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Overview

Brief Summary

Like several other junipers, Creeping Juniper (Juniper horizontalis) is a prostrate (sprawling) woody plant that grows mainly along the ground rather than vertically. The creeping branches produce short erect branchlets with scale-like leaves. The leaves are green, but turn redddish purple in winter. The seed cones, which generally mature in two years, are of two distinct sizes and contain several seeds each.

Creeping Juniper is distributed across much of Canada and, more locally, across the northern tier of the adjacent United States. It is found on sand dunes, sandy and gravelly soils, prairies, slopes, rock outcrops, and streambanks from 0 to 1000 m elevation.

At the margins of its range, this prostrate species apparently hybridizes with two closely related species, the trees Eastern Red Cedar (J. virginiana) and Rocky Mountain Juniper (J. scopulorum), where their ranges overlap with Creeping Juniper. Creeping Juniper has sometimes been treated as a prostrate form of J. virginiana.

(Fassett 1945; Adams 1983; Palma-Otal et al. 1983; Adams 2011 and references therein)

  • Adams, R.P. 2011. Junipers of the World: The Genus Juniperus, 3rd Edition. Trafford Publishing.
  • Adams, R.P 1983. Infraspecific terpenoid variation in Juniperus scopulorum: Evidence for Pleistocene refugia and recolonization in western North America. Taxon 32: 30-46.
  • Fassett, N.C. 1945. Juniperus virginiana, J. horizontalis, and J. scopulorum. V. Taxonomic treatment. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 72: 480-482.
  • Palma-Otal, M., W.S. Moore, R.P. Adams, and G.R. Joswiak. 1983. Morphological. chemical, and biogeographical analyses of a hybrid zone involving Juniperus virginiana and J. horizontalis in Wisconsin. Canadian Journal of Botany 61(10): 2733-2746.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: This shrub is present in scattered locations in a narrow band that stretches from Newfoundland and southern Maine, west through the Great Lakes region to northern Colorado and Wyoming, and extending northward to the Yukon Territory.

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Creeping juniper occurs in the northern portion of the contiguous United States, throughout most of Canada, and in interior and coastal Alaska. Distribution is limited in the interior of Alaska. In the contiguous United States, creeping juniper's western limit is western Montana, and the southern limit is likely Nebraska [3,16,47,48,61,101,102,103,113]. Some suggest that creeping juniper may extend as far south as Colorado [3,48,80,112]. Creeping juniper occurs in the Great Lakes states and in the New England states as far south as Pennsylvania [3,16,47,48,56,61,101,102,103,113]. Creeping juniper's distribution throughout its range is disjunct and spotty. Several states list creeping juniper as a rare species. See Plants Database for a distributional map of creeping juniper.

Juniperus × fassettii is reported from Banff in Alberta, near Bridger in Montana, and near the Missouri River and Amidon in North Dakota [1,2]. Creeping juniper × eastern redcedar hybrids have been found on the coast of Maine and in the Driftless area of Wisconsin [40]. Hybrid populations discussed here do not likely represent an exhaustive distribution treatment.

  • 1. Adams, Robert P. 1982. The effects of gases from a burning coal seam on morphological and terpenoid characters in Juniperus scopulorum (Cupressaceae). The Southwestern Naturalist. 27(3): 279-286. [293]
  • 101. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]
  • 102. Standley, Paul C. 1921. Flora of Glacier National Park, Montana. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 22, Part 5. Washington, DC: United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution: 235-438. [12318]
  • 103. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 112. Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1972. Alaska trees and shrubs. Agric. Handb. 410. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 265 p. [6884]
  • 113. Voss, Edward G. 1972. Michigan flora. Part I: Gymnosperms and monocots. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 488 p. [11471]
  • 16. Booth, W. E. 1950. Flora of Montana. Part I: Conifers and monocots. Bozeman, MT: The Research Foundation at Montana State College. 232 p. [48662]
  • 2. Adams, Robert P. 1983. Infraspecific terpenoid variation in Juniperus scopulorum: evidence for Pleistocene refugia and recolonization in western North America. Taxon. 32(1): 30-46. [3430]
  • 3. Anderson, J. P. 1959. Flora of Alaska and adjacent parts of Canada. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 543 p. [9928]
  • 40. Fassett, Norman C. 1944. Juniperus virginiana, J. horizontalis and J. scopulorum. 1. The specific characters. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 71(4): 410-418. [910]
  • 47. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 48. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 56. Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2nd ed. Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc. 666 p. [6851]
  • 61. Hultén, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 80. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]

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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
AK CT DE IL IA MA ME MI MN MT
NE NH NJ NY NC ND PA RI SD VT
WI

CANADA
AB BC MB NB NF NT NS ON PE PQ
SK YK

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [11]:

8 Northern Rocky Mountains

9 Middle Rocky Mountains

10 Wyoming Basin

11 Southern Rocky Mountains

14 Great Plains

15 Black Hills Uplift

16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands
  • 11. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Ill., Iowa, Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.Y., N.Dak., S.Dak., Vt., Wis., Wyo.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: adventitious, cover, dioecious, forb, layering, mesic, shrub, shrubs, tree

This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g. [3,16,47,48,61,101,102,103,113]).

Aboveground description: Creeping juniper is an evergreen prostrate shrub with long, trailing or creeping branches [3,16,61,80,103,112,113]. Horizontal branches reach lengths of 10 to 20 feet (3-5 m) or more and send up many short erect stems that are typically less than 10 inches (30 cm) tall [99,101,112]. Stems are typically less than 1.5 mm in diameter, although rapidly growing stems may measure 2 mm [103,112]. Small and/or young stems are covered with scale-like leaves [103,112]. Wood is not distributed evenly within the branches; 33% of wood occurs on the up side of branches while the rest occurs on the soil-facing side [12]. The bark on mature branches is thin, scaly, and shredding [48,101,103].

Many of the characteristics used to identify creeping juniper are variable. These characters can vary as much in a stand or colony as they do in the entire species. Often a number of plants and plant parts are necessary for positive identification. For instance, not all peduncles attached to the female cone are curved, but 60% or more will be. Not all seeds are pitted, but likely 50% or more will be [40].

This mat-forming shrub may measure up to 20 feet (7 m) across but rarely exceeds a height of 20 inches (40 cm) [33,103]. Creeping juniper is considered slow growing [12]. In Montana, researchers found that plant size was related to climate and site conditions. Thirty widely separated creeping juniper-dominated stands were evaluated. Shrubs averaged 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) tall, and height range was 1.9 to 3.8 inches (4.8-9.6 cm). Tallest plants occurred on dry, low-elevation sites with low grass and forb cover. Shortest plants occurred on mesic, high-elevation sites with high grass and forb cover. Terminal growth averaged 1.4 inches (34.5 mm)/growing season, and most occurred in June and July. Lateral growth averaged 0.4 inch (9.0 mm)/growing season and was slow and without spurts. Shrubs on northern slopes produced the longest twigs, while the shortest twigs occurred on sites with a tree canopy. Dead crown area averaged 3.5% [79]. A study of 52 plants in central Montana revealed an average shrub age of 56.7 years and a range of 20 to 140 years. Young plants were scarce in the study area. Browsing may have been a factor in the limited regeneration [76].

Leaves are opposite, appressed, and overlap in a scale-like pattern; on juvenile plants, however, leaves are spreading and needlelike [3,18,33,99,101]. On mature plants, leaves overlap in a clasping manner and measure 1 to 3 mm long by 0.5 to 1 mm wide. Juvenile shrubs have longer leaves (3-7 mm long by 0.6-1.3 mm wide) that are spreading. Immature and mature leaves typically have sharp points. Leaf color can vary from bright green to bluish. Glands occur on the undersides of leaves [16,47,48,61,92,102,103,112]. Creeping juniper is dioecious and produces male and female cones on the ends of 1st- and 2nd-year branches. Staminate cones are a cluster of umbrella-shaped or cylindrical stamens that measure 3.5 to 5 mm long and 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Female cones require 2 growing seasons to mature. In the 1st year of development, female cones are a cluster of 3 to 8 scales. Upon spring fertilization, scales come together and protect the ovules in a round berrylike cone that measures 6 to 10 mm in diameter. In the fall of the next growing season, the green, fleshy, berrylike cone matures and turns a blue color. These cones occur on short curved stalks. Berrylike cones contain between 1 and 6 seeds [3,47,48,79,80,101,102,103,103,112]. Seeds are oval to round with ridges and sharp points. Typically seeds are flat on one side and measure 3 to 5 mm long and 2 to 4 mm in diameter [47,48,79,103,112].

Belowground description: The creeping juniper root system is shallow. While major roots typically come from the center of the shrub, there are several other major and many minor roots elsewhere. Adventitious roots typically appear 4 to 8 inches (10-20 cm) from branch tips. Depth of the major roots of shrubs in Montana averaged 8.8 inches (22.4 cm) and ranged from 5.1 to 14 inches (13-35 cm) [79]. Creeping juniper colonies studied in Sherburne County, Minnesota, had no main vertical taproot. Plants produced large horizontal roots with 0.8 inch (2 cm) diameters that were as long as 13 feet (4 m). These roots extended from the "gnarled stem base," and most were within 4.7 inches (12 cm) of the soil surface [12]. Available literature (2006) suggests that creeping juniper reproduces primarily by layering and the subsequent breakup of mature shrubs.

Hybrids: Juniperus × fassettii in Banff, Alberta, were 12 to 39 inches (30-100 cm) tall with one or more upright stems measuring 71 to 120 inches (180-300 cm) [1,2]. For more information on properly identifying creeping juniper in areas where eastern redcedar and/or Rocky Mountain juniper co-occur, see [40].

