sample quadrats with plants
2 (Spring burn) 73 10 109 3 130 5
30 (Spring burn) 39 10 80 14 86 13
1(Fall burn) 135 21 56 10 77 11
3 (Fall burn) 110 6 127 8 180 10
31 (Fall burn) 6 2 2 2 23 5

Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat: On the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation in Benewah County, Idaho, Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat was burned in high- and low-intensity prescription fires. Oregon-grape was nearly absent on high-intensity burn sites, and unharmed on low-intensity sites. The following table provides the percent cover in unburned, low-intensity, and high-intensity treatments. Coverages are averaged over 3 postfire years of data collection [11].

Treatment Unburned Low-intensity High-intensity
Cover (%) 1.1 1.2 0.0
Frequency (%) 8.6 11.1 0.2

The average fuel load on burned sites was 58,200 kg/ha, nearly half of which was duff [25]. Depth of duff was 1.3 cm on high-intensity sites, 4.0 cm on low-intensity sites, and 6.6 cm on unburned sites. Three replicated high- and low-intensity fires were sampled. High- and low-intensity fires had significantly different (p<0.05) fireline intensities. Energy produced by high-intensity fires was between 30 to 3,034 kcal/m/s and averaged 781 kcal/m/s; energy released on low-intensity fires averaged 127 kcal/m/s and ranged from 25 to 194 kcal/m/s. Significantly (p value not reported) more duff was consumed on the high-intensity fire sites (80%) than on low-intensity fire sites (40%). Flame lengths averaged 0.9 m and ranged from 0.1 to 1.7 m on both sites. On average, duff smoldered longer on high-intensity sites than on low-intensity sites [11]. See the Research Project Summary Understory recovery after low- and high-intensity fires in northern Idaho ponderosa pine forests for an extended report on this study.

Lyon's Research Paper also provides information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant species, including Oregon-grape, in Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir communities.

Grand fir/Oregon boxwood (Pachistima myrsinites): The percent shrub crown cover of Oregon-grape was studied before (1967) and after prescribed spring burning in central Idaho by Leege [118] with little difference [118]:

Year 1967 1969 1970 1970 1972 1977
% crown cover 0.5 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.9 0.6

Grand fir/Oregon boxwood: In a study performed by Zamora [221], 43 stands of vegetation representing various developmental stages were studied following broadcast-burned clearcut stands in north central Idaho. The average percent canopy volume of Oregon-grape was greatest 8 years following the treatment and decreased until Oregon-grape was no longer present in the near-climax stage [221]:

Age class 1 year 3 year 8 year 12 year 23 year Near-climax
 % canopy volume <0.1 0.1 0.7 <0.1 0.1 0

Mature larch/Douglas-fir: Following spring and fall prescribed burns of "light intensity" in the Lubrecht Experimental Forest in western Montana, almost no damage was done to the rhizomes of Oregon-grape, and Oregon-grape sprouted either the same year or the following year [184].

Grand fir/Oregon boxwood and western hemlock/Oregon boxwood: A 20-year record of shrub succession in clearcut and clearcut-burned areas was studied in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest in northern Idaho by Wittinger and others [218]. Oregon-grape increased following logging and/or burning on 3 sites in the western hemlock/Oregon boxwood sites and 2 sites in the grand fir/Oregon boxwood habitat as shown below [218]:

The Jupiter Creek-Diamond Cut site is located in the western hemlock-Oregon boxwood habitat and was clearcut in 1950 and not burned. Oregon-grape increased 7 years after clearcutting but decreased 25 years after clearcutting [218]:

Jupiter Creek-Diamond cut site

Unlogged adjacent

7 years after clearcutting 14 years after clearcutting 25 years after clearcutting
% composition 8.7 19.3 2.8 1.6
% cover 3.7 14.1 2.0 2.3

The Jupiter Creek-Power Line site is located in the western hemlock/Oregon boxwood habitat and was clearcut and burned in 1961. The percent composition and percent cover changed little 3 years and 14 years after the treatment [218]:

