Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Spiraea douglasii


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1995. Spiraea douglasii. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : SPIDOU SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : SPDO SPDOD SPDOM COMMON NAMES : Douglas' spirea hardhack pink spirea TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of Douglas' spirea is Spiraea douglasii Hook. [20,35]. There are two recognized varieties: S. d. var. douglasii (Douglas' spirea) [21,25] S. d. var. menziesii (Hook.) Presl (Menzies' spirea) [21,25,35] Douglas' spirea may hybridize with white spirea (S. betulifolia) to form pyramid spirea (S. x pyramidata Greene) [33,35]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Douglas' spirea occurs from Alaska south to northern California and east to western Montana [21,29,35]. Pyramid spirea occurs from British Columbia south to Oregon and east to western Montana [35]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES22 Western white pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES27 Redwood FRES28 Western hardwoods STATES : AK CA ID MT OR WA BC BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 8 Northern Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K001 Spruce-cedar-hemlock forest K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest K003 Silver fir-Douglas-fir forest K004 Fir-hemlock forest K005 Mixed conifer forest K006 Redwood forest K007 Red fir forest K010 Ponderosa shrub forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K013 Cedar-hemlock-pine forest K025 Alder-ash forest K026 Oregon oakwoods K028 Mosaic of K002 and K026 SAF COVER TYPES : 205 Mountain hemlock 206 Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir 207 Red fir 210 Interior Douglas-fir 211 White fir 215 Western white pine 217 Aspen 218 Lodgepole pine 221 Red alder 222 Black cottonwood-willow 223 Sitka spruce 224 Western hemlock 225 Western hemlock-Sitka spruce 226 Coastal true fir-hemlock 227 Western redcedar-western hemlock 228 Western redcedar 229 Pacific Douglas-fir 230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock 232 Redwood 233 Oregon white oak 237 Interior ponderosa pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : 203 Riparian woodland 422 Riparian HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Douglas' spirea occurs mainly in riparian habitats such as swamps, mud flats, shrub carrs, marshes, bogs, and along streams [8,17,18,23,44]. In British Columbia Douglas' spirea is found in rush (Juncus spp.)-sedge (Carex spp.)-quillwort (Isoetes spp.) and shrub carr community types [8,18]. Common associates include Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), Sitka willow (Salix sitchensis), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), salal (Gaultheria shallon), sweet gale (Myrica gale), and bog rush (Juncus effusus) [2,28]. In Washington a Douglas' spirea-bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum)/sedge community type is described. Common associates include swordleaf rush (Juncus ensifolius), blister sedge (Carex vesicaria), Sitka sedge (C. sitchensis), slough sedge (C. obnupta), common willowweed (Epilobium glandulosum), and kneeling angelica (Angelica genuflexa) [19]. Douglas' spirea is also a member of a field horsetail (Equisetum arvense)-skunkcabbage (Veratrum californicum) swamp association. Associates include Sitka alder (Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata), black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), and red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) [16]. Associates of Douglas' spirea in Washington and Oregon forest communities include dwarf huckleberry (Vaccinium caespitosum), blue wildrye (Elymus glaucus), deer fern (Blechnum spicant), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), widefruit sedge (Carex eurycarpa), Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), and bristly black currant (Ribes lacustre) [12,29,30]. In California Douglas' spirea occurs in sphagnum bog, north coast riparian scrub, and freshwater marsh communities [23,44]. Common associates include bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), Pacific wax-myrtle (Myrica californica), Hooker willow (Salix hookeriana), Hinds willow (S. hindsiana), sedge (Carex spp.), bear sedge (C. arcta), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), and coast Labrador tea (Ledum glandulosum var. columbiana) [23,44]. In eastern Idaho and western Montana, Douglas' spirea is dominant in herbaceous wetland communities [41,42]. In Montana a Douglas' spirea community type has been described [4,17]. Douglas' spirea is dominant in a thinleaf alder community type [4]. Common associates in Montana include Booth willow (Salix boothii), Geyer willow (S. geyeriana), Wood's rose, western polemonium (Polemonium occidentale), beaked sedge (Carex rostrata), inflated sedge (C. vesicaria), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) [4,17]. The following publications list Douglas' spirea as a community dominant: Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in northwestern Montana [4] Riparian dominance types of Montana [17] Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest [19] Riparian zone associations: Deschutes, Ochoco, Fremont, and Winema National Forests [29] Classification of aquatic and semiaquatic wetland natural areas in Idaho and western Montana [41] Management of riparian vegetation in the northcoast region of California's coastal zone [44]