  • 1. Adams, Robert P. 1982. The effects of gases from a burning coal seam on morphological and terpenoid characters in Juniperus scopulorum (Cupressaceae). The Southwestern Naturalist. 27(3): 279-286. [293]
  • 101. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]
  • 102. Standley, Paul C. 1921. Flora of Glacier National Park, Montana. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 22, Part 5. Washington, DC: United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution: 235-438. [12318]
  • 103. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 112. Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1972. Alaska trees and shrubs. Agric. Handb. 410. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 265 p. [6884]
  • 113. Voss, Edward G. 1972. Michigan flora. Part I: Gymnosperms and monocots. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 488 p. [11471]
  • 12. Bifoss, Cal. G. 1947. The water conducting capacity and growth habits of Juniperus horizontalis Moench and Juniperus virginiana L. Ecology. 28(3): 281-289. [12441]
  • 16. Booth, W. E. 1950. Flora of Montana. Part I: Conifers and monocots. Bozeman, MT: The Research Foundation at Montana State College. 232 p. [48662]
  • 18. Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 2. Adams, Robert P. 1983. Infraspecific terpenoid variation in Juniperus scopulorum: evidence for Pleistocene refugia and recolonization in western North America. Taxon. 32(1): 30-46. [3430]
  • 3. Anderson, J. P. 1959. Flora of Alaska and adjacent parts of Canada. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 543 p. [9928]
  • 33. Dorn, Robert D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain West Publishing. 276 p. [819]
  • 40. Fassett, Norman C. 1944. Juniperus virginiana, J. horizontalis and J. scopulorum. 1. The specific characters. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 71(4): 410-418. [910]
  • 47. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 48. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 61. Hultén, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 76. Lonner, Terry N. 1972. Age distributions and some age relationships of key browse plants on big game ranges in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 79 p. Thesis. [46907]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 80. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1986. [Revised edition]. Guide to the vascular flora of Illinois. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 507 p. [17383]
  • 92. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]
  • 99. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]

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Physical Description

Shrub, Evergreen, Dioecious, Plants prostrate or spreading, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark shaggy or peeling, Young shoots in flat sprays, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds not resinous, Leaves scale-like, Whip leaves present, Leaves of two kinds, Leaves opposite, Leaves whorled, Non-needle-like leaf margins entire, Leaf apex acute, Leaf apex obtuse, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves not blue-green, Scale leaves without raised glands, Scale leaf glands not ruptured, Scale leaves overlapping, Whip leaf margins entire under magnification, Twigs glabrous, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones brown, Berry-like cones brown-purple, Berry-like cones pink, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds tan, Seeds brown, Seeds wingless.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Shrubs dioecious, prostrate to decumbent; crown depressed. Bark brown, exfoliating in thin strips, that of small branchlets (5--10 mm diam.) smooth, that of larger branchlets exfoliating in wide strips or plates. Branches creeping; branchlets erect, 3--4-sided in cross section, ca. 2/3 or less as wide as length of scalelike leaves. Leaves green but turning reddish purple in winter, abaxial gland elliptic, conspicuous, exudate absent, margins entire (at 20´ and 40´); whip leaves 4--8 mm, not glaucous adaxially; scalelike leaves 1.5--2 mm, mostly overlapping to 1/3 their length, apex rounded or obtuse to acute and apiculate, spreading. Seed cones mostly maturing in 2 years, of 2 distinct sizes, generally with curved peduncles, globose to ovoid, 5--7 mm, blue-black to brownish blue when mature, lightly glaucous, soft and resinous, with 1--2(--3) seeds. Seeds 4--5 mm. 2 n = 22.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Juniperus horizontalis var. douglasii hort.; J. horizontalis var. variegata Beissner
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This prostrate or decumbent shrubby species occurs in a variety of habitats, usually on more or less open ground; on sandy beaches and in sand dunes, on dry rocky slopes and outcrops, limestone ridges, in dry 'barrens', in grassland (prairies), open bogs or 'muskeg' (Picea mariana / Pinus banksiana bog-woodland), or heathland (e.g. Empetrum nigrum), or on stream banks, often forming wide patches. The altitudinal range is from 10 m to 1,160 m a.s.l.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: association, cover, resistance

Creeping juniper prefers open, well-drained sites. In Nova Scotia creeping juniper occupies rocky headlands, cliffs, pastures, and beaches [92]. Creeping juniper is noted on sand dunes and shores and in open rocky woods and pastures in Ontario [101]. Habitats are similar in the Great Plains states and include open hillsides, eroded areas, and open woods [48,103]. Creeping juniper occurs in Glacier National Park, Montana, on east slopes at and above timberline [102]. Grimm [49] indicates that creeping juniper is also common on the sandy, rocky borders of swamps and bogs. A creeping juniper community near the Matador Research Station in southern Saskatchewan occupies erodible slopes in dry areas [74].

Aspect/slope: A study of creeping juniper populations throughout Montana revealed that creeping juniper was most frequent on northern aspects with slopes under 40% [79]. In Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the creeping juniper-little bluestem habitat type is restricted to slopes greater than 28% [54]. Butler [20] reported that creeping juniper cover was greatest on moderately steep slopes with shallow and poorly developed soils. Similar habitats were described for little bluestem-creeping juniper habitat types on hilltops and buttes in southwestern North Dakota [59].

Climate: Creeping juniper occurs in areas with continental climates that are typically dry and often experience great annual and diurnal temperature variations. High frost resistance is noted for creeping juniper [69]. Creeping juniper colonies studied in Sherburne County, Minnesota, had very low specific water conductivity, which was among the lowest for evergreen species [12].

In ponderosa pine woodland habitats in northeastern Nebraska, which are likely near the southernmost distribution of creeping juniper, annual precipitation averages 18 inches (460 mm), and summer drought conditions are common. In these habitats, which are between 2,500 and 4,500 feet (760-1,400 m), the frost-free period is 145 to 150 days [108]. Creeping juniper communities near the Matador Research Station experience an arid, cold climate. Temperatures average 5.9 °F (-14.5 °C) in January and 65.8 °F (18.8 °C) in July. Annual precipitation averages 12.9 inches (327 mm); 66% is delivered as rain in the summer, and the rest comes as snow [74]. Climatic conditions in a more northern part of creeping juniper's range are described for the miscellaneous upland grassland communities of Alaska's Matanuska Valley. Here annual precipitation averages 15.5 to 18 inches (394-457 mm). This area is driest from February through June. January temperatures average 13 °F (-10 °C), and August temperatures average 55 °F (13 °C). Growing season lasts between 73 and 150 days [55].

Elevation: Elevational tolerances are rarely reported for creeping juniper. Miller [79] indicates that creeping juniper is most common below 4,900 feet (1,500 m) in Montana, but creeping juniper stands occurred on sites ranging from 2,150 to 8,200 feet (655-2,500 m). In the middle Rocky Mountains, creeping juniper is common in the foothills/steppe-shrubland vegetation zone that occurs at or below timberline where elevations range from 5,200 to 6,900 feet (1,600-2,100 m) [52].

Soils: Creeping juniper is often described in association with sandy, poorly developed soils. Krajina and others [69] report that creeping juniper prefers high calcium soils and grows in permafrost soils. The creeping juniper/sun sedge habitat type in the Custer National Forest occupies steep north-facing slopes with sandy loam soils. The sand content of soils from 7 stands averaged 57.5% to 72.4%. Organic matter averaged 4.3% to 5.5% [53]. The little bluestem-creeping juniper habitat type in southwestern North Dakota occurs on extremely shallow soils with 26% to 44% exposed rock. Soils are loamy and calcareous with pH levels of 8 to 8.5 [59]. In creeping juniper-dominated stands throughout Montana, soils were poorly developed with thin topsoil and large amounts of rock. Soils had a clay loam texture, were experiencing some surface erosion, and had an average pH of 7.2. The pH range was 4.4 to 8.5. Soil organic matter averaged 4.6% and ranged from 0.8% to 7.4%. Phosphorus concentrations were very low (18 ppm), but potassium concentrations were moderate to high (280 ppm) [79].

  • 101. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]
  • 102. Standley, Paul C. 1921. Flora of Glacier National Park, Montana. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 22, Part 5. Washington, DC: United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution: 235-438. [12318]
  • 103. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 108. Tolstead, W. L. 1947. Woodlands in northeastern Nebraska. Ecology. 28(2): 180-188. [18408]
  • 12. Bifoss, Cal. G. 1947. The water conducting capacity and growth habits of Juniperus horizontalis Moench and Juniperus virginiana L. Ecology. 28(3): 281-289. [12441]
  • 20. Butler, Jack Lee. 1983. Grazing and topographic influences on selected green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) communities in the North Dakota Badlands. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 130 p. Thesis. [184]
  • 48. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 49. Grimm, William Cary. 1967. Recognizing native shrubs. Camping Journal. September: 49-61. [10897]
  • 52. Habeck, James R. 1987. Present-day vegetation in the northern Rocky Mountains. In: Contributions to a symposium on the evolution of the modern flora of the northern Rocky Mountains. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 74(4): 804-840. [3971]
  • 53. Hansen, Paul L.; Hoffman, George R. 1988. The vegetation of the Grand River/Cedar River, Sioux, and Ashland Districts of the Custer National Forest: a habitat type classification. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-157. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 68 p. [771]
  • 54. Hansen, Paul L.; Hoffman, George R.; Bjugstad, Ardell J. 1984. The vegetation of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota: a habitat type classification. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-113. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p. [1077]
  • 55. Hanson, Herbert C. 1951. Characteristics of some grassland, marsh, and other plant communities in western Alaska. Ecological Monographs. 21(4): 317-378. [62710]
  • 59. Hirsch, Kathie Jean. 1985. Habitat classification of grasslands and shrublands of southwestern North Dakota. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 281 p. Dissertation. [40326]
  • 69. Krajina, V. J.; Klinka, K.; Worrall, J. 1982. Distribution and ecological characteristics of trees and shrubs of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Department of Botany and Faculty of Forestry. 131 p. [6728]
  • 74. Lawrence, Donna L.; Romo, J. T. 1995. Tree and shrub communities of wooded draws near the Matador Research Station in southern Saskatchewan. The Canadian Field Naturalist. 108(4): 397-412. [46867]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 92. Roland, A. E.; Smith, E. C. 1969. The flora of Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Nova Scotia Museum. 746 p. [13158]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the term: scoria

Creeping juniper is a dominant or subdominant in the following vegetation classifications:

United States–
Montana:

  • creeping juniper/sun sedge (Carex inops ssp. heliophila) dwarf shrubland [96]



  • creeping juniper/prairie sandreed (Calamovilfa longifolia)



  • creeping juniper/bluebunch wheatgrass-fescue (Festuca spp.)



