Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Oplopanax horridus

Introductory

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Howard, Janet L. 1993. Oplopanax horridus. 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 : OPLHOR SYNONYMS : Oplopanax horridum (J. E. Smith) Miq. SCS PLANT CODE : NO-ENTRY COMMON NAMES : devil's-club devil's club TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of devil's-club is Oplopanax horridus (J. E. Smith) Miq. [45,46,48]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Devil's-club is distributed from south-central Alaska south along the Pacific Coast and the western slope of the Cascade Range to southern Oregon and east to southwestern Yukon Territory, Idaho, and western Montana.  Disjunct populations occur on several islands of northern Lake Superior, including Isle Royale and Passage Island, Michigan, and Porphyry and Slate islands, Ontario [30,45,46].  Some authorities [23] extend its distribution to eastern Asia.  Voss [46], however, recognized the Asian plants as a distinct species, Oplopanax elatus (Nakai) Nakai. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES23  Fir - spruce    FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce    FRES28  Western hardwoods STATES :      AK  ID  MI  MT  OR  WA  BC  ON  YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     8  Northern Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K001  Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest    K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest    K004  Fir - hemlock forest    K025  Alder - ash forest SAF COVER TYPES :    201  White spruce    202  White spruce - paper birch    203  Balsam poplar    205  Mountain hemlock    206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir    221  Red alder    223  Sitka spruce    224  Western hemlock    225  Western hemlock - Sitka spruce    226  Coastal true fir - hemlock    227  Western redcedar - western hemlock    228  Western redcedar    252  Paper birch SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Devil's-club is a dominant component of understories of various Pacific Northwest and western boreal forests where moist to wet soil conditions prevail.  Devil's-club is an indicator of numerous habitat types; some commonly occurring ones are western redcedar (Thuja plicata)/devil's club, western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)/devil's-club, Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)-western hemlock/devil's-club, subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa)/devil's-club, and Pacific silver fir (A. amabilis)/devil's club [2,3,8,9].  Understories of various forest/devil's-club types are sometimes nearly pure, dense stands of devil's-club.  Other understories dominated by devil's-club, however, are species rich, involving mixed shrub, shrub-fern, or shrub-forb associations [21,27]. A comprehensive list of publications naming devil's-club as a dominant or indicator species would be prohibitively long.  A geographically representative selection of such publications is listed below: Old-growth forests of the Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks [1] Forest types of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex [2] Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in    northwestern Montana [8] Plant associations and management guide for the Pacific silver fir zone    and Gifford Pinchot National Forest [9] Forest habitat types of northern Idaho: a second approximation [11] Preliminary forest plant association management guide: Ketchikan Area,    Tongass National Forest [14] Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities after    fire in the taiga of interior Alaska [19] Devil's-club tree associates not previously mentioned include noble fir (Abies procera), grand fir (A. grandis), Alaska-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western white pine (Pinus monticola), lodgepole pine (P. contorta varieties latifolia and murrayana), shore pine (P. c. var. contorta), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), and black cottonwood (P. trichocarpa) [12,15,38,39]. Shrub associates are Alaska blueberry (Vaccinium alaskaense), ovalleaf huckleberry (V. ovalifolium), evergreen huckleberry (V. ovatum), bog blueberry (V. uliginosum), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), Rocky Mountain maple (Acer circinatum), red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), prickly currant (Ribes lacustre), and Oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa) [14,15,19,38]. Herbaceous associates of devil's-club include queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), trefoil foamflower (Tiarella trifoliata), starry false-Solomon's-seal (Smilacina stellata), northern bedstraw (Galium boreale), softleaved sedge (Carex disperma), woolly sedge (C. laeviculmis), and coast sedge (C. obnupta) [8,38].  Other common associates are wood horsetail (Equistum sylvaticum), ladyfern (Athyrium filixfemina), oak-fern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris), mountain woodfern (Dryopteris austriaca), and mosses (Mnium spp.) [8,15,27,38].