Jupiter Creek-Power Line site
3 years after clearcutting and burning 14 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition 1.3 0.9
% cover 0.9 1.8

The Beetle Creek site is located in the western hemlock/Oregon boxwood habitat and was cut in 1956 and burned in 1958. Oregon-grape increased significantly (p<0.05) on the clearcut and burned sites compared to the unlogged adjacent site [218]:

Beetle Creek site
Unlogged adjacent 6 years after clearcutting and burning 17 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition trace 2.2 4.5
% cover trace 2.2 7.8

The Tourist Creek site is located in the grand fir/Oregon boxwood habitat and was clearcut and burned in 1964. Oregon-grape increased after 5 years then decreased by 11 years [218]:

Tourist Creek site
5 years after clearcutting and burning 11 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition 8.3 4.7
% cover 6.0 4.0

The Mullan Tree site is also located in the grand fir/Oregon boxwood habitat and was clearcut in 1956 and burned in 1958. Oregon-grape sustained increases following logging and burning though the 14-year period [218]:

Mullan Tree site
1964 1975
3 years after clearcutting and burning 14 years after clearcutting and burning
% composition 1.0 2.6
% cover 0.5 4.6

No response to prescribed burning:
Subalpine fir/beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) habitat type, globe huckleberry phase: The response of Oregon-grape to different clearcutting treatments followed by burning in west-central Montana was studied by Arno and Simmerman [20]. Oregon-grape showed little change after the following treatments: clearcutting without additional site or slash treatment, clearcutting with broadcast burning, clearcutting with mechanical scarification and burning in piles, and low-severity fire, and severe, stand-replacement fire [20].

FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Oregon-grape can recover quickly, remain unchanged or decrease following prescribed fire. The response of Oregon-grape to prescribed fire depends on the habitat type, fuel load, and severity of the burn. Research is needed to determine the seasonal effect of prescribed burning on Oregon-grape.

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Berberis repens
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE:
Oregon-grape browse contains toxic alkaloids and is slightly poisonous and unpalatable to livestock [33,52,73,136,207,210]; however, it is an important forage plant for the wildlife:

White-tailed deer and mule deer: White-tailed deer [94,139,140] and mule deer [23,63,73,106,114] eat Oregon-grape primarily in the fall and winter during periods of reduced snow cover in the Rocky Mountain region.

Oregon-grape is lightly used by mule deer in the spring and summer in the Beaver Creek Watershed of the Coconino National Forest, Arizona [141] and Chopaka Mountain, Washington [39].

The diet of mule deer was studied from 1 June to 31 August, 1962 through 1968 by Hungerford [92] in logged mixed conifer, logged ponderosa pine, a burn in mixed conifer habitat, and a control site in northern Arizona. Mule deer ate a small amount of Oregon-grape in the 2nd half of June and 1st half of July, but use was intermittent, depending upon the availability of other foods. The burned area had the highest ground cover density of Oregon-grape and the most use by deer [92].

Elk: In a study by Trout and Leege [205] along the Lochsa and Selway Rivers in northern Idaho, Oregon-grape was the 2nd most important item in the winter diet of elk. In the Threemile and Calf Creek game ranges, Montana, overall shrub use by elk was minimal, but Oregon-grape was the primary shrub used in February [114]. Oregon-grape growing in open areas is an important food for elk in the Rocky Mountains in the spring and fall [117,122].

Birds: Sharp-tailed grouse [66] and various other species of birds [100,123,157,210] eat the fruit of Oregon-grape.

Bighorn sheep: Bighorn sheep eat Oregon-grape during the winter in Montana [45,172,202].

Mountain goat: On Chopaka Mountain in Washington, Oregon-grape comprises 2.1% of mountain goat diet in winter, 2.1% in spring, 0.1% in summer, and 0.8% in the fall [39].

Moose: Oregon-grape is a forage species for moose in the fall in Montana and comprises less than 5% of the fall diet of moose in Fremont County, Idaho [166].

Bear: American black bears rely heavily on the fruits of Oregon-grape and play an important role in seed dispersal [22]. Grizzly bears also eat the berries of Oregon-grape [50,102].