  • creeping juniper/spikeoat (Helictotrichon hookeri)



  • creeping juniper/bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) [79]



  • creeping juniper/little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) dwarf shrubland [96]



  • creeping juniper-shrubby cinquefoil/Idaho fescue (Dasiphora floribunda/F. idahoensis)



  • creeping juniper-shrubby cinquefoil/sedge (Carex spp.)



  • creeping juniper-skunkbush sumac/needle-and-thread grass
    (Rhus trilobata/Hesperostipa comata



  • limber pine (Pinus flexilis)/creeping juniper/fescue [79]



  • ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa)/creeping juniper [96] in Little Rocky Mountains [90,91]

North Dakota:

  • tenpetal blazingstar (Mentzelia decapetala)-creeping juniper type on scoria buttes composed of shale,
    sandstone, and limestone in the Badlands in the western part of state [120]



  • little bluestem dwarf shrubland [96] and habitat type in Theodore Roosevelt National Park [54]



  • little bluestem-creeping juniper habitat type in southwestern part of state [59]



  • paper birch (Betula papyrifera)/creeping juniper shale woodland [96]

South Dakota:

  • creeping juniper/little bluestem dwarf shrubland [96]

Northern Great Plains:

  • creeping juniper/sun sedge habitat type in the Grand River, Sioux,
    and Ashland districts of the Custer National Forest [53]

Rocky Mountains:

  • foothills/steppe-shrubland vegetation zone at or below timberline in middle Rocky Mountains [52]

Canada–
Alberta:

  • creeping juniper-kinnikinnick/thickspike wheatgrass-boreal wildrye
    (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi/Elymus lanceolatus-Leymus innovatus) [114]

Manitoba:

  • creeping juniper/sun sedge dwarf shrubland



  • creeping juniper/little bluestem dwarf shrubland




  • water birch (Betula occidentalis)-creeping juniper/prairie sandreed shrubland [96]



  • deciduous forest community and mixed white spruce (Picea glauca) forest
    community in Spruce Woods Forest and Game Reserve in southwestern part of province [14]



  • white spruce/creeping juniper-kinnikinnick woodland type [96]

Saskatchewan:

  • creeping juniper community at Matador Research Station in southern part of province [74]

  • 114. Vujnovic, K.; Bentz, J. 2001. Preliminary classification of native wheat grass (Agropyron spp.) community types in Alberta. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Environment, Natural Heritage Centre. 362 p. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [43372]
  • 120. Whitman, Warren; Hanson, Herbert C. 1939. Vegetation on scoria and clay buttes in western North Dakota. Ecology. 20(3): 455-457. [63531]
  • 14. Bird, Ralph D. 1927. A preliminary ecological survey of the district surrounding the entomological station at Treesbank, Manitoba. Ecology. 8(2): 207-220. [63548]
  • 52. Habeck, James R. 1987. Present-day vegetation in the northern Rocky Mountains. In: Contributions to a symposium on the evolution of the modern flora of the northern Rocky Mountains. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 74(4): 804-840. [3971]
  • 53. Hansen, Paul L.; Hoffman, George R. 1988. The vegetation of the Grand River/Cedar River, Sioux, and Ashland Districts of the Custer National Forest: a habitat type classification. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-157. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 68 p. [771]
  • 54. Hansen, Paul L.; Hoffman, George R.; Bjugstad, Ardell J. 1984. The vegetation of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota: a habitat type classification. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-113. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p. [1077]
  • 59. Hirsch, Kathie Jean. 1985. Habitat classification of grasslands and shrublands of southwestern North Dakota. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 281 p. Dissertation. [40326]
  • 74. Lawrence, Donna L.; Romo, J. T. 1995. Tree and shrub communities of wooded draws near the Matador Research Station in southern Saskatchewan. The Canadian Field Naturalist. 108(4): 397-412. [46867]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 90. Roberts, David W. 1980. Forest habitat types of the Bear's Paw Mountains and Little Rocky Mountains, Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana. 116 p. Thesis. [29896]
  • 91. Roberts, David W.; Sibbernsen, John I. [n.d.]. Forest habitat types of the Little Rocky Mountains. Report prepared for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Lab. Order No. 6055-0100430. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. 60 p. [29856]
  • 96. Schneider, Rick E.; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Crawford, Rex C.; Weakley, Alan S. 1997. The status of biodiversity in the Great Plains: Great Plains vegetation classification. Supplemental Document 1. In: Ostlie, Wayne R.; Schneider, Rick E.; Aldrich, Janette Marie; Faust, Thomas M.; McKim, Robert L. B.; Chaplin, Stephen J., compilers. The status of biodiversity in the Great Plains, [Online]. Arlington, VA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). 75 p. Available: http://conserveonline.org/docs/2005/02/greatplains_vegclass_97.pdf [2006 May 16]. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [62020]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [100]:

301 Bluebunch wheatgrass-blue grama

302 Bluebunch wheatgrass-Sandberg bluegrass

303 Bluebunch wheatgrass-western wheatgrass

304 Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass

306 Idaho fescue-slender wheatgrass

307 Idaho fescue-threadleaf sedge

308 Idaho fescue-tufted hairgrass

309 Idaho fescue-western wheatgrass

310 Needle-and-thread-blue grama

311 Rough fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass

312 Rough fescue-Idaho fescue

313 Tufted hairgrass-sedge

323 Shrubby cinquefoil-rough fescue

411 Aspen woodland

412 Juniper-pinyon woodland

601 Bluestem prairie

602 Bluestem-prairie sandreed

603 Prairie sandreed-needlegrass

604 Bluestem-grama prairie

606 Wheatgrass-bluestem-needlegrass

607 Wheatgrass-needlegrass

608 Wheatgrass-grama-needlegrass

609 Wheatgrass-grama

610 Wheatgrass

613 Fescue grassland

614 Crested wheatgrass

906 Broadleaf forest

917 Tall shrub swamp

920 White spruce-paper birch
  • 100. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [38]:

1 Jack pine

16 Aspen

18 Paper birch

37 Northern white-cedar

42 Bur oak

46 Eastern redcedar

107 White spruce

201 White spruce

202 White spruce-paper birch

203 Balsam poplar

209 Bristlecone pine

210 Interior Douglas-fir

217 Aspen

219 Limber pine

220 Rocky Mountain juniper

236 Bur oak

237 Interior ponderosa pine

239 Pinyon-juniper

251 White spruce-aspen

252 Paper birch

253 Black spruce-white spruce

254 Black spruce-paper birch
  • 38. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: bog

KUCHLER [71] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K011 Western ponderosa forest

K012 Douglas-fir forest

K016 Eastern ponderosa forest

K017 Black Hills pine forest

K024 Juniper steppe woodland

K063 Foothills prairie

K064 Grama-needlegrass-wheatgrass

K066 Wheatgrass-needlegrass

K067 Wheatgrass-bluestem-needlegrass

K069 Bluestem-grama prairie

K074 Bluestem prairie

K075 Nebraska Sandhills prairie

K093 Great Lakes spruce-fir forest

K094 Conifer bog

K095 Great Lakes pine forest

K096 Northeastern spruce-fir forest

K100 Oak-hickory forest

K107 Northern hardwoods-fir forest

K108 Northern hardwoods-spruce forest
  • 71. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [45]:

FRES10 White-red-jack pine

FRES11 Spruce-fir

FRES15 Oak-hickory

FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood

FRES18 Maple-beech-birch

FRES19 Aspen-birch

FRES20 Douglas-fir

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES23 Fir-spruce

FRES28 Western hardwoods

FRES35 Pinyon-juniper

FRES36 Mountain grasslands

FRES37 Mountain meadows

FRES38 Plains grasslands

FRES39 Prairie
  • 45. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Sand dunes, sandy and gravelly soils, prairies, slopes, rock outcrops, and stream banks; 0--1000m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: fire severity, fuel, fuel moisture, prescribed fire, severity, shrubs, succession

Few studies, as of 2006, report on the recovery of creeping juniper following fire, and
those that do report that both dead and completely unharmed shrubs are possible on
burned sites.

In the subalpine zone in Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta, creeping juniper occurs with
kinnikinnick, mixed grasses, and sedges
on arid south-facing slopes that have burned repeatedly [43].
Creeping juniper was not fully consumed by spring or fall back- and head fires that burned in rough fescue
(Festuca altaica)-Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass habitats in the Sun River Wildlife Management Area
west of Great Falls, Montana. Researchers report that the effects of fire on
creeping juniper were significant (p≤0.1), and likely fire decreased
creeping juniper abundance or production. In many cases creeping juniper did not ignite, but researchers
suggested that under more severe fire conditions harm to creeping juniper might have been greater.
It was not reported whether or not the effects on creeping juniper were different in the
spring and fall fires. Weather conditions at the time of burning were [62]:
 Fall firesSpring fires
Maximum air temperature (°C)1015.5
Minimum air temperature (°C)7.26.1
Maximum relative humidity (%)5050
Minimum relative humidity (%)3727
Average wind speed (km/h)8.83.2
Fine fuel moisture at ignition (%)6.34.3
Fine fuel moisture at completion (%)7.48.7