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Devil's-club is not preferred by browsing animals, probably because of its prickly leaves and stems.  Black-tailed deer, white-tailed deer, and elk utilize it lightly in spring and summer [29,45]; in one study, it comprised an average of 3.4 percent of the summer diet of Roosevelt elk at widely distributed sites on the Pacific Northwest Coast [32].  Moose on Isle Royale, Michigan do not browse it [46]. Devil's-club growing on banks of stream channels provides shade cover for salmonoid fishes and their eggs.  Bear prefer such areas because of the readily available sources of fish and devil's-club berries [14]. Grizzly and black bear also consume devil's-club seeds, leaves, and stems [4,26,33,37]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Mean value of in-vitro dry-matter digestibility of devil's-club for white-tailed deer is 73.3 percent for leaves and 53.7 percent for stems. Percentage composition of macro- and micronutrients in devil's-club leaves and stems are available [29]. COVER VALUE : Devil's-club provides hiding, escape, and thermal cover for various birds, rodents, and the vagrant shrew [31]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Devil's-club is planted as an ornamental [34,45]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Devil's-club is a native, erect to slightly spreading, deciduous shrub from 3.3 to 10 feet (1-3 m) in height.  It is sparsely branched with sharp, dense prickles on stems and prominent leaf veins [24,30,48].  The fruit is a drupe with two to three seeds [23,48].  Cooper and others [11] noted that this species is rhizotomous; other researchers have yet to confirm this.  Devil's-club is drought intolerant [10]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Information on devil's-club regeneration is scant.  Seedling growth is apparently slow [34].  Devil's-club reproduces vegetatively, but the method is uncertain.  Vegetative reproduction may be accomplished by rhizomes [11] and/or layering [34].  Stickney [42] tentatively listed it as a root crown sprouter. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Devil's-club is a wet-site indicator [38].  It grows on moderately well-drained to poorly drained, shaded sites.  It is commonly found near springs and streams and in drainage, seepage, and wet bottom areas [5,8,27].  It occurs on variable aspects [9], growing in soils that are sandy, loamy, or silty in texture.  Devil's-club-supporting soils are sometimes skeletal.  Soils are derived from quartzite or from fluvial, colluvial, glaciolacustrine, or morainal deposits [11,6,27].  Soil pH is acid.  It ranges from 4.5 to 6.0 in the western redcedar/devil's-club type of northern Idaho [11], and was measured at 3.8 in the Sitka alder (Alnus viridis spp. sinuata)/devil's-club type of southern Alaska [39]. Soil nutrient levels are medium to very rich [24].  Climate varies from maritime, submarine, and continental types [24].  Elevational ranges for devil's-club in several locations are as follows:                              feet             meters northwestern Montana     3,900-5,000     1,189-1,524 [8] Oregon                   1,300-4,600       396-1,402 [9,25] northern Idaho           1,500-4,900       460-1,495 [11] southeastern Alaska          0-1,700         0-  518 [14,47] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Devil's-club is moderately shade tolerant [24] and is primarily found in understories of late seral, climax, and old-growth forests.  Best growth is attained in climax (mature) forests [6,8].  Average devil's-club biomass at widely located sites in western hemlock-western redcedar and Sitka spruce-western hemlock forests of southeastern Alaska was as follows [3]: clearcut sites:                 0.00 lb/acre young (30- to 100-year-old):    0.09 lb/acre  (0.1 kg/ha) mature (100- to 250-year old):  4.80 lb/acre  (5.4 kg/ha) old-growth (250+ years):        2.90 lb/acre  (3.3 kg/ha) SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Devil's-club flowers in late spring to midsummer, depending upon location.  Plants in southeastern Alaska bloom in June [45], while plants on the Lake Superior islands bloom in mid-July.  Fruits ripen approximately 4 weeks after flowering and persist over winter [46]. Leaves are dropped within a few days of the first fall frost.  In the Cascade Range of Oregon, leaf abscission occurs in October or November [10].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Sites where devil's-club occurs burn infrequently.  Wildfire is uncommon in various forest-devil's-club types of southeastern Alaska [28]. Typically, the moist ravines and streamside areas serve as a fire break to low- and moderate-severity ground fires.  The return interval for such fires ranges from 50 to 100 years in the western redcedar/devil's club type of western Montana.  Less often, this type undergoes severe, stand-replacing fire, regressing the site to pioneer conditions. Stand-replacing fires in the western redcedar/devil's-club type of western Montana have historically occurred at intervals ranging from 150 to more than 500 years [13]. Devil's-club adaptations to fire are not well documented.  It may sprout from the root crown [18,42].  Sprouting from rhizomes may also occur [11]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : NO-ENTRY

