Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Thamnosma montana


SPECIES: Thamnosma montana
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tesky, Julie L. 1994. Thamnosma montana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : THAMON SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : THMO COMMON NAMES : Mojave desertrue Turpentine-broom cordoncillo TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for Mojave desertrue is Thamnosma montana Torrey & Fren. [3,15,18,22,30]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Thamnosma montana
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Mojave desertrue is found in the Mojave, Sonora, and Colorado deserts of Baja California, southern California, southern Nevada (Nye and Clark counties), southwestern Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico [3,13,15,18,22]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper STATES : AZ CA NM NV UT MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 3 Southern Pacific Border 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K024 Juniper steppe woodland K039 Blackbrush K040 Saltbush - greasewood K041 Creosotebush K042 Creosotebush - bursage K044 Creosotebush - tarbush SAF COVER TYPES : 238 Western juniper 239 Pinyon - juniper SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Mojave desertrue is commonly found in creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) scrub, blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) scrub, and other warm desert shrub communities, and in Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) and pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.-Juniperus spp.) woodlands [5,6,27,18,30]. In addition to the above mentioned species, Mojave desertrue is commonly associated with desertsenna (Cassia armata), Nevada ephedra (Ephedra nevadensis), banana yucca (Yucca baccata), Mojave yucca (Y. schidigera), spiny hopsage (Grayia spinosa), winterfat (Ceratoides lanata), budsage (Artemisia spinescens), Utah agave (Agave utahensis), purple sage (Salvia dorrii), desert almond (Prunus fasciculatus), Dalea spp., Atriplex spp., Tetradymia spp., Eriogonum spp., and Lycium spp. [8,23,27]. Mojave desertrue is not listed as a dominant or indicator species in the available literature.


SPECIES: Thamnosma montana
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Mojave desertrue is occasionally browsed by desert bighorn sheep [5]. PALATABILITY : Mojave desertrue is not palatable to livestock [26]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Mojave desertrue has been used by the Indians as a tonic and in the treatment of gonorrhea [15]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Mojave desertrue commonly accumulates organic material and windblown soil beneath its crown. These shrub mounds serve as an increased source of nutrients and water for Mojave desertrue in addition to providing a microhabitat for desert ephemerals [6].


SPECIES: Thamnosma montana
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Mojave desertrue is a native, long-lived, profusely branched, deciduous, perennial shrub 1 to 2.5 feet (30-80 cm) tall [3,22]. It has stout, spine-tipped, broomlike branches that are thickly covered with blisterlike glands and are leafless most of the year [6,13]. Mojave desertrue forms new branches from the root crown, resulting in multiple stems arising from the ground [6,9]. The leaves are 0.16 to 0.6 inch (4-15 mm) long and 0.04 inch (1 mm) wide [3,22]. The flowers are in small cymose or racemose clusters [15]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Mojave desertrue reproduces by seed. The flowers are animal pollinated and the fruit is dispersed by animals [19]. The fruit is a capsule containing one to three seeds [22,30]. The ability of Mojave desertrue to reproduce vegetatively was not specifically described in the literature. However, since it branches from the root crown, Mojave desertrue may be able to sprout after top-kill. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Mojave desertrue is commonly found on sunny, dry, rocky, or gravelly slopes and mesas. [3,22,26]. It occurs at the following elevations: Arizona - 4,500 feet (1,371 m) and lower [15] California - 5,500 feet (1,676) and lower [18] Utah - 2,316 to 4,265 feet (760-1,300 m) [30]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Mojave desertrue is present in most stages of succession. Wells [32] described it as a pioneer shrub typically found in disturbed areas such as drainageways and actively eroded bedrock areas. Others have reported that Mojave desertrue is a long-lived shrub, present in later stages of desert succession [27,28]. On a sandy bajada in California, Mojave desertrue was one of the most common species found in an old, stable creosotebush scrub community [27]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Mojave desertrue flowers in the spring at the same time new vegetative shoots are being initiated [9,15,18]. It flowers from February through April in Arizona, and from March through May in California [15,18]. Mojave desertrue leaves are deciduous and are shed soon after flowering [3], but the twigs often remain green for 3 to 5 years [9,22].


