Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Quercus arizonica

Introductory

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Pavek, Diane S. 1994. Quercus arizonica. 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/ [].
ABBREVIATION : QUEARI SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : QUAR COMMON NAMES : Arizona white oak Arizona oak TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of Arizona white oak is Quercus arizonica Sarg. It is a member of the oak family (Fagaceae) [34]. No infrataxa are recognized. Where distributions overlap, Arizona white oak hybridizes with gray oak (Q. grisea), Gambel oak (Q. gambelii), and Mohr shin oak (Q. mohriana) [19,34,61,77,80]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Arizona white oak is distributed from central Arizona to southwestern New Mexico [59,66,77].  Scattered populations occur in western Texas and northern Mexico.  In Mexico, the range of Arizona white oak extends from the state of Coahuila westward to Baja California Sur [16,27,39,42,61]. It occurs in fewer than 20 locations in Baja California Sur and is a species of concern in Mexico [40]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES28  Western hardwoods    FRES31  Shinnery    FRES32  Texas savanna    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub    FRES35  Pinyon - juniper STATES :      AZ  NM  TX  MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     7  Lower Basin and Range    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest    K019  Arizona pine forest    K023  Juniper - pinyon woodland    K031  Oak - juniper woodlands    K071  Shinnery SAF COVER TYPES :     67  Mohrs (shin) oak    210  Interior Douglas-fir    235  Cottonwood - willow    237  Interior ponderosa pine    239  Pinyon - juniper    240  Arizona cypress    241  Western live oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Arizona white oak is found in diverse communities along elevation or moisture gradients from savannas, semidesert grasslands, and interior chaparral [10,57] to Madrean evergreen woodland and pine-oak (Pinus spp.-Quercus spp.) communities [7].  Arizona white oak is codominant with Emory oak (Q. emoryi) and gray oak in the encinal mixed woodland series and Madrean evergreen woodland series [9,19,38,52].  Arizona white oak habitat series occur in savannas of New Mexico [19].  Arizona white oak is an indicator species in dry Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Chihuahua pine (Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa), and Apache pine (P. engelmannii) habitat and community types [1,3,55,63].  Arizona white oak is dominant or codominant in open and closed-canopy pinyon-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands [28,53].  Occasionally, Arizona white oak is an important understory species in pinyon-juniper stands [58] and Mexican pinyon (P. cembroides) forests [46].  Isolated Arizona white oak occur infrequently in riparian woodland associations, such as Arizona walnut (Juglans major) and Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii) community types with permanent or semipermanent streams [43,44,69,73,75].  Arizona white oak occurs on edges of interior chaparral of Arizona in communities such as the Arizona white oak-yellowleaf silktassel (Garrya flavescens)-Emory oak association [11,13,35,63].  Some of the publications in which Arizona white oak is listed as a dominant or indicator species are: (1)  Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona        south of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico [3] (2)  Forest habitat types south of the Mogollon Rim, Arizona and New        Mexico [18] (3)  Classification of mixed broadleaf riparian forest in Tonto National        Forest [37] (4)  A series vegetation classification for Region 3 [52] (5)  A forest habitat type classification of southern Arizona and its        relationship to forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico [54] (6)  Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona: a gradient        analysis of the south slope [82]. Woody species associated with Arizona white oak but not previously mentioned in Distribution and Occurrence information include Arizona madrone (Arbutus arizonica), Arizona rosewood (Vaquelina californica), and coral-bean (Erythrina flabeliformis) [45,55].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Arizona white oak is used for fuel and infrequently for furniture [30,56].  The wood is close grained, heavy, hard, and strong [21,41,80]. Trees are seldom straight enough or large enough to be of commercial value [21]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Arizona white oak acorns are consumed by cattle and wildlife [32]; however, acorns of other species are used in preference to Arizona white oak acorns [21].  