The most complete report on fire's variable effects on creeping juniper is a
description of 2 prescription fires in central and west-central Montana. The 1st is the Blacktail Hills Fire,
which burned a site in central Montana with a sparse Douglas-fir overstory and
an understory dominated by shrubby cinquefoil and creeping juniper. At the time of the
fire, soil moisture averaged
49.6%, and fine fuel moisture 15%. Twenty-one creeping juniper shrubs
were marked and studied before and after the fire. Plants were small; crown area
and height averaged 0.08 m² and 3.1 inches (7.8 cm),
respectively. Just over 50% of the creeping juniper shrubs were killed by fire;
43% were burned but survived; 4% were completely unharmed. When
100% of the crown was consumed, plants died. Only 1 plant with less than 100%
burned crown died. Surviving plants tolerated aboveground temperatures of 170 to 513 °F (78-267 °C); however,
several plants that experienced temperatures below 513 °F (267 °C) died, suggesting that low-intensity fires can harm
creeping juniper. Fire-killed plants typically had fire damage
into the root system, whereas surviving plants did not [79].
The 2nd prescribed fire report is from the Sun River Fire, which burned a site dominated by creeping juniper, bluebunch
wheatgrass, and rough fescue in west-central Montana. At the time of the fire,
soil and fine fuel moisture averaged 11% and 32%, respectively. Fire severity
was low. Fire spread rate was about 2 feet (0.6 m) per minute, and flame heights
were less than 3 feet (1 m). Fire temperature averaged 200 °F (91 °C). Just 31%
of the creeping juniper canopy was consumed; 29% of that canopy was burned but
survived; and 40% was unburned. No plants were completely killed. The Sun River
site had more extensive creeping juniper mats than the Blacktail Hills site.
A lack of fine fuels or greater moisture or humidity
levels inside the mat may have prevented fire
spread [79].
Creeping juniper did not occur on burned sites in the northern Black Hills of Lawrence County, South Dakota [121].
For information on this study, see Postfire succession.
  • 121. Wienk, Cody L.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; McPherson, Guy R. 2004. Evaluating the role of cutting treatments, fire and soil seed banks in an experimental framework in ponderosa pine forests of the Black Hills, South Dakota. Forest Ecology and Management. 192(2-3): 375-393. [48628]
  • 43. Flook, Donald R. 1964. Range relationships of some ungulates native to Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta. In: Crisp, D. J., ed. Grazing in terrestrial and marine environments: A symposium of the British Ecological Society; 1962 April 11-14; Bangor, UK. No. 4. Oxford: Blackwell: 119-128. [15688]
  • 62. Jourdonnais, Craig S.; Bedunah, Donald J. 1990. Prescribed fire and cattle grazing on an elk winter range in Montana. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 18(3): 232-240. [14113]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: fire severity, severity, shrubs

Creeping juniper's postfire response is determined by the amount of canopy damage. If fire severity is low and a portion of the creeping juniper canopy survives, partially burned shrubs regenerate. If fire severity is high and the creeping juniper canopy is consumed, postfire regeneration is by germination and establishment of off-site and/or on-site seed [79]. Some report that creeping juniper seed germination is stimulated by fire [17], but no field observations are reported. Postfire regeneration from off-site seed dispersed by wildlife is also possible [41].
  • 17. Bradley, Anne F.; Fischer, William C.; Noste, Nonan V. 1992. Fire ecology of the forest habitat types of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-290. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 92 p. [19557]
  • 41. Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 95 p. [633]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the terms: fire severity, severity

To date (2006), there are few studies on the effects of fire on creeping juniper. Of these few studies, however, most indicate that some portion of creeping juniper colonies remains unburned following fire. In the Spruce Woods Provincial Park of southwestern Manitoba, creeping juniper mats were not completely burned in prescription fires. A middle patch remained green following the fire, but information on fire season and characteristics was not provided [21]. Bird [15] reports that creeping juniper does not burn readily and serves as a refuge for fire-sensitive white spruce seedlings and saplings in boreal forests. Miller [79] reports that creeping juniper experiences some fire damage, but less than most other juniper species. Likely fire severity, burning conditions, and fire behavior dictate creeping juniper postfire recovery.
  • 15. Bird, Ralph D. 1961. Ecology of the aspen parkland of western Canada in relation to land use. Contribution No. 27. Ottawa: Canada Department of Agriculture, Research Branch. 153 p. [15620]
  • 21. Chhin, Sophan; Wang, G. Geoff. 2002. Spatial and temporal pattern of white spruce regeneration within mixed-grass prairie in the Spruce Woods Provincial Park of Manitoba. Journal of Biogeography. 29(7): 903-912. [63603]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: secondary colonizer

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [104]:
Prostrate woody plant, stem growing in organic mantle
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
  • 104. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. FEIS postfire regeneration workshop--April 12: Seral origin of species comprising secondary plant succession in Northern Rocky Mountain forests. 10 p. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [20090]

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: basal area, density, fire exclusion, fire frequency, fire regime, fire severity, frequency, fuel, severity, shrubs, succession, tree, xeric

Fire adaptations: Creeping juniper recovery following fire depends on the severity of the fire. If fire severity is low and a portion of the creeping juniper canopy survives, partially burned shrubs regenerate. If fire severity is high and the creeping juniper canopy is consumed, recovery is from the germination and establishment of off-site and/or on-site seed sources [79]. Some report that creeping juniper seed germination is stimulated by fire [17]. Postfire regeneration from off-site seed dispersed by wildlife is also likely [41]. However, seedling establishment is considered a rare event [79].

FIRE REGIMES: Creeping juniper persists in a number of habitats that experience frequent or occasional fire, suggesting some fire tolerance. Grasslands that provide habitat for creeping juniper likely burned frequently before fire exclusion practices; however, FIRE REGIMES in these habitats are not well documented. Studies in open, forested habitats with creeping juniper are also limited. In the Wallace-Aiken Lake region of southeastern Manitoba, creeping juniper occurred in jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forests that burned "repeatedly." The fire regime was not described [94]. In the Kananaskis Valley watershed of Alberta, creeping juniper occupies limber pine forests that burned in small, recurrent stand-replacing fires at rather long intervals [119].

Ponderosa pine forests: FIRE REGIMES in ponderosa pine forests of Montana and South Dakota have been altered by 20th century fire exclusion practices. Fire frequency in the ponderosa pine/creeping juniper habitat type in central Montana's Little Rocky Mountains was and, in some areas remains, "fairly high." Fire exclusion in some stands has created a dense understory of pole-sized or larger trees that fuel severe fires. In extremely hot xeric areas, however, tree regeneration is slow and the effect of fire exclusion has been minimal [42]. Roberts and Sibbernsen [91] studied the same ponderosa pine/creeping juniper habitat type and suggested that, while even-aged stands suggest fire has been important, evidence of frequent fire is lacking.

Research of fire-scarred ponderosa pine trees in the northern Black Hills area of Lawrence County, South Dakota, showed that fire frequency has changed since the late 1800s. Fire frequency was high from the mid-1600s to 1879. Fires burned primarily in the late growing or dormant season. The fire return interval averaged 14 years for the 1450 to 1998 time period and ranged from 1 to 43 years. However, no fires occurred since 1879. Researchers found that ponderosa pine stands in 1998 were even aged, had high density (1,300-4,700 stems/ha), and high basal area (50-80 m²/ha). They suggest that this stand structure is much denser than what occurred on the landscape before fire exclusion [121]. For information on creeping juniper to fire at this location, see Postfire succession.

White spruce forests: Creeping juniper is important in the postfire succession of boreal white spruce forests. In the sandhills of south-central Manitoba, white spruce trees are often found in creeping juniper mats, which researchers indicate offer protection from fire. Creeping juniper facilitates the advancement of succession from aspen, primarily quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), to white spruce [15].

Researchers assessed the fire history of Yukon's Kluane National Park from fire scars, aerial photos, and stand origin dating. The oldest stand originated in 1592, and fire scars recorded after 1940 were lacking. In the Slims River Valley, where creeping juniper occurs and white spruce is the eventual dominant, the average fire return interval was an estimated 231 years. Fire intervals ranged from 80 to 403 years. Fire size averaged 2,430 acres (983 ha) and ranged from 227 to 6,670 acres (92-2,700 ha). For the entire Park, the fire return interval averaged between 113 and 238 years by study area, and the fire return interval for individual sites ranged from 9 to 403 years. For information on succession following fire in this area, see Postfire succession [58].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where creeping juniper is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
bluestem prairie Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 70,86]
Nebraska sandhills prairie Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus-Schizachyrium scoparium <10 [86]
birch Betula spp. 80-230 [106]
plains grasslands Bouteloua spp. <35 [86,123]
blue grama-needle-and-thread grass-western wheatgrass Bouteloua gracilis-Hesperostipa comata-Pascopyrum smithii <35 [86,93,123]
Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum <35 [86]
wheatgrass plains grasslands Pascopyrum smithii <5-47+ [86,87,123]
Great Lakes spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35 to >200
northeastern spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35-200
conifer bog* Picea mariana-Larix laricina 35-200 [35]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [86]
jack pine Pinus banksiana 22,35]
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [5]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [5,9,73]
aspen-birch Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera 35-200 [35,115]
quaking aspen (west of the Great Plains) Populus tremuloides 7-120 [5,50,78]
mountain grasslands Pseudoroegneria spicata 3-40 (x=10) [4,5]
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca 25-100 [5,6,7]
bur oak Quercus macrocarpa <10 [115]
oak savanna Quercus macrocarpa/Andropogon gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 2-14 [86,115]
little bluestem-grama prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp. <35 [86]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
  • 106. Swain, Albert M. 1978. Environmental changes during the past 2000 years in north-central Wisconsin: analysis of pollen, charcoal, and seeds from varved lake sediments. Quaternary Research. 10: 55-68. [6968]
  • 115. Wade, Dale D.; Brock, Brent L.; Brose, Patrick H.; Grace, James B.; Hoch, Greg A.; Patterson, William A., III. 2000. Fire in eastern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 53-96. [36983]
  • 119. Webster, Kara L.; Johnson, Edward A. 2000. The importance of regional dynamics in local populations of limber pine (Pinus flexilis). Ecoscience. 7(2): 175-182. [39506]
  • 121. Wienk, Cody L.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; McPherson, Guy R. 2004. Evaluating the role of cutting treatments, fire and soil seed banks in an experimental framework in ponderosa pine forests of the Black Hills, South Dakota. Forest Ecology and Management. 192(2-3): 375-393. [48628]
  • 123. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]
  • 15. Bird, Ralph D. 1961. Ecology of the aspen parkland of western Canada in relation to land use. Contribution No. 27. Ottawa: Canada Department of Agriculture, Research Branch. 153 p. [15620]
  • 17. Bradley, Anne F.; Fischer, William C.; Noste, Nonan V. 1992. Fire ecology of the forest habitat types of eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-290. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 92 p. [19557]
  • 35. Duchesne, Luc C.; Hawkes, Brad C. 2000. Fire in northern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 35-51. [36982]
  • 4. Arno, Stephen F. 1980. Forest fire history in the Northern Rockies. Journal of Forestry. 78(8): 460-465. [11990]
  • 41. Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 95 p. [633]
  • 42. Fischer, William C.; Clayton, Bruce D. 1983. Fire ecology of Montana forest habitat types east of the Continental Divide. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-141. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 83 p. [923]
  • 5. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 50. Gruell, G. E.; Loope, L. L. 1974. Relationships among aspen, fire, and ungulate browsing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 33 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Region. [3862]
  • 58. Hawkes, Brad C. 1983. Fire history and ecology of forest ecosystems in Kluane National Park. In: Wein, Ross Wallace; Riewe, Roderick R.; Methven, Ian R., eds. Resources and dynamics of the boreal zone: Proceedings of a conference; 1982 August; Thunder Bay, ON. Ottawa, ON: Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies: 266-280. [7444]
  • 6. Arno, Stephen F.; Gruell, George E. 1983. Fire history at the forest-grassland ecotone in southwestern Montana. Journal of Range Management. 36(3): 332-336. [342]
  • 7. Arno, Stephen F.; Scott, Joe H.; Hartwell, Michael G. 1995. Age-class structure of old growth ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir stands and its relationship to fire history. Res. Pap. INT-RP-481. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 25 p. [25928]
  • 73. Laven, R. D.; Omi, P. N.; Wyant, J. G.; Pinkerton, A. S. 1980. Interpretation of fire scar data from a ponderosa pine ecosystem in the central Rocky Mountains, Colorado. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., tech. coords. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 46-49. [7183]
  • 78. Meinecke, E. P. 1929. Quaking aspen: A study in applied forest pathology. Tech. Bull. No. 155. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 34 p. [26669]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 86. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Haase, Sally M.; Harrington, Michael G.; Narog, Marcia G.; Sackett, Stephen S.; Wilson, Ruth C. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 87. Quinnild, Clayton L.; Cosby, Hugh E. 1958. Relicts of climax vegetation on two mesas in western North Dakota. Ecology. 39(1): 29-32. [1925]
  • 9. Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569. [14986]
  • 91. Roberts, David W.; Sibbernsen, John I. [n.d.]. Forest habitat types of the Little Rocky Mountains. Report prepared for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Lab. Order No. 6055-0100430. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, MT. 60 p. [29856]
  • 93. Rowe, J. S. 1969. Lightning fires in Saskatchewan grassland. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 83: 317-324. [6266]
  • 94. Schaefer, James A.; Pruitt, William O., Jr. 1991. Fire and woodland caribou in southeastern Manitoba. Wildlife Monograph No. 116. Washington, DC: The Wildlife Society, Inc. 39 p. [15247]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: basal area, climax, cover, density, fen, fire severity, lichen, lichens, severity, shrub, shrubs, succession, swamp, tree

