Overview

Distribution

More info for the term: tree

Utah juniper is the most common tree in the Great Basin and is widely distributed throughout the arid West [67,80]. The tree occurs occasionally in southern Idaho, southern Montana, and western Wyoming, and is common in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and southeastern California. Utah juniper is the most common juniper species in Arizona [4].

  • 4. Arnold, Joseph F.; Jameson, Donald A.; Reid, Elbert H. 1964. The pinyon-juniper type of Arizona: effects of grazing, fire and tree control. Production Research Report No. 84. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [353]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 80. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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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):



 3   Southern Pacific Border

 4   Sierra Mountains

 5   Columbia Plateau

 6   Upper Basin and Range

 7   Lower Basin and Range

 9   Middle Rocky Mountains

10   Wyoming Basin

11   Southern Rocky Mountains

12   Colorado Plateau

13   Rocky Mountain Piedmont

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Occurrence in North America



AZ   CA   CO   ID   MT   NV    NM   OR   UT   WY

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.Mex., Utah, Wyo.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: tree

Utah juniper is a short tree that may live as long as 650 years [83]. Utah junipers grow less than 26.4 feet (8 m) and are often as short as 9.9 to 14.85 feet (3-4.5 m), with a trunk 4 to 7.5 inches (10-30 cm) thick [67,66,75,100]. Sometimes the tree has multiple stems [4].

Under severe site conditions, Utah juniper trees persist in very stunted forms. A 6-inch tree with a 24-inch (60 cm) taproot may be over 50 years old [80]. Utah junipers grow very slowly, usually only about 0.05 inch (0.127 cm) in diameter per year [58,88].

Utah junipers have a taproot that extends deep into the soil (as far as 15 feet (4.5 m)) and lateral roots that may extend as far as 100 feet (30.3 m) from the tree, several inches below the soil surface. Most root biomass is within the first 3 feet (0.9 m) of soil, with fine roots concentrated in the uppermost 18 inches (46 cm) [111] or just below the soil surface [119]. Utah juniper responds to low nutrient levels in the soil by developing extensive networks of fine roots at the base of the tree and at the end of lateral roots. These roots are in part responsible for the competitiveness of juniper versus understory species [72,78]. Junipers compete more efficiently for soil moisture than do herbaceous understory plants; therefore, over time, junipers are more likely to maintain a stable population, while understory plants decrease [8,50,114].

A Utah study concluded that Utah junipers do not use soil moisture from summer precipitation and do not have active roots in shallow soils layers during the summer [40].

Utah juniper is colonized by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae [77].

  • 66. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 4. Arnold, Joseph F.; Jameson, Donald A.; Reid, Elbert H. 1964. The pinyon-juniper type of Arizona: effects of grazing, fire and tree control. Production Research Report No. 84. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [353]
  • 8. Austin, Dennis D. 1987. Plant community changes within a mature pinyon-juniper woodland. The Great Basin Naturalist. 47(1): 96-99. [362]
  • 40. Donovan, L. A.; Ehleringer, J. R. 1994. Water stress and use of summer precipitation in a Great Basin shrub community. Functional Ecology. 8: 289-297. [24138]
  • 50. Everett, Richard L.; Sharrow, Steven H.; Meeuwig, Richard O. 1983. Pinyon-juniper woodland understory distribution patterns and species associations. Torrey Botanical Club. 110(4): 454-463. [899]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 72. Johnsen, Thomas N., Jr. 1987. Using herbicides for pinyon-juniper control in the Southwest. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 330-334. [4926]
  • 75. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 77. Klopatek, Carole Coe; DeBano, Leonard F.; Klopatek, Jeffery M. 1990. Impact of fire on the microbial processes in pinyon-juniper woodlands: management implications. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech, Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 197-205. [11290]
  • 78. Klopatek, Jeffrey M. 1987. Nutrient patterns and succession in pinyon-juniper ecosystems of northern Arizona. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 391-396. [29493]
  • 80. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]
  • 83. Loehle, Craig. 1988. Tree life history strategies: the role of defenses. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 18(2): 209-222. [4421]
  • 88. Meeuwig, Richard O.; Bassett, Richard L. 1983. Pinyon-juniper. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. Silvicultural systems for the major forest types of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 445. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 84-86. [3899]
  • 100. Ronco, Frank, Jr. 1987. Stand structure and function of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 14-22. [5772]
  • 111. Skau, Clarence McClelland. 1960. Some hydrologic characteristics in the Utah juniper type of northern Arizona. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University. 156 p. Dissertation. [5846]
  • 114. Springfield, H. W. 1976. Characteristics and management of Southwestern pinyon-juniper ranges: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap. RM-160. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. [2216]
  • 119. Tiedemann, Arthur R. 1987. Nutrient accumulations in pinyon-juniper ecosystems--managing for future site productivity. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 352-359. [29491]
  • 58. Gottfried, Gerald J. 1992. Ecology and management of the southwestern pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others], technical coordinators. Ecology and management of oaks and associated woodlands: perspectives in the sw United States & n Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [19745]