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Devil's-club is susceptible to fire-kill [18], but its susceptibility by class of fire severity is unknown. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Postfire recovery of understory species, presumably including devil's club, in forest/devil's-club types of British Columbia is more rapid than in other forest types.  Researchers credit this to the generally lower fire intensity.  Devil's-club frequency at widely scattered sites in British Columbia that had burned less than 10 years prior to sampling was from 61 to 80 percent [27]. Extrapolating from Alaback's [3] data (see Successional Status), devil's club is probably absent from burn sites for decades following stand-replacing fire.  Presumably, devil's-club establishes on these sites from animal-dispersed seed after the canopy has closed enough to shade this light-sensitive species. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Hamilton's Research Papers (Hamilton 2006a, Hamilton 2006b) provide information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant species, including devil's-club, that was not available when this species review was originally written. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Overall fire potential is rated as low in western redcedar/devil's-club habitat types of western Montana [17].

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Oplopanax horridus
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Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station: 150-157.  [10815]  5.  Arno, Stephen F.; Davis, Dan H. 1980. Fire history of western        redcedar/hemlock forests in northern Idaho. In: Stokes, Marvin A.;        Dieterich, John H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the fire        history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81.        Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 21-26.  [12809]  6.  Banner, Allen; Pojar, Jim; Trowbridge, Rick; Hamilton, Anthony. 1986.        Grizzly bear habitat in the Kimsquit River Valley, coastal British        Columbia: classification, description, and mapping. In: Contreras, Glen        P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat        symposium; 1985 April 30 - May 2; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-207.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Research Station: 36-49.  [10810]  7.  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]  8.  Boggs, Keith; Hansen, Paul; Pfister, Robert; Joy, John. 1990.        Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in        northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of        Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, Montana        Riparian Association. 217 p. Draft Version 1.  [8447]  9.  Campbell, Alsie Gilbert; Franklin, Jerry F. 1979. Riparian vegetation in        Oregon's western Cascade Mountains: composition, biomass, and autumn        phenology. Bull. No. 14. 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Ogden UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 53 p.        [11127] 18.  Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western        Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station. 95 p.  [633] 19.  Foote, M. Joan. 1983. Classification, description, and dynamics of plant        communities after fire in the taiga of interior Alaska. Res. Pap.        PNW-307. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 108 p.  [7080] 20.  Franklin, Jerry F. 1979. Vegetation of the Douglas-fir region. In:        Heilman, Paul E.; Anderson, Harry W.; Baumgartner, David M., eds. Forest        soils of the Douglas-fir region. 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Site        diagnosis, tree species selection, and slashburning guidelines for the        Vancouver Forest Region. Land Management Handbook Number 8. Abridged        version. Burnaby, BC: Ministry of Forests, Vancouver Forest Region. 143        p.  [9475] 25.  Halverson, Nancy M.; Topik, Christopher; Van Vickle, Robert. 1986. Plant        association and management guide for the western hemlock zone: Mt. Hood        National Forest. R6-ECOL-232A. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 111 p.  [1068] 26.  Hamilton, Anthony; Archibald, W. Ralph. 1986. Grizzly bear habitat in        the Kimsquit River Valley, coastal British Columbia: evaluation. In:        Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. Proceedings-grizzly bear        habitat symposium; 1985 April 30 - May 2; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep.        INT-207. 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