Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera

Introductory

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Uchytil, Ronald J. 1990. Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera. 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 : MIMACUB SYNONYMS : Mimosa biuncifera Benth. Mimosa lindheimeri A. Gray [2,21,23] SCS PLANT CODE : MIBI3 COMMON NAMES : wait-a-minute wait-a-bit wait-a-minute bush catclaw mimosa catclaw paired-thorn mimosa TAXONOMY : The scientific name of wait-a-minute is Mimosa aculeaticarpa Ortega var. biuncifera (Benth.) Barneby. It is a legume and a and member of the bean family (Fabaceae) [44,45] LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Wait-a-minute occurs in central and southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western and central Texas, and northern Mexico [18,39]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES30  Desert shrub    FRES32  Texas savanna    FRES33  Southwestern shrubsteppe    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub    FRES35  Pinyon - juniper    FRES38  Plains grasslands STATES :      AZ  NM  TX  MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     7  Lower Basin and Range    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K023  Juniper - pinyon woodland    K031  Oak - juniper woodlands    K032  Transition between K031 and K037    K043  Paloverde - cactus shrub    K044  Creosotebush - tarbush    K058  Grama - tobasa shrubsteppe    K059  Trans-Pecos shrub savanna    K085  Mesquite - buffalograss SAF COVER TYPES :     66  Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper     68  Mesquite    239  Pinyon - juniper    241  Western live oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Wait-a-minute occurs in many vegetation types, generally as scattered plants intermixed with numerous other shrubs.  It is occasionally the most abundant shrub.  In low elevation desert grassland and shrub-steppe types, wait-a-minute is often associated with other shrubby species, including mesquites (Prosopis spp.), redberry juniper, oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), allthorn (Koeberlimia spinosa), catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), larchleaf goldenweed (Haplopappus laricifolius), smooth sotol (Dasylirion leiophyllum), Wheeler sotol (D. wheeleri), lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla), and goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba) [11,25,36,37].  Wait-a-minute is a common plant in the lower elevations of Arizona chaparral.  Catclaw acacia and wait-a-minute sometimes become abundant on drier, rockier, more open sites in Arizona chaparral [30].  Wait-a-minute occurs as scattered individuals in oak, oak-pine, and evergreen woodlands with an overstory made up of one or more of the following trees: gray oak (Quercus grisea), Arizona white oak (Q. arizonica), Emory oak (Q. emoryi), Mohr's oak (Q. mohriana), Mexican pinyon (Pinus cembroides), pinyon pine (P. edulis), and alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana) [12,17,29,40].  Associated shrubs in woodlands include fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), skunkbush sumac (R. trilobata), beargrass (Nolina microcarpa, N. erumperus), birchleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides), Wright silktassel (Garrya wrightii), yerba-de-pasmo (Baccharis pteronoides), and desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides) [12,29,40]. Published classification schemes listing wait-a-minute as a indicator or dominant are listed below: Vegetation of the Organ Mountains, New Mexico [12] Woodland communities and soils of Fort Bayard, southwestern New Mexico [29]

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Livestock seldom browse wait-a-minute; however, it may be used lightly if other forage is scarce [20,39].  Livestock eat the pods [10].  Scaled and Gambel's quail eat the seeds [16].  It is of minor importance as a browse plant for deer and pronghorn [5,39]. PALATABILITY : Wait-a-minute has dense prickles and a tangled growth form which may account for its relatively low palatability to livestock [10].  The pods are highly palatable to cattle, and the seeds are highly palatable to quail [10,16].  In western Texas, the palatability of wait-a-minute has been rated good for pronghorn but poor for cattle and sheep [5]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Wait-a-minute has a tendency to form thickets, which presumably provide hiding and thermal cover for a variety of small wildlife species.  Quail use such thickets [34]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Wait-a-minute shows potential for erosion control.  Plants have a tendency to form thickets which effectively bind soil [24,39].  OTHER USES AND VALUES : Wait-a-minute flowers provide a good source of nectar for honey bees [39]. This plant has been studied as a source of biomass for the production of fuels and chemicals.  In comparison with 100 other plant species examined, it yielded substantial amounts of oils, polyphenols, and hydrocarbons [8]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Wait-a-minute is moderately resistant to phenoxy herbicides [19]. 

