Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Krameria grayi


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Griffith, Randy Scott. 1991. Krameria grayi. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : KRAGRA SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : KRGR COMMON NAMES : white ratany chacate crimson-beak Gray's Krameria Gray's ratany ratany TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of white ratany is Krameria grayi Rose & Painter [20]. The genus Krameria was named in honor of the Austrian botanist Henry Kramer [29]. IT has been included in the families Leguminosae (Fabaceae), Polygalaceae, and Krameriaceae [11]. Dhillon [6] concluded, based on the vascular anatomy of the flower of range ratany (Krameria parvifolia), that the genus Krameria belongs in the family Polygalaceae. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : White ratany is found in the arid regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It occurs from southern California east to western Texas and from southern Nevada and Utah south to northern Mexico [14,39]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES30 Desert shrub FRES32 Texas savanna FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES40 Desert grasslands STATES : AZ CA CO NV NM TX UT MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K031 Oak - juniper woodlands K033 Chaparral K039 Blackbrush K041 Creosotebush K042 Creosotebush - bursage K043 Paloverde - cactus shrub K044 Creosotebush - tarbush K045 Ceniza shurb K058 Grama - tobosa shrubsteppe K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna K086 Juniper - oak savanna SAF COVER TYPES : 66 Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper 67 Mohrs ("shin") oak 68 Mesquite 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 239 Pinyon - juniper 241 Western live oak 242 Mesquite SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : White ratany is not currently listed as a dominant and/or indicator in published plant association or habitat type classifications. It occurs in the understory of ironwood (Olneya tesota), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), juniper (Juniperus spp.), and shrub live oak (Quercus turbinella) [10,27]. In the shrub layer white ratany is associated with creosote bush (Larrea spp.), bursage (Ambrosia spp.), and little-leaf paloverde (Cercidium microphyllum) [9,13,23].


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : White ratany is an important forage for all classes of livestock [27]. It is one of the most important browse species for mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) in the Sonoran Desert [18,23,25]. Black-tailed jack rabbits (Lepus californicus) rely almost exclusively on white ratany during the winter [12]. The seeds of white ratany comprises up to 5 percent of the diet of scailed quail (Callipepla squamata) in southeastern New Mexico [5]. PALATABILITY : White ratany is relished by all classes of livestock [27], mule deer, and desert bighorn sheep [18,23]. The relish and degree of use shown by livestock and wildlife species for white ratany in several western states has been rated as follows [13,18,23,27]: AZ NM NV TX UT Cattle good good good good good Sheep good good good good good Burros good good good good good Bighorn sheep good good good good good Mule deer good good good good good White-tailed deer fair fair fair fair fair Upland game birds good good good good good NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Rautenstrauch and others [23] reported the bimonthly nutritional composition of white ratany as follows: Percent Composition Dry Cell Hemi- Matter Protein Lignin Soluble Cellulose cellulose ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan. 57.69 7.90 9.91 43.35 27.19 19.68 Mar. 56.49 7.79 9.27 46.16 26.98 17.27 May 59.65 10.54 10.18 46.22 26.61 17.06 July 61.91 8.38 10.46 45.59 25.17 18.55 Sept. 46.82 9.63 11.38 38.24 27.02 22.96 Nov. 59.38 8.19 11.86 37.11 37.03 16.30 COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : The Pima Indians used an infusion of the roots to treat skin irritations and sores. The roots also provided them with a reddish-yellow dye [29]. The Seri Indians used an infusion of the flowers to treat an upset stomach and diarrhea, and an infusion of the stems with the bark removed was used to make "the blood very red". The stems, dried and ground, were applied to sores [8]. White ratany's roots are commercially important in the production of aniline stain [21]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : White ratany decreases in response to grazing [30]. Blydenstein and others [2] found that after 50 years of protection from grazing on a site in the Sonoran Desert white ratany showed the greatest increase in density. Goldberg and Turner [10] confirmed these findings and added that recovery from grazing is a slow process. Even when protected from grazing white ratany will not increase in density until favorable moisture regimes occur. Under heavy grazing pressure white ratany produces phenolic acids (cinnamic and salcyclic acids) to reduce herbivory by reducing the palatability [31].


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : White ratany is a native, perennial, densely branched, deciduous shrub from 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm) tall. The leaves are alternate and simple. The fruit is one-seeded, globose, indehiscent, thick walled and spiny [14,20]. The roots form grafts with members of the same or different species, forming protocooperation or a parasitic relationship [29]. This relationship may help explain white ratany's drought resistance. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Undisturbed State: Phanerophyte (nanophanerophyte). Burned or Clipped State: Cryptophyte (geophyte). REGENERATION PROCESSES : White ratany reproduces sexually by seed. In years with high soil moisture it will flower twice, in the spring and again in the fall [29]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : White ratany's habitat is the desert environs, where it occupies sandy to rocky flats, bajadas, and washes [26]. Soil: White ratany occurs in Alfisol, Aridisol, and Entisol soil orders [7,13]. Climate: White ratany inhabits the fringe between cool and warm deserts. In the northern portion of its range the precipitation is received primarily during the winter, whereas in the southern portion it is received in the summer. The mean rainfall is 10.8 inches (27.4 cm), with an evapotransporation rate of 85 inches (216 cm) [2,3]. Elevation: White ratany generally grows at elevations ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 feet (303-1,212 m) [29]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : White ratany is a climax component of the creosotebush-tarbush (Flourensia cernua) plant association. This plant association has been termed a "super climax". After a disturbance, the site is recolonized by same species present in the predisturbance vegetative community. These species then persist until the next disturbance [19]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : White ratany begins active growth in early April; flowering may start in late April to early May; and fruiting may begin in late May to early August, depending on latitude and elevation [14,20,29].


