Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Lyonia ligustrina


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Carey, Jennifer H. 1994. Lyonia ligustrina. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : LYOLIG SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : LYLI COMMON NAMES : maleberry he-huckleberry TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for maleberry is Lyonia ligustrina (L.) DC. (Ericaceae) [8,11,23]. Lyonia ligustrina is quite variable in stature, pubescence, leaf size and shape, and inflorescence. Numerous intergrading varieties have been described. Most of the varieties represent extremes of the total variation [14,23]. The following two varieties are distinct from each other and are commonly recognized [11,14,23]: L. l. var. ligustrina L. l. var. foliosiflora (Michx.) Fern. The inflorescence of L. l. var. foliosiflora has conspicuously foliaceous bracts whereas the typical variety inflorescence is naked or with only a few foliaceous bracts [14]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Maleberry occurs in the eastern United States. The range of the typical variety extends from Maine south in the Appalachian Mountains, Piedmont, and Atlantic Coastal Plain to Virginia, and further south in the mountains and Piedmont to northern Georgia and Alabama. Lyonia ligustrina var. foliosiflora occurs on the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains from southeast Virginia south to central Florida and west to eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. It also occurs in southern and central Arkansas. The ranges of the two varieties overlap slightly in southeastern Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, northern Alabama, and Tennessee [14]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES18 Maple - beech - birch STATES : AL AR CT DE FL GA KY LA ME MD MA MS NH NJ NY NC OH OK PA RI SC TN TX VT VA WV BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K091 Cypress savanna K094 Conifer bog K106 Northern hardwoods K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K114 Pocosin SAF COVER TYPES : 13 Black spruce - tamarack 38 Tamarack 45 Pitch pine 75 Shortleaf pine 76 Shortleaf pine - oak 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 97 Atlantic white-cedar 108 Red maple SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Maleberry is a common but rarely dominant shrub in moist and dry woods and thickets, heath balds, shrub bogs, and the margins of swamps, ponds and rivers [14]. Maleberry frequently occurs in transitional communities such as pond and swamp margins and forest edges [13]. In New York, maleberry is a characteristic species of shrub swamp and pine barrens shrub swamp communities which are transitional between marsh, fen, or bog and upland communities [25]. In a moat bog in Massachusetts, maleberry occurs in a transitional community between the fringe moat community (a floating mat at the bog edge) and the shrub thicket community of the bog interior [21]. A moat bog is an intermediate stage of lake-fill succession in which a circle of water separates the island bog from uplands [31]. Maleberry occurs in the grassy bald ecotone between grassy balds and deciduous forests [30]. In the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, maleberry occurs in pitch pine (Pinus rigida) heath, Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens) heath, and heath bald communities [30]. In these communities, maleberry is associated with other heath species including rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.), highbush cranberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and sweet pepperbush (Clethra spp.) [3,29,20]. On tree islands of the Okefenokee Swamp on the border of Georgia and Florida, maleberry occurs with fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa), hurrahbush (Lyonia lucida), and southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera) [5]. Maleberry occurs with northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) and beach-plum (Prunus maritima) on secondary dunes surrounding bogs on Monomoy Island, Massachusetts [20].


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Maleberry probably provides shelter and cover for wildlife. Animals presumably eat the fruit since the seed is animal-dispersed. Maleberry foliage is suspected of causing livestock poisoning [8,14,15]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Maleberry stem cuttings rooted within 30 days when they were maintained in a moist greenhouse, dusted with a rooting hormone, and grown in pure vermiculite [1].