Arizona white oak acorns comprised 2 percent of the food volume in white-tailed deer stomach contents collected in late fall in south-central Arizona [48].  Arizona white oak was one of the most common trees browsed by white-tailed deer in oak-grasslands and mountain foothills of Arizona [67].  In southeastern Arizona, Arizona white oak is used extensively by neomigratory birds for foraging during the breeding season [6].  Diverse amphibians, reptiles, and mammals have been recorded in the woodland communities where Arizona white oak occurs [17,45]. PALATABILITY : Arizona white oak is highly palatable to white-tailed and mule deer in all seasons [79]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Young Arizona white oak twigs and leaves are rated as poor forage for wildlife [31]. COVER VALUE : White-tailed deer utilize mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.)- pinyon-Arizona white oak habitats for cover [67]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : No direct reference to Arizona white oak acorn consumption by humans was found in the literature.  Arizona white oak belongs to the white oak subgenus (Lepidobalanus).  Edible acorns are a characteristic of the group [34]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Arizona white oak stands have been managed under pinyon-juniper silvicultural systems [28].  On a fuelwood management area in the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona, three areas in oak woodland were cut at different times and intensities to assess harvest effects.  Arizona white oak was codominant with Emory oak.  Harvest at two intensities (50 and 80%) occurred 7, 15, and 20 years prior to assessment.  Structural changes to the overstory, such as trees being shrublike due to prolific stump sprouting, still persisted after 20 years [65]. Volume equations are available for estimating biomass of Arizona white oak [14,15].  Volume, growth, and mortality estimates and simulation models of the oak woodlands that include Arizona white oak are discussed in the literature [24].  Multivariate equations are available for predicting Arizona white oak regeneration after harvest [50]. Cattle graze on most of the Arizona encinal woodlands where Arizona white oak occurs [47].  Preferential grazing may favor Arizona white oak establishment [49].  However, poor oak recruitment during the late 1960's in Arizona was attributed to the effects of livestock grazing and summer drought [56].  Current recruitment was not found in the literature.  Burning and subsequent treatment with herbicides prevented Arizona white oak from establishing in a game management area on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona [72]. Szaro and King [74] developed sampling methods for classification of the Arizona riparian plant communities in which Arizona white oak occurs. Arizona white oak is susceptible to the wood decay fungus, Inonotus andersonii [23].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Arizona white oak is a native shrub or medium-sized tree [21].  As a tree, it reaches up to 60 feet (18 m) tall with a diameter up to 3.3 feet (1 m) and has an irregularly spreading crown with stout branches [36,41,67].  The bark on older trees may be up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick [21].  The thick leaves are evergreen or nearly evergreen and about 3.2 inches (8 cm) long [16,21,61].  Pistillate catkins have two to six flowers.  The solitary or paired acorns are 0.3 to 0.8 inch (0.8-2 cm) long [16,21,80]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Mature Arizona white oak grows slowly, averaging about 0.1 inch per year (0.24 cm/yr) in diameter; seedlings also grow slowly [21,49].  Once topgrowth is removed, Arizona white oak stumps sprout.  In southeastern Arizona following top removal by cutting, Arizona white oak regeneration consisted primarily of stump sprouts with low seedling survival [65]. Following harvest of oak woodlands in southern Arizona, a higher percentage of Arizona white oak stumps than Emory oak stumps failed to sprout.  Arizona white oak sprouts also grew more slowly than Emory oak sprouts [50].   Acorn production in Arizona white oak is highly variable.  Large acorn crops, up to 32,600 acorns per tree, alternate with several years of low acorn production [21,49].  Arizona white oak can lose 1 to 65 percent of acorns produced to vertebrates and 1 to 50 percent to invertebrates [49].  While postdispersal acorn loss from the soil surface can be high, 68 percent of the acorns escaped predation in a 1978 Arizona oak woodlands study.  Arizona white oak acorns had 17 to 73 percent germination during a study in Arizona.  