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© Lee Dittmann,
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION:
Gucker, Corey L. 2006. Vitis arizonica. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us /database/feis/plants/vine/vitari/all.html .
On 2 March 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS from: Arizona grape
to: canyon grape.
Vitis treleasei 
Vitis arizonica var. arizonica 
Vitis arizonica var. glabra [31,38,46]
NRCS PLANT CODE :
The scientific name of canyon grape is Vitis arizonica Engelm. (Vitaceae) [29,30,31,73]. Canyon grape may hybridize with mustang grape (V. mustangensis), sweet mountain grape (V. monticola), and California wild grape (V. californica) when distributions overlap .
When literature is cited is this review that refers to the Vitis genus only, the common name for the genus, grape, is used.LIFE FORM:
interior ponderosa pine/blue grama (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum/Bouteloua gracilis) habitat type, canyon grape phase, in mountains in the northern and eastern part of the state; Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) and junipers (Juniperus spp.) are also common 
relatively low-elevation riparian community along Paige Creek in Happy Valley―elevation measured as height above main channel depth; Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii), Emory oak (Quercus emoryi), Arizona white oak (Q. arizonica), and tasselflower brickellbush (Brickellia grandiflora) are common 
temperate deciduous forests and woodlands with a mixed overstory of Arizona sycamore, velvet ash (Fraxinus velutina), Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), narrowleaf cottonwood (P. angustifolia), boxelder (Acer negundo), Arizona alder (Alnus oblongifolia), bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum), willow (Salix spp.), and/or Arizona walnut (Juglans major) and an understory of western bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), and canyon grape 
Apache pine/longtongue muhly (Pinus engelmannii/Muhlenbergia longiligula) communities in Canelo Hills and Santa Rita and Chiricahua mountains in the south 
Arizona walnut/netleaf hackberry-gum bully (Celtis reticulata-Sideroxylon lanuginosum ssp. lanuginosum) community at Fort Bowie National Historic Site 
Cañon association with Arizona walnut, box elder, and Colorado pinyon possible 
ponderosa pine/blue grama habitat type, canyon grape phase, in the mountains where Colorado pinyon and junipers are also likely 
deciduous forests on floodplains and valley floors of Zion National Park; typical overstory species include Fremont cottonwood, willow, boxelder (Acer negundo var. interius), velvet ash, and water birch (Betula occidentalis) 
interior riparian deciduous forests with Arizona sycamore, velvet ash, Fremont cottonwood, Arizona alder, Arizona walnut, and sandbar willow (Salix exigua) common in the canopy 
Sonoran riparian deciduous forests and woodlands with Goodding willow (S. gooddingii), cottonwood (Populus spp.), and/or velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) 
Emory oak-Arizona walnut in southwestern New Mexico and south-central Arizona
Arizonica white oak/pinyon ricegrass (Piptochaetium fimbriatum) and ponderosa pine-Arizona walnut in southwestern New Mexico and south of Arizona's Mogollon Rim
Chihuahua pine (Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana)/pinyon ricegrass in southwestern New Mexico and southern Arizona
white fir (Abies concolor)-Arizona walnut in "higher" elevation drainages of central Arizona and New Mexico 
© 2005 T. Beth Kinsey, Wildflowers of Tucson.
Canyon grape is a phenotypically variable, woody, deciduous vine. It has many branches with weak tendrils, growing 7 to 20 feet (2-6 m) long. Height is dependent on surrounding vegetation or support [16,30,46,58,73]. Tendrils without support abort within a year [16,65,67]. Canyon grape is long lived and dense patches are possible [30,34].
Root systems are described as "relatively sparse and wandering," and it is thought that carbohydrate reserves are concentrated in the woody trunk . Plants in the Davis Mountains of Texas had trunks with diameters of 4 inches (10 cm) or more . Stems are slender and tapered from the base to the apex. Bark is often shredded [30,38,73]. The large simple leaves are arranged alternately and typically have 3 shallow lobes [30,31,46,67]. Leaves measure 1 to 5 inches (3-12 cm) long with a similar or slightly larger width [16,73].
