Index of Species Information
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION :
Tirmenstein, D. 1990. Vaccinium caespitosum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ .
Vaccinium caespitosum var. angustifolium
Vaccinium caespitosum var. cuneifolium
Vaccinium caespitosum var. pauludicolum
Vaccinium cespitosum var. arbuscula
SCS PLANT CODE :
COMMON NAMES :
The Vaccinium genus is taxonomically complex . Hybridization and
polyploidy make delineation of species difficult [9,10,71]. The genus
is characterized by rapid speciation among polyploids and widespread
hybridization with backcrosses . Dwarf bilberry is a particularly
Dwarf bilberry is a member of the section Myrtillus  and has been
placed in the complex Caespitosae which includes a number of
low-statured Vacciniums . The currently accepted scientific name of
dwarf bilberry is Vaccinium caespitosum Michx . Great variation
exists in leaf and twig morphology and a number of forms have been
described . Hitchcock and others  note that dwarf bilberry
has been "separated by seemingly intangible characteristics into two or
three additional taxa." Nevertheless, Kartesz  recognizes the
V. c. var. caespitosum
V. c. var. paludicola (Camp) Hulten
Intermediates between dwarf bilberry and ovalleaf huckleberry (V.
ovalifolium) have been described .
LIFE FORM :
FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS :
No special status
OTHER STATUS :
DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION :
Dwarf bilberry grows from Labrador, westward through subarctic North
America to south-central Alaska [8,40]. It extends southward through
the Cascades into California and through the Rocky Mountains to Colorado
and New Mexico [33,40]. In eastern North America, dwarf bilberry
grows southward through New England to New York and reaches portions of
northern Michigan and Minnesota to the west [8,61,68]. Disjunct
populations have been reported in certain mountainous areas of northern
FRES11 Spruce - fir
FRES19 Aspen - birch
FRES21 Ponderosa pine
FRES23 Fir - spruce
FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce
FRES26 Lodgepole pine
FRES28 Western hardwoods
FRES37 Mountain meadows
AK AZ CA CO ID ME MI MN MT NV
NH NM NY OR UT VT WA WI WY AB
BC LB PQ MEXICO
BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :
2 Cascade Mountains
4 Sierra Mountains
5 Columbia Plateau
6 Upper Basin and Range
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
10 Wyoming Basin
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
12 Colorado Plateau
KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :
K002 Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest
K011 Western ponderosa forest
K012 Douglas-fir forest
K014 Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest
K015 Western spruce - fir forest
K018 Pine - Douglas-fir forest
K020 Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest
K021 Southwestern spruce - fir forest
K052 Alpine meadows and barren
K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest
SAF COVER TYPES :
5 Balsam fir
12 Black spruce
18 Paper birch
35 Paper birch - red spruce - balsam fir
107 White spruce
201 White spruce
202 White spruce - paper birch
206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
210 Interior Douglas-fir
212 Western larch
213 Grand fir
218 Lodgepole pine
224 Western hemlock
230 Douglas-fir - western hemlock
252 Paper birch
SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES :
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES :
Dwarf bilberry occurs as an understory dominant or codominant in high
elevation spruce (Picea spp.)-fir (Abies spp.) forests throughout much
of western North America. It also grows, often in great abundance, in
some relatively moist Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesia), quaking aspen
(Populus tremuloides), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) communities.
