Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Vaccinium parvifolium


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tirmenstein, Debra A. 1990. Vaccinium parvifolium. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : VACPAR SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : VAPA COMMON NAMES : red huckleberry red whortleberry TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of red huckleberry is Vaccinium parvifolium Sm. [52]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : NO-ENTRY OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Red huckleberry grows from southeastern Alaska southward to central California [101]. It is primarily restricted to coastal regions and grows west of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada [15,21,71]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce FRES27 Redwood FRES28 Western hardwoods STATES : AK CA ID OR WA BC BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade 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 K006 Redwood forest K007 Red fir forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K029 California mixed evergreen forest SAF COVER TYPES : 207 Red fir 211 White fir 215 Western white pine 221 Red alder 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 231 Port Orford-cedar 232 Redwood 234 Douglas-fir - tanoak - Pacific madrone SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Red huckleberry occurs in mixed evergreen forests dominated by Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), sugar pine (P.lambertiana), incense-cedar (Libocedrus decurrens), canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus), and Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesia) [74]. It is a common understory component of coastal coniferous forests made up of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga mensiezii), red fir (Abies magnifica), red alder (Alnus rubra), and Port-Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) [4,12,39,44,50,74,81]. Red huckleberry is particularly abundant in wet or dry, coastal western hemlock or western hemlock-Sitka spruce forests where it often forms dense thickets [32,101]. However, it is relatively rare in interior cedar-hemlock forests of British Columbia [34]. Red huckleberry occurs on warmer sites in the Pacific silver fir zone [43] and on relatively mesic sites in grand fir (Abies grandis) forests of southwestern Oregon [108]. Common codominants in published classification schemes include menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea), salal (Gaultheria shallon), Alaska huckleberry (Vaccinium alaskaense), broadleaf starflower (Trientalis latifolia), and thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus). Plant associates: In coastal forests, red huckleberry commonly grows in association with salmonberry (Rubus spectablis), blue huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum), thimbleberry (R. parviflorus), trailing blackberry (R. ursinus), menziesia, fiveleaved bramble (R. pedatus), salal, ovalleaf huckleberry (V. ovalifolium), dwarf Oregon-grape (Berberis nervosa), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), and oak fern (Gymnocarpium spp.) [14,27,42,76]. Pinemat manzanita (Arctostaphylos nevadensis), California coffeeberry (Rhamnus california), baldhip rose (Rosa gymnocarpa), California-laurel (Umbellularia californica), tanoak, boxleaf silktassel (Garrya buxifolia), and huckleberry oak (Quercus vaccinifolia) are common associates in mixed evergreen forests of southwestern Oregon and northern California [102]. Published classifications listing red huckleberry as an indicator or codominant in community types or plant associations are presented below. Preliminary plant associations of the Siskiyou Mountain Province [5] Forest associations and secondary succession in the southern Oregon Coast Range [6] Plant communities and environmental relationships in a portion of the Tillamook Burn, northwestern Oregon [7] Natural vegetation of Oregon and Washington [29] Ecoclass coding system for the Pacific Northwest plant associations [35] Plant association and management guide: Siuslaw National Forest [42] Plant communities in the old-growth forests of north coastal Oregon [45]


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Browse: Red huckleberry is an important big game browse in some parts of the Northwest, particularly during the fall and winter months [97,101]. It provides valuable forage for deer, mountain goats, and elk [101]. In western Washington, red huckleberry is an important elk browse [90,98]. Large amounts of new leaves are eaten in the spring but this shrub is of primary importance during the fall [90]. Elk use may be heavy in some areas [42]. Elk utilization of 60 to 90 percent has been reported on the Olympic Peninsula [90]. In many areas, red huckleberry is one of the most important winter foods of the black-tailed deer and is used heavily until covered by snow [78,106]. Deer consume the fruit, leaves, twigs, leafy shoots, and newly-developing sprouts [14,54]. Brown [14] observed heaviest use during April, May, and October, but others have reported peak use during