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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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SPECIES: Ribes velutinum | Desert Gooseberry
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire top-kills or kills desert gooseberry. In White Pine County, Nevada, desert gooseberry was present in trace amounts before prescribed burning in the spring, but it was not present after burning in postfire years 1 and 2. Fire conditions were not described [27]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Desert gooseberry sprouts from the root crown after low- to moderate-severity fire and seedlings may establish after fire. Near Reno, Nevada, desert gooseberry has been described as a "vigorous" sprouter [31]. A summer wildfire burned a big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/Thurber needlegrass (Stipa thurberiana) community. In postfire year 1 desert gooseberry occurred at a density of 0.06 to 0.08 plants per square meter; "virtually all" plants survived the fire and sprouted. No desert gooseberry seedlings established the first year [31]. In Nevada and California, desert gooseberry occurred on 1- to 60-year old burned sites. The origin of desert gooseberry (seedlings or sprouts) on these sites was not specifically mentioned but the authors described desert gooseberry as a "root-sprouting shrub" [10]. At Lava Beds National Monument, a July 1973 wildfire burned through a bunchgrass community containing a small island of trees and shrubs, including desert gooseberry. In 1977, a July prescribed fire was conducted in a similar community that also included desert gooseberry. The wildfire followed a month with no rain and low humidity. The prescribed fire followed a month with high rainfall (2.04 inches [51 mm]). Fire conditions for both fires were as follows [24]: 1973 wildfire 1977 prescribed fire daytime high temp degrees Fahrenheit 82.4 80.6 degrees Celsius 28.0 27 percent humidity 20 18 percent moisture content of dead wood 0.25-1 inch (0.62-2.54 cm) 3 6 wind speed mi/h 9-12 0.6-7.2 km/h 15-20 1-12 Fire severities were not described. In postfire year 1, average desert gooseberry frequency was less than 1 percent for all treatements (wildfire, prescribed burn, and controls). The cover, average height, and percent of dead branches in individual desert gooseberry crowns were slightly less on the wildfire site in postfire year 1 than on adjacent, unburned sites. Average values for desert gooseberry follow; standard deviations are in parentheses: Percent cover Height Percent dead (cm) crown 1973 wildfire 0.2 (0.6) 81.3 (19.3) 19.3 (16.8) unburned control 0.4 (1.1) 118.8 (26.6) 5.5 (38.5) 1977 prescribed fire 0.1 (0.8) 75.0 (21.2) 89.5 (13.4) DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : At Silver Knoll, north of Reno, Nevada, mounds are formed at the base of desert gooseberry by the burrowing activity of rodents. The mounds may protect the sprouting root crowns of desert gooseberry, making them difficult to reduce with fire. One year after a fire, desert gooseberry plants were sprouting in whorls from burned stems even though they had been completely top-killed by fire [32]. In Nevada and California, desert gooseberry occurred on 1- to 60-year old burned and unburned sites. Eight out of 21 burns had been seeded with grasses, including standard crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum), intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium), and smooth brome (Bromus ineris). Desert gooseberry showed no preference for seeded or nonseeded sites [10].

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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