Creeping juniper occurs in both early and late seral communities. In the primary succession of beach and sand dune habitats, creeping juniper is an early colonizer. Likely creeping juniper's persistence in late seral communities is dependent on community composition. Creeping juniper has low shade tolerance [69] and likely decreases as canopy cover increases. However, creeping juniper is typical in grass- or shrub-dominated vegetation described as climax [53,63].

Early or primary succession: Often creeping juniper is indicated as an early or middle species in primary succession of sand dunes, beaches, rock cliffs, and even swamps.

Creeping juniper is important in the early colonization of sand dunes and sandhills in Alberta and Saskatchewan [26,34]. Coupland [26] refers to creeping juniper as a "stabilizing pioneer" on sandy sites. In sand dune areas within Saskatchewan's grassland regions, creeping juniper abundance was greatest on stabilized blowouts characterized by recent erosion but without current erosion. Creeping juniper is the 1st shrub to colonize blowout bottoms and eroding areas; its lateral rooting branches aid in sand stabilization and successional progression [60].

On Great Lakes shores, creeping juniper typically colonizes sandy areas soon after rhizomatous grasses such as European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) and/or prairie sandreed have stabilized the sand. Creeping juniper is rare on unvegetated pure sand [28,116]. At Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, creeping juniper establishes on the stable edge of "blowouts" colonized by pioneer grasses. Creeping juniper is important in the next stages of sand stabilization. Its long branches reduce erosion, and its upturned branches allow it to tolerate some deposition. Juniper mats are common on the edge of advancing forest vegetation. A time frame for beach succession was not reported [111].

Creeping juniper is an early colonizer in the succession of Isle Royale National Park's rock shores in Michigan. As water recedes along the banks of Lake Superior, rock shores and cliffs are exposed. These rock surfaces are 1st colonized by lichens and mosses. Increased moss and lichen abundance and density allow sites to conserve more moisture and soil. Rock crevices form due to uneven weathering and collect soil from wind and the breakdown of rock. These crevices provide habitat for pioneer plants including shrubby fivefingers (Sibbaldiopsis tridentata), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), hairy goldenrod (Solidago hispida), and/or western yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Creeping juniper colonizes and forms vegetation mats after 1 or more of these pioneers establish [24,25].

In the succession of a calcareous fen in the Byron-Bergen Swamp of Genesee County, New York, creeping juniper represents a mid-successional stage. Creeping juniper colonizes small hummocks of hardstem bulrush (Scirpus acutus) and creeps onto marl beds from adjacent northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) communities. Colonization by creeping juniper precedes the advancement of coniferous forests but is not important on hummocks supporting tall shrubs and trees. Creeping juniper stems that were trailing over marl beds but rooted in northern white-cedar thickets averaged 10.8 years old. Oldest stems were 54 years old [98].

Using radio carbon and forest stand dating, Lichter [75] assessed primary succession and forest development in Wilderness State Park in northern lower Michigan. On the youngest dune ridge, American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata) dominates. Evergreen shrubs such as common juniper (J. communis) and kinnikinnick occurred on dunes that were 55 to 175 years old, and mixed pine forests developed on 225- to 440-year-old substrates. Creeping juniper cover was 1.1% on 145-year-old dunes and persisted, although coverage decreased, on 345-year-old-dunes. Creeping juniper was missing from substrates over 345 years old that were sampled in the chronosequence [75].

Late or climax succession: Creeping juniper occurs in many grassland habitats that are considered climax vegetation. The creeping juniper/sun sedge habitat type is considered a "topoedaphic climax" type on the Custer National Forest [53]. In the badlands of western North Dakota, creeping juniper is identified in climax communities [63]. For a list of additional climax or stable, late-seral vegetation types where creeping juniper is important, see Habitat Types and Plant Communities.

Shade relationships: As indicated earlier, creeping juniper is not shade tolerant [67,69]. A study of many creeping juniper stands throughout Montana revealed that shrubs produced the shortest twigs on sites with tree overstories [79].

Grazing succession: Creeping juniper coverage may increase with grazing. Creeping juniper was absent or had very low coverage on lightly grazed sites in North Dakota Badlands. Coverage was greater on moderately and heavily grazed sites. Degree of use was subjectively determined by evaluating sites for trails, lounge areas, and distance to water [20].

Postfire succession: Information is lacking (as of 2006) on the recovery of creeping juniper following fire. Likely fire severity and/or degree of prefire disturbance affect creeping juniper survival or recovery. Several studies report partially unburned creeping juniper shrubs following fire [62,79]. However, fire may have eliminated creeping juniper from even-aged ponderosa pine stands in the northern Black Hills of Lawrence County, South Dakota. Even-aged ponderosa pine stands with high stem density (1,300-4,700 stems/ha) and basal area (50-80 m²/ha) were burned and cut. There were 6 total treatments: clearcut, thinned, clearcut and burned, thinned and burned, burned, and undisturbed. On all cut sites, trees and slash were removed from the site. Burning took place in May when winds were light, air temperatures were 54 to 70 °F (12-21 °C), and relative humidities were 30% to 60%. The fire produced flame lengths of 1.6 to 3.9 feet (0.5-1.2 m). Creeping juniper was only observed on study sites before the application of treatments. Sites were visited 1 and 2 years following treatments [121]. For more on this study and other fire studies, see Discussion and Qualification of Plant Response.

Succession after fire in Kluane National Park, Yukon, begins with an herbaceous stage that lasts 1 to 15 years, depending on fire severity and availability of on-site and off-site propagules. A shrub/sapling stage dominated by creeping juniper or russet buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) is typical between 5 and 80 years following fire. The shrub/sapling stage finally succeeds to a white spruce/manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.) or white spruce/revolute hypnum moss (Hypnum revolutum) community. Length of time that creeping juniper persists as canopy closure increases was not reported [58]. For information on FIRE REGIMES in Kluane National Park, see Fire Ecology.