early winter when lower-growing vegetation is covered with snow [46]. Red huckleberry can grow beyond the reach of deer on some sites [14]. Small mammals also browse red huckleberry. In the Coast Range of Oregon, it is a preferred food of the mountain beaver [49]. Red huckleberry is used locally by domestic sheep and to a lesser degree, by cattle [21]. On Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) plantations in parts of Oregon, it may be preferred by domestic sheep in all seasons [63]. Fruit: Berries of red huckleberry are eaten by a wide variety of birds and mammals. Thrushes, catbird, band-tailed pigeon, bluebirds, ptarmigans, towhees, ring-necked pheasant, and spruce, ruffed, blue, and sharp-tailed grouse readily consume the fruit of many huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) [69,98]. Fruit of the red huckleberry is a preferred food of chicks and adult blue grouse on Vancouver Island [56] and elsewhere [98]. Many mammals including black bear, deer mice, white-footed mouse, raccoon, pika, ground squirrels, chipmunks, red fox, squirrels, gray fox, and skunks, also eat the berries of Vacciniums [69,98]. Along the coast of British Columbia, grizzly bears seek out the fruit of huckleberries [8,37]. PALATABILITY : Overall palatability of red huckleberry browse is described as moderate [21]. Leafless shoots are preferred during winter by black-tailed deer in western Washington and in the Coast Ranges of Oregon [14,46]. Palatability of red huckleberry browse to Roosevelt elk on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington is reported to be "good" [90]. Berries are highly palatable to a wide variety of birds and mammals. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Browse: Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.) foliage is relatively high in carotene, manganese, and energy content [20,38]. Red huckleberry browse provides nutritious forage for deer in coastal British Columbia and Alaska [78]. However, food value apparently varies seasonally [14,78] and with site conditions [41]. Nutrient content peaks at the beginning of the growing season, and during this time, browse exceeds deer requirements for digestible energy [78]. A composite analysis of red and blue huckleberry (V. membranaceum) browse in western Washington revealed the following values [14]: crude ether crude N-free total Ca Mg K PO4 protein extract fiber extract ash (percent) 7.57 3.56 35.71 46.90 1.38 1.032 0.201 0.535 0.434 Fruit: Vaccinium berries are sweet and contain high concentrations of both mono- and di-saccharides [107]. Berries are rich in vitamin C and energy content but low in fats [51,84]. Specific nutrient content of red huckleberry fruit has been documented as follows [77]: kjoules calories protein carbo. ash Fe Mg Zn ascorbic Ca lipid x 10 3 (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) acid(mg) (g) (g) (per gram of dry weight) 16.48 3.94 0.16 0.72 0.02 0.04 0.55 0.01 3.54 2.16 0.09 COVER VALUE : Red huckleberry presumably provides cover for a variety of wildlife species. It often forms dense thickets which may serve as hiding, resting, or nesting sites for many smaller birds and mammals. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.) seedlings grown in the greenhouse can be transplanted onto favorable sites 6 to 7 weeks after emergence [19]. Seed collection and storage techniques have been considered in detail [19]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Red huckleberry fruit has been variously described as "palatable but ..sour," "tart and not well-flavored," "sour but good," and of a "pleasant flavor although somewhat dry" [71,97,89,101]. Menzies, an early traveler to the Northwest, described red huckleberry fruit as "preferable... to the well-known cranberries" [100]. Fruit is gathered locally for pies, jelly, jam, and preserves [89,101], but this shrub is generally not considered an important fruit producer [71]. Berries are readily available and easily harvested [64]. Approximately 8.5 ounces (250 ml) can be harvested within an 8-minute period [64]. Red huckleberry fruit was an important traditional food source for many native peoples of the Northwest including the Nuxalk of the Bella Coola region of British Columbia [64,77,109]. Berries were eaten fresh or preserved [64]. Dried fruit provided an important source of vitamin C during the winter months. Red huckleberry, an attractive and valuable ornamental, is well suited for a variety of garden uses [47,60]. In the fall, reddish leaves present a striking contrast to the bright green branches [48]. Red huckleberry has no known value for breeding commercial fruit-producing strains [89]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Competition: Red huckleberry commonly persists after logging in conifer and mixed conifer-hardwood stands [94]. It forms an important component of many long-lived seral brushfields [32,40,53] and sometimes competes with conifer regeneration [80]. On tree plantations in the coastal Sitka spruce-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) zone, it competes effectively with conifer seedlings by the fifth growing season [87]. However, Hays [41] notes that this shrub is rarely a major competitor on coastal sites in British Columbia. Mechanical removal: Most western huckleberries are damaged by postlogging treatments which include harsh scarification [68]. This appears to be true of red huckleberry as well [41]. Plants are often restricted to areas of relatively undisturbed soil [24]. Results of several types of mechanical treatments as applied to coastal brushfields of Oregon are as follows [54]: spray and crush scarification (frequency - percent) before disturbance 72 44 after disturbance 6 -- Plants occasionally sprout within the first year after timber harvest [87]. Response of red huckleberry after timber harvest was documented as follows in coastal British Columbia [53]: prelogging 3-4 years 13 years 42 years control (quadrat frequencies - percent) 18 9 24 7 Silviculture: Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) can generally be successfully planted in the white fir (Abies concolor) zone wherever red huckleberry occurs on wetter sites [5]. Chemical control: Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) exhibit variable susceptibility to herbicides such as 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, glyphosate, karbutilate, and picloram [13]. Response of red huckleberry to applications of glyphosate in coastal brushfields of Oregon was documented as follows [54]: glyphosate spray and brush (percent frequency) before disturbance 53 63 after disturbance 3 -- Wildlife considerations: Huckleberries are an extremely important food source for grizzly bears [68]. Both black and grizzly bears typically exploit areas with dense concentrations of berries. The habitat value of huckleberry shrubfields to grizzly bears can be increased by permanent, or at least seasonal, road closures, by coordinating timber harvest dates to have minimal impact on habitat use patterns, and by considering the cumulative effects of habitat modification across a broad area. In general, site preparation should include minimizing soil compaction, using cool rather than hot slash burns, or by eliminating site preparation entirely wherever possible [68]. Grizzly use is favored where hiding cover is retained by treating small, irregular patches instead of large contiguous areas, and by leaving stringers of timber within larger cuts [105]. In many areas, bear-human conflicts are most likely to occur during years of huckleberry crop failure [68,86]. Heavy ungulate browsing of red huckleberry has been observed on winter ranges in some parts of Washington [90]. In some areas, it is considered a good indicator of "present conditions and trends" [90]. Maximum utilization of 50 to 70 percent has been proposed [90]. Biomass: Red huckleberry biomass in coastal Douglas-fir forests was documented as follows [66]: stand age (years) 22 30 42 73 biomass (kg/hectare) -- -- -- 4.6


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Red huckleberry is an erect or somewhat straggling, small-to-large, deciduous shrub which generally grows 6 to 12 feet (1.8-3.6 m) in height [15,74,98,109]. This shrub is the tallest of western huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) [97] and on favorable sites, occasionally reaches 25 feet (7.6 m) [15]. Plants tend to be trailing and vinelike for the first 4 to 5 years until assuming a more erect, mature growth form [15]. Shrubs also tend to become low and straggling in dense, shady, old-growth stands [14]. Branches are slender, green, and sharply angled [15,101]. Branches may develop a reddish tinge in the sun and generally turn grayish-brown with age [89]. Stem morphology has been examined in considerable detail [79]. The small, thin, deciduous leaves are oval or elliptic and obtuse to rounded at both ends [15,48,74]. Leaves are entire, grayish or bright to dull green and glaucous above, and glaucous or with very short pubescence beneath [89,97,101,109]. Leaves of mature and juvenile plants differ significantly. Juvenile leaves are evergreen and finely serrate, whereas mature leaves are deciduous and entire [32]. The mature leaf form may not develop until the plant is 3 to 4 years old and 20 inches (50 cm) tall [15,109]. Urn-shaped flowers of red huckleberry are waxy, yellowish-pink, whitish, or greenish-yellow [32,71,74]. Flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils or in few-flowered clusters [3,60]. Floral morphology has been studied in depth [82]. Fruit of the red huckleberry is a translucent, bright red to pinkish, spherical berry [15,32,71] which averages 0.3 inch (8 mm) in diameter [99,109]. Red huckleberry is single-fruited [71]. Each berry contains approximately 18 or 19 smooth, well-formed reddish seeds or nutlets 0.04 to 0.05 inch (1-1.2 mm) in diameter [74,99,109]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Red huckleberry is capable of reproducing through seed or by vegetative means. Vegetative regeneration appears to be of primary importance in most western huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) [68], but unlike many western huckleberries [68], seedling establishment may play a fairly important role in the regeneration of red huckleberry [109]. Kruckeberg [60] notes that seedlings are generally abundant wherever parent plants occur. Seed: Red huckleberry seed is typically produced in abundance. An average shrub in British Columbia produced approximately 1,400 flowers annually, of which nearly 90 percent set fruit [109]. Up to 25 percent of the seeds ultimately germinated [109]. Huckleberry seedlings first emerge in approximately 1 month and continue to emerge for long periods of time in the absence of cold stratification [19]. Seeds of red huckleberry require no special treatment for germination to occur [60]. Properly stored seed exhibited good germination when exposed to alternating regimes of 14 hours of light at 82 degrees F (28 degrees C), and 10 hours of darkness at 56 degrees F (13 degrees C) [113]. Fresh seed also germinated well under these conditions and when treated under alternating temperatures of 71 degrees F (22 degrees C) and 41 degrees F (5 degrees C) [113]. Seed disperal: Seeds are readily dispersed by many birds and mammals [47,60,92]. The digestive processes of animals may promote germination [92]. Seedling establishment: Establishment is favored on thick, acidic forest floors which have a high water-holding capacity [57]. Germination on nurse logs is common [22,93] and may account for most germination on some sites [22]. Approximately 7 percent of all seed produced by red huckleberry eventually develops into vigorous seedlings [109]. Vegetative regeneration: Red huckleberry typically sprouts or "suckers" after plants are damaged by fire, mechanical removal, or herbivory [15,36,87,109]. Branch or stem sprouting is also common after fire or herbivores remove much of the crown [15,36]. This shrub is rhizomatous [41,71,91] and presumably sprouts from these underground portions after aboveground portions are eliminated. Rhizome spreading may allow for clonal expansion even in the absence of disturbance. Sprouting from roots or "underground stems" has also been reported [2,7], although these modes of vegetative regeneration have not been well documented. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Red huckleberry grows in moist-to-dry conifer or mixed conifer-hardwood forests, along roadsides, and in forest openings [94,101]. It is common in lowlands, mountain valleys, on river terraces, alder (Alnus spp.) flats, and lower mountain slopes [27,47,71]. Red huckleberry is tolerant of sun or shade [98] and occurs in dense or open, submontane to subalpine forests [58,60]. In many areas, it reaches greatest abundance on mesic, south aspects with slopes of less than 45 percent [41]. Red huckleberry commonly grows on mossy, rotting logs, snags, or stumps. Seeds are frequently deposited on these sites by perching birds [44,60]. Plants have been observed growing on broken or sawed stumps up to 50 feet (15 m) off the ground [89]. Soil: Most huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) require acidic soils and can grow on infertile sites which have relatively small amounts of many essential elements [59]. Red huckleberry commonly grows on nitrogen-poor soils [58]. Soils may be very nutrient poor to nutrient rich [32] but are often characterized by accumulations of duff and humus [97]. In southeastern Alaska, red huckleberry typically occurs on soils with a pH of 4.0 to 5.0 [76,95]. Red huckleberry grows on soils derived from a variety of parent materials including serpentine, quartz diorite, diorite, and gabbro [103]. Soils are often stony and shallow [46]. Climate: Red huckleberry is restricted to humid, mesothermal climatic zones in British Columbia [57]. Along the coast of western Oregon it is most commonly found in areas with a foggy maritime climate [42]. As continental influences increase, this shrub decreases in abundance [58]. Elevation: Red huckleberry grows from sea level to 5,000 feet (0-1,524 m) [97]. Generalized elevational ranges by geographic location are as follows [74,103]: < 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in CA 1,500-4,500 feet (460-1,370 m) Siskiyou Mtns., CA, OR SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Red huckleberry occurs as a climax shrub in western hemlock, western hemlock-Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, and redwood forests of the Northwest [2,10,11,18,29,33,64,95]. It is also capable of surviving many types of disturbances and can be important in certain seral communities. Western hemlock: Red huckleberry dominates many seral communities in western hemlock forests of the Northwest and is particularly common on unburned clearcuts [41]. In the Cascade Range, red huckleberry assumes prominence during the initial herbaceous stage of succession which occurs 0 to 5 years after disturbance [26]. Certain seral red huckleberry/salal communities ultimately develop into western hemlock/vine maple (Acer circinatum)/salal or western hemlock/salal-western swordfern (Polystichum munitum) types [29]. In parts of coastal British Columbia, red huckleberry grows in initially disturbed, second growth, and old growth stands in western hemlock forests [64]. However, in drier maritime forests, it may be present in early mature to mature old-growth stands [57]. Sitka