The acorns have no dormancy. Most Arizona white oak acorn germination occurs within 30 days of dropping off of the tree; the acorns are viable for about 60 days. Germination of Arizona white oak acorns is strongly positively correlated with moisture during the rainy season [56].  During field trials, germination of the acorns at 3 or 6 inches (7.5-15 cm) below the soil surface (73%) exceeded germination rates on the litter or soil surface (17%) [56]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Arizona white oak is widespread and occurs in arroyos, canyons, foothills, bajadas, and on rocky slopes [25,57,81].  It occurs on flat benches and ridges or steep sideslopes with westerly to northerly exposures [18,51,76].  Arizona white oak is found from 3,445 to 7,218 feet (1,050-2,200 m) in elevation [43,55,57,61,73]. Arizona white oak occurs in semiarid to arid climates with a bimodal precipitation regime, mild winters, and hot summers [2,20,44].  Soils may be shallow to deep and moderate to very fine textured, consisting of old alluvium from mixed sedimentary, igneous, or granitic rocks [12,55,76].  Rock cover may be more than 15 percent [18].  Soils also may be cobbly loams that are deep and well-drained with low water-holding capacity [56]. Arizona white oak sites are often low in productivity due to semiarid climate and shallow, rocky, or poorly developed soils.  Arizona white oak frequency varies within oak woodlands.  In oak woodlands of Arizona, Arizona white oak increase from 10 percent frequency at about 5,000 feet (1,524 m) elevation to 45 percent frequency at about 6,000 feet (1,829 m).  It decreases in frequency above 6,562 feet (2,000 m) [49]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Arizona white oak is a seral species or climax understory species in pinyon-juniper woodlands and pine-oak forests [4,28,57,60].  Following cabling or fire in pinyon-juniper woodlands, Arizona white oak and other oaks begin to establish after about 4 years, during the grass and forb stages [28,60].  Arizona white oak is a climax species in Madrean evergreen oak and encinal woodlands.  It is a minor climax species in Chihuahuan pine forests [38]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Arizona white oak flowers as new leaves emerge.  Acorns mature during the fall (September to November) of the same year [49,56,80].  Leaves may drop in late winter or just before new leaves emerge in the spring [21,80].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Arizona white oak sprouts from the root crown or stump following fire [13,35]. Madrean evergreen forests and woodlands are usually bordered by desert grassland below and coniferous forest above [4].  Historically, fires probably occurred every 10 to 20 years in oak woodlands adjacent to semidesert grasslands [2,83].  Mean fire return intervals for pine communities above oak woodlands have been estimated at every 7 years [49].  Historical fires in oak-pine woodlands in the Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona occurred every 1 to 38 years [71].  In Arizona, low- intensity surface fires occurred very frequently in a ponderosa pine/Arizona white oak habitat type; fire scars formed in 67 of the years between 1770 and 1870 [19,84].  Burned ponderosa pine snags in evergreen oak woodlands in Arizona suggest localized severe fires [55]. Fire regimes have been estimated for different oak cover types.  Mexican (Madrean) oak-pine woodland is probably a fire tolerant, fire-maintained community.  Arizona white oak is common at higher elevations than Emory oak in open oak woodlands.  Fire frequency is important in determining the structure of these communities. Interior chaparral is scattered throughout the oak-pine woodlands [70]. Arizona white oak replaces Pringle manzanita (Arctostaphylos pringlei) in interior chaparral stands that have not recently burned [57]. Arizona white oak and Emory oak dominate many communities that have not burned at least since 1910 [13]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/soboliferous species root sucker    Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown    Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Small (1 to 3 inches [2.5-7.5 cm]) Arizona white oak are top-killed by fire.  Large-sized trees usually survive fires of low severity [7]. Arizona white oak foliage is highly flammable [64].  Surviving stumps sprout vigorously [4,35].  The acorns probably are killed by fire. Acorns covered by an insulating layer of soil may survive low-severity fires. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Fires move quickly through oak woodlands that have a continuous grass understory.  Arizona white oak root crowns are usually not damaged by these fires [4].  In a Madrean evergreen woodland in Arizona with an understory of grasses and herbs, a prescribed fire burned cool and was of short duration.  