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Wait-a-minute is a relatively short, straggling, thicket-forming, deciduous shrub.  It is usually not more than 3 feet (0.9 m) tall but occasionally grows up to about 8 feet (2.4 m) [6,24].  The pubescent, slender, straight to zig-zagging stems are armed with solitary or paired, stout, recurved spines [39].  The bipinnately compound leaves contain 3 to 9 pair of pinnae with 8 to 14 pairs of obtuse, linear to oblong, 0.04 to 0.17 inch (1.0-4.2 mm) long leaflets [39].  Numerous pale to whitish flowers occur in globose heads.  The fruit is a curved or straight legume, 0.75 to 1.5 inch (1.9-3.8 cm) long, 0.13 to 0.17 inch (3.2-4.2 mm) wide, and is constricted between the seeds. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :    Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Wait-a-minute produces abundant seed.  Seeds are encased within small, narrow pods that split open after ripening [34].  Primary dispersal agents have not been identified, but seed is probably dispersed by animals that eat the pods or seeds.  Wait-a-minute seeds exhibit high germination rates and germinate over a wide range of temperatures [22]. On the High Plains of west Texas, redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii) acts as a nurse plant for wait-a-minute.  The closed canopy and heavy mulch layer associated with redberry juniper apparently provides a favorable microenvironment for wait-a-minute seedling establishment [28]. Wait-a-minute sprouts from the root crown following damage to the aboveground portion of the plant, such as by fire or herbicides [19[. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Wait-a-minute occurs on gravelly flats, mesas, and rocky slopes in desert grass, desert shrub, interior chaparral, pinyon-juniper, open oak, and pine-oak communities [6,12,24,29,40].  Soils:  In western Texas, wait-a-minute often occupies soils derived from limestone or igneous rock [34].  Elevation:  Elevational ranges are presented below [4,24,34]: from 2,000 to 5,000 feet (610-1,524 m) in w TX      3,000 to 6,000 feet (914-1,829 m) in AZ      4,300 to 5,600 feet (1,311-1,707 m) in the Rincon Mtns, se AZ SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Wait-a-minute is a common component of interior chaparral, a vegetation type considered to be a true climatic climax susceptible to large-scale burning [6].  This plant's sprouting ability allows it to become a part of the immediate postfire community.  Individual plants may live to be very old, although the aboveground portion may date back only to the last fire [33]. Wait-a-minute is considered an invader of desert and semiarid grasslands [20,34].  Fire suppression and livestock grazing are thought to be responsible for the spread of shrubs into what is considered to have been relatively shrub-free grasslands of the Southwest [41]. Although wait-a-minute is fire tolerant and a high percentage of plants survive fire, a combination of frequent fires, droughts, competition, and browsing by rodents and lagomorphs may have suppressed plants in presettlement times [41].  Cattle reportedly "devour the pods" [10]. This undoubtedly has aided the spread of wait-a-minute into grasslands because seeds are probably scarified as they pass through the digestive tract and are then deposited in nutrient-rich dung, which aids germination. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : The time of flowering for two Southwestern states is presented below:     State          Time of Flowering        Authority      AZ               May - August            [24]      TX            April - September          [34]

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Wait-a-minute is able to sprout from the root crown following top-kill by fire [6,20].  Hibbert and others [19] report that wait-a-minute is fire tolerant and can rapidly recover by sprouting, even after repeated burns. Wait-a-minute is common in Arizona chaparral.  Severe wildfires are common in this vegetation type as a result of heavy fuel accumulation and scant early summer rainfall [31].  Fire frequencies are generally between 20 to 80 or 100 years, although some stands may experience longer fire-free intervals [6].  Most chaparral species are well adapted to fire and recover quickly.  It takes at least 20 years before enough fuel accumulates to support a repeat fire, unless the area has been grass seeded [6]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fires generally top-kill wait-a-minute.  By itself, it provides little fuel because of its open growth form and because its small leaves contribute very little to ground fuels when they drop [25].  However, the fuel of surrounding plants is often enough to ignite wait-a-minute and cause its stems to burn off [25].  Wait-a-minute commonly occurs in Arizona chaparral where wildfires are often severe, defoliating all aboveground vegetation and leaving only charred stems and a layer of ash over mineral soil [31]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Following top-kill by fire, wait-a-minute survives by producing numerous sprouts from the root crown [6,20].  Because plants usually survive fire, density is generally not affected by burning. Although wait-a-minute was not abundant in a study in desert mountain shrub vegetation in the Guadalupe Mountains, sampling of several 3- to 7-year-old burns showed that its frequency was greater on burned than on unburned sites [1]. Rapid regrowth allows plants to fully recover prefire cover within about 5 years [25,32].  Regrowth of top-killed wait-a-minute plants was observed following several lightning- and man-caused fires in and near Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.  Here, top-killed plants sprouted and grew 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) in one growing season [25]. Following prescribed spring burns in desert grasslands and oak woodlands in southeastern Arizona, sprouts of wait-a-minute regained 58 to 67 percent of plant prefire heights within two growing seasons as summarized below [3].                  Emory oak/Arizona white oak       desert grassland                           woodland date sampled        mean height of plants        mean height of plants                   burned area  control area    burned area  control area                    inches/cm    inches/cm       inches/cm    inches/cm Aug 1983 (prefire)  21.8/55.4    17.8/45.4       25.2/63.9    18.7/47.4 Aug 1984 (3 months   8.9/22.6    17.5/44.7        4.9/12.5    11.5/29.2           postfire) Aug 1985 (15 months 14.6/37.0    16.4/41.7       14.6/37.0    15.8/40.1           postfire) This study was part of an extensive of body of research on fire effects in semidesert grassland, oak savanna, and Madrean oak woodlands of southeastern Arizona. See the Research Project Summary of this work for more information on burning conditions, fires, and fire effects on more than 100 species of plants, birds, small mammals, and grasshoppers. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
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