Lagomorphs: Mountain cottontail and snowshoe hare eat Oregon-grape [123]. Oregon-grape comprised <6% of the desert cottontail's diet in the Sugarloaf Mountain area of the Tonto National Forest, Arizona [206].

Palatability: Oregon-grape has low palatability to livestock [47,53,97]. Game animals show low to moderate use, primarily in the fall and winter [150,207].

The percent use of Oregon-grape for big game and livestock in a grand fir/Rocky Mountain maple habitat type in central Idaho are [186]:

Deer Elk American black bear Cattle Domestic sheep
Summer Winter Summer Winter Spring Summer Fall Summer Summer
15-25% 35-45% 15-25% 35-45% 15-25% 15-25% 15-25% 15-25% 35-45%

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, white-tailed deer use of Oregon-grape was measured in winter, spring, summer, and fall. The numbers below are the utilization: availability ratio for use by white-tailed deer to availability of Oregon-grape [90]:

Winter Spring Summer Fall
8.32 .25 .00 2.72

The degree of use shown by livestock and wildlife species for Oregon-grape in several western states is as follows [53]:

  Colorado Montana Utah Wyoming
Cattle poor poor poor poor
Domestic sheep poor poor fair fair
Horse poor poor poor poor
Elk good poor good good
Mule deer good fair good good
White-tailed deer ---- good ---- good
Pronghorn ---- ---- fair poor
Upland game birds ---- fair good good
Waterfowl ---- ---- poor poor
Small non-game bird ---- fair good fair
Small mammal ---- fair good fair

Nutritional value: Oregon-grape retains usable energy value and digestible protein moderately well during the fall and winter [83]. In a study by Gastler and others [63], the composition of moisture and nutrients for Oregon-grape was analyzed in the fall, winter, spring, and summer in the Black Hills of South Dakota:

Season Moisture (%) Carotene (%) Crude Fat (%) Crude Fiber (%) Crude Protein (%) Phosphorus (%) Calcium (%) Iron (ppm) Manganese (ppm)
Fall 51.24 42.03 1.96 15.49 4.77 .100 .24 90.06 79.29
Winter 49.16 8.19 2.12 16.33 4.36 .088 .26 84.24 101.13
Spring 47.52 27.21 2.27 15.40 4.32 .11 .28 44.76 84.99
Summer 62.95 66.97 1.43 9.34 5.53 .06 .17 57.74 37.74

Cover value: Oregon-grape provides good cover for small mammals [108,159] and birds [157].

Habitat containing Oregon-grape as a predominant understory species is used by adult sharp-tailed grouse [66], boreal owls [87] and northern goshawks [152] for activities including wintering, breeding, nesting and brood rearing [66,87,152].

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, Oregon-grape comprises 36.5% of white-tailed deer diet [63] but it is considered a poor species for hiding/escape cover, thermal cover and fawning cover [148].

VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:
Oregon-grape is an excellent ground cover because it protects against erosion [52,99,100,190,210] and has good resistance to insects and disease [156]. The spreading habit and ability to grow on exposed, dry rocky slopes makes Oregon-grape a useful plant for restoration on disturbed sites such as highways [133,182], recreation areas [133], mined lands [133], including acid mine sites [211], game ranges [133], and reclamation areas [216]. For quicker growth, transplants of Oregon-grape are usually used instead of direct seeding [133].

Propagation: Oregon-grape can be propagated by seeds, layering [34,96], and root cuttings [34]. For seed propagation, seeds must be collected by hand-stripping into hoppers, cleaned, and dried using a fan. A warm pretreatment of seeds is necessary for 0 to 60 days, followed by a wet prechill of 30 to 196 days [34,156]. The container production period (excluding hardening) has a moderate growth of 0-6 months and slow growth after 6 months [156]. For layering, stem cuttings of the hardwood should be harvested in the winter and grown in a greenhouse [96,177]. Propagation by root cuttings is slow and not recommended [34].