Scattered mature Arizona white oak were unaffected by the fire.  Arizona white oak and other oak seedling densities did not differ between burned sites and controls during the first 2 postfire seasons [7,8].  In Box Canyon of the Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona, a person-caused fire in 1959 moved rapidly over dry grasses in a drought-stressed oak-juniper woodland.  Drought stress may have influenced tree response.  In diameter classes from 1 to 9 inches (2.5-23 cm), 13 percent of Arizona white oak died on the burned sites, while only 5 percent died on the controls [33]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Arizona white oak foliage can be ignited by low-intensity fires with flame lengths up to 2 feet (6.7 m).  It should be included in fuel moisture sampling programs.  In the Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona, where Arizona white oak can make up a significant portion of the understory fuels, Arizona white oak sampled on 10 and 11 November 1987 had a mean moisture content of 121 percent.  Live fuel moisture sampling methods are discussed in the literature [64]. Broadcast understory burning in southwestern ponderosa pine forests, where shrubby Arizona white oak and silverleaf oak (Q. hypoleucoides) occurred, reduced the threat of severe crown fires [29]. The open oak woodland can carry fire.  Oaks usually survive the quick, low intensity fires of open oak woodlands.  However, modern fires in closed-canopy oak woodlands are more likely to be high-intensity, stand replacement fires [49].

FIRE CASE STUDIES

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION : Pavek, Diane S., compiler. 1994. Prescribed fire effects on Arizona white oak in Lyle Canyon, Arizona. In: Quercus arizonica. 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/ []. REFERENCE : Bock, Jane H.; Bock, Carl E. 1987. Fire effects following prescribed burning in two desert ecosystems. Final Report on Cooperative Agreement No. 28-03-278. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 20 p. [8]. SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION : spring fire/low- to moderate-severity STUDY LOCATION : The study was conducted at the National Audubon Appleton-Whittel Research Sanctuary in foothills on the west side of the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona.  The research focused on two areas:  a grassland and a Madrean evergreen woodland.  This case study presents only the Madrean evergreen woodland results since Arizona white oak did not occur in the grassland.  Study plots were located in Lyle Canyon, which is leased by the Sanctuary from the Coronado National Forest. PREFIRE VEGETATIVE COMMUNITY : Lyle Canyon is covered by a Madrean evergreen oak woodland.  The overstory consisted of Arizona white oak and Emory oak.  The burn treatment study plots had a total of 15 Arizona white oak and 20 Emory oak; control plots had a total of 10 Arizona white oak and 20 Emory oak. Common understory shrubs were wait-a-minute bush (Mimosa biuncifera), velvet-pod mimosa (M. dysocarpa), and yerba de pasmo (Baccharis pteronioides).  Grasses and forbs most commonly present were sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), plains lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia), annual goldeneye (Viguiera annua), and Arizona poppy (Kallstroemia parviflora). TARGET SPECIES PHENOLOGICAL STATE : Phenological stages of plants were not specifically mentioned.  At the time of burning in May, Arizona white oak would be past flowering, and fruits would be developing. SITE DESCRIPTION : The study site was located in a steep-sided canyon at 4,922 feet (1,500 m) elevation.  Spring months are dry and warm in the semiarid climate. The average annual precipitation is 16.9 inches (430 mm) and occurs bimodally.  No information was given on specific topography, slope, or soils. FIRE DESCRIPTION : A total of 10 plots, 65.6 by 98.4 feet (20x30 m), were assigned either to burn or control treatments.  Plots were paired for physiognomy and vegetation.  Twenty quadrats, 7.9 by 19.7 inches (20x50 cm), were located in each plot for a total of 200 quadrats.  The fire burned between 10 a.m. and 12 m. on 25 May 1984.  Air temperature was from 90 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit (32-33 deg C).  The relative humidity ranged from 16 to 18 percent.  Winds were variable and gusted from 5 to 10 mph (8.1-16.1 km/h).  Dead fine fuel moistures were between 5 and 6 percent. Fires moved slowly (1.6 to 4.9 feet per minute [0.5-1.5 m/min]) with flame lengths of 0.7 to 1.6 feet (0.2-0.5 m) in four of the five burn plots.  This was a heat release of 2.3 to 16.8 Btu per second per foot (8-58 kw/m).  