Common understory codominants in these western forests include bog
Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), grouse whortleberry (Vaccinium
scoparium), queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), and bluejoint
reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis). Dwarf bilberry also occurs in
alpine heath communities and is codominant with species such as grouse
whortleberry, and pine dropseed (Blepharoneuron tricholepis) or other
forbs. In the lower alpine zone of the West, this shrub, along with
grouse whortleberry, commonly dominates shrubfields which develop in
areas of prolonged snow cover . In the East and North, it occurs in
black spruce (Picea mariana), balsam fir (A. balsamea)-white spruce (P.
glauca), paper birch (Betula papyrifera)-balsam fir, oak-maple
(Quercus-Acer spp.), and eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests
[20,53]. In the East, blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) commonly dominate
the understory of many eastern hemlock, red maple (A. rubrum)-red oak
(Q. rubra), eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), sugar maple (A.
saccharum), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana)-red pine (P. resinosa)
Plant associates: In the West, dwarf bilberry commonly grows in
association with twinflower, queencup beadlily, Labrador tea, swordfern
(Polystichum spp.), huckleberries (V. membranaceum, V. globulare),
bluejoint reedgrass, elk sedge (Carex geyeri), and kinnikinnick
(Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) [62,74,75]. Common eastern understory
associates include maples (Acer spp.), blueberries (Vaccinium spp.),
lichens (Cladonia spp.), bog Labrador tea, wintergreen (Gaultheria
spp.), maianthemum (Maianthemum spp.), black crowberry (Empetrum
nigrum), mountain-laurel (Kalmia polifolia), and viburnum (Viburnum
Dwarf bilberry has been listed as an indicator or dominant
in the following classifications:
1. Forest types of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex 
2. Classification of the forest vegetation of Wyoming 
3. A preliminary classification on the natural vegetation of Colorado 
4. Natural vegetation of Oregon and Washington 
5. Ecoclass coding system for the Pacific Northwest plant associations 
6. Riparian site types, habitat types, and community types of southwestern
7. Classification and management of riparian sites in central and eastern
8. Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest 
9. Preliminary forest habitat types of the Uinta Mountains, UT 
10. Plant associations of south Chiloquin and Klamath Ranger
Districts--Winema National Forest 
11. Habitat types on selected parts of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre National
12. Application of a forest habitat-type classification system in Michigan and
13. Habitat type classification system for northern Wisconsin 
14. Flora and major plant communities of the Ruby-East Humboldt Mountains
with special emphasis on Lamoille Canyon 
15. Coniferous forest habitat types of northern Utah 
16. Aspen community types of Utah 
17. Forest habitat types of Montana 
18. Climax vegetation of Montana based on soils and climate 
19. Forest habitat types of central Idaho 
20. Riparian classification for the Upper Salmon/Middle Fork Salmon River
drainages, Idaho 
21. Plant associations in the central Oregon Pumice Zone 
22. Forested plant associations of the Okanogan National Forests 
23. Coniferous forest habitat types of central and southern Utah 
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE :
Browse: Dwarf bilberry browse apparently provides minimal forage for
big game and domestic livestock [17,79]. This short-statured shrub may
be buried by snow and is often unavailable during much of the winter
. However, certain Douglas-fir/dwarf bilberry habitat types of
northwestern Montana, which commonly occur on relatively warm, dry sites
where snow depths are not extreme, are preferred wintering areas for
white-tailed deer, elk, and moose [6,23,62]. Lack of hiding cover may
prevent deer from using recent clearcuts dominated by dwarf bilberry
and other low shrubs .
Fruit: The sweet, attractive berries are an important food source for
many birds including the ruffed grouse, gray catbird, American robin,
and eastern bluebird . The spruce grouse, ptarmigans, scarlet
tanager, bluebirds, thrushes, thrashers, titmice, blue grouse, and
towhees feed on the berries of many species of Vaccinium [51,79]. The
fruit of dwarf bilberry is readily eaten by small mammals such as the
white-footed mouse, red fox, and fox squirrel [72,73]. Chipmunks,
skunks, the common opossum, and raccoon also consume large amounts of
huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) [51,79].
Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) are an extremely important food source
for grizzly and black bears and both species typically adjust their
seasonal ranges to exploit this resource most effectively [50,88].
Bears generally move from low elevation riparian areas to middle
elevation berry fields as soon as huckleberries become ripe. In western
Montana, grizzly bears frequent open, midseral burns at higher
elevations during late summer or fall when berries are at their peak
ripeness . The dwarf bilberry is generally less productive than
the globe huckleberry (V. globulare) and fruit tends to be smaller.