Canyon grape plants are dioecious or "subdioecious," and flowers are "actually or functionally unisexual" [16,17]. Small flowers occur in 2 to 4 inch (4-10 cm)-long clusters that are borne opposite the leaves. A nectar disk occurs at the base of the ovary [16,38,46,67,73]. Berries or grapes develop in clusters . Grapes are juicy, thin skinned, and approximately 0.2 to 0.4 inch (6-10 mm) in diameter. They house 2 to 4 pear-shaped seeds that measure 4 to 5 mm long [16,30,38,46,67,73].RAUNKIAER  LIFE FORM:
Pollination: Canyon grape flowers are predominantly unisexual. Flowers contain nectar suggesting that insect visitation is probable .
Breeding system: Plants are most often described as dioecious [16,69]. However, some suggest that perfect flowers occur rarely [16,31,38]. The sex ratio in natural habitats is heavily male weighted. Female plants often die in their 1st fruiting season if stressed. Typically there are 3 to 4 times as many male plants as female plants .
Seed production: Year-to-year fruit and seed production is unpredictable [37,52,69].
Seed dispersal: Canyon grapes are eaten by a variety of mammals and birds, which are the primary dispersers .
Seed banking: Very little information on canyon grape seed banks is available. In the Garden Canyon drainage of the Huachuca Mountains in Cochise County, Arizona, canyon grape was present in extant riparian Arizona sycamore-bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) vegetation but did not emerge from riparian soil samples collected in March .
Germination: Seed germination is unreliable even with careful seed stratification and seed bed preparation, suggesting that germination under natural conditions may be a rare event or that some event that occurs naturally is not well mimicked in the greenhouse or laboratory. Grape seeds may germinate within 2 weeks or may take more than a year. Unpredictable germination may be an advantage in variable environments .
Seedling establishment/growth: No information is available on this topic.
Asexual regeneration: Canyon grape layers [26,69] and likely sprouts from the root crown following top-kill . More research is need on canyon grape regeneration.SITE CHARACTERISTICS:
Climate: Drought conditions and cold temperatures are tolerated by canyon grape but excessive moisture is not [58,65,67]. However, Walker  indicates that reliable water is necessary for canyon grape persistence. In canyon grape habitats of Trans-Pecos, Texas, freezing temperatures are common in late spring . Near the Fort Bowie National Historic Site in southern Arizona where canyon grape grows, the climate is mild. The average July temperature is 78 °F (26 °C) and average January temperature is 45 °F (7 °C). Gentle rains occur irregularly from December through March and from July through September; the majority of the year's precipitation falls in intense summer storms. Annual precipitation averages 12.3 inches (312 mm), but lows of 7.8 inches (197 mm) and highs of 22.8 inches (579 mm) were recorded . In north-central Mexico, fierce windstorms can occur in late winter and spring. In Albuquerque the average annual precipitation is 7.4 inches (190 mm). The mountains may receive 20 to 24 inches (510-610 mm) of precipitation annually, and snow is common. In the lowlands, most of the rain comes in powerful storms from July through September. Moisture delivered in heavy rains is seldom fully absorbed. Evaporation typically exceeds rainfall by 10 times. Night temperatures of 0 °F< (-20 °C) or below are common in January and daily temperature ranges are often great. In a 10-year-period, the maximum summer temperature was 104 °F (40 °C) .
Elevation: Canyon grape is most often found in the canyons of southwestern mountain ranges and rarely found in the valley floors . Throughout its southwestern range it occurs from 2,000 to 7,500 feet (610-2,300 m) .
