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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > SPECIES: Ephedra viridis | Green Ephedra

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SPECIES: Ephedra viridis | Green Ephedra


Green ephedra generally sprouts vigorously from the roots or woody root crown after fire [6,48,99,109] and rapidly produces aboveground biomass from surviving meristematic tissue [26]. Green ephedra has also been documented in southern California as nonsprouting postfire [18]. It is capable of reestablishing disturbed areas through seed [7], though no significant difference was found between its occurrence on seeded versus nonseeded postburn sites in a Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodland [48]. Fires are relatively uncommon in some green ephedra communities due to insufficient fuels [99]. Green ephedra has been found in plant communities with a wide range of fire return intervals, and has been found in ecosystems following large, stand replacing fires as well as small, patchy, erratic fires [61]. Green ephedra establishes early after fire but with relatively low occurrence compared to mid- and late successional stages [48].

Fire regimes for plant communities and ecosystems in which green ephedra occurs are summarized below. For further information regarding fire regimes and fire ecology of communities and ecosystems where green ephedra is found, see the "Fire Ecology and Adaptations" section of the FEIS species summary for the plant community or ecosystem dominants listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
sagebrush steppe Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata 20-70 [11]
basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata 12-43 [70]
mountain big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana 5-15 [110]
Wyoming big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. wyomingensis 10-70 (40)** [95,110]
saltbush-greasewood Atriplex confertifolia-Sarcobatus vermiculatus < 35 to < 100
desert grasslands Bouteloua eriopoda and/or Pleuraphis mutica 5-100
grama-galleta steppe Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis jamesii < 35 to < 100
California montane chaparral Ceanothus and/or Arctostaphylos spp. 50-100 [11]
curlleaf mountain-mahogany* Cercocarpus ledifolius 13-1000 [2,72]
mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii < 35 to < 100
blackbrush Coleogyne ramosissima < 35 to < 100
western juniper Juniperus occidentalis 20-70
creosotebush Larrea tridentata < 35 to < 100
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. < 35
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-49
Jeffrey pine Pinus jeffreyi 5-30
Arizona pine Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica 2-10
galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe Pleuraphis jamesii-Aristida purpurea < 35 to < 100 [11]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species summary


Small shrub, adventitious bud/root crown
Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)

Related categories for SPECIES: Ephedra viridis | Green Ephedra

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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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