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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > Species: Cercidium microphyllum | Yellow Paloverde

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SPECIES: Cercidium microphyllum | Yellow Paloverde
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Although entire yellow paloverde trees are rarely consumed during a fire, they are top-killed or killed. Surviving yellow paloverde rootstocks sprout following fire. Resprouting plants are susceptible to death from repeated fires [39]. A fire on a southern Arizona rangeland during the 1900's burned for 2 days and killed paloverde species. Postfire recovery of the vegetation was not mentioned in the article [29]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : During May 1981 in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona, the prefire mean density of yellow paloverde was 30 plants per acre (75 plants/ha). Following a controlled fire of moderate severity during June 1981, yellow paloverde mean density was 24.8 plants per acre (62 plants/ha). Heat-damaged plants subsequently died. Nine months after the fire, yellow paloverde mean density was 17.2 plants per acre (43 plants/ha) [13]. Yellow paloverde was completely eliminated by fire at one site on the Tonto National Forest, Arizona [13]. Yellow paloverde may require 20 years to return to prefire plant densities and community species composition following fires in paloverde-saguaro communities [13,39,72]. Wildfire during June 1979 in Arizona top-killed 83 percent of yellow paloverde present. Twenty-five percent of top-killed plants sprouted about 2 years following the fire. There was 63 percent mortality for yellow paloverde after about 3 years [49]. Fire burned during June 1974 in two desert scrub communities of south-central Arizona. Before the fires, yellow paloverde had not sprouted; no seedlings were present on one site (Dead Man Wash Site), and five seedlings were present at the other site (Saguaro Site). Prefire data concerning yellow paloverde were not given. Fire killed 78 percent of the photosynthetic tissue on the Dead Man Wash Site and 92 percent on the Saguaro Site. For both sites, approximately 10 percent of the yellow paloverde present after fire were not top-killed; approximately 14 percent were top-killed and resprouted. Five seedlings were found on the Saguaro Site in postfire year 1 [71,72]. Yellow paloverde occurred in two different communities that were prescribed burned during different years, one in 1983 and the other in 1985. Control and prefire communities were similar in composition. No information specific to yellow paloverde was given. The fires consumed 70 percent of the perennial vegetation. Plants were two-thirds less dense immediately after than before the fire. In 1986, plant densities were still below prefire levels [39]. Yellow paloverde was codominant with triange bursage and buckhorn cholla (Opuntia acanthocarpa) on rocky slopes on the Tonto National Forest. A prescribed fire during June 1985 burned 9.9 acres (4 ha). The fire burned vigorously in washes and on lower slopes. But fire decreased on the upper slopes due to a lack of fuel between the shrubs; vegetation patches were ignited with flares. The spotty burning reduced shrub cover by 49 percent. No specific effects on yellow paloverde response to fire were given in the article [81]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Introduced annuals in desert habitats may create sufficient fuel to increase fire frequency and severity [71]. Native annuals probably provided less fuel [39,71]. In the soils on which yellow paloverde occurs, nutrients are quickly translocated following fire. Two years after fire, soil nitrogen levels can drop below prefire levels [13,101].

Related categories for Species: Cercidium microphyllum | Yellow Paloverde

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Information Courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. Fire Effects Information System

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