Below are canyon grape elevational tolerances by state.
|Arizona||2,000-7,500 feet |
|Nevada||2,500-6,000 feet |
|New Mexico||5,000-7,500 feet |
|Texas (Trans-Pecos)||2,500-6,500 feet |
Soils: Soils in canyon grape habitats are moist but sandy and well drained. In general grapes prefer fertile soils . In Texas canyon grape occupies alkaline soils . Van Dersal  reports that canyon grape prefers sandy soils over heavy or clay soils. Excessive moisture can lead to mildew or rotting. However, Woodbury  indicates that canyon grape requires moisture at the roots.SUCCESSIONAL STATUS:
Martin and others indicate that grapes require sunlight . However, canyon grape was common in a closed-canopy Arizona walnut/netleaf hackberry-gum bully community type of Fort Bowie National Historic Site .
Grazing: Canyon grape's tolerance of browsing and/or livestock loafing is unclear. Brown  reports that canyon grape is common in Sonoran riparian deciduous forests and woodlands that have not been heavily grazed. However, canyon grape was present in the riparian vegetation along 2 southeastern Arizona creeks with different grazing pressures. Canyon grape occurred on an Aravaipa Creek site where grazing had been excluded for 7 years prior to study, but was also present on a Bonita Creek site that had been grazed for more than 100 years and perhaps most severely in the 9 years prior to the study. Abundance of canyon grape was not reported on the 2 contrasting sites .SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT:
|New Mexico||April-July ||----|
Fire regimes: Fire history studies in canyon grape habitats are also lacking. Canyon grape's sprawling and climbing growth habit suggests that it may have potential as a ladder fuel. Climate conditions, current and past land use, and surrounding vegetation probably affect the likelihood of canyon grape habitats burning. The following information from the southwestern United States suggests that canyon grape habitats do experience fire. Habitats may differ, however, in frequency and/or severity. White fir/Arizona walnut communities of central Arizona and New Mexico are believed to burn infrequently and erratically . The Tonto National Monument in Arizona reported several fires between 1970 and 1985. Fire size was generally small but ranged from 1 to 500 acres (0.4-200 ha) . In southwestern riparian areas where saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis) occurs, the fire frequency is 16 to 20 years due to the rapid litter accumulation of this species .
Studies from the Southwestern Forest Service Region indicate that lightning fires are very common. The lightning fire season is long (April-October), and large numbers of lightning fires occur in most fire seasons. In a 36-year period (1940-1975), 59,518 lightning fires occurred in the southwestern region, and average fire size was 13 acres (5.3 ha). More than 75% of the lightning fires were kept within 0.25 acre (0.1 ha). Fire size increased over the 36-year period. From 1940 to 1949, a total of 101,266 acres (40,981 ha) burned, and average fire size was 7.3 acres (3 ha). From 1970 to 1975, a total 215,890 acres (87,368) burned, and fire size averaged 17.2 acres (7 ha). Fires in June were typically the largest, and more than 75% of fires occurred at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 m). More than 60% of lightning fires burned in ponderosa pine forests; however, lightning fire size was typically greatest in grass or shrublands .
Before 1900 low-severity surface fires were common in pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus spp.), ponderosa pine, and mixed-conifer forest types in the Madrean Borderlands of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. "The maximum fire-free interval on all sites and forests from 5,600 to 9,500 feet (1,700-2,900 m) was 8 to 23 years" . Fire frequency was lower in low elevation and dry ponderosa pine habitats than in higher-elevation and more mesic mixed conifer habitats . No surface fires were recorded by fire scars after 1900. Increased livestock grazing is likely the primary reason for decreased surface fires. Intensive grazing in the area decreased fine fuels, and trails, fences, and roads disrupted fuel continuity . Based on fire scar data from Apache pine and Arizona pine (Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica) trees at elevations of 5,900 to 8,200 feet (1,800-2,500 m) in Chiricahua Mountain canyons, researchers estimated that the fire return interval was 1 to 22 years from 1600 through the 1800s .
