Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Ilex decidua


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Sullivan, Janet. 1993. Ilex decidua. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : ILEDEC SYNONYMS : Ilex cuthbertii Small I. curtissii (Fern) Small I. longipes Chapm. SCS PLANT CODE : ILDE COMMON NAMES : deciduous holly possumhaw swamp holly winterberry bearberry Curtiss possumhaw TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for deciduous holly is Ilex decidua Walt. [8]. There are no accepted subspecies. Named varieties are as follows [20]: Ilex decidua var. decidua I. d. var. longipes (Chapm. ex Trel.) Ahles I. d. var. curtissii Fern. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : Deciduous holly is state-listed as threatened in Florida [45].


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Deciduous holly is found throughout the southeastern United States, from Virginia west to southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and eastern Kansas; south to Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, south-central Texas, and northeastern Mexico [8,10]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood STATES : AL AR FL GA IL IN KS KY LA MD MS MO NC OK SC TN TX VA WV MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 14 Great Plains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K083 Cedar glades K084 Cross Timbers K089 Black Belt K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 46 Eastern redcedar 57 Yellow-poplar 64 Sassafras - persimmon 65 Pin oak - sweetgum 73 Southern redcedar 74 Cabbage palmetto 75 Shortleaf pine 76 Shortleaf pine - oak 78 Virginia pine - oak 79 Virginia pine 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 84 Slash pine 87 Sweet gum - yellow-poplar 88 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak 89 Live oak 91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak 92 Sweetgum - willow oak 93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash 94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm 96 Overcup oak - water hickory 97 Atlantic white-cedar 98 Pond pine 101 Baldcypress 102 Baldcypress - tupelo 103 Water tupelo - swamp tupelo 104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - redbay SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Deciduous holly is not a dominant or indicator species in habitat typings. It occurs in a variety of cover types and has a number of associated species. The most common overstory and midstory associates not previously mentioned include red maple (Acer rubrum), winged elm (Ulmus alata), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), southern red oak (Quercus falcata), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), tree huckleberry (Vaccinium arboreum), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), American holly (Ilex opaca), and yaupon (I. vomitoria). Understory associates include rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum), Alabama supplejack (Berchemia scandens), trumpetcreeper (Campis radicans), grapes (Vitis spp.), and greenbriers (Smilax spp.) [16,18,21,23,26,27,34,37,40].


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Deciduous holly fruits are consumed by small mammals, songbirds and game birds, including eastern bluebirds, wild turkeys, and quail. They are also eaten by white-tailed deer [10,13]. White-tailed deer and cattle browse both leaves and twigs [2]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : OTHER USES AND VALUES : Deciduous holly is planted as an ornamental [42]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Deciduous holly is moderately tolerant to periodic flooding. Mature trees can withstand flooding of up to 35 percent of the growing season. Saplings have survived 105 days of flooding from March to July [11]. Near Alton, Illinois, deciduous holly maintained vigorous growth through 4 years of continuous flooding, but declined in the fifth year [9]. It is more likely to survive in frequently flooded plots than is common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) or elms (Ulmus spp.) [37]. Deciduous holly can supress regeneration of timber species [10]. Control: Deciduous holly is susceptible to stem injection of 2,4-D and glyphosate [10,22]. Deciduous holly seedling counts were highest on bottomland hardwood sites that had been harvested and site-prepared by herbicide stem injection of all stems larger than 2 inches (5 cm) d.b.h. The lowest numbers of deciduous holly seedlings occurred on sites that had been harvested and site-prepared by shearing [14]. When managing for white-tailed deer, burning or slashing deciduous holly stems is preferable to herbicide application; the sprouts resulting from those treatments provide deer browse [10]. Deciduous holly is a good choice in plantings for wildlife; individual plant fruit production is consistent from year to year, and a high percentage (greater than 70 percent) of individuals bear fruit [28]. Increase: Production of deciduous holly browse was highest under medium- thinning intensity in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations [2]. Deciduous holly can be propagated by cuttings [42].


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Deciduous holly is a native, large shrub or small tree. The average maximum height at maturity is 33 feet (10 m) [8,10,42]. The bark is smooth or slightly roughened [10,30]. The fruit is a four- to seven-seeded berry [3]. The national champion (1981), located in South Carolina, is 3 feet (9 m) in circumference and 42 feet (12.8 m) in height [8]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Deciduous holly produces abundant, light seeds that are dispersed by frugivores. In bottomland hardwood forests in Texas, first-year seedling survivorship was good. Seedling survival increases with distance from a conspecific or sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) adult. Deciduous holly seedlings grow slowly, about 0.4 to 0.8 inch (1-2 cm) per year [37]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Deciduous holly is usually found on moist soils of floodplains, low woodlands, wet thickets, and along streams. It occurs infrequently on well-drained wooded slopes or sandy pineland ridges [3,8,43]. It is occasional in hydric hammocks in Florida [41]. It occurs in elevations of up to 1,180 feet (360 m) throughout its distribution [4]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Deciduous holly is found in all successional stages. It colonizes areas that have been disturbed by fire, and it is found in old-growth bottomland hardwood forests [27,25]. Deciduous holly was abundant in the third and fourth years after removal of a young green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)-American elm (Ulmus americana) stand [6]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Deciduous holly flowers from March to May [4]. The fruits ripen in September and persist until the following spring [13]. Seedling emergence occurs before spring canopy development in early February, and continues through May [37].


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Deciduous holly grows in a number of habitats, some of which may be subject to fire. Some resistance to fire is conferred by the ability to sprout after top-kill. Its main fire adaptation is the ability to colonize disturbed soils through animal-dispersed seed [27]. 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 Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Deciduous holly is damaged, top-killed, or killed by light- or moderate-severity fires [27,36]. After two prescribed fires in loblolly-shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) stands, deciduous holly exhibited moderate mortality (up to 50 percent) after fires in cut-over sawtimber-sized stands, and low mortality after fires in pulpwood-sized timber [33]. High mortality (up to 100 percent) of stems less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter occurred after winter prescribed fire in a slash pine plantation [44]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : The number of deciduous holly stems increased following prescribed spring fires in loblolly-shortleaf pine stands. Fruit production increased following fire, but since there was also a large increase in fruit production on control plots, it was difficult to separate the effects of fire from other effects [36]. Numerous deciduous holly seedlings occured on loblolly-shortleaf pine plots that received two prescribed fire treatments [33]. Nine years after wildfire in a loblolly pine community, deciduous holly did not occur on plots that had undergone surface fire only. Plots where fire crowning occurred were colonized by seedlings resulting from animal-dispersed seed [27]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : The mean, ash-free caloric value for deciduous holly leaves is 5,311 calories per gram. This value can be used in calculations to predict heat release during fire on sites with deciduous holly litter [12].


SPECIES: Ilex decidua
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