OTHER USES:
Medicinal: The leaves, roots, and bark of Oregon-grape were used by Native Americans for medicine. The leaves were chewed for acne [197] and made into a tonic for rheumatic stiffness [55]. The roots were used to cure dysentery, thicken the blood and cure coughs, kidney problems, and venereal diseases [135,164,197]. Liquid from chewed roots was placed on wounds [197], and the bark of Oregon-grape was used to cure stomach troubles, heartburn, and purify the blood [41].

The alkaloid berberine exhibits weak antibiotic properties. Berberis species are not known to be infected by bacterial pathogens, making them useful in medicine [100,191].

Dye: The roots of Oregon-grape were used for yellow dye [52,100,133,135,153,207].

Food: Native Americans used the berries of Oregon-grape to add flavor to soup [197]. The fruit is suitable for preserves [34,52,100,109,116,135,153,164,197,207,210,214] and wine [116,197].

Ornamental: Oregon-grape is an excellent plant for xeriscaping due to its heat and drought resistance [37,74,159,190,213,216] and it has good ornamental potential [157].

OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Recreation: In recreation areas of Montana, Oregon-grape showed moderate resistance to trampling by humans due to stout stems and branches. Short-term recovery for Oregon-grape in trampled areas was very low to low, but long-term recovery was high [43].

Herbicide treatment and browsing: Oregon-grape neither increased nor decreased after herbicide treatment with picloram and clopyralid [162].

In a Gambel oak habitat on the Grand Mesa National Forest, Colorado, the percentage of cover for Oregon-grape decreased slightly 2 years after spraying with 2,4-5T (now banned by the EPA) [209] and increased slightly after chaining [105].

Following browsing by domestic goats in a Gambel oak habitat in northern Utah, Oregon-grape increased [163].

Wildlife management: A study by Pase and Hurd [151] was conducted to determine the effects of silvicultural thinning on understory vegetation in ponderosa pine forests in the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains in Wyoming. Oregon-grape responded favorably to increased and decreased basal area of the ponderosa pine stands. This was due to Oregon-grape's tolerance to full sun and shade. The increase in Oregon-grape provided forage for deer in winter [151].

Silviculture: In a subalpine forest in Colorado, the percent cover of Oregon-grape decreased 3 years after clearcutting and returned to prelogging percent cover 4 years after clearcutting [49].

The mean percent cover of Oregon-grape was higher in 50-year-old clearcut forests of lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir compared to adjacent mature stands of lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir in southeastern Wyoming [175].

Following a 4,000 acre (1,619 ha) wildfire in 1968 in a ponderosa pine-mixed fir habitat in Oregon, the effects of rehabilitation by seeding versus nonseeding were studied by Anderson and Brooks [10]. The percent ground cover of Oregon-grape was greater on the unseeded area than the seeded area of the pine-mixed fir site, indicating that it may have been suppressed by the seeded grasses [10]:

Year 1969 1970 1971 1972
Unseeded 1 4 2 7
Seeded trace 0 0 trace

Slash burning of debris in Douglas-fir/grand fir habitat of northern Idaho favors early establishment of Oregon-grape, which is a preferred forage species for deer [155].

Other: Oregon-grape is an alternate host of black stem rust of cereals [100,135,213].

Oregon-grape is resistant to sulfur dioxide pollutants generated from coal-fired power plants in southwest desert areas of the U.S. [89].

Fires of low intensity (surface soil <138 F(59C)) do not improve the nutrient quality of Oregon-grape browse; however, sprouting may be stimulated [17].

The influence of prescribed understory burning and livestock grazing on community structure was studied by Zimmerman [222] in Douglas-fir/ninebark habitat on the East Hatter Creek portion of the University of Idaho Experimental Forest in northern Idaho. The density, cover, and frequency of Oregon-grape were studied the 1st postfire year. Oregon-grape was most abundant in the grazed, unburned areas [222]:

  Grazed Ungrazed
  Burned Unburned Burned Unburned
Density (plants/ha) 0.0 4766.7 1633.4 1100.0
Cover (%) 0.0 2.1 0.5 0.8
Frequency (%) 0 11 3 9

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