Restoration Potential: The restoration potential of this species is largely unknown. Establishment or augmentation of populations is dependent upon seed germination, but conditions under which germination is triggered are unknown. Given success in germinating seeds, coupled with an active habitat management program designed to maintain open woodland/savanna conditions, restoration should be successful.
Preserve Selection and Design Considerations: Preserve designs should incorporate the requirements of fire management in maintaining suitable, open habitat. Preserve designs should incorporate sufficient area to conduct proper prescribed fire management and allow for a matrix of habitat areas and management units. Smoke planning should also be addressed in the preserve design.
Preserve size should also be a requirement for the long-term protection and viability of the species. Sufficient preserve size should be planned for habitat protection and restoration, and expansion of existing populations into these habitats.
Management Requirements: Berberis canadensis is a species of open woodlands, glades and savannas. Most of these habitats have grown closed with trees and shrubs since the elimination of a natural fire regime. Prescribed fire or selective thinning of the canopy should be conducted in order to increase light levels to the habitat and populations (Weakley 1993).
Managers should work cooperatively with state and federal regulatory agencies and organizations (e.g., USDA and state departments) to reduce or eliminate the effects of continued Berberis eradication efforts (Homoya 1992).
Management Programs: No known management programs are currently in place for the species in any portion of its range.
Monitoring Programs: Monitoring of plants is done by the Indiana DNR, Division of Entomology, for signs of black stem rust as part of eradication efforts.
Contact: Mike Homoya, Ecologist/Botanist, Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center, Division of Nature Preserves, Department of Natural Resources, 402 W. Washington St., Rm. W267, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Telephone: (317) 232-4052.
Populations in Missouri are revisited every several years in order to update their status in the Heritage Database. Most sites were revisited between 1984 and 1990.
Contact: Tim Smith, Botanist, Natural History Division, Missouri Department of Conservation, 2901 W. Truman Blvd., Jefferson, MO 65109. Telephone: (314) 751-4115.
Management Research Programs: No research programs directed at management needs are known at this time.
Management Research Needs: Research regarding the response of this species to fire, canopy thinning and other management activities would allow for better management of populations and habitat (Weakley 1993). There is a need to determine the best habitat for the species and how to best maintain the character of these areas (Smith 1992).
Biological Research Needs: Investigate factors that limit seed production; study the effects of habitat quality and genetic variation within and between populations to assess species' vigor (Smith, 1992). Research is needed to accurately assess the role that B. canadensis plays as a host to stem rust. Does the eradication of extant populations play a significant role in the elimination of the rust? Do eradication efforts pay for themselves? Information along these lines could be used to persuade agents to discontinue eradication efforts.
Comments: The red, fleshy berries of B. canadensis are edible (Small 1933). The plant is often grown for ornamental purposes because of its attractive foliage, flowers and fruit. It is also useful for wildlife food and cover and erosion control. The majority of barberry species are susceptible to black stem rust of wheat. Roots of barberry can be used to obtain a yellow dye. The plants contain an alkaloid called berberine, which is used for medicinal purposes in some areas (Rudolf 1974).
Research on this species has investigated the ultrastructural features of the cortical parenchyma cells in the stamen filaments (Fleurat-Lessard and Millet 1984). The stamen filaments of Berberis canadensis respond to various electrical, mechanical and chemical stimuli by bending. The mature stamens are formed from the reproductive meristem and lack photosynthetic activity and circadian movements. Berberis canadensis contains unusual walls, vascular microfibrils and microfilaments in the stamens. These walls are elastic due to their multiple folded appearance. Changes in the wall in the form of extensions may be linked with IAA, which may alter the fibrillar structure by regulating protein fluxes (Pilet and Roland 1974 as in Fleurat-Lessard and Millet 1984).
Another common name for this species is Alleghany barberry. An illustration of the species can be found in Steyermark (1963). Range distribution maps of the species can be found in the following sources: Missouri (Steyermark 1963), Virginia (Harvill et al. 1986).