Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Ribes aureum


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Marshall, K. Anna. 1995. Ribes aureum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : RIBAUR SYNONYMS : Ribes odoratum H. Wendl. [24] SCS PLANT CODE : RIAU RIAUA RIAUG RIAUV COMMON NAMES : golden currant fragrant golden currant buffalo currant TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for golden currant is Ribes aureum Pursh [22]. It is a member of the gooseberry family (Grossulariaceae). Kartesz [24] recognizes the following three varieties: R. aureum var. aureum Pursh (golden currant) R. aureum var. gracillimum (Coville & Britt.) Jepson (golden currant) R. aureum var. villosum DC. (fragrant golden currant, buffalo currant) LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The distribution of golden currant ranges from British Columbia east to Saskatchewan, south to western Nebraska, Colorado, and northwestern Texas, west to Los Angeles, California, and north to the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range [11,21,22,23,30]. Golden currant is native to the West, but it has been cultivated and has naturalized in the East [28]. The distribution of Ribes aureum var. villosum, formerly Ribes odoratum [18,24], ranges from Minnesota east to Michigan south through Tennessee to Arkansas, west to Texas, and north through Colorado to South Dakota [18,52]. The distribution of R. aureum var. villosum is not considered in the ecosystems, plant associations, and cover types listed here because information is lacking. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon-juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES40 Desert grasslands STATES : AZ AR CA CO ID IL IN IA KS KY MI MN MO MT NE NV NM ND OK OR SD TN TX UT WA WI WY AB BC SK BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K005 Mixed conifer forest K010 Ponderosa shrub forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K014 Grand fir-Douglas-fir forest K015 Western spruce-fir forest K016 Eastern ponderosa forest K017 Black Hills pine forest K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest K019 Arizona pine forest K020 Spruce-fir-Douglas-fir forest K022 Great Basin pine forest K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland K024 Juniper steppe woodland K030 California oakwoods K033 Chaparral K034 Montane chaparral K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub K038 Great Basin sagebrush K040 Saltbush-greasewood K050 Fescue-wheatgrass K051 Wheatgrass-bluegrass K055 Sagebrush steppe K056 Wheatgrass-needlegrass shrubsteppe K057 Galleta-three-awn shrubsteppe K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama-needlegrass-wheatgrass K066 Wheatgrass-needlegrass SAF COVER TYPES : 210 Interior Douglas-fir 217 Aspen 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 222 Black cottonwood-willow 229 Pacific Douglas-fir 235 Cottonwood-willow 237 Interior ponderosa pine 238 Western juniper 239 Pinyon-juniper 243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer 244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir 245 Pacific ponderosa pine 256 California mixed subalpine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : 107 Western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass 109 Ponderosa pine shrubland 203 Riparian woodland 207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral 208 Ceanothus mixed chaparral 209 Montane shrubland 314 Big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass 315 Big sagebrush-Idaho fescue 322 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany-bluebunch wheatgrass 401 Basin big sagebrush 402 Mountain big sagebrush 403 Wyoming big sagebrush 406 Low sagebrush 411 Aspen woodland 412 Juniper-pinyon woodland 413 Gambel oak 415 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany 416 True mountain-mahogany 417 Littleleaf mountain-mahogany 418 Bigtooth maple 421 Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose 422 Riparian 501 Saltbush-greasewood 504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland 509 Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association 612 Sagebrush-grass 733 Juniper-oak HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Golden currant occurs in grassland, coniferous forests and woodlands, and riparian and mountain shrub communities [12,19,54]. In addition to the plant associations and cover types listed in preceding slots, golden currant occurs in the alluvial scrub vegetation of the San Gabriel River floodplain [44] and in central coast riparian forest [39] in California. In the Malheur National Forest, Oregon, golden currant is a member of the Mackenzie willow (Salix rigida var. mackenzieana) riparian dominance type; associated species include Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratense), smooth brome (Bromus inermis), meadow barley (Hordeum brachyantherum), and redtop (Agrostis alba) [32].


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : In Logan, Utah, golden currant twigs and foliage were browsed May 31 to August 1 by captive deer [43]. The fruit of Ribes spp. is a valuable food source for songbirds, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and other animals [27]. PALATABILITY : The palatability of golden currant to livestock is rated as follows [13]: CO MT ND UT WY Cattle poor poor ---- good fair Sheep fair fair ---- good fair Horses poor poor ---- poor poor NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Currants (Ribes spp.) contain high concentrations of mono- and disaccharides [48]. COVER VALUE : Cover values for golden currant are as follows [13]: CO MT UT WY Pronghorn ---- ---- poor poor Elk ---- ---- poor poor Mule deer ---- poor fair fair White-tailed deer ---- ---- ---- fair Small mammals fair poor good good Small nongame birds poor poor good good Upland game birds ---- poor good fair Waterfowl ---- ---- poor poor VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Golden currant can be used to revegetate roadsides and disturbed areas [9,10,40,50]. In Alpine County, California, container-grown golden currant seedlings were planted on mine spoils. The average percent survival of golden currant seedlings was 91 percent after 1 year and 77 percent after 2 years [9]. Schroeder [40] rated golden currant high in hardiness, low in soil requirements, and medium in growth rate. Plummer and others [37] rated the suitability of golden currant for restoring rangeland in Utah as follows: initial establishment good growth rate good persistence good germination medium to fair seed production medium to fair ease of planting very good natural spread good OTHER USES AND VALUES : The fruit of golden currant is used for making jam, jelly, and pie [34]. Some western Indian tribes used currants (Ribes spp.) for making pemmican [30]. Golden currant is cultivated as an ornamental [34]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Golden currant is an alternate host for white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) which infests five-needled pines [31]. Because of their association with the rust, Ribes spp. have been targets of various eradication efforts [3,29,31]; however, these efforts have had some success only in the Great Lake States [20].


