Wildlife, Animals, and Plants
SPECIES: Gaylussacia frondosa | Dangleberry
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT :
Most fires kill aboveground portions of dangleberry [4,21].
Moderate-severity or severe fire that burns the humus layer may also
kill many of the rhizomes, thereby killing the plant.
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT :
PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE :
Surviving rhizomes sprout from dormant buds following fire [4,21].
A single low-severity fire usually encourages prolific dangleberry
growth. Vigorous thickets of dangleberry with high stem densities arise
after low-severity fire .
Buell and Cantlon  investigated the effects of fire frequency on an
upland oak forest in New Jersey with a well-developed shrub layer.
Low-severity prescribed fires were conducted in winter at 1-, 2-, 3-,
4-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals. Dangleberry showed long-term decline
in percent cover at fire intervals of 5 years or less. Dangleberry had
14 percent cover on unburned control plots and 0.5 percent cover on
plots burned annually for 10 years.
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE :
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :
In the North Carolina Coastal Plain, the fuel load was 17.3 tons per
acre for a tall shrub community averaging 8 feet (2.4 m) in height.
Dangleberry contributed 10 percent of the total fuel load .
In frequently burned 16- to 30-year-old slash pine forests in
southeastern Georgia, dangleberry attained peak production 3 years after
prescribed burning. It produced no fruit the first postfire year, 32
grams of fruit per 100 square meters the second year, and 104.4 grams of
fruit per 100 square meters the third year, accounting for 23 percent of
the total fruit production in the forests during the third postfire
growing season. Dangleberry fruit production decreased substantially
the fourth postfire year. The authors conclude that prescribed fire at
3-year intervals optimizes dangleberry and other forest species fruit
production, but longer intervals (more than 5 years) allow less
fire-tolerant mast-producing species to mature as well . Because
Buell and Cantlon  showed that dangleberry declines at fire intervals
of 5 years or less, a prescribed fire interval longer than 5 years is
probably best for long-term dangleberry fruit production.
In a longleaf pine forest in Florida, fire during the growing season
synchronized the postfire flower production of understory species
including dangleberry .
Related categories for Species: Gaylussacia frondosa