Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Physocarpus malvaceus


SPECIES: Physocarpus malvaceus
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Habeck, R. J. 1992. Physocarpus malvaceus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. ABBREVIATION : PHYMAL SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : PHMA5 COMMON NAMES : mallow ninebark few-flowered ninebark mallow ninebark mallowleaved ninebark mountain ninebark ninebark shallow ninebark TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of mallow ninebark is Physocarpus malvaceus (Green) Kuntze [17]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Physocarpus malvaceus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Mallow ninebark generally occurs east of the Cascades, from south-central British Columbia to central and eastern Washington and Oregon; east to southwestern Alberta, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah [17]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES25  Larch    FRES28  Western hardwoods STATES :      ID  MT  NV  OR  UT  WA  WY  AB  BC BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :    2  Cascade Mountains    5  Columbia Plateau    6  Upper Basin and Range    8  Northern Rocky Mountains    9  Middle Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    KO11  Western ponderosa forest    K012  Douglas-fir forest    K014  Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest    K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest    K037  Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub    K063  Foothills prairie SAF COVER TYPES :    210  Interior Douglas-fir    212  Western larch    213  Grand fir    217  Aspen    237  Interior ponderosa pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Mallow ninebark occurs in a wide variety of habitat types from cool/moist subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), grand fir (A. grandis), and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) to more mesic Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) sites.  Mallow ninebark's associates generally include ocean-spray (Holodiscus discolor), common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), mountain snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus), white spirea (Spiraea betulifolia), serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), Oregon grape (Mahonia repens), and pinegrass (Calamagrostis rubescens) [8,20,40,45,47]. Publications listing mallow ninebark as an indicator or dominant species in habitat types (hts), plant associations (pas), or community types (cts) are as follows: Area                   Classification            Authority ----                   --------------            --------- c ID                   forest (hts)         Steele and others 1981 c ID                   forest (hts)         Steele & Geier-Hayes 1989 e ID, w WY             forest (hts)         Steele and others  1983          n ID                   forest (hts)         Cooper and others  1991   MT                   forest (hts)         Pfister and others 1977 w MT                   forest (hts)         Arno and others  1985   OR                   forest (cts)         Cole 1982   OR: Wallowa-Whitman  forest (pas)         Johnson & Simon 1987       National Forest n UT                   forest (hts)         Mauk & Henderson 1984   WA                   forest (hts)         Williams & Lillybridge 1983


SPECIES: Physocarpus malvaceus
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Mallow ninebark's importance to livestock and wildlife is generally low to moderate.  In central Idaho and western Montana, the grazing values for livestock and wildlife are poor to none [35,46].  Mallow ninebark made up only 8 percent of bighorn sheep browse in central Idaho [12]. Wildlife use of mallow ninebark is usually minimal because more palatable shrubs are commonly associated with it.  For up to 3 years following fire, mallow ninebark sprouts are frequently browsed by deer.  Mallow ninebark becomes a more important browse species on drier sites [38]. PALATABILITY : Mallow ninebark is generally avoided as browse.  In northern Idaho, mallow ninebark was scarcely browsed when it exhibited a high cover percent [31].  In cedar/hemlock (Thuja/Tsuga) ecosystems, it was found to be less palatable than associated browse species [19].  In northern Utah, however, mule deer browsed on mallow ninebark during the summer months [44]. In northern Idaho, livestock browsing on mallow ninebark seemed to increase its utilization by producing more palatable stems.  Thilenius [48] found that mallow ninebark became more palatable to white-tailed deer following browsing by livestock. The degree of mallow ninebark use shown by livestock and wildlife species in several western states is rated as follows [3,10]:                       Montana          Utah       British Columbia                       -------          ----       ---------------- Cattle                 poor            poor             --- Sheep                  fair            fair             --- Horses                 poor            poor             --- Bighorn                ---             ---              poor Elk                    ---             ---              poor Moose                  ---             ---              poor Mule deer              ---             ---              poor White-tailed deer      ---             ---              poor Caribou                ---             ---              poor NUTRITIONAL VALUE : In Montana and Utah, mallow ninebark only rated "fair" in energy and protein values [10]. Mean mineral concentration values of the upper one-third of mallow ninebark's current annual growth measured over 3 years (1974-76) on burned and unburned sites on the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho, were as follows [32]:             N      K     Mn    Cu      Mg    Ca     P     Zn     Na             %      %     ppm   ppm     %     %      %     ppm    ppm           ------------------------------------------------------------ Burned     1.30   1.60   40    6.50   0.22  1.20   0.30   14     48    Unburned   0.90   1.20   60    5.80   0.20  1.00   0.28   20     53 COVER VALUE : Mallow ninebark can form dense thickets, which provide good shelter and cover for a variety of wildlife species from small birds to large mammals. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : The Soil Conservation Service in Pullman, Washington, has evaluated mallow ninebark in order to develop this shrub's soil-stabilizing characteristics for streambank stabilization projects [26].  Results from this evaluation are not available. Mallow ninebark suitability ratings for revegetating road cuts in northwestern Montana are as follows [18]: Initial(1)  Final (2)                   Natural    Soil (4)    Composite Survival    Survival  Growth  Vigor(3)  Spread  Stabilization    Rating -------------------------------------------------------------------------------    6           8         5       5         0          4            28 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (1) Ratings for each factor are based on a scale from 0 to 10 with 10     being best.    (2) Final survival based on percentage of initial survivors alive after     4 years. (3) Based on flowering growth rate and appearance. (4) Based on root system and observed holding power. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Mallow ninebark decreases the productivity of forest lands by severely restricting regeneration.  Tordon 22K and Tordon 101 have been used successfully to control this deep-rooted, perennial shrub [41]. Distortion, curling, and browning of mallow ninebark leaf margins were noted 1 week after application.  At the end of one growing season, there was almost 100 percent browning and drying of foliage [41]. In northern Idaho, mallow ninebark showed two peaks of apparent susceptibility to damage from spraying 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T:  in June, when the plants were in bloom, and again in September before leaf drop.  Crown kill averaged 99 and 80 percent respectively.  Following these treatments, sprouts averaged about two per plant.  Spraying at these times decreases mallow ninebark, thereby possibly benefiting associated species [28,36]. Two to three quarts (1.9-2.8 l) of Roundup herbicide with water top-killed 62 to 80 percent of mallow ninebark foliage when applied during late foliar development [33].  Mallow ninebark control using Esteron brush killer achieved best results when this herbicide was mixed with diesel and sprayed by helicopter from low altitudes [less than 150 feet/(46 m)] [34]. In many Douglas-fir/mallow ninebark habitat types, pocket gophers have been identified as a management problem.  They apparently damage young pines, perhaps allowing mallow ninebark communities to outcompete conifer species. Burning, livestock grazing, and scarification have been attempted to rid mallow ninebark sites of pocket gophers [46].