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Physical Description

Tree, Shrub, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, 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, Non-needle-like leaf margins dentate or serrate, Leaf apex acute, Leaf apex obtuse, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves yellow-green above, Leaves yellow-green below, Leaves not blue-green, Scale leaves without raised glands, Scale leaf glands not ruptured, Scales leaves not or barely overlapping, Whip leaf margins denticulate under magnification, Twigs glabrous, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, 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 or trees monoecious, to 6(--12) m, multi- or single-stemmed; crown rounded. Bark exfoliating in thin gray-brown strips, that of smaller and larger branchlets smooth. Branches spreading to ascending; branchlets erect, 3--4-sided in cross section, about as wide as length of scalelike leaves. Leaves light yellow-green, abaxial glands inconspicuous and embedded, exudate absent, margins denticulate (at 20´); whip leaves 3--5 mm, glaucous adaxially; scalelike leaves 1--2 mm, not overlapping, or, if so, by less than 1/10 their length, keeled, apex rounded, acute or occasionally obtuse, appressed. Seed cones maturing in 1--2 years, of 1--2 sizes, with straight peduncles, globose, (6--)8--9(--12) mm, bluish brown, often almost tan beneath glaucous coating, fibrous, with 1(--2) seeds. Seeds 4--5 mm.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Juniperus tetragona Schlechtendal var. osteosperma Torrey, Pacif. Railr. Rep. 4(5): 141. 1857; J. californica Carrière var. utahensis Engelmann; Sabina osteosperma (Torrey) Antoine; S. utahensis (Engelmann) Rydberg
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is a codominant in the widespread Pinyon-Juniper woodland of the Intermountain Region of the American West, with Pinus edulis, P. monophylla (in the SW of its range), P. cembroides (in the S of its range), Juniperus scopulorum, J. occidentalis (in the W of its range), Seriphidium tridentatum (Artemisia tridentata), Chrysothamnus spp., Quercus gambelii, and Ephedra viridis, or in pure stands at the lower altitudinal limits of the community. The altitudinal range is 460-2,700 m a.s.l. Juniperus osteosperma is abundant on rocky or gravelly alluvial fans and hillsides, as well as on bare sandstone or shale where it finds crevices in the rock to grow in. It is one of the most drought resistant junipers in North America.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Source: IUCN

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Habitat characteristics

Utah juniper thrives on very dry sites [66,80,88]. Precipitation patterns in juniper communities vary, but Utah juniper is generally found in areas of 12 to 18 inches (305-457 mm) of precipitation, with extremes of below 10 inches (254 mm)/year [97] to highs of 20 inches (508 mm)[31,88,114]. Utah juniper usually occurs in areas with hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters [9,59,93], although Utah juniper is also commonly found in areas of summer monsoonal precipitation in New Mexico and Arizona [114].

Utah juniper commonly grows on alluvial fans and dry, rocky hillsides [10,67,97,107], with shallow, alkaline soils [27]. Utah juniper is considered a "sodium-sensitive" species [27,107]. In west-central Utah, Utah juniper is found on a range of soil textures, but most often on gravelly loams and gravelly clay loams with a pH range of 7.4 to 8.0 [10]. In the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, Utah juniper dominates on limestone soils, whereas ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in the same elevations dominates on soils derived from granites and sandstones [2].

Decaying organic material below juniper trees may result in a 0.4 to 0.8 inch (1-2 cm) thick water-repellent soil surface [101,102]. Fire apparently destroys this water repellency [101].

Utah juniper occurs at 3,000 to 8,000 feet (909-2424 m) elevation in the Great Basin [80]. In Arizona, Utah juniper occurs at 3,000 to 7,500 feet (909-2273 m) [75], more commonly above 5,000 feet (1515 m) [89]. In California, the plant is common from 4290 to 8580 feet (1300-2600 m) [66] and found as high as 10,000 feet (3030 m) in the Sierra Nevada [9]. In Utah, Utah juniper is found most often from 5,000 to 7,000 feet (1,500-2,100 m) [37]. The upper limits of the pinyon-juniper zone in Utah and northeastern Arizona are from 6,500 feet (1970 m) on north-facing slopes to 8,400 feet (2545 m) on south-facing slopes [6].

  • 66. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 2. Allen, Robert B.; Peet, Robert K.; Baker, William L. 1991. Gradient analysis of latitudinal variation in Southern Rocky Mountain forests. Journal of Biogeography. 18(2): 123-138. [14875]
  • 6. Aro, Richard S. 1971. Evaluation of pinyon-juniper conversion to grassland. Journal of Range Management. 24(2): 188-197. [355]
  • 9. Balda, Russell P.; Masters, Nancy. 1980. Avian communities in the pinyon-juniper woodland: a descriptive analysis. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 146-169. [17903]
  • 10. Barney, Milo A.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1974. Vegetation changes following fire in the pinyon-juniper type of west-central Utah. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 91-96. [397]
  • 27. Bunderson, E. D.; Weber, D. J.; Davis, J. N. 1985. Soil mineral composition and nutrient uptake in Juniperus osteosperma in 17 Utah sites. Soil Science. 139(2): 139-148. [3555]
  • 37. Davis, James N.; Harper, Kimball T. 1990. Weedy annuals and establishment of seeded species on a chained juniper-pinyon woodland in central Utah. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 72-79. [12872]
  • 59. Gottfried, Gerald J.; Severson, Kieth E. 1993. Distribution and multiresource management of pinon-juniper woodlands in the southwestern United States. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Shaw, Douglas W., technical coordinators. Managing pinon-juniper ecosystems for sustainability and social needs: Proceedings; 1993 April 26-30; Santa Fe, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-236. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 108-116. [22860]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 75. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 80. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]
  • 88. Meeuwig, Richard O.; Bassett, Richard L. 1983. Pinyon-juniper. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