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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > Species: Ribes velutinum | Desert Gooseberry
 

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BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Ribes velutinum | Desert Gooseberry
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Desert gooseberry is a native, deciduous, nonrhizomatous [29] shrub growing from 3.3 to 6.6 feet (1-2 m) tall [13,28]. Its stout, rigid branches are usually pubescent. The orbicular, three- to five-lobed leaves are 0.2 to 0.8 inch (0.5-2 cm) long and at least as wide [8,28]. Racemes are three- to five-flowered. Hirsute berries are 0.2 to 0.32 inch (0.5-0.8 cm) in diameter [8,13,28]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Desert gooseberry reproduces by seed and sprouts from the root crown following disturbance or fire [10,31,32]. Ribes spp. generally begin fruiting after 3 years [1]. Many seeds fall beneath the parent plant; they are also dispersed by birds and animals. Fallen seeds may remain viable in the soil and duff for many years [19,20]. Seed germination is generally enhanced by scarification and mineral soil [12,19,20]. The burrowing activity of rodents creates soil mounds at the base of desert gooseberry plants. Aerial stems that become buried by the mounds continue to grow and develop roots at stem nodes [32]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Desert gooseberry generally occurs on dry, rocky foothills, mountain slopes, or ridges in coarse, loamy soil [17,23,27] at elevations ranging from 2,310 to 8,250 feet (700-2,500 m) [8,28]. At Lava Beds National Monument, desert gooseberry grows on basalt outcrops and slopes of cinder cones [4]. In singleleaf pinyon-Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodlands of Nevada and California, desert gooseberry occurred with significantly (p<.05) greater frequency on north and east slopes than south and west aspects [10]. In the White Pine Mountains of White Pine County, Nevada, desert gooseberry is near its southern distribution. Climate is semiarid with a mean annual precipitation of 9.6 inches (240 mm). Most precipitation falls in the form of snow in early spring and short-duration thunderstorms during summer. The mean annual temperature is 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6.8 deg C). The frost-free period is rarely greater than 100 days [27]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Desert gooseberry is somewhat shade tolerant. It sometimes grows under forest canopy, but it occurs most often and grows most vigorously on open sites. In the Shoshone Range of western Nevada, desert gooseberry occurred as an understory species in curlleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) communities where canopy cover approached 100 percent [17]. At Lava Beds National Monument, desert gooseberry was a dominant overstory shrub on basalt outcrops [4]. Desert gooseberry can be found in all successional stages of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In Nevada and California, it occurred burned and unburned sites with 95 percent constancy. Percent frequency of desert gooseberry in various seral stages was as follows [10]: seral stage early early-mid mid mid-late late postfire year 1 4-8 15-17 22-60 unburned % frequency 25 72 48 59 56 Median percent cover of desert gooseberry was less than 20 percent. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : The specific phenology of desert gooseberry was not described in the literature. Ribes spp. generally flower from April to June. The fruit of Ribes spp. generally ripens June to September [15].

Related categories for Species: Ribes velutinum | Desert Gooseberry

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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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