SPECIES: Physocarpus malvaceus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : This deciduous shrub is generally 2.0 to 7.0 feet (0.6-2.1 m) tall; broad stem structure; twigs glabrous; bark shreddy on older branchlets; inflorescence corymbose [21].  The fruit is an inflated two- to three-chambered capsule with two to four very small seeds per chamber. Mallow ninebark leaves are palmately three- to five-lobed, and begin to turn color as early as late July, becoming brownish-red by early autumn [23]. Mallow ninebark has a horizontal perennating root system, although it is often called a "rootcrown shrub".  Sectioning revealed that its perennating organ is a rhizome [3]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Seeds, flowering, and fruiting:  Flowering dates vary from May to July, and fruit ripening occurs between late August and early October. Mallow ninebark averaged 756,000 cleaned seeds per pound (344,000/kg), with a 16 percent soundness value [16].  Mallow ninebark seeds are primarily transported by gravity.  Seeds stored in the soil are 11 percent viable, and germinate in partial shade on scarified soil [46]. Regeneration following disturbance:  In western Montana, Bradley [4] found mallow ninebark to occur in two forms:  singularly or in small clumps of stems sprouting from one rhizome; or in large groupings with many stems originating from a number of interlaced rhizomes.  External observations of rhizomes revealed numerous suppressed buds along the entire length of the axis.  One half of the shrubs excavated had stems arising from more than one section of the rhizome.  Presence of buds throughout the rhizome may permit sprouting at many points given the proper environmental conditions [4]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Mallow ninebark is most commonly found on hillsides, canyons, and grasslands on mesic ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir sites [17,23].  It also has been found on moist slopes and streamsides in mountain-brush, aspen, and mixed-conifer woodlands at 5,250 to 10,000 feet (1,600-3,000 m) elevation [37]. Soils:  Mallow ninebark is found predominantly on soils with no exposed rocks. Parent materials range from calcareous/noncalcareous sedimentary rocks such as limestone, sandstone, and conglomerates, to igneous rock such as granites and basalts.  Soil textures found on mallow ninebark sites range from sandy loams to silty clay loams.  Ash layers have been found on some loess soils in central Idaho.  Surface soil acidity range from pH 5.5 to 7.1.  The average duff layer is 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) with an effective rooting depth generally at 15 inches (38 cm) [8,40,47]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Mallow ninebark is associated with a variety of species through its successional progression.  In early seral stages, mallow ninebark is a part of communities that reflect great species diversity.  This would include overstory species such as quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), shrub species like redstem ceanothus (Ceanothus velutinus), and numerous herbaceous species.  In mid-seral communities mallow ninebark is associated mostly with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, shrubs in the Salix and Prunus genera, and herbs such as penstemon (Penstemon attenuatus) and Fragaria species.  In climax mallow ninebark associations, Douglas-fir is the dominant overstory species and occurs in pure stands.  Shrub layers become increasingly simple, consisting primarily of Physocarpus, Symphoricarpos, Amelanchier, and Spiraea.  The herbaceous layer decreases and is generally limited to shade-tolerant rhizomatous species [46]. In the Intermountain West, mallow ninebark forms a union primarily in the Douglas-fir/mallow ninebark association.  In northern Idaho, this association is generally found between the drier ponderosa pine/Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) or ponderosa pine/mallow ninebark associations, and the moister grand fir/mountain lover (Pachistima myrsinites) association [6]. Mallow ninebark responds to various forms of disturbance such as silvicultural cutting or wildfire by major vegetative responses.  This includes an increase in coverage from existing plants and vigorous rhizome sprouting [46].  Mallow ninebark is an obligate pioneer species that predictably increases rapidly in average height following disturbance.  Over time, as overstory competition increases, the height of mallow ninebark generally decreases [24]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Mallow ninebark flowering and fruiting dates are as follows [16]:                              Flowering    Fruit Ripening   Seed Dispersal      Site        Elevation     Dates           Dates           Dates ---------------  ---------   ---------    --------------   -------------- Kootenai Co. ID   3200 ft    5/20 - 6/30      August        Sept. 15 + Missoula Co. MT   3200 ft     5/30 - 6/25    8/20 - 9/5      Oct.  10 +                   4400 ft     6/20 - 7/10    8/20 - 9/25     Oct.  5 +                   5400 ft     6/25 - 7/15    8/20 - 9/30     Oct.  5 +                   6400 ft     7/5  - 7/25    9/5  - 9/25     Oct.  10 + Mallow ninebark shrubs in northern Idaho showed stem elongation 25 days earlier on southern aspects than on the cooler eastern aspects.  From this, it is hypothesized that stem elongation may be controlled by air temperature [11].  Seasonal development for mallow ninebark east of the Continental Divide in Montana and Yellowstone National Park from 1928 to 1937 are as follows [43]:                      Average    Earliest    Latest  Standard  Number of                       Date        Date       Date    Error    Observations First Appearance     May  3      Apr   6    May  20    2          23 Leaves Full Grown    June 18     May  17    July 20    3          23 Flowers Start        June 13     May  22    June 30    2          24 Flowers End          July 6      June 18    July 21    2          24 Fruits Ripe          Aug  4      June 16    Sept  9    4          24 Seed Fall Starts     Aug  17     July 26    Sept 18   16           3 Leaves Wither        Aug  9      July  1    Sept 19    3          24 Leaves Fallen        Aug  24     July 23    Sept 26    3          24 First Frost Injury   Sept 25     Aug  28    Oct  26    3          24 Major phenological activities of mallow ninebark in northern Idaho are as follows [36]:         Bud     Leafing     Stem                Fruit   Leaf Color  Leaf Year   Swell      Out      Growth    Blooming   Growth   Change     Fall ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1971     NA     4/21-5/11  5/4-6/18  5/26-6/18  6/18-NA   9/23      9/23      1972     NA     4/19-5/23  5/6-6/13  5/19-6/13  6/13-NA   9/26      9/26 1973  4/3-4/15  4/23-6/4   5/2-6/4   5/23-6/12  6/19-NA   8/28      10/2


