Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Castanea pumila


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Sullivan, Janet. 1994. Castanea pumila. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : CASPUM SYNONYMS : Castanea alabamensis Ashe [4] C. alnifolia Nutt. [8] C. alnifolia var. floridana Sarg. [8] C. ashei Sudw. [8,16] C. floridana (Sarg.) Ashe [8] C. ozarkensis Ashe [13] C. ozarkensis var. arkansana Ashe [13] SCS PLANT CODE : CAPU9 COMMON NAMES : Allegheny chinkapin Ozark chinkapin chinkapin chinquapin TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for Allegheny chinkapin is Castanea pumila (L.) Mill. (Fagaceae) [4,8,16]. This highly variable species has a number of infrataxa which have sometimes been given separate species status [4,10,11,32,33]. Johnson [10,11] and Tucker [33] agree that most, and probably all, chinkapins should be treated as a single species. Currently accepted varieties include the following: Castanea pumila var. pumila C. pumila var. ashei Sudw. [13,22] coastal chinkapin C. pumila var. ozarkensis (Ashe) Tucker [10,13,34] Ozark chinkapin Allegheny chinkapin and American chestnut (Castanea dentata) hybridize to form C. xneglecta Dode [16]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The range of Allegheny chinkapin extends from New Jersey and Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma, and southern Ohio [4,16]. Ozark chinkapin is limited to the Ozark highlands of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and has been extirpated from most of Alabama by chestnut blight [10]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory STATES : AL AR DE GA FL KY LA MD MS MO NJ NC OH OK PA SC TN TX VA WV BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K100 Oak - hickory forest K104 Appalachian oak forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K115 Sand pine scrub SAF COVER TYPES : 43 Bear oak 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 69 Sand pine 70 Longleaf pine 71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak 72 Southern scrub oak 75 Shortleaf pine 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 84 Slash pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Allegheny chinkapin is locally abundant as a low, clonal shrub on longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)-scrub oak (Quercus spp.) sand ridges and hills that are burned frequently, and in open stands of planted pine on ridges and hills. It is less frequent in sand pine (P. clausa)-oak scrub [8]. Ozark chinkapin is often associated with chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) in white oak (Q. alba)-black oak (Q. velutina)-northern red oak (Q. rubra) cover types [26].


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Allegheny chinkapin wood is light, hard, close-grained, and durable. It is used largely for fenceposts and fuel. It is not exploited for commercial timber because of its small stature and scattered occurrence [32,35]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Allegheny chinkapin nuts are excellent wildlife food and are consumed by squirrels, chipmunks, opossums, white-tailed deer, bluejays, pileated woodpeckers [31], red-headed woodpeckers [34], and many other birds [4,31]. Allegheny chinkapin is usually not a primary wildlife food due to its scattered occurrence [35]. It is, however, listed as an important species in the diet of southeastern fox squirrels (including five subspecies) [17]. White-tailed deer browse the foliage of Allegheny chinkapin [34]. PALATABILITY : In North Carolina, Allegheny chinkapin had a high utilization rate (81% browsed) by white-tailed deer, even though it occurred in relatively low abundance [36]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Chestnut (Castanea spp.) meats were reported to contain 2.9 percent protein (fresh weight), 41 percent N-free extract, and 1.1 percent crude fiber [20]. COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Allegheny chinkapin (cultivar 'golden') has good potential for use in revegetation of disturbed sites, particularly because of its wildlife value and adaptability to harsh sites [9,10]. It is likely that many planners hesitate to use it because of the threat of chestnut blight infection. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Allegheny chinkapin nuts are sweet and palatable, considered better tasting than those of American chestnut (Castanea dentata), and have been bartered and sold commercially [28]. Allegheny chinkapin may be of value for breeding blight-resistant chestnuts with good-tasting nuts [10]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Allegheny chinkapin has been variously reported as very susceptible to chestnut blight [34], moderately resistant to chestnut blight [28], and almost completely resistant to chestnut blight [35]. The disease has been blamed for the extirpation of Allegheny chinkapin from most of Alabama, and as having severely reduced populations in the Ozarks. It is considered a threat to Allegheny chinkapin in Texas [28]. Campbell and others [3] placed Allegheny chinkapin on a list of species which are rare in Appalachian Kentucky, because there are fewer than 10 records of Allegheny chinkapin for the region. They speculated that Allegheny chinkapin has decreased in abundance because of fire suppression and chestnut blight [3]. Roedner and others [24] included Ozark chinkapin in a checklist of rare plants of the Ozark Plateau, Missouri, and reported it as endangered due to chestnut blight. It has been considered for inclusion in the Federal Register [19]. Allegheny chinkapin is a host to oak wilt [25]. In central Louisiana, an all-aged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)-shortleaf pine (P. echinata) stand was selectively harvested in 1958 for pines, and in 1959 and early 1960 for hardwoods. The stand had not experienced any fires since the early 1940's. Allegheny chinkapin was listed with a group of species whose importance value increased after overstory removal, from 1960 to 1970 [2]. Allegheny chinkapin is listed as susceptible to the following herbicides: 2,4,5-T, bromacil, dicamba, picloram, and silvex. It may resprout after herbicide treatment [1].