Nevertheless, dwarf bilberry is still considered an important grizzly
bear food [89,90]. It is reported to be a "major" grizzly food in
terrestrial spruce stands of floodplain complexes in the Bob Marshall
Wilderness Area of Montana. Bench land habitat characterized by a dwarf
huckleberry understory is extremely important to grizzly bears during
fall in parts of British Columbia .
Reproductive success of black bears has been correlated with the size of
huckleberry crops [50,66]. Similarly, cub survival appears to be
reduced during years of low huckleberry availability . Huckleberry
crop failures increase the likelihood of bear-human encounters, as
wide-ranging, hungry bears seeking alternate food sources come into
contact with recreationists or home owners. Damage to crops and
beehives, as well as livestock losses, typically increase during poor
Dwarf bilberry browse is relatively unpalatable to most wild
ungulates and to domestic livestock [17,77]. However, berries are
highly palatable to black and grizzly bears, and to many small birds and
mammals . The palatability of dwarf bilberry has been rated as
CO MT UT WY
Cattle poor poor poor poor
Sheep fair fair fair fair
Horses poor poor poor poor
Pronghorn ---- ---- poor poor
Elk ---- ---- good good
Mule deer ---- ---- good good
White-tailed deer ---- ---- ---- good
Small mammals ---- ---- good good
Small nongame birds ---- ---- good good
Upland game birds ---- ---- good good
Waterfowl ---- ---- poor poor
NUTRITIONAL VALUE :
Huckleberry foliage (Vaccinium spp.) is relatively high in carotene and
energy content . Protein value of dwarf bilberry browse is rated
as fair . Fruits of dwarf bilberry are sweet and contain high
concentrations of both mono- and disaccharides . Huckleberries
are high in vitamin C but low in fat . The crude fat content of
dwarf bilberry fruit averages approximately 3.80 percent .
COVER VALUE :
Because of its low growth form, dwarf bilberry provides minimal cover
for most large mammals. However, dense thickets can serve as good cover
for smaller birds and mammals. Grand fir (Abies grandis)/dwarf
huckleberry habitat types of central Idaho reportedly offer adequate
cover for elk and white-tailed deer . Cover value of dwarf
huckleberry has been rated as follows :
Pronghorn poor poor
Elk poor poor
Mule deer poor poor
White-tailed deer ---- poor
Small mammals good good
Small nongame birds fair good
Waterfowl poor poor
VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES :
The dwarf bilberry has a fibrous, spreading root system  and can
presumably aid in preventing soil erosion on some sites. It is rated as
having low to moderate value for short-term rehabilitation projects and
moderate value for long-term rehabilitation .
Species within the genus Vaccinium can be propagated from hardwood
cuttings . Dwarf bilberry can also be grown from seed which
averages 5,300,000 per pound (11,674/g) [15,73]. Seedlings grown in the
greenhouse can be transplanted onto favorable sites 6 to 7 weeks after
emergence . Seed collection and storage techniques have been
examined in detail .
OTHER USES AND VALUES :
Berries of the dwarf bilberry are edible [41,69] but of no economic
importance . Fruit is delicious when fresh or in jams and jellies
. Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) were an important traditional food
source for many Native American peoples. Berries of the dwarf
huckleberry are often less abundant than those of other species and were
presumably less important than those of more productive huckleberries.
Numerous cultivars of huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) have been developed
for use as ornamentals or in garden plantings . The dwarf
huckleberry can be used in landscaping and forms an attractive ground
cover . It was first cultivated in 1823 .
OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :
Chemical control: Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) exhibit variable
susceptibility to herbicides such as 2,4-D .
Recreational impacts: Studies indicate that dwarf bilberry is
moderately resistant to trampling by recreationists. Short-term
resilience is rated as moderate .
