Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Salix planifolia
Photo by Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte,


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Uchytil, Ronald J. 1991. Salix planifolia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : SALPLA SYNONYMS : Salix planifolia var. planifolia Pursh Salix phylicifolia ssp. planifolia (Pursh) Hiitonen Salix phylicifolia var. pennata (Ball) Cronq. SCS PLANT CODE : SAPL2 COMMON NAMES : diamondleaf willow planeleaf willow TAXONOMY : The scientific name of diamondleaf willow is Salix planifolia [3,11,52]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Diamondleaf willow grows from the southern Yukon Territory south to California and New Mexico, and east across boreal Canada to eastern Canada and New England [3]. It is restricted to mountainous terrain in the western United States. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES29 Sagebrush FRES44 Alpine STATES : CA CO ID ME MN MT MI NV NH NM OR SD UT VT WA WY AB BC LB MB NF NT ON PQ SK YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 2 Cascade Mountains 4 Sierra Mountains 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K008 Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K015 Western spruce - fir forest K052 Alpine meadows and barren K055 Sagebrush steppe K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K094 Conifer bog SAF COVER TYPES : 12 Black spruce 37 Northern white cedar 201 White spruce 204 Black spruce 206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir 210 Interior Douglas-fir 218 Lodgepole pine 256 California mixed subalpine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Diamondleaf willow dominates low-statured shrub communities in high-elevation, wet mountain meadows. These are major wetland types of alpine and subalpine zones [22,34]. At lower elevations it is generally less abundant, and intermixed in shrubby riparian communities dominated by other willows. Published classifications listing diamondleaf willow as a dominant in community types (cts), habitat types (hts), dominance types (dts), or site types (sts) are presented below: Area Classification Authority nw CO: White River- grassland, shrubland, Hess & Wasser 1982 Arapaho NF and forested hts e ID, w WY riparian cts Youngblood & others 1985 MT riparian dts Hansen & others 1988 sw MT riparian sts, cts, hts Hansen & others 1989 e, c MT riparian cts, hts Hansen & others 1990 w-c MT wetland cts Pierce & Johnson 1986 UT, se ID riparian cts Padgett & others 1989


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : All classes of livestock eat willows (Salix spp.), but cattle consume more than others because they frequent riparian areas [45]. Tea-leaf willow's importance in livestock diets has been infrequently reported. In southwestern Montana, it made up 4.8 percent of cattle summer browse [10]. In southwestern Montana and in Yellowstone National Park, moose eat large amounts of this willow in the winter and small amounts in the summer [10,30,44]. Consumption by elk and mule deer is generally low [47]. Ungulate use of the low-statured variety monica is limited in the winter because it is often covered by snow [19]. Willows in general are a preferred food and building material of beaver [1]. Ducks, grouse, other birds, and small mammals eat willow shoots, catkins, buds, and leaves [2,17]. PALATABILITY : Most willows are palatable to livestock and big game [2,45]. In the West, willows are generally more palatable to sheep than to cattle. Palatability increases as the growing season advances [45]. Tea-leaf willow is highly palatable to moose but is apparently less palatable to elk and deer [10,44,47]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Diamondleaf willow occurring in montane and subalpine riparian communities provides excellent nesting and foraging habitat for a variety of birds, such as ducks, shorebirds, warblers, vireos, and sparrows [12,14]. Nesting sandhill cranes frequently used low-statured diamondleaf willow cover in Idaho [12]. Diamondleaf willow branches overhanging streambanks provide cover and shade for salmonids [19]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Diamondleaf willow is recommended for use in revegetating disturbed riparian areas, and is especially useful for streambank stabilization. It is usually planted as rooted or unrooted stem cuttings [38]. Diamondleaf willow stems contain predeveloped root primordia. Stem cuttings develop roots along the entire length of the buried portion within about 10 to 15 days after planting [38]. Because it roots quickly, unrooted diamondleaf willow cuttings may be planted on sites sufficiently moist to start and maintain growth [31,38]. Rooted cuttings have higher survival rates than unrooted cuttings. Procedures and techniques for collecting, preparing, and planting willow cuttings are described by Platts (and others) [38] and McCluskey (and others) [31]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : All willows produce salacin, which is closely related chemically to aspirin. Native Americans used various preparations from willows to treat tooth ache, stomach ache, diarrhea, dysentery, and dandruff [32]. Native Americans also used flexible willow stems for making baskets, bows, arrows, scoops, fish traps, and other items [26]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Because this willow usually grows on wet sites that are easily trampled by livestock, packstock, hikers, campers, big game, and off-road vehicles, trails and roads should be located on nearby uplands [19]. Diamondleaf willow becomes decadent or stunted when overbrowsed by cattle or wild ungulates and beavers. Decadent plants recover relatively rapidly when browsers are excluded [40].


