Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Cornus alternifolia


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1994. Cornus alternifolia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : CORALT SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : COAL2 COMMON NAMES : alternate-leaf dogwood TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for alternate-leaf dogwood is Cornus alternifolia L.f. (Cornaceae) [13]. There are no recognized infrataxa. Alternate-leaf dogwood hybridizes with red-osier dogwood (C. sericea) [13]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Alternate-leaf dogwood occurs from Newfoundland through the New England States to the Florida Panhandle. It extends west to the northern shores of Lake Superior and eastern Minnesota and south through the Midwest States to Arkansas and Mississippi [6,21,27]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White - red - jack pine FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES18 Maple - beech - birch FRES19 Aspen - birch STATES : AL AR CT DE FL GA IL IN IA KY ME MD MA MI MN MS MO NH NJ NY NC OH PA RI SC TN VT VA WV WI MB NB NF ON PQ NS BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K095 Great Lakes pine forest K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest K097 Southeastern spruce - fir forest K100 Oak - hickory forest K101 Elm - ash forest K102 Beech - maple forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K104 Appalachian oak forest K106 Northern hardwoods K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest SAF COVER TYPES : 1 Jack pine 5 Balsam fir 16 Aspen 17 Pin cherry 21 Eastern white pine 23 Eastern hemlock 24 Hemlock - yellow birch 25 Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch 26 Sugar maple - basswood 27 Sugar maple 28 Black cherry - maple 30 Red spruce - yellow birch 31 Red spruce - sugar maple - beech 32 Red spruce 33 Red spruce - balsam fir 34 Red spruce - Fraser fir 39 Black ash - American elm - red maple 42 Bur oak 46 Eastern redcedar 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 53 White oak 57 Yellow-poplar 58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock 60 Beech - sugar maple 62 Silver maple - American elm 70 Longleaf pine 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Alternate-leaf dogwood is an understory dominant in the northeastern United States and in the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) forest of the Great Lakes region [8,16,18]. Common associates of alternate-leaf dogwood include chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), American hazel (Corylus americana), hazelnut (C. cornuta), mountain maple (Acer spicatum), striped maple (A. pennsylvanicum), black cherry (Prunus serotina), serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia), huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.), and dogwoods (Cornus spp.) [2,18,21].


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : At least 11 species of birds including ruffed grouse eat alternate-leaf dogwood. Black bear also eat the fruit. The leaves and stems are eaten by white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and beavers [7,15,22,30]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Alternate-leaf dogwood provides cover for many small birds and animals [21]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Alternate-leaf dogwood is a large shrub or small tree that may reach 25 to 30 feet (7.5-9 m) in height [5,14,25]. The trunk forks near the ground into several branches that spread horizontally in layers. The bark is thin. The alternate leaves occur mainly at the end of the twigs. The fruit is a drupe [10,17,21,31]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : The dogwood species reproduce by layering, sprouting from the root crown, and by seed [21,30]. The seed is dispersed by gravity and animals. Germination is delayed due to embryo dormancy [21]. Alternate-leaf dogwood is vegetatively propagated [21]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Alternate-leaf dogwood grows best on well-drained deep soils. It is found in moist woodlands, along forest margins, on stream and swamp borders, and near deep canyon bottoms [1,16,21]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Alternate-leaf dogwood is shade-tolerant [9,20]. It is a dominant understory species in mature forest in New England, and a late-successional understory shrub in the aspen (Populus spp.) and sugar maple forests of Michigan [21,26]. Alternate-leaf dogwood also occurs in younger tree stands. It was a dominant shrub species in a 49-year-old aspen stand and an 18-year-old aspen stand in northern Minnesota [32]. Alternate-leaf dogwood had a density of 54 stems per hectare in a 20- to 30-year-old burn in North Carolina [36]. Alternate-leaf dogwood occurs in both young (age <41 years) and old (age >40 years) oak (Quercus spp.) clearcuts in southwestern Wisconsin [33]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Alternate-leaf dogwood flowers from May to July. The fruit ripens from July through September [4,20].


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Fire survival and postfire regeneration strategies for alternate-leaf dogwood are not well documented in the literature. If the roots or stems survive fire, it may reproduce vegetatively. Alternate-leaf dogwood may colonize fire disturbed sites with animal-dispersed seed [26]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Secondary colonizer - off-site seed FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes".


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fires probably top-kills alternate-leaf dogwood. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : No specific information is available on fire response of alternate-leaf dogwood. Since it sprouts from the root crown, it probably does so after top-kill by fire. Perala [23] reported that alternate-leaf dogwood was "encouraged" by prescribed fire in an aspen-mixed hardwood forest in north-central Minnesota, but no details were given. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Cornus alternifolia
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Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604] 28. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 29. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 30. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240] 31. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472] 32. Balogh, James C.; Grigal, David F. 1988. 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