  • 111. van Denack, Julia Marie. 1961. An ecological analysis of the sand dune complex in Point Beach State Forest, Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Botanical Gazette. 122(3): 155-174. [49642]
  • 116. Waterman, W. G. 1922. Development of plant communities of a sand ridge region in Michigan. Botanical Gazette. 74(1): 1-31. [63565]
  • 121. Wienk, Cody L.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; McPherson, Guy R. 2004. Evaluating the role of cutting treatments, fire and soil seed banks in an experimental framework in ponderosa pine forests of the Black Hills, South Dakota. Forest Ecology and Management. 192(2-3): 375-393. [48628]
  • 20. Butler, Jack Lee. 1983. Grazing and topographic influences on selected green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) communities in the North Dakota Badlands. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 130 p. Thesis. [184]
  • 24. Cooper, William S. 1913. The climax forest of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, and its development. II. Botanical Gazette. 55(2): 115-140. [11538]
  • 25. Cooper, William S. 1913. The climax forest of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, and its development. III. Botanical Gazette. 55(3): 189-235. [11539]
  • 26. Coupland, Robert T. 1950. Ecology of mixed prairie in Canada. Ecological Monographs. 20(4): 271-315. [700]
  • 28. Curtis, John T. 1959. Beach, dune, and cliff communities. In: Curtis, John T. The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 402-411. [60532]
  • 34. Dowding, Eleanor S. 1929. The vegetation of Alberta: III. The sandhill areas of central Alberta with particular reference to the ecology of Arceuthobium americanum Nutt. The Journal of Ecology. 17(1): 82-105. [63560]
  • 53. Hansen, Paul L.; Hoffman, George R. 1988. The vegetation of the Grand River/Cedar River, Sioux, and Ashland Districts of the Custer National Forest: a habitat type classification. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-157. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 68 p. [771]
  • 58. Hawkes, Brad C. 1983. Fire history and ecology of forest ecosystems in Kluane National Park. In: Wein, Ross Wallace; Riewe, Roderick R.; Methven, Ian R., eds. Resources and dynamics of the boreal zone: Proceedings of a conference; 1982 August; Thunder Bay, ON. Ottawa, ON: Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies: 266-280. [7444]
  • 60. Hulett, G. K.; Coupland, R. T.; Dix, R. L. 1966. The vegetation of dune sand areas within the grassland region of Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Botany. 44: 1307-1331. [43303]
  • 62. Jourdonnais, Craig S.; Bedunah, Donald J. 1990. Prescribed fire and cattle grazing on an elk winter range in Montana. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 18(3): 232-240. [14113]
  • 63. Judd, B. Ira. 1939. Plant succession on scoria buttes of western North Dakota. Ecology. 20(2): 335-336. [55047]
  • 67. Keenan, T. J.; Cwynar, L. C. 1992. Late Quaternary history of black spruce and grasslands in southwest Yukon Territory. Canadian Journal of Botany. 70: 1336-1345. [19594]
  • 69. Krajina, V. J.; Klinka, K.; Worrall, J. 1982. Distribution and ecological characteristics of trees and shrubs of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Department of Botany and Faculty of Forestry. 131 p. [6728]
  • 75. Lichter, John. 1998. Primary succession and forest development on coastal Lake Michigan sand dunes. Ecological Monographs. 68(4): 487-510. [29313]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 98. Seischab, Franz K. 1984. Plant community development in the Byron-Bergen Swamp: marl-bed vegetation. Canadian Journal of Botany. 62: 1006-1017. [23731]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: dioecious, layering, shrubs

Creeping juniper is capable of reproducing sexually and asexually; however, studies describing asexual regeneration are predominant in the limited research that addresses this topic.

Pollination: Cones are wind pollinated.

Breeding system: Creeping juniper is dioecious [48,103]. A researcher that studied creeping juniper stands throughout Montana determined that the sex ratio was 2:1 in favor of males. Shrubs averaged 23.5 ripe berrylike cones per 100 twigs, and the number of ripe "berries" ranged from 5.5 to 101.4. The researcher encountered just a single plant that failed to produce cones [79].

Seed production: Curtis [29] suggests that creeping juniper is a poor seed producer, but well-documented observations and/or experimental research are largely lacking.

Seed dispersal: Seeds are likely dispersed by wildlife and wind. A person collecting a creeping juniper specimen in Ohio observed birds dropping creeping juniper seeds along a fence line, and noted this observation on the herbarium voucher [18].

Seed banking: Creeping juniper seed dormancy suggests some persistence in the seed bank.

Germination: Creeping juniper seed germination studies are lacking. Seed collected in Montana and encouraged to germinate in the laboratory germinated at a very low percentage (0.1%). Just 9 of 9,500 new and 2-year-old seeds germinated. Seed treatments, if any, and laboratory conditions were not reported [79]. Curtis [41] indicates that the germination period is lengthy.

Pack [84] conducted laboratory germination studies on juniper (Juniperus spp.) and found that seed requires an after-ripening period at temperatures of 32 to 50 °F (0-10 °C). The stratification period was approximately 100 days at 41 °F (5 °C). Juniper seed germinated at 41 °F (5 °C) as well. When ripened seeds were subject to temperatures above 59 °F (15 °C), they experienced a 2nd dormancy. Once germination began, seedlings grew quickest at 77 °F (25°C), but germination was initiated earlier and seedlings appeared healthier when grown at 59 °F (15 °C). While many attempts were made to force seed germination before the after-ripening period, all failed [84].

Seedling establishment/growth: The limited number of studies that address creeping juniper seedling establishment suggest that it is a rare event. Waterman [116] reports that creeping juniper seed germinates in pure sand soils, but seedling survival on sand sites is rare. In an extensive study of 30 widely separated creeping juniper stands in Montana, just 6 shrubs were less than 10 years old and considered the result of seedling establishment. The researcher suggested that poor seedling establishment was likely a combination of 1 or more of following factors: low seed production, failure of seed to reach maturity, lack of germination, and/or high seedling mortality. It was also suggested that plants may rely heavily on vegetative reproduction or that successful seedling establishment may be episodic, which may not pose a problem for this long-lived species [79].

Growth: A couple of studies indicate that climate and site conditions can affect creeping juniper growth. The 1st study monitored numerous plants throughout Montana. Longest stems were produced by shrubs on north slopes, and shortest stems occurred on sites with an overstory [79]. Creeping juniper is a slow-growing species. In Minnesota, creeping juniper growth, measured as square millimeters of wood produced in a year, was slowest in the year that experienced a severe drought preceded by a record-breaking severe winter [12].

Vegetative regeneration: The available literature (2006) suggests that creeping juniper reproduces primarily by layering and the subsequent breakup of mature shrubs. However, information addressing creeping juniper reproduction is largely lacking. Regeneration was primarily vegetative in 30 widely separated creeping juniper stands in Montana. Seedlings or young plants were not as common as new plants resulting from the disconnection of mature shrubs [79].

  • 103. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 116. Waterman, W. G. 1922. Development of plant communities of a sand ridge region in Michigan. Botanical Gazette. 74(1): 1-31. [63565]
  • 12. Bifoss, Cal. G. 1947. The water conducting capacity and growth habits of Juniperus horizontalis Moench and Juniperus virginiana L. Ecology. 28(3): 281-289. [12441]
  • 18. Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. 362 p. [12914]
  • 29. Curtis, John T. 1959. Savanna. In: Curtis, John T. The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press: 325-351. [60528]
  • 41. Fischer, William C.; Bradley, Anne F. 1987. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-223. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 95 p. [633]
  • 48. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 84. Pack, Dean A. 1921. After-ripening and germination of Juniperus seeds. Botanical Gazette. 71: 32-60. [1809]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

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More info for the term: chamaephyte

RAUNKIAER [88] LIFE FORM:
Chamaephyte
  • 88. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

Shrub

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Fire Management Considerations

Information regarding fire effects on creeping juniper is sparse. Research is needed for informed use of fire for the management of creeping juniper.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: shrubs

Creeping juniper produces staminate and pistillate cones in the spring, and female cones mature in the summer or early fall. In the north-central and Great Plains regions, cones appear in May or June [48,103]. Cones are produced in August or September in the north-central Great Plains and in July in New England [99].

The phenological development of creeping juniper was studied in stands throughout Montana. Twig growth began in early April, turning plants from brown to green. Staminate cones developed as stem growth was initiated. Pollen was released approximately 2 to 3 weeks after shrubs broke dormancy. Plant growth continued into September or early October. Creeping juniper berries appeared 1 to 2 weeks after pollen shed. In mid-November, berries turned from green to purple. The cones took 1 to 2 years to ripen after turning blue or purple [79].
  • 103. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 48. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 99. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2nd ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Juniperus horizontalis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Juniperus horizontalis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Adams, R & Thomas, P.

Contributor/s

Justification

Juniperus horizontalis is extremely widespread and common in many areas and is not threatened in any way.

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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As of 2006, creeping juniper is considered endangered in Illinois, New Hampshire, and New York. It is threatened in Iowa and Vermont. Information on state-level protected status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.

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Population

Population
Locally abundant.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
No specific threats have been identified for this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Many subpopulations in Canada are within protected areas.
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Management considerations

More info for the terms: association, cover, density, nonnative species

Relationships with associated native vegetation:
In mixed-grass prairies of the Spruce
Woods Provincial Park in southwestern Manitoba, 98.9% of white spruce seedlings
occurred in association with creeping juniper. The researcher noted that creeping
juniper likely provides a favorable microclimate for seedlings and may decrease
the chance of white spruce mortality when prairie
fires burn. Following prescription fires, creeping juniper mats were not
completely burned, and white spruce seedlings in the unburned
patches survived [21].

Relationships with associated nonnative vegetation:
Several studies report decreases in creeping juniper abundance or animal use of
creeping juniper habitats when sites are invaded by nonnative species. In mixed-grass prairies of Manitoba,
creeping juniper cover was significantly
(P<0.05) lower on prairies with a greater abundance of nonnative Eurasian
species than on prairies dominated by native species. Native prairies dominated by
blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), obtuse sedge (Carex obtusata),
porcupine grass (Hesperostipa spartea), and little bluestem had an average
creeping juniper cover of 9.0%. Nonnative prairies
dominated by smooth brome (Bromus inermis), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis),
and/or leafy spurge had an average creeping juniper cover of 1.8%. Creeping juniper was significantly
(P<0.05) correlated with Baird's sparrow in this area; Baird's sparrow was not
detected on transects where nonnative Eurasian species dominated [122].
Creeping juniper-dominated stands
in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park suffered significant (p≤0.05)
species richness loss when invaded by leafy spurge. Species richness in leafy spurge-free stands was
31.8/stand and 13.0 in infested stands. Differences in the abundance of creeping
juniper on infested and uninfested stands were not reported [19].
Deer pellet density, which is typically highest in creeping juniper-little bluestem vegetation
in the park, was reduced when vegetation was infested with leafy spurge.
Researchers considered this vegetation type a lounge area for deer and thought
that decreased use of type may be because of leafy spurge toxins [109].
Pests: Creeping juniper is a potential host for rust and blight
infections; for more information, see [89].
  • 109. Trammel, Michael A.; Butler, Jack L. 1995. Effects of exotic plants on native ungulate use of habitat. Journal of Wildlife Management. 59(4): 808-816. [28316]
  • 122. Wilson, Scott D.; Belcher, Joyce W. 1989. Plant and bird communities of native prairie and introduced Eurasian vegetation in Manitoba, Canada. Conservation Biology. 3(1): 39-44. [27332]
  • 19. Butler, Jack L.; Cogan, Daniel R. 2004. Leafy spurge effects on patterns of plant species richness. Journal of Range Management. 57(3): 305-311. [49818]
  • 21. Chhin, Sophan; Wang, G. Geoff. 2002. Spatial and temporal pattern of white spruce regeneration within mixed-grass prairie in the Spruce Woods Provincial Park of Manitoba. Journal of Biogeography. 29(7): 903-912. [63603]
  • 89. Riffle, Jerry W.; Peterson, Glenn W., technical coordinators. 1986. Diseases of trees in the Great Plains. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-129. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 149 p. [16990]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

Past uses: A review reports that creeping juniper was used by the Cheyenne Tribes of eastern Montana. Juniper leaves were burned when women were in labor to encourage delivery. Incense from juniper burning was used to alleviate fears of thunder and to purify participant and items used in the Sun Dance. A tea of creeping juniper was used to treat coughs and sore throats. For heavy coughs, fleshy creeping juniper cones were chewed and the juice swallowed [57].