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Diamondleaf willow is a small-to medium-sized deciduous shrub. The bark is gray and smooth [43]. The flowers occur in about 1- to 2-inch-long (2.5 cm), erect catkins on the previous year's twigs [3]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Diamondleaf willow's primary mode of reproduction is sexual. It produces an abundance of small, light-weight seeds. Like most willows, it probably begins seed production at an early age (between 2 and 10 years) [23]. At maturity, the fruit splits open and releases the seed. Each seed has a cottony down that aids in dispersal by wind and water [6]. Seeds are dispersed during the growing season and remain viable for only about 1 week [6]. The seeds contain significant amounts of chlorophyll, and photosynthesis generally occurs as soon as the seed is moistened. Germination occurs within 24 hours of dispersal if a moist seedbed is reached [6]. Exposed mineral soils provide the best seedbed [23]. Litter inhibits germination [23]. Vegetative reproduction: Diamondleaf willow sprouts from the root crown or stem base if aboveground stems are broken or destroyed by cutting, flooding, or fire [23]. Detached stem fragments form adventitious roots if they remain moist; portions of stems will root naturally if buried in moist soil [23]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Diamondleaf willow occupies different habitats. At high elevations, it grows in middle and upper subalpine zones dominated by Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and in alpine zones above timberline. It commonly forms thickets along stream and lake margins, in wet meadows and seep areas, and on slopes kept moist by melting snow [2,7,22,30]. These sites are usually wet, with water tables at or near the surface [7,34]. Soils may be mineral or organic. Mineral soils are clayey-, silty-, or sandy-textured and overlain by a shallow, organic surface layer [7]. On marshy sites peat may be up to 12 inches (30 cm) or more thick [22,30]. Associates include Wolff willow (Salix wolfii), undergreen willow (S. commutata), Drummond willow (S. drummondiana), grayleaf willow (S. glauca), bog birch (Betula glandulosa), water sedge (Carex aquatilis), beaked sedge (C. rostrata), mountain sedge (C. scopulorum), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa), bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), marshmarigold (Caltha leptosepala), heartleaf bittercress (Cardamine cordifolia), and arrowleaf groundsel (Senecio triangularis) [22,28,30,34]. Diamondleaf willow also occurs at middle elevations in the West, primarily in the Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) zones [7]. It generally occurs scattered in other willow-dominated communities along the banks of streams, ponds, and lakes and in wet meadows and marshes. Associated willows in the West include Geyer willow (S. geyeriana), Drummond willow, and Bebb willow (S. bebbiana) [7]. Soils are usually mineral, with textures varying from sands to clays [18]. Water tables are often near the surface in the spring, but may drop to more than 39 inches (1 m) by midsummer [18]. In Ontario, this variety grows in cool, moist habitats along lakes and streams, in black spruce (Picea mariana) bogs, northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) swamps, and marshes [42]. Elevational ranges for several western states are presented below [7,9,15,21,33,49]: State Elevational Range CA from 8,000 to 12,500 feet (2,440-3,811 m) CO from 8,000 to 13,000 feet (2,440-3,963 m) (var. monica) c ID above 8,000 feet (2,440 m) (var. monica) c ID from 5,500 to 7,700 feet (1,677-2,348 m) (var. planifolia) MT from 3,700 to 10,200 feet (1,128-3,109 m) SD, Black from 5,000 to 6,500 feet (1,524-1,982 m) Hills UT from 7,400 to 12,000 feet (2,255-3,660 m) WY from 6,500 to 11,500 feet (1,982-3,506 m) SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Diamondleaf willow often forms relatively stable communities maintained by high water tables and high elevation climates [22,34]. In Colorado, high-elevation diamondleaf willow communities are considered climax wetland communities [22]. These communities can experience successional shifts if water tables change. If sites become permanently drier, Wolff willow and grasses will increase [18]. Diamondleaf willow often persists in communities dominated by other willows. These communities are relatively stable and maintained by high water tables or seasonal flooding [34]. Diamondleaf willow is shade intolerant. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Diamondleaf willow flowers appear in the spring before or sometimes with the leaves [2,43]. Flowering and seed maturation dates are as follows: Location Flowering Seeds mature Reference California June to August [33] New England (low elevations) May 19-June 27 (high elevations) July 9-July 31 [41] Ontario May and June June and July [42] North & South Dakota May June [44]


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Most willows sprout from the root crown following top-kill by fire [35,48]. Diamondleaf willow's wind-dispersed seeds may be important in colonizing burned areas. The wet meadow and streamside habitats diamondleaf willow occupies rarely burn. In fact, these riparian areas frequently act as fire breaks. However, under dry conditions, riparian habitats can burn severely [8]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by wind; postfire years 1 and 2 off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Willows on organic soils may be killed by severe fires which burn deep into the soil, char the roots, and prevent sprouting [51]. Less severe fires only top-kill willows. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : There is no specific documentation of diamondleaf willow sprouting following fire. However, sprouting following top-kill by fire is common in the genus Salix. Quick, hot fires generally result in numerous sprouts per willow plant. Slow-burning fires result in fewer sprouts because these fires often burn down into the roots, reducing the plants' sprouting ability [25]. Diamondleaf willow seedling establishment following fire has not been documented, although other willows have been observed to do so when moist mineral soils are present. Diamondleaf willow seeds are dispersed in the summer, remain viable for only about 1 week, and require moist mineral soil for germination. Therefore, the degree of seedling establishment following fire depends upon the season of burn, on the weather, and on the amount of mineral soil exposed [48]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Prescribed fire can be used to rejuvenate decadent willows [25]. Diamondleaf willow primarily occupies wet, poorly drained sites that may be difficult to burn until they dry out in late summer or fall.


SPECIES: Salix planifolia
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