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : White ratany resprouts from the root crown after fire [16,24]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : White ratany is partially or completely top-killed by fire [16,24]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : White ratany's well-developed root system allows the plant to exploit the decreased albedo, and increased water and nutrient availability after a fire to recover density quite rapidly. However, cover values remain lower in the open shrub microhabitat than in the more mesic tree microhabitat. Revovery is moisture dependent. With high soil moisture or in a more mesic microhabitat, postfire cover can be greater than prefire cover [16]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Loftin [16] found that white ratany resprouted rapidly after a fire in an Arizona Uplands desert scrub site in the Sonoran Desert and returned to prefire levels within 35 months. He reported the following preburn and postburn density levels and cover values in an open shrub and a tree microhabitat [16]: Density (number of plants per hectare) Micro- Time (months postburn) habitat Preburn Postburn 5 11 12 29 35 Open shrub 138 63 52 63 104 108 139 Tree 141 109 16 63 125 125 167 Cover (square meters per hectare) Micro- Time (months postburn) habitat Preburn Postburn 5 11 12 29 35 Open shrub 100 75 44 60 29 63 56 Tree 39 21 6 31 63 60 107 FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : When prescribing a fire treatment, soil moisture must be considered as one of the crucial aspects of white ratany's recovery [10,16,24].


SPECIES: Krameria grayi
REFERENCES : 1. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 2. Blydenstein, John; Hungerford, C. Roger; Day, Gerald I.; Humphrey, R. 1957. Effect of domestic livestock exclusion on vegetation in the Sonoran Desert. Ecology. 38(3): 522-526. [4570] 3. Brown, David E. 1982. Chihuahuan desertscrub. In: Brown, David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 169-179. [3607] 4. Davis, Charles A.; Barkley, Robert C.; Haussamen, Walter C. 1975. Scaled quail foods in southeastern New Mexico. Journal of Wildlife Management. 39(3): 496-502. [10491] 5. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806] 6. Dhillon, M. 1976. Vascular anatomy of the flower of Krameria parvifolia var. glandulosa Macbr. and its bearing on its taxonomic status. Journal of Research. 13(2): 197-201. [14009] 7. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 8. Felger, Richard S.; Moser, Mary Beck. 1974. Seri Indian pharmacopoeia. Economic Botany. 28: 414-436. [2767] 9. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 10. Goldberg, Deborah E.; Turner, Raymond M. 1986. Vegetation change and plant demography in permanent plots in the Sonoran Desert. Ecology. 67(3): 695-712. [4410] 11. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603] 12. Gullion, Gordon W. 1964. Wildlife uses of Nevada plants. Contributions toward a flora of Nevada No. 49. Beltsville, MD: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Arboretum Crops Research Division. 170 p. [6729] 13. Hanley, Thomas A.; Brady, Ward W. 1977. Feral burro impact on a Sonoran Desert range. Journal of Range Management. 30(5): 374-377. [4337] 14. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563] 15. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 16. Loftin, Samuel Robert. 1987. Postfire dynamics of a Sonoran Desert ecosystem. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University. 97 p. Thesis. [12296] 17. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 18. Miller, Gary D.; Gaud, William S. 1989. Composition and variability of desert bighorn sheep diets. Journal of Wildlife Management. 53(3): 597-606. [14429] 19. Muller, Cornelius H. 1940. Plant succession in the Larrea-Flourensia climax. Ecology. 21: 206-212. [4244] 20. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155] 21. Powell, A. Michael. 1988. Trees & shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Big Bend National Park, TX: Big Bend Natural History Association. 536 p. [6130] 22. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 23. Rautenstrauch, Kurt R.; Krausman, Paul R.; Whiting, Frank M.; Brown, William H. 1988. Nutritional quality of desert mule deer forage in King Valley, Arizona. Desert Plants. 8(4): 172-174. [2768] 24. Thomas, Renee L.; Anderson, Roger C. 1993. Influence of topography on stand composition in a midwestern ravine forest. American Midland Naturalist. 130(1): 1-12. [1742] 25. Seegmiller, Rick F.; Krausman, Paul R.; Brown, William H.; Whiting, Frank M. 1990. Nutritional composition of desert bighorn sheep forage in the Harquahala Mountains, Arizona. Desert Plants. 10(2): 87-90. [11943] 26. Thorne, Robert F.; Prigge, Barry A.; Henrickson, James. 1981. A flora of the higher ranges and the Kelso Dunes of the eastern Mojave Desert in California. Aliso. 10(1): 71-186. [3767] 27. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1937. Range plant handbook. Washington, DC. 532 p. [2387] 28. 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] 29. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 30. Webb, Robert H.; Stielstra, Steven S. 1979. Sheep grazing effects on Mojave Desert vegetation and soils. Environmental Management. 3(6): 517-529. [4164] 31. Wisdom, Charles S.; Gonzalez-Coloma, Azucena; Rundel, Philip W. 1987. Phytochemical constituents in a Sonoran Desert plant community. In: Provenza, Frederick D.; Flinders, Jerran T.; McArthur, E. Durant, compilers. Proceedings--symposium on plant-herbivore interactions; 1985 August 7-9; Snowbird, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-222. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 84-87. [7401]

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