Current uses: Numerous creeping juniper cultivars are used in home and city landscapes. Creeping juniper cultivars are attractive ground covers and tolerate harsh conditions [16,68,112]. 'Prince of Wales juniper' is heat and drought tolerant and considered useful in water-efficient landscapes in Utah [51]. 'Quonset' juniper, which is likely the hybrid Juniperus × fassettii, survived temperatures of -40 °F (-40 °C) and 100 °F (40 °C) on low snow and heavy snow sites [37].

  • 112. Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1972. Alaska trees and shrubs. Agric. Handb. 410. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 265 p. [6884]
  • 16. Booth, W. E. 1950. Flora of Montana. Part I: Conifers and monocots. Bozeman, MT: The Research Foundation at Montana State College. 232 p. [48662]
  • 37. Evans, G. E.; Gouch, R. E.; Metcalf, H. 1996. 'Quonset' juniper. HortScience. 31(6): 1060. [63607]
  • 51. Gutknecht, Kurt W. 1989. Xeriscaping: an alternative to thirsty landscapes. Utah Science. 50(4): 142-146. [10166]
  • 57. Hart, Jeffrey A. 1981. The ethnobotany of the Northern Cheyenne Indians of Montana. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 4: 1-55. [35893]
  • 68. Klett, James E. 1978. Superior ground cover junipers for the Great Plains region. American Nurseryman. 147(11): 52-55. [63613]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: reclamation, restoration, shrubs

While the number of studies reporting successful use of creeping juniper in restoration or revegetation projects is low, creeping juniper has a number of desirable characteristics for revegetation and tolerates a wide range of conditions. Stephens [103] reports that creeping juniper is the "finest plant" for preventing soil erosion. Watson and others [117] indicate that creeping juniper is drought and cold tolerant, grows in basic or acid soils, withstands browsing, and is long lived. Creeping juniper is desirable for watersheds with erodible, harsh, and exposed sites [81].

Several guidelines may increase the successfulness of creeping juniper plantings. Doran [32] reports that creeping juniper cuttings root easily without treatments, and that cuttings taken in fall or winter may root better than those taken in summer. Others indicate that 2-year-old stock may establish and survive better than younger stock and recommend transplanting dormant shrubs in the spring when moisture is likely available. Establishment of creeping juniper is slow. Shrubs appear sensitive to mine spoils and typically do better if there is top soil on mine sites [81].

Rocks may provide shelter for creeping juniper and thus increase its survival on reclamation sites, but an understanding of weather patterns and plant tolerances is necessary. In the revegetation of the East Decker Coal Mine in southeastern Montana, creeping juniper was planted near rocks such that plants were exposed to northwestern or southeastern aspects. Following the 1st winter, mortality of creeping juniper was lower for plants with southeastern than northwestern exposures. Winter dehydration may have killed shrubs on northwestern exposures. Following the summer, however, some shrubs on southeastern exposures died. Researchers suggested that there is likely a trade-off between protection and exposure to harsh conditions [13].

  • 103. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
  • 117. Watson, L. E.; Parker, R. W.; Polster, D. F. 1980. Manual of plant species suitability for reclamation in Alberta. Vol. 2: Forbs, shrubs and trees. RRTAC 80-5. Edmonton, AB: Land Conservation and Reclamation Council. 537 p. [8855]
  • 13. Biggins, Dean E.; Johnson, Dale B.; Jackson, Michael R. 1985. Effects of rock structures and condensation traps on shrub establishment. Reclamation and Revegetation Research. 4(1): 63-71. [47320]
  • 32. Doran, William L. 1957. Propagation of woody plants by cuttings. Experiment Station Bulletin No. 491. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, College of Agriculture. 99 p. [6399]
  • 81. Monsen, Stephen B.; Stevens, Richard; Shaw, Nancy L. 2004. Shrubs of other families. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Stevens, Richard; Shaw, Nancy L., comps. Restoring western ranges and wildlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-136-vol-2. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 598-698. [52846]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the terms: cover, density, frequency, selection, shrubs

Many wildlife species including big game, small mammals, and birds feed on creeping juniper and utilize creeping juniper habitats [79]. From feces collected from the east slope of the Rocky Mountains in north-central Montana, mule deer diets in January and February were 51.5% to 53.7% juniper and 45% to 51.5% in March and April. Creeping juniper was likely the majority of the juniper consumed, as creeping juniper cover on the winter ranges sampled was 98%. Elk diets were 1.7% juniper in January and February and in March and April were 17.7%. Bighorn sheep diets in January and February were 2.4% juniper and in March and April were 13.5% [66].

Moose: Creeping juniper does not appear to be an important food source for moose. On Isle Royale National Park, creeping juniper was only lightly browsed [83].

Deer: Both white-tailed and mule deer feed on creeping juniper and utilize creeping juniper habitats. Use is typically greatest in the winter or spring. In a review, Kufeld and others [72] found 7 studies that showed heavy winter use, 4 studies that showed heavy spring use, and 2 studies that showed moderate fall use by mule deer. Winter and spring use of creeping juniper is noted in several areas of Montana [36,62,79].

Creeping juniper is an important winter food for mule deer and white-tailed deer in South Dakota's Black Hills [46]. See Palatability/nutritional value for information on the nutrient composition of creeping juniper in this area. In western Canada, Bird [15] reports that white-tailed deer pawed or dug through "considerable" snow depths to reach creeping juniper. On the Sun River Game Range in west-central Montana, wintering mule deer used creeping juniper most; winter use of white-tailed deer and bighorn sheep was rare [95]. In the Snowy Mountains of central Montana, creeping juniper made up 2% of white-tailed deer rumens collected in the spring and just a trace of winter rumens. From 6 mule deer stomachs sampled in the winter, creeping juniper contents were 40% [64]. Findings were similar in north-central Montana's Bear Paw Mountains. Creeping juniper frequency in 6 mule deer rumens collected in the spring was 33%, and frequency was 88% for 8 rumens sampled in winter. Creeping juniper was only found in white-tailed deer rumens taken in the winter, with creeping juniper frequency of 29% in 7 rumens [77].

Researchers thought creeping juniper/little bluestem vegetation in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park was utilized as a lounge area by deer. Deer pellet density was typically greatest in this vegetation type. Use of this area was altered by leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) encroachment; see Other Management Considerations for more information [109].

Pronghorn: Creeping juniper was an important part of winter and spring pronghorn diets in the Matador region of Saskatchewan. Frequency of creeping juniper was 45% in the winter and 25% in the spring based on 21 rumen analyses [30]. Creeping juniper was 0.6% of the total volume of spring and winter pronghorn diets as determined by examining rumen contents from animals collected in Petroleum County, Montana [23].

Small mammals: Small mammal browsing of creeping juniper is likely common. Miller [79] reports that in some areas of Montana, small mammal browsing may be substantial. The number of twigs utilized by small mammals in Montana ranged from 0% to 15%. Berries were gnawed as well. On 1 site, an unidentified marmot species was often observed and may have browsed creeping juniper [79]. Near Treesbank, Manitoba, the contents of 2 prairie vole caches were examined; 1% was creeping juniper berries, and 7% was creeping juniper galls [27].

Researchers documented the vegetation present in black-tailed prairie dog towns in central Billings County, North Dakota. Creeping juniper was present in 2 of the 4 towns evaluated. Creeping juniper was present in the older towns that were not expanding due to topographical restrictions. Whether or not creeping juniper absence was a result of black-tailed prairie dog disturbances associated with expanding towns was not discussed. Use of creeping juniper was not reported [105].

Birds: Numerous bird species were common in the deciduous forest underbrush dominated by creeping juniper in southwestern Manitoba. Bird species included mourning doves, rose-breasted grosbeaks, hermit thrushes, western wood-pewees, black-billed cuckoos, blue jays, catbirds, brown thrashers, chipping sparrows, clay-colored sparrows, and yellow warblers [14]. In the mixed-grass prairie of Manitoba, creeping juniper was significantly (P<0.05) correlated with Baird's sparrow. Baird's sparrow was not detected on transects dominated by Eurasian grasses, where creeping juniper cover was lower than on native prairies. For more information, see Other Management Considerations [122].

Creeping juniper was an important winter food for sharp-tailed grouse observed northeast of Glendive, Montana. Fifteen percent of the winter feeding observations was on creeping juniper [107].

Insects: In North Dakota thatching ants occurred on a mound partially colonized by creeping juniper. Because there were few ants, it was suggested that creeping juniper was crowding out the ant colony, which was thought to prefer nesting in open conditions [118]. In Illinois Beach State Park, however, researchers found that creeping juniper was associated with thatching ant mounds. Some creeping juniper stems even emerged from the mounds. Researchers suggested several reasons for the association: ants may choose to build nests near certain species, ants may have dispersed creeping juniper seed at their mounds' edges after consuming the cones, or soil near the mounds may have been altered by ant waste products in a way that favors creeping juniper. Evidence was strongest for the 3rd idea. Researchers noted that ants gnawed off stems encroaching their mounds, and vegetation associated with mounds must tolerate clipping [10].