The fire moved rapidly (98.4 feet per minute [30 m/min]) with a heat release of 75.2 Btu per second per foot (260 kw/m) over the remaining burn plot. FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES : Mature Arizona white oak were not affected by the fire [7].  Postfire vegetation was sampled during two growing seasons in 1984 and 1985. There was no significant (P>0.05) difference in numbers of Arizona white oak seedlings on the burn plots compared to the controls. FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS : Fire is a part of the historic Madrean evergreen woodland [83].  This prescribed fire did not have any lasting effects on woody vegetation in the study area.  Burning had little detectable effect on the seedlings of Arizona white oak.  This is probably due to short duration and low heat released by the fires.  The authors noted that Arizona white oak were killed by fire in nearby O'Donnell Canyon during 1974 on the Appleton-Whittell Sanctuary. This study was part of an extensive of body of research on fire effects in semidesert grassland, oak savanna, and Madrean oak woodlands of southeastern Arizona. See the Research Project Summary of this work for more information on burning conditions, fires, and fire effects on more than 100 species of plants, birds, small mammals, and grasshoppers.

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Quercus arizonica
REFERENCES :  1.  Alexander, Robert R.; Ronco, Frank, Jr. 1987. Classification of the        forest vegetation on the National Forests of Arizona and New Mexico.        Res. Note RM-469. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 10        p.  [3515]  2.  Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a        desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A.        Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569.  [14986]  3.  Bassett, R.; Larson, M.; Moir, W. 1987. Forest and woodland habitat        types (plant associations) of Arizona south of the Mogollon Rim and        southwestern New Mexico. 2nd Edition. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwestern Region. [Pages unknown].        [20308]  4.  Bennett, Peter S.; Kunzmann, Michael R. 1992. The applicability of        generalized fire prescriptions to burning of Madrean evergreen forest        and woodland. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 24-25:        79-84.  [18324]  5.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434]  6.  Block, William M.; Ganey, Joseph L.; Severson, Kieth E.; Morrison,        Michael L. 1992. Use of oaks by neotropical migratory birds in the        Southwest. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane        A.; [and others], technical coordinators. Ecology and management of oak        and associated woodlands: perspectives in the sw United States & n        Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep.        RM-218. 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Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 155-161.        [19757] 16.  Correll, Donovan S.; Johnston, Marshall C. 1970. Manual of the vascular        plants of Texas. Renner, TX: Texas Research Foundation. 1881 p.  [4003] 17.  Davis, Russell; Sidner, Ronnie. 1992. Mammals of woodland and forest        habitats in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Monument, Arizona.        Technical Report NPS/WRUA/NRTR-92/06. Tucson, AZ: The University of        Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National        Park Resources Study Unit. 62 p.  [20966] 18.  DeVelice, Robert L.; Ludwig, John A. 1983. Forest habitat types south of        the Mogollon Rim, Arizona and New Mexico. Final Report. Cooperative        Agreement No. 28-K2-240 between U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station and New        Mexico State University. 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Ecology and management of oak and associated woodlands:        perspectives in the sw United States & n Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April        27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and        Range Experiment Station: 195-198.  [19765] 24.  Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J. 1992. Growth, yield, and        utilization of oak woodlands in the southwestern United States. In:        Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and        others], technical coordinators. Ecology and management of oak and        associated woodlands: perspectives in the sw United States & n Mexico:        Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218.        Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 34-38.  [19738] 25.  Ffolliott, Peter F.; Guertin, D. Phillip. 1987. 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