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Golden currant is a native, deciduous, rhizomatous shrub [53] growing from 3.3 to 10 feet (1-3 m) tall. Its numerous, stiff, erect branches are smooth-barked. The orbicular, three-lobed (three- to five-lobed for Ribes aureum var. villosum) leaves are 0.24 to 1.9 inch (0.6-4.7 cm) long and 0.4 to 2.7 inches (1-6.7 cm) wide. Drooping racemes are five- to fifteen-flowered. Globose berries, 0.24 to 0.36 inch (6-9 mm) in diameter, contain numerous seeds [11,15,19,22]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Golden currant reproduces vegetatively and by seed. Golden currant reproduces vegetatively by rhizomes [8,50]; it sprouts after cutting and fire [11]. Plants can also be grown from cuttings [41]. Ribes spp. begin fruiting after 3 years [3]. Many seeds fall beneath the parent plant; they are also dispersed by birds and mammals. Fallen seeds may remain viable in the soil and duff for many years [45,46]. Seed germination is generally enhanced by scarification [1,45,46]; however, 63 percent germination was obtained in the laboratory by stratifying golden currant seeds at 28 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.2 and 2.2 deg C) for 60 days without scarification [34]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Golden currant has wide ecological amplitude. It commonly occurs on floodplains, along streams, in ravines and washes, by springs, and on mountain slopes [15,19,23,30,50]. Golden currant grows on fine- to course-textured loam soil [5,14,33] at elevations up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) [9,15,33,54]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Golden currant is somewhat shade tolerant. On the Pine Ridge escarpments in northwestern Nebraska, golden currant grows in open, scattered, and dense pine stands [49]. In Minnesota, where fragrant golden currant occurs, very dense balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and northern whitecedar (Thuja occidentalis) overstories suppress Ribes spp. [2]. In riparian vegetation throughout their range, Ribes spp. often constitute an important part of the shrub cover. They are only occasionally shaded out by dense thickets of taller shrubs [29]. In western coniferous forests, Ribes spp. are early seral species, sometimes persisting into the midseral stage [29,45,46]. In the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho, roots of Ribes spp. stabilize the soil after disturbance, and foliage may shelter fir (Abies spp.), spruce (Picea spp.), and western white pine (Pinus monticola) seedlings [26]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Golden currant flowers from early spring to June [11,50]. In the Intermountain region, seeds mature from mid-July to mid-August [37].


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Severe fire that consumes the entire organic mantle probably kills golden currant and may destroy soil-stored seeds [29]. Golden currant may survive low- to moderate-severity fire by sprouting from rhizomes [8,11]. Golden currant regeneration is probably favored by low- to moderate-severity fire because germination of soil-stored seed is generally enhanced by scarification in Ribes spp. [1,8,29,45,46]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire top-kills or kills golden currant. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Golden currant seedlings may establish after fire, and golden currant probably sprouts from surviving rhizomes after low- to moderate-severity fire. In Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, low-severity prescription fires conducted during the spring and fall of 1979 resulted in decreases in Ribes spp., including fragrant golden currant, during postfire years 1 and 2. Weather conditions were as follows [35]: wind speed temperature relative mi/h (km/h) deg F (deg C) humidity (%) fall burn 10 (16) 58 (14.4) 45 spring burn 5 (8) 57 (13.9) 32 The origin of golden currant on postfire plots (seedling or sprout) was not described. Prefire and postfire values for Ribes spp. on experimental (burned) and control (unburned) plots were as follows [35]: Prefire Postfire yr 1 Postfire yr 2 Number of plants (density) experimental 299 112 73 control 21 27 25 Mean max. height (cm) experimental 34.6 18.4 25.3 control 37.2 34.6* 41.0 Mean max. crown width (cm) experimental 32.2 16.5 20.1 control 33.9 37.4* 35.6* * indicates that value for control plot was significantly (p<.05) greater than value for experimental plot. In Nevada County, California, the Donner Ridge Wildfire "completely razed" a pine (Pinus spp.)-fir forest [6,7]. Golden currant was observed growing on the site in postfire year 8. It is not clear whether golden currant had sprouted or established from seed. Other members of the postfire vegetation community included mules ears (Wyethia mollis), mahala mat (Ceanothus prostratus), greenleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula), rabbitbrush goldenweed (Haplopappus bloomeri), and young Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) and lodgepole pine (P. contorta) which had germinated after the fire [7]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Ribes aureum
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