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Allegheny chinkapin is a native, deciduous, rhizomatous large shrub or small tree [8]. Mature heights range from 6 to 65 feet (2-20 m) [4,7,8,32,35]. The bark of trunks is smooth with shallow furrows [35]. The stems of young shoots are pubescent to densely tomentose. The flowers are axillary catkins [8]. The involucre is a spiny bur 1 to 1.4 inches (2.5-3.5 cm) long, containing a nut which is 0.28 to 0.8 inch (7-20 mm) long [28]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Allegheny chinkapin reproduces readily from seed. It is monoecious, self-incompatible, and wind pollinated [8,10]. Allegheny chinkapin cultivar 'golden' seedlings may produce nuts as early as the second or third growing season. Nut crops are not large until the fourth or fifth year. Six-year-old plants produced 1,200 to 1,500 nuts per plant. Seeds planted in the fall show good germination (> 90%); seeds stored over the winter tend to dry out and germinate at much reduced rates (< 50%) [9]. Allegheny chinkapin sprouts vigorously from the stump after top-kill [28]. It spreads from the rhizomes, forming thickets or colonies [8]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Allgeheny chinkapin occurs in xeric to mesic, thin or open mixed woods on dry, rocky, sandy, or loamy soils [4]. It is typically found on well-drained stream terraces, dry pinelands and sandhills, and disturbed sites such as railroad rights-of-way, powerline clearings, fence and hedgerows, pine plantations, and old fields [4,8,10,35]. Ozark chinkapin is typically found on dry uplands in deciduous or mixed woodlands, but also on cliff margins, talus slopes, and rocky ridges. Allegheny chinkapin grows well on almost all soil textures except heavy clay soils [9]. Allegheny chinkapin ranges in elevation from sea level to about 4,455 (1350 m) in the southern Appalachians [4]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Allegheny chinkapin is not highly shade tolerant, and occurs in open woods and disturbed areas [8]. It is not competitive where overstory trees begin to form a closed canopy; it is easily replaced by more shade-tolerant species [10]. In Florida, it is a member of the mid-successional pine (Pinus spp.)-oak (Quercus spp.)-hickory (Carya spp.) type. It is also a member of communities that remain seral because of disturbances such as fire [15]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Allegheny chinkapin flowers from April to July, depending on latitude [4]. The ripened nuts are available from September through November [31].


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Allegheny chinkapin forms extensive clones where it has been burned over annually or at short intervals. It occurs in burned-over longleaf pine-oak scrub and sand pine-oak scrub, and other disturbed sites [8]. Fire benefits Allegheny chinkapin by removing or reducing shade-tolerant competitors and opening the overstory [10]. The bear oak (Quercus ilicifolia) type is a disturbance maintained type in which Allegheny chinkapin is listed as an associate. It is restricted to poor, dry sites which have been disturbed in the recent past mainly by heavy cutting, fire, or both. It is favored by disturbance at frequent but not necessarily regular intervals [5]. 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 Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Allegheny chinkapin is probably easily top-killed by most fires. Allegheny chinkapin was a member of the understory of a cut-over pine-hardwood stand that was prescribed burned to control hardwoods. While no specific figures on Allegheny chinkapin mortality were given, the author stated that two fires top-killed 90 percent of the hardwood stems under 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, and set back hardwood succession. Larger stems (1 to 5 inches in diameter [2.54-12 cm]) experienced much lower mortality: 27 to 36 percent top-kill [27]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Allegheny chinkapin sprouts vigorously following top-kill by fire [12]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
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St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 238 p. [16452] 25. Riffle, Jerry W.; Peterson, Glenn W., technical coordinators. 1986. Diseases of trees in the Great Plains. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-129. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 149 p. [16989] 26. Sander, Ivan L. 1990. Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm. chinkapin oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 697-703. [13974] 27. Silker, T. H. 1957. Prescribed burning in the silviculture and management of southern pine-hardwood and slash pine stands. In: Society of American Foresters: Proceedings of the 1956 annual meeting; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 94-99. 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