Palatability/nutritional value: Dittberner and Olson [31] rate the palatability of creeping juniper as poor for domestic livestock and elk, fair for white-tailed deer, and good for mule deer, pronghorn, nongame birds, and small mammals in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Morris and others [82] rate the winter forage value of creeping juniper as good to excellent for mule deer in Montana.

From collections made from many sites throughout Montana, creeping juniper leaves and twigs averaged crude protein values of 5.5% in spring, 6.3% in summer, and 5.7% in fall and winter. These crude protein values were low when compared to other deer browse. Selection of creeping juniper may be related to deer distributions, lack of other more desirable forage, and/or availability of creeping juniper [79].

Seasonal fluctuations in nutritional composition of creeping juniper shrubs in South Dakota's Black Hills are provided below. Those portions of the plant typically consumed by deer were used in the analysis [46].

  Carotene Moisture Ash Crude fat Crude protein Crude fiber N-free extract Ca P Fe Mn

mg/g

% ppm
January 10.1 50.5 2.7 6.3 3.3 12.6 24.5 0.83 0.078 168.4 19.9
May 22 47.2 2.6 5.9 3.4 12.2 28.7 1 0.081 213.9 47.9
June 25 49.9 2.5 4.9 3.6 11.4 27.7 0.79 0.087 169.9 21.9
October 37.2 55.1 2.2 6.5 3.8 10.3 22.2 0.72 0.085 93.3 23.3

Cover value: The low-growing stature of creeping juniper makes it useful cover only for small wildlife species or insects. Dittberner and Olson [31] rate creeping juniper as fair to poor cover for game birds, nongame birds, and small mammals.

  • 10. Beattie, Andrew J.; Culver, David C. 1977. Effects of the mound nests of the ant, Formica obscuripes, on the surrounding vegetation. American Midland Naturalist. 97(2): 390-399. [55046]
  • 105. Stockrahm, Donna M. Bruns; Olson, Theresa Ebbenga; Harper, Elizabeth K. 1993. Plant species in black-tailed prairie dog towns in Billings County, North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist. 25(2): 173-183. [23167]
  • 107. Swenson, Jon E. 1985. Seasonal habitat use by sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus, on mixed-grass prairie in Montana. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(1): 40-46. [23501]
  • 109. Trammel, Michael A.; Butler, Jack L. 1995. Effects of exotic plants on native ungulate use of habitat. Journal of Wildlife Management. 59(4): 808-816. [28316]
  • 118. Weber, Neal A. 1935. The biology of the thatching ant, Formica rufa obscuripes Forel, in North Dakota. Ecological Monographs. 5(2): 165-206. [63538]
  • 122. Wilson, Scott D.; Belcher, Joyce W. 1989. Plant and bird communities of native prairie and introduced Eurasian vegetation in Manitoba, Canada. Conservation Biology. 3(1): 39-44. [27332]
  • 14. Bird, Ralph D. 1927. A preliminary ecological survey of the district surrounding the entomological station at Treesbank, Manitoba. Ecology. 8(2): 207-220. [63548]
  • 15. Bird, Ralph D. 1961. Ecology of the aspen parkland of western Canada in relation to land use. Contribution No. 27. Ottawa: Canada Department of Agriculture, Research Branch. 153 p. [15620]
  • 23. Cole, G. F. 1956. The pronghorn antelope: Its range use and food habits in central Montana with special reference to alfalfa. Technical Bulletin 516. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College, Agricultural Experiment Station. 63 p. [43976]
  • 27. Criddle, Stuart. 1926. The habits of Microtus minor in Manitoba. Journal of Mammalogy. 7(3): 193-200. [63541]
  • 30. Dirschl, Herman J. 1963. Food habits of the pronghorn in Saskatchewan. Journal of Wildlife Management. 27(1): 81-93. [5939]
  • 31. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 36. Dusek, Gary L. 1975. Range relations of mule deer and cattle in prairie habitat. Journal of Wildlife Management. 39(3): 605-616. [5938]
  • 46. Gastler, George F.; Moxon, Alvin L.; McKean, William T. 1951. Composition of some plants eaten by deer in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Management. 15(4): 352-357. [3996]
  • 62. Jourdonnais, Craig S.; Bedunah, Donald J. 1990. Prescribed fire and cattle grazing on an elk winter range in Montana. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 18(3): 232-240. [14113]
  • 64. Kamps, George Frank. 1969. Whitetail and mule deer relationships in the Snowy Mountains of central Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 59 p. Thesis. [43973]
  • 66. Kasworm, Wayne F.; Irby, Lynn R.; Ihsle Pac, Helga B. 1984. Diets of ungulates using winter ranges in northcentral Montana. Journal of Range Management. 37(1): 67-71. [63610]
  • 72. Kufeld, Roland C.; Wallmo, O. C.; Feddema, Charles. 1973. Foods of the Rocky Mountain mule deer. Res. Pap. RM-111. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 31 p. [1387]
  • 77. Martinka, C. J. 1968. Habitat relationships of white-tailed deer and mule deer in northern Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 32: 558-565. [6925]
  • 79. Miller, John Gage. 1978. An ecological study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p. Thesis. [3524]
  • 82. Morris, Melvin S.; Schmautz, Jack E.; Stickney, Peter F. 1962. Winter field key to the native shrubs of Montana. Bulletin No. 23. Missoula, MT: Montana State University, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 70 p. [17063]
  • 83. Murie, Adolph. 1934. The moose of Isle Royale. Miscellaneous Publication No. 25. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. 56 p. [21394]
  • 95. Schallenberger, Allen Dee. 1966. Food habits, range use and interspecific relationships of bighorn sheep in the Sun River area, west-central Montana. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 44 p. Thesis. [43977]

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Wikipedia

Juniperus horizontalis

Juniperus horizontalis (Creeping Juniper or Creeping cedar[2]) is a low-growing shrubby juniper native to northern North America, throughout most of Canada from Yukon east to Newfoundland, and in the United States in Alaska, and locally from Montana east to Maine, reaching its furthest south in Wyoming and northern Illinois.

Plant at Chief Whitecap Park near Saskatoon, showing prostrate growth

It lives up to both its scientific and common names, reaching only 10-30 cm tall but often spreading several metres wide. The shoots are slender, 0.7-1.2 mm diameter. The leaves are arranged in opposite decussate pairs, or occasionally in whorls of three; the adult leaves are scale-like, 1-2 mm long (to 8 mm on lead shoots) and 1-1.5 mm broad. The juvenile leaves (on young seedlings only) are needle-like, 5-10 mm long. The cones are berry-like, globose to bilobed, 5-7 mm in diameter, dark blue with a pale blue-white waxy bloom, and contain two seeds (rarely one or three); they usually have a curved stem and are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are 2-4 mm long, and shed their pollen in early spring. It is dioecious, producing cones of only one sex on each plant.

It is closely related to Juniperus virginiana, and often hybridizes with it where their ranges meet in southern Canada. Hybrids with Juniperus scopulorum also occur.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Well over 100 different cultivars have been selected for use as ornamental plants in gardens, their strictly prostrate growth habit being valued for ground cover. Popular examples include 'Bar Harbor', 'Blue Acres', 'Emerald Spreader', 'Green Acres', and 'Wiltonii' ("Blue Rug Juniper"). Many of the most popular cultivars have strikingly glaucous foliage, while others are bright green, yellowish or variegated.

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Juniperus horizontalis The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ 22 Nov. 2011
  2. ^ Bailey, L.H.; Bailey, E.Z.; the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan, New York.
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Notes

Comments

Juniperus horizontalis , a prostrate species, hybridizes with the trees J . virginiana and J . scopulorum (R. P. Adams 1983; N. C. Fassett 1945; M. Palma-Otal et al. 1983) and is closely related to both. The hybrid between J . horizontalis and J . scopulorum has been named J . ´ fassettii Boivin.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The scientific name of creeping juniper is Juniperus horizontalis Moench. (Cupressaceae) [39,44,47,48,61,65,101,113].

Creeping juniper may hybridize with eastern
redcedar (J. virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (J. scopulorum) where
distributions of the species overlap [1,2,39,40,40,44,47,69,85,113]. The
Rocky Mountain juniper × creeping juniper hybrid is
recognized as J. × fassettii Boivin [44]. Fassett [40] suggests that
overlapping populations of eastern redcedar and creeping juniper on the Coast of
Maine and in the Driftless area of Wisconsin may be hybrid swarms.
  • 1. Adams, Robert P. 1982. The effects of gases from a burning coal seam on morphological and terpenoid characters in Juniperus scopulorum (Cupressaceae). The Southwestern Naturalist. 27(3): 279-286. [293]
  • 101. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]
  • 113. Voss, Edward G. 1972. Michigan flora. Part I: Gymnosperms and monocots. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 488 p. [11471]
  • 2. Adams, Robert P. 1983. Infraspecific terpenoid variation in Juniperus scopulorum: evidence for Pleistocene refugia and recolonization in western North America. Taxon. 32(1): 30-46. [3430]
  • 39. Farjon, Alijos. 1998. World checklist and bibliography of conifers. 2nd ed. Kew, England: The Royal Botanic Gardens. 309 p. [61059]
  • 40. Fassett, Norman C. 1944. Juniperus virginiana, J. horizontalis and J. scopulorum. 1. The specific characters. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 71(4): 410-418. [910]
  • 44. Flora of North America Association. 2007. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.fna.org/FNA. [36990]
  • 47. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 48. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 61. Hultén, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 65. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]
  • 69. Krajina, V. J.; Klinka, K.; Worrall, J. 1982. Distribution and ecological characteristics of trees and shrubs of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia, Department of Botany and Faculty of Forestry. 131 p. [6728]
  • 85. Palma-Otal, M.; Moore, W. S.; Adams, R. P.; Joswiak, G. R. 1983. Morphological, chemical, and biogeographical analyses of a hybrid zone involving Juniperus virginiana and J. horizontalis in Wisconsin. Canadian Journal of Botany. 61(10): 2733-2746. [4960]

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Synonyms

Juniperus prostrata Pers. [65]
  • 65. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [36715]

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Common Names

creeping juniper

creeping cedar

creeping savin

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