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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > Species: Sarcobatus vermiculatus | Black Greasewood

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SPECIES: Sarcobatus vermiculatus | Black Greasewood
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Black greasewood is described as "slightly damaged to unharmed" by fire. Plants are rarely killed even when fire consumes aboveground vegetation [65]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Vegetative response: Black greasewood generally sprouts vigorously from the stem base or roots following fire [9,65]. Rapid resprouting may lead to an increase in stem density [65]. Black greasewood has exhibited an increased growth rate and lengthened period of accelerated growth after being partially killed by herbicides [49]. A similar response may occur after the plant is partially killed by fire. Seedling establishment: Black greasewood can reoccupy a site through an abundance of light, wind-dispersed seed [11,65]. Evidence suggests that resprouted greasewood on disturbed sites produces more seed than plants growing in adjacent undisturbed communities [49]. However, Young [65] observed relatively poor seed production in the first year after fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Although most studies indicate that black greasewood is relatively unharmed by fire, the degree of damage may vary according to season of burn, fuel loading, and intensity of fire. Following a fall fire in Wyoming, Smith and others [54] noted that black greasewood exhibited much greater mortality than would have been predicted on the basis of its tendency to resprout. This fire was quite intense due to high total fuel loads [54]. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Many black greasewood communities will burn only during "very hazardous" fire conditions because of limited fuels [7].

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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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