spruce-western hemlock: Red huckleberry, along with salal, is an important early seral species in many spruce-hemlock forests of the Northwest [45]. In parts of southeastern Alaska, it commonly sprouts or develops from seed during the first 3 years after logging [2]. Sprouts are often common in relatively protected areas such near root mounds, logs, and stumps [1]. Dense shrub stands develop within 20 to 30 years after timber harvest, and by 50 to 60 years after disturbance, a nearly continuous layer of huckleberry often develops [1]. During postlogging succession, many shrubs, including red huckleberry, are eliminated or reduced after tree canopies close and before they begin to open again at stand ages of 150 to 200 years [2]. Red huckleberry is common in old-growth Sitka-spruce-western hemlock forests (250+ years), particularly in more open areas [2]. It occurs in mature climax stands on floodplain gravel bar communities of Vancouver Island but is absent on newly exposed floodplain sites where parent plants are lacking [18]. Red huckleberry is a prominent component of mature Sitka spruce-western hemlock-western redcedar forests of British Columbia [81]. Western hemlock-Douglas-fir: Red huckleberry occurs in climax [93] and seral western hemlock-western redcedar-Douglas-fir communities [6]. In western hemlock-Douglas-fir forests of western Washington, this shrub may be absent initially after timber harvest, but plants "soon" sprout [14]. Cover typically peaks during "stage 2" of succession which is characterized by dense shrub growth [14]. Red huckleberry abundance declined as conifers and deciduous trees develop into a closed canopy [14]. In northwestern Oregon, it may be replace by devil's club (Oplopanax horridum) where extremely dense shade develops [93]. Cover of red huckleberry has been documented as follows after sites in the western hemlock-Douglas-fir zone in the western Cascades of Oregon were clearcut, broadcast burned, and planted with Douglas-fir [88]: years 2 5 10 15 20 30 40 undist. old growth 0.65 0.61 0.79 3.72 1.15 2.92 1.34 1.31 Douglas-fir: Red huckleberry occurs in both newly disturbed and old-growth stands in Douglas-fir forests of the Northwest. It was present in recent clearcuts on the Olympic Peninsula but was not observed in 300-year-old stands [28]. It was, however, observed in old-growth stands in parts of western Oregon [33]. Cover by stand age was documented as follows in Washington [65]: stand age (years) 5 22 30 42 73 cover (percent) 0.01 0.80 3.76 1.80 1.32 SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Leaves of red huckleberry emerge in spring before flowering occurs [60] and commonly persist until heavy frost in early winter [48,101]. Seasonal development by geographic location has been documented as follows [19,48,64,74,101]: location flowering fruit ripening AK May-June mid to late August BC --- July-September CA May-June --- OR May-June July-August WA --- August-September Northwest April-June ---


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Red huckleberry sprouts from the stems, roots, underground stems, or rhizomes after aboveground vegetation is destroyed by fire [7,36,72]. Some seedling establishment may occur as birds and mammals disperse seed from off-site. The importance of fire in many long-lived Northwestern coastal forests, of which red huckleberry is a component, is "poorly understood" [50]. In many parts of the Northwest, red huckleberry is an important species on both burned and unburned sites [75]. Fire may have played an integral role in the maintenance of productive red huckleberry fields. Shade generally decreases fruit set in most western huckleberries [68] and native peoples of the Northwest apparently burned red huckleberry and other Vacciniums to maintain or enhance fruit production [64]. Increased light reaches the forest floor where crowns of trees such as Douglas-fir have been killed by fire and promotes the growth of red huckleberry [75]. Increased nutrient availability may also enhance growth in postfire communities. 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 : Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Red huckleberry is described as "moderately resistant" to fire [36] but aboveground vegetation is commonly killed. In northwestern Oregon, dead stems of red huckleberry were in evidence soon after a "severe" fire in a Douglas-fir forest [75]. Underground regenerative structures such as roots, rhizomes, or "stems" often persist, enabling portions of the plant to survive many, if not most, fires. Yerkes [104] observed numerous survivors after postharvest slash burns in the Oregon Cascades. Survival is presumably most likely after light to moderate fires which do not remove soil or duff. Seeds of most huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) are susceptible to heat and are presumably killed by fire [68]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Vegetative response: Red huckleberry commonly sprouts from the stem, roots, or rhizomes [7,36,72] after fire damages or removes aboveground foliage. However, fire intensity and severity significantly influence vegetative response. Plants