SPECIES: Thamnosma montana
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Regeneration of Mojave desertrue after fire in not described in research currently available. However, since it produces new branches from the root crown, it probably can sprout from the root crown if top-killed by fire. Mojave desertrue probably also colonizes burned areas via animal-dispersed seeds. Fire frequency in the communities where Mojave desertrue occurs depends on productivity and continuity of fuels. Where livestock grazing has reduced grass cover and accelerated erosion, fire frequency has decreased [17,31]. In creosotebush scrub communities, fires generally occur in those occasional years when exceptionally heavy winter rains have produced abnormally heavy stands of annuals [14]. Fires are also rare in blackbrush communities; however, these communities have been known to burn under conditions of high temperature, high wind velocity, and low relative humidity [14]. Pinyon-juniper communities historically burned every 10 to 30 years [31]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community) Secondary colonizer - off-site seed 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: Thamnosma montana
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Information was not available regarding the immediate effects of fire on Mojave desertrue. Mojave desertrue is probably top-killed or killed by most fires. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Mojave desertrue was present on a burn in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona, within 4 years of a June fire [33]. The absolute cover value of Mojave desertrue following controlled fires in a blackbrush community in southwestern Utah is as follows [7]: Absolute cover value (percent) Time elapsed since burning mean standard deviation unburned 0.9 2.3 1 year 0.5 0.8 2 years 0 0 6 years 0 0 12 years 0 0 17 years 0 0 19.5 years 11.7 3.8 37 years 15.4 11.4 The 37-year-old site was dominated by shrubs and annual grasses. Mojave desertrue had the greatest absolute cover value of any other species on this site [7]. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : For several decades after burning blackbrush communities, these sites may be dominated by nonpalatable shrubs such as Mojave desertrue. Therefore, prescribed burning is not recommended in blackbrush communities to improve forage for livestock [33].


SPECIES: Thamnosma montana
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Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 5. Bradley, W. G. 1965. A study of the blackbrush plant community of the Desert Game Range. Transactions, Desert Bighorn Council. 11: 56-61. [4380] 6. Burk, Jack H. 1977. Sonoran Desert. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 869-899. [3731] 7. Callison, Jim; Brotherson, Jack D.; Bowns, James E. 1985. The effects of fire on the blackbrush [Coleogyne ramosissima] community of southwestern Utah. Journal of Range Management. 38(6): 535-538. [593] 8. Cody, M. L. 1986. Spacing patterns in Mojave Desert plant communities: near-neighbor analyses. Journal of Arid Environments. 11: 199-217. [4411] 9. Comstock, J. P.; Cooper, T. A.; Ehleringer, J. R. 1988. Seasonal patterns of canopy development and carbon gain in nineteen warm desert shrub species. Oecologia. 75(3): 327-335. [22222] 10. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. 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Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 5-22. [5918] 20. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 21. Rowlands, Peter G. 1980. Recovery, succession, and revegetation in the Mojave Desert. In: Rowlands, Peter G., ed. The effects of disturbance on desert soils, vegetation & community processes with emphasis on off road vehicles: a critical review. Special Publication, Desert Plan Staff. Riverside, CA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: 75-119. [20680] 22. Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols. [21016] 23. Smith, Stanley D.; Bradney, David J. M. 1990. Mojave Desert field trip. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 350-351. [12871] 24. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 25. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 26. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240] 27. Vasek, Frank C.; Barbour, Michael G. 1977. Mojave desert scrub vegetation. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 835-867. [3730] 28. Vasek, F. C.; Johnson, H. B.; Eslinger, D. H. 1975. Effects of pipeline construction on creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert. Madrono. 23(1): 1-13. [3429] 29. Vasek, Frank C.; Thorne, Robert F. 1977. Transmontane coniferous vegetation. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley & Sons: 797-832. [4265] 30. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944] 31. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620] 32. Wells, Philip V. 1961. Succession in desert vegetation on streets of a Nevada ghost town. Science. 134: 670-671. [4959] 33. Rogers, Garry F.; Steele, Jeff. 1980. Sonoran Desert fire ecology. 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: 15-19. [16036]