SPECIES: Physocarpus malvaceus
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Mallow ninebark sprouts vigorously following fire.  Sprouts originate from horizontal rhizomes, of which a high proportion are situated in mineral soil.  Mallow ninebark has 36 to 99 percent of its rhizomes buried in mineral soil, ensuring its potential for survival and sprouting following a fire.  It has been ranked in the highest fire-survival category in a western Montana study [4,9,14,38]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    survivor species; on-site surviving rhizomes


SPECIES: Physocarpus malvaceus
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Mallow ninebark is classified as fire resistant [14].  It is, however, susceptible to death from severe fire temperatures.  Roots may be damaged by moderate to severe fires.  Often there is a decrease in aboveground parts following fire, subsequently delaying regeneration [9,14]. Prefire and postfire measurements of mallow ninebark in central Idaho are as follows [25]:         Avg. Live       Avg. Live     Avg. Crown   Avg. Dead   No.  Avg. Sprout       Crown Diameter   Crown Height   Below 7ft.     Crown    Basal    Height           (ft)             (ft)          (%)          (%)    Sprouts    (ft) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Prefire    2.5             4.5          100.0         20.0     4.0      2.0 Postfire   1.5             3.0          100.0        100.0    21.0      2.0 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *  prefire measurements taken March/1965;  postburn measurements taken    August/1965. ** postfire measurements were taken on the part of the plant which    existed before treatment. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Mallow ninebark has been found to be more abundant on burned sites than on unburned sites.  Twig densities on mallow ninebark shrubs increased through the third postfire growing season in northern Idaho.  Shrub heights on burned and unburned sites were equal by the fourth growing season, while aboveground biomass of burned shrubs was only 64 percent of that of unburned shrubs [5,32].  Owens [39] found that the annual twig production for mallow ninebark increased proportional to the removal of shrub canopy by fire in northern Idaho. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : The Research Project Summary Understory recovery after low- and high-intensity fires in northern Idaho ponderosa pine forests provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant species including mallow ninebark. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

References for species: Physocarpus malvaceus

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