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Douglas' spirea has limited value as livestock forage because of typically dense stands, high water tables, and scarcity of palatable grasses [4,17]. It is sometimes eaten by livestock in the summer and fall [4,17]. In western Washington and Oregon Douglas' spirea is browsed by black-tailed deer [5,8]. PALATABILITY : In Oregon Douglas' spirea has a low palatability rating [29]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : In Washington a breeding population of long-billed marsh wrens was found nesting in a Douglas' spirea emergent shrub community type [52]. In British Columbia Douglas' spirea is a component of the western hemlock-Sitka spruce habitat type which is important grizzly bear habitat [2]. In Oregon quaking aspen-lodgepole pine/Douglas' spirea/widefruit sedge and lodgepole pine/Douglas' spirea/widefruit sedge habitat types are utilized by livestock for bedding and shade. These two habitat types are also important to deer, elk, and raptors [29]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Carlson [6] recommends Douglas' spirea for riparian revegetation programs in the Pacific Northwest. In a black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) riparian community, Douglas' spirea seedlings were planted in the fall of 1980 and had a 27 percent survival rate. In 1988 percent cover of Douglas' spirea had increased [6]. In Oregon Douglas' spirea was propagated as in situ hardwood cuttings (collected and planted on-site the same day) in a Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) community [48]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : In Oregon Douglas' spirea is sensitive to trampling and soil compaction [4,32]. The riparian lodgepole pine/Douglas' spirea/forb association has been overgrazed in Oregon. Douglas' spirea may be eliminated with continued overuse [29].


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Douglas' spirea is a rhizomatous, deciduous shrub with erect, spreading stems 3 to 6 feet (1-1.8 m) tall [17,35,40]. Leaves are 1 to 4 inches (3-10 cm) long [20,35]. Seeds are 0.08 inch (2 mm) long [40]. Douglas'spirea forms adventitious roots after burial [1]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Douglas' spirea is a rhizomatous shrub that often forms dense colonies [1,4,32]. It will sprout from the stem base and root crown following disturbance [4,29]. In Washington following the May 18, 1980 volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, Douglas' spirea showed extensive rhizome development in the tephra (volcanic aerial ejecta) and contained one to five adventitious roots per centimeter of stem 1 year after burial. Maximum adventitious root length of Douglas' spirea was 3.6 inches (9 cm) [1]. Douglas' spirea produces small seeds that are probably dispersed via animals and strong winds [40]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Douglas' spirea occurs in riparian areas including wet meadows, floodplains, terraces, bogs, swamps, and along streams, rivers, lakes, springs, and ponds [4,12,17,23,24]. Douglas' spirea grows best on moist to semiwet soils with good drainage [20,28,29,32,35]. It grows best on loam and sandy loam soils, but occurs on silty clay, clay loam, and gravelly substrates as well [17,19,23,29,42]. Douglas' spirea is tolerant of permanently water-logged soils (peat) and widely fluctuating water tables [23,28]. Elevations for Douglas' spirea are as follows: feet meters California 4,620-6,435 1,400-1,950 [20,46] Montana 3,760-6,700 1,147-2,044 [4,35] Oregon 2,200-5,800 660-1,740 [29] Washington 2,500-5,000 750-1,500 [19] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Douglas' spirea occurs mostly in seral communities [2,4,7,27,37]. It is generally shade intolerant [28], but horticultural specimens have been described as shade tolerant [11,20]. In British Columbia Douglas' spirea is a pioneer species in disclimax communities maintained by avalanches [2]. In southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington, Douglas' spirea is a pioneer species on clearcut sites [27,37]. In northwestern Montana a Douglas' spirea community type may be seral to an as yet undefined thinleaf alder/Douglas' spirea habitat type [4]. Douglas' spirea often forms dense impenetrable thickets in riparian areas [4]. In Washington Douglas' spirea usually occurs in mosaics with other hydric and mesic non-forest species in riparian forest openings [19]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : In California Douglas' spirea flowers from June to September [40].


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Douglas' spirea is moderately resistant to fire [32] and sprouts readily from the stem base and rhizomes after fire [4,17,29,32]. In presettlement times, wildfires were "probably common" in Douglas' spirea communities of riparian areas in Montana and Oregon; soils were usually dry by mid-summer, allowing fires from adjacent uplands to encroach upon the stand [17,29]. Fires were probably infrequent in the thinleaf alder-Douglas' spirea association in Oregon [29]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil 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".


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Douglas' spirea is probably topkilled by most fires and killed by severe fires. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : The literature contains few reports describing Douglas' spirea after fire. Because of its sprouting ability, it probably survives most fires. In central British Columbia Douglas' spirea was present with shinyleaf spirea (Spiraea betulifolia var. lucida) in seral Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii)-fir (Abies spp.) stands. Relative density of the Spiraea spp. in plots 4 to 22 years after fire was 4 percent; in plots 37 to 75 years after fire, it was 9 percent [13]. In British Columbia McMinn [38] studied a site in a western hemlock/Sitka spruce forest burned in 1861 and again in 1931. By 1948 Douglas' spirea had formed dense thickets with salmonberry and thimbleberry. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Spiraea douglasii
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