Timber harvest: Dwarf bilberry often survives clearcutting which is
followed by broadcast burns, although the shallow rhizomes may be killed
by severe scarification . Studies conducted in the Swan Valley of
northwestern Montana suggest that dwarf bilberry responds more
favorably to clearcutting than to other methods of timber harvest.
Average cover by timber harvest method was documented as follows :
treatment average percent cover
seed tree 10
Impacts of timber harvest on bears: Despite good fruit production in
clearcuts, bears may avoid these sites unless sufficient hiding cover is
present. The extent to which grizzly bears use clearcuts dominated by
dwarf bilberry and other Vacciniums depends largely on the
availability of cover. The size and shape of cutting units as well as
proximity of roads influence bear use. In northern Idaho, black bears
avoid clearcuts, but in parts of western Washington, 18- to 25-year-old
clearcuts are used, although 9- to 14-year-old cuts are generally
avoided. In a northern Montana study, bears used 10-year-old clearcuts
but did not utilize newer cuts . Evidence suggests that grizzly
bears may prefer older clearcuts with sufficient cover and areas burned
by wildfires 25 to 60 years ago . Berry production and grizzly bear
use has been poorly documented with respect to the dwarf bilberry.
Most research efforts have focused on the blue huckleberry complex (V.
membranaceum-V. globulare) [see VACGLO].
Grizzly habitat value of huckleberry shrubfields can be increased by
permanent or appropriate seasonal road closures, by coordinating timber
harvest dates to have minimal impact on habitat use patterns, and by
considering cumulative effects of habitat modification on adjacent
areas. Site preparation should include minimizing soil compaction,
using broadcast burns rather than piling slash to generate hot fires, or
by eliminating site preparation where possible. Grizzly use can be
favored by retaining hiding cover through treating small, irregular
patches rather than large contiguous areas and by leaving stringers of
timber in larger cuts .
BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS :
Dwarf bilberry is a dwarf-to-low, spreading, rhizomatous shrub
[34,71,80,81]. This often mat-forming shrub grows 2 to 20 inches (5-50
cm) in height [34,55,71,81]. Twigs are much-branched, angled, glaucous,
and glabrous to puberulent [55,81,85]. When young, twigs are green,
tannish, or reddish, but with age twigs become brown or brownish-gray
[71,81]. The shreddy bark is yellowish-green, green, or reddish
[34,73]. Roots of the dwarf bilberry are fibrous and spreading 
and reach depths of 0 to 67 inches (0-170 cm) . Plants are
relatively short-lived .
The deciduous, alternate leaves are elliptic to oblanceolate or obovate,
and widest well above midlength [40,47,60,71]. Leaves are acute or
rounded at the apex, entire, crenulate or serrulate from the tip to
middle, and 0.4 to 2 inches (1-5 cm) in length [34,73,84,85]. The upper
surface is bright green and glabrous, whereas the lower surface is
glandular and a paler, light green [30,34,81].
Flowers are urn or bell-shaped and borne singly in the axils of leaves
[41,55,60]. The small, inconspicuous, waxy flowers are pink, white, or
red [41,73,77]. Floral morphology of the dwarf bilberry has been
considered in detail . Fruit is a subglobose to globose berry which
averages 0.2 to 0.8 inch (5-8 mm) in diameter [34,55,85]. Berries are
dark blue to black with a glaucous bloom [47,71,85]. Fruit is sweet
 but generally not produced in abundance . Berries contain
small, brown, cellular-pitted seeds [55,72].
RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :
REGENERATION PROCESSES :
Dwarf bilberry reproduces both sexually and vegetatively, although
vegetative regeneration appears to be of primary importance.
Seed: Vaccinium seeds are not dormant and require no pretreatment for
germination. Seedlings first emerge within 1 month after seeds are
planted, and germination continues over a long period of time if no cold
stratification is provided. Germination capacity of dwarf bilberry
in laboratory tests was estimated at 96 percent . Berries are
sweet, nutritious, and highly attractive to mammalian dispersers.