may not resprout on severely burned sites where underground regenerative structures have been seriously damaged or destroyed. Evidence suggests that sprouting may be more likely on relatively mesic south aspects. On the Tillamook Burn of northwestern Oregon, sprouts were twice as frequent on a southeast aspect as on a northwest exposure [75]. Stewart [94] observed the following number of stems and sprouts after logging and fire in coastal Oregon: before burn 1 yr after burn (# original stems/acre) (# orig. stems & sprouts/acre) north aspect 550 0 south aspect 1,220 1,440 Seedling establishment: Seeds of most huckleberries are of short viability and are readily killed by heat [68]. Consequently, seedbanking does not appear to represent an important regenerative strategy in red huckleberry. However, birds and mammals do transport some seed from off-site. Postfire recovery: On most burned sites, only minor long-term changes in red huckleberry abundance occur [36]. In many areas, distribution of red huckleberry in preburn communities essentially determines postburn distribution [7]. On light to moderately burned sites, postburn cover closely resembles that of the original unburned communities [36]. However, on severely burned sites, reductions in cover often occur as fire removes duff or litter, thereby damaging underground regenerative structures [36,62]. Red huckleberry initially decreases after fire [23,24,36,85] but then increases in subsequent years [104]. Where plants resprout, recovery may be relatively rapid. Within 14 weeks after fire in the Coast Range of Oregon, red huckleberry clumps averaged nine stems with an average diameter of 6.7 inches (17 cm) per clump [85]. Each clump averaged 7.8 inches (20 cm) in height [85]. Red huckleberry was absent during the first year after an intense postharvest burn in a cedar-hemlock forest of coastal British Columbia [62]. Within 18 months after fire, some huckleberry plants were present, but plants had not regained vigor 3 years after fire [62]. Plants eventually reached unburned levels within 11 to 16 years after slash burns in Oregon [73]. Cover and frequency of red huckleberry in a western hemlock-western redcedar-Douglas-fir forest of Northern Cascades National Park increased as follows after wildfires in 1970 [70]: 1971 1972 1974 (percent) frequency 0 13 34.8 cover 0 -- 0.9 DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Wildlife considerations: Evidence suggests that fire suppression may be having an adverse impact on bear habitat in some areas [96,105]. Once productive seral berry fields are now being invaded by conifers. Since plants beneath a forest canopy generally produce few berries, fruit production has been declining [71]. Logging treatments which include hot slash burns may result in decreased berry availability. Even where timber harvest favors berry production, lack of cover in early years can limit bear use. Wildfires often create diverse habitat mosaics [105] which incorporate elements of hiding cover and favor bear use. Berry production: Berry production in most western huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) is generally delayed for at least 5 years after fire [68]. On some sites, production may be reduced for 20 to 30 years or longer [68]. Prescribed fire: Flower buds tend to be more numerous on new shoots, and periodic removal of old shoots can increase flower production in many huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) [68]. Prescribed fire has long been used to rejuvenate commercial low sweet blueberry (V. angustifolium) fields and to increase fruit production [68]. Postharvest burning: Response of red huckleberry to postharvest burns appears somewhat variable. Various factors such as fire intensity or severity, season of burn, weather conditions, site characteristics, and the use of mechanical scarification, are important influences. Direct comparison between specific postharvest burns is difficult due to the compounding effects of many variables. However, results of pertinent studies are briefly summarized as follows: fire and site preparation - alder (Alnus spp.) dominated brushfields - Oregon Coast Range [85]: June September November change (prefire) (postfire) (postfire) (June-Nov.) (percent cover) 34 0 11 -23 timber harvest and subsequent slash burns - Douglas-fir-western hemlock forest - Washington [23]: (before logging) (after logging) (after burning) 1962 1963 1964 (percent cover) site 1 5.3 .4 .2 site 2 1.3 .8 .2 site 3 .9 .1 .1 clearcutting and broadcast slash burn - Douglas-fir-western hemlock forest - western Cascades, Oregon [24]: 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 (before (1st yr. (after logging) after slash logging) burn) (percent) cover 2.8 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4 freq. 32.8 14.8 6.6 9.8 9.8 14.8 11.5 clearcutting, herbicide, and burn - Douglas-fir - Coast Range, Oregon [94]: before 1 yr. after 3 yrs. after 4 yrs. after burn burn burn burn, 1 yr. after release, spraying (percent cover) north aspect .50 .10 .70 0 south aspect 3.00 0 1.20 1.20


SPECIES: Vaccinium parvifolium
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