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Maleberry is a native, branching shrub with longitudinally furrowed bark [14,28]. The typical variety is deciduous but L. l. var. foliosiflora may retain its leaves for much of the year [12,14]. Maleberry grows to 13 feet (4 m) in height. The fruit is a five-valved dry capsule. The seeds are 0.03 to 0.07 inches (0.7-1.7 mm) long [14,28]. Aerial stems arise from branched rhizomes to form maleberry clones. The aerial stems may be as much as 13 feet (4 m) apart on the rhizomes. The woody rhizomes are usually 0.13 to 0.38 inches (0.3-1.0 cm) in diameter. They are generally confined to the humus layer and the top 2 inches (5 cm) of the A1 soil horizon. Roots are generally confined to the same soil level as the rhizomes, but may extend as deep as 4 inches (10 cm) [19]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Maleberry regenerates by vegetative reproduction and seed. It reproduces vegetatively after disturbance by sprouting from rhizomes [13]. Maleberry probably colonizes new sites by animal-dispersed seed [2]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Maleberry is adapted to a wide range of ecological conditions from dry rocky sites to just above the standing water in bogs and swamps [13]. The typical variety occurs from sea level to nearly 6,500 feet (2,000 m) elevation. Lyonia ligustrina var. foliosiflora occurs to 1,000 feet (300 m) elevation [14]. Maleberry primarily grows on acidic, organic soils [13,16], but it grows on sandy soils as well [6,12,28]. Maleberry is a facultative phreatophyte; its roots extend to the water table in lowland areas but do not reach the water table in upland areas [19]. The typical variety occurs on both moist and dry sites whereas L. l. var. foliosiflora occurs primarily on moist sites [14]. In the Okefenokee Swamp on the border of Georgia and Florida, L. l. var. foliosiflora occurs on relatively high, dry sites [5]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Maleberry is intermediate in shade tolerance but grows best in light [13]. During primary succession, maleberry does not appear in tree island communities in the Okefenokee Swamp until islands have been occupied by woody species for 30 to 45 years. On the islands, maleberry is most abundant on old-growth sites, and typically does not occur in places lacking an almost complete canopy [5]. In the Appalachian Mountains, maleberry occurs in stable heath bald communities which are resistant to tree invasion. These communities may have formerly supported trees but shrub species became dominant after disturbance [29]. In New Hampshire, maleberry occurs in a mid- to late-successional forest of white oak (Quercus alba), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), and sassafras (Sassafras albidum) [22]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Maleberry flowers from late April to early July [14], and fruits from September to October [23].


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Maleberry is fire tolerant. Aboveground parts are probably destroyed by most fires, but dormant buds on rhizomes survive and sprout [13]. Severe fire can probably reduce or eliminate maleberry from a site. Maleberry occurs in habitats that regularly experience fire including the New Jersey Pine Barrens and the pine flatwoods of the southeastern coastal plains [2,10]. Maleberry colonized tree islands in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Florida 0 to 20 years after fire. It occurred earlier in postfire succession than in primary succession, probably due to its intolerance of saturated conditions [5]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Most fires probably kill aboveground portions of maleberry. Moderate-severity or severe fire that burns the humus layer may also kill many of the rhizomes, thereby killing the plant. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Surviving rhizomes sprout from dormant buds following fire [13]. In a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) flatwoods in South Carolina, postfire growing season cover and abundance of woody species in the herb layer (including maleberry) did not differ between three treatments: unburned control, winter fire, and winter fire followed by late summer fire [10]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Lyonia ligustrina
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Motzkin, Glenn H.; Patterson, William A., III. 1991. Vegetation patterns and basin morphometry of a New England moat bog. Rhodora. 93(876): 307-321. [17360] 22. Ogden, J. Gordon, III. 1962. Forest history of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I. Modern and pre-colonial forests. American Midland Naturalist. 66(2): 417-430. [10118] 23. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606] 24. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 25. Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. Latham, NY: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York Natural Heritage Program. 96 p. [21441] 26. 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] 27. 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] 28. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 29. White, Peter S.; Buckner, Edward R.; Pittillo, J. Dan; Cogbill, Charles V. 1993. High-elevation forests: spruce-fir forests, northern hardwood forests, and associated communities. In: Martin, William H.; Boyce, Stephen G.; Echternacht, Arthur C., eds. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States: Upland terrestrial communities. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc: 305-337. [21942] 30. Whittaker, R. H. 1956. Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains. Ecological Monographs. 26(1): 1-79. [11108] 31. Damman, Antoni W. H.; French, Thomas W. 1987. The ecology of peat bogs of the glaciated northeastern United States: a community profile. Biological Report 85(7.16). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Research and Development, National Wetlands Research Center. 100 p. [9238]

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