Colorful berries are also consumed in great numbers by both year-round
resident and transient breeding birds which can effect long-distance
dispersal. The tough seeds generally pass through digestive tracts
Dwarf bilberry seedlings are rarely observed under natural conditions
in the West. Germination may be limited to exceptional sites in
favorable, moist years. Seed stored on-site appears to contribute
little to regeneration of this species . Buried seeds have been
recovered from the top 1.2 inches (3 cm) of soil in balsam fir (Abies
balsamea)-white spruce (Picea glauca) forests of Quebec, but viability
was very low (0-16 percent) .
Vegetative regeneration: Dwarf bilberry is rhizomatous [55,71,80]
and plants are often capable of sprouting after the crown is removed
or damaged. However, these regenerative structures are fairly shallow
and can be damaged or eliminated by deep, duff-consuming fires or
mechanical treatments which include severe soil scarification. Twigs
are capable of regenerating at the nodes  and vegetative expansion
can occur even in the absence of disturbance.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS :
Dwarf bilberry occurs at the margins of subalpine meadows, in
mountain ravines, along riverbanks, near snowbanks, or along the shores
of ponds and bogs [55,56,68,71,74,81,84]. It commonly grows on moist
subalpine or alpine slopes and on mossy forest floors where it
frequently forms a low, nearly continuous layer [41,84,85,46]. Dwarf
huckleberry is particularly abundant on flat terraces, benches, or
basins subject to frost [13,38].
Soils: Dwarf bilberry grows well on medium-coarse, well-drained,
granitic soils [73,79]. Most huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) require
acidic soils and can grow on infertile sites which have relatively small
amounts of many essential elements . Dwarf bilberry commonly
occurs on soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 .
Elevation: Dwarf bilberry extends through the subalpine zone to well
above treeline . In eastern North America, it typically occurs at
higher elevations . Generalized elevational ranges by state are as
to 3,800 feet (1,200 m) in AK
from 7,000 to 12,000 feet (2,134-3,660 m) in CA
8,000 to 12,000 feet (2,438-3,660 m) in CO
3,500 to 10,000 feet (1,067-3,048 m) in MT
7,300 to 10,363 feet (2,225-3,420 m) in UT
8,500 to 10,600 feet (2,591-3,233 m) in WY
SUCCESSIONAL STATUS :
Dwarf bilberry occurs in climax Douglas-fir or spruce-fir forests
throughout much of the West [54,67]. However, it is also considered an
important seral shrub in many areas of western North America . An
extensive network of shallow rhizomes enables this shrub to rapidly
reestablish after most light to moderate disturbances.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT :
Dwarf bilberry flowers in late spring or summer with fruit maturation
beginning immediately after flowering [72,79]. Fruit ripens in mid to
late summer or fall, and seed dispersal occurs from July to September
[72,73]. Leaves drop in early autumn . However, specific
phenological development varies annually according to weather
conditions. Seasonal development in various geographic locations has
been documented as follows [18,53,55,60,68,81]:
location flowering fruiting
AK late May-mid July August
CA June-July -----
CO July -----
n ID May-July -----
New England June 1-June 27 -----
QC June-July July-September
UT June -----
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS :
Patches of dwarf bilberry commonly develop after fire in lodgepole
pine and fir-spruce communities of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky
Mountains [30,46]. This shrub is also a prominent constituent of
postfire communities in black spruce forests of eastern Canada .
The widespread representation of dwarf bilberry in many postfire
communities suggests that it is capable of surviving many, if not most,
fires. Dwarf bilberry has shallow rhizomes  and can presumably
sprout after fires of light or moderate severity . Berries are
well adapted to animal dispersal and can be transported long distances
[37,72]. Very limited seedling establishment from off-site sources may
occur in favorable years, but vegetative regeneration appears to be of
primary importance in the postfire reestablishment of most Vacciniums.
Martin  notes that "the role of fire in establishing new populations
of western Vacciniums or in maintaining existing ones, is not
Many sites occupied by dwarf bilberry burn infrequently. Areas such
as wet meadows, bog and pond margins, and areas below timberline which
are too rocky to support trees are unlikely to experience fires at
frequent intervals. However, fire is an important influence in many
forested communities. Fire-free intervals have been estimated at 20
years in Douglas-fir/dwarf bilberry forests in the Swan Valley of
northwestern Montana and at 28 years in the Bitterroot Mountains of
western Montana. Fire-free intervals of 17 years have been suggested
for spruce/queencup beadlily-dwarf bilberry habitat types of western
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 :
Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil
Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT :
Underground portions of dwarf bilberry can survive most light to
moderate fires. However, rhizomes are relatively shallow and may be
killed by hot duff-reducing fires .
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT :
PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE :
Seedling establishment: Seed banking does not appear to be an important
postfire regenerative strategy of dwarf bilberry. Although seeds
were observed within the top 1.2 inches (3 cm) of soil in paper
birch-balsam fir-white spruce forests of Quebec, viability was low and
few seedlings could be expected to develop from seed stored on-site
. Seeds of dwarf bilberry are dispersed considerable distances
by birds and mammals [37,72]. Seeds are generally unharmed by digestive
processes and can germinate on favorable sites during moist years.
Vegetative regeneration: Shallow rhizomes may enable dwarf bilberry
to sprout and quickly reoccupy a site after most light to moderate fires
. After severe treatments in which rhizomes are eliminated,
reestablishment most likely proceeds slowly through seedling
establishment or clonal expansion at the burn's periphery. Following
small, patchy fires, such as those occurring after lighting strikes on
high elevation sites with discontinuous fuels, reestablishment would
presumably occur through rhizomatous spreading from the perimeter of the
Postfire reestablishment: Light fires may favor dwarf bilberry by
reducing competitors, increasing nutrient availability, and opening the
canopy so that greater amounts of light reaches low shrubs.
Reestablishment is rapid where rhizomes are capable of sprouting.
Postfire cover can greatly exceed prefire levels . In parts of the
central Rockies, light fires in high elevation spruce-fir forests create
a ground cover made up primarily of dwarf bilberry and a "few hardy
herbaceous ... relics" .
Postfire increases in dwarf bilberry have also been reported in
eastern North America. After fire in a black spruce community in
Labrador, frequency of dwarf bilberry was 44.4 percent in unburned
stands compared with 63.1 percent in burned stands .
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE :
The Research Project Summary Vegetation response to restoration treatments
in ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests of western Montana provides information
on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant community species,
including dwarf bilberry, that was not available when this species
review was written.
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :
Postharvest treatment: Dwarf bilberry can often survive broadcast
burns which follow timber harvest . However, shallow rhizomes can
be seriously damaged by hot burns which occur in piled slash or where
fuel loading is heavy.
Wildlife: Evidence suggests that fire suppression may have an adverse
impact on bear habitat [78,88]. Once productive seral berry fields are
currently being invaded by conifers. Logging treatments which include
severe soil scarification or slash fires may also result in decreased
berry availability. Even where timber harvest favors berry production,
lack of cover in early years can limit bear use. However, wildfires
often create diverse habitat mosaics which include elements of hiding
cover which favors bear use. Succession proceeds slowly on high
elevation berry fields, particularly on south slopes, and fires often
generate shrubfields that remain productive for long periods of time
Prescribed fire: Prescribed fires, particularly those carried out
during the spring, may increase berry production for bears and other
animals. Little research has been conducted on dwarf bilberry,
although the use of prescribed fire has been evaluated with respect to
blue huckleberries (Vaccinium globulare, Vaccinium membranaceum). [see
VACGLO]. Light or moderate burns, conducted when the soil is somewhat
moist, may be most effective in promoting western huckleberries .
SPECIES: Vaccinium caespitosum
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