The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where canyon grape is important. 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".
|Community or ecosystem||Dominant species||Fire return interval range (years)|
|basin big sagebrush||Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata||12-43 |
|mountain big sagebrush||Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana||15-40 [3,11,41]|
|Wyoming big sagebrush||Artemisia tridentata var. wyomingensis||10-70 (x=40) [66,77]|
|birch||Betula spp.||80-230 |
|plains grasslands||Bouteloua spp.||<35 [44,75]|
|grama-galleta steppe||Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis jamesii||<35 to <100|
|western juniper||Juniperus occidentalis||20-70|
|Rocky Mountain juniper||Juniperus scopulorum||<35|
|creosotebush||Larrea tridentata||<35 to <100|
|pinyon-juniper||Pinus-Juniperus spp.||<35 |
|Colorado pinyon||Pinus edulis||10-400+ [22,24,32,44]|
|interior ponderosa pine*||Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum||2-30 [2,5,36]|
|Arizona pine||Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica||2-15 [5,15,53]|
|quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains)||Populus tremuloides||7-120 [2,25,40]|
|mesquite||Prosopis glandulosa||<35 to <100 [39,44]|
|Texas savanna||Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa||<10 |
|Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir*||Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca||25-100 [2,3,4]|
|oak-juniper woodland (Southwest)||Quercus-Juniperus spp.||<35 to <200|
|little bluestem-grama prairie||Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp.||<35 |
|elm-ash-cottonwood||Ulmus-Fraxinus-Populus spp.||<35 to 200 [18,68]|
Deer: Reviews report that canyon grape contributes to southwestern white-tailed deer diets . Canyon grape use was moderate and comprised 6% to 15% of rumen contents collected in the fall .
Other mammals: Canyon grape berries are a "prize" food of skunks, foxes, coyotes, and bears [65,67]. Martin and others  report that 0.5% to 2% of northern raccoons and coyote diets are grapes. Woodbury  cites work by another author, which reported that captive northern raccoons preferred grapes.
Birds: Both game and songbirds feed on canyon grape berries and utilize canyon grape habitats. Martin  reports that 0.5% to 2% of greater prairie-chicken and white-winged dove diets, 2% to 5% of brown and sage thrasher diets, and 10% to 25% of fox sparrow and cedar waxwing diets are grapes.
Scaled, Gambel's, and Montezuma quails eat canyon grape fruits [65,67]. Wild turkeys in the Peloncillo Mountains of New Mexico feed heavily on canyon grape . Canyon grape ranked 8th to 10th among the 10 most commonly utilized wild turkey forages from 1985 to 1991 in the southern Peloncillo Mountains .
Grape foliage in the summer can be dense and provides important habitat for nesting songbirds. Grapevine bark is utilized in nest construction . In the Peloncillo Mountains, Emory oak/canyon grape habitats were avoided in the winter but selected in the spring by wild turkeys . In the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona, researchers located a Mearn's quail nest that produced 8 or 9 chicks in maple (Acer spp.)-Arizona sycamore woodlands where canyon grape was a common understory species .
Reptiles: The green rat snake, considered threatened in New Mexico, is associated with rocky canyons with ephemeral or perennial streams where canyon grape is common . See New Mexico's Department of Game and Fish for more information on the green rat snake and its current protective status.
Insects: Grapeleaf miner moths feed on canyon grape in Zion National Park, Utah .
Palatability/nutritional value: Canyon grape fruits are highly palatable. Nutritional value of browse and/or fruits is unknown.
Cover value: Canyon grape foliage provides important cover for birds and small mammals, especially when foliage is dense in the summer months . In Arizona walnut/netleaf hackberry-gum bully communities of Fort Bowie National Historic Site, southern Arizona, canyon grape occasionally tangles with other trees and shrubs, creating dense thickets that are likely important to wildlife .VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:
Canyon grapes in Trans-Pecos, Texas, were suggested as rootstocks for grafting wine grapes (Vitis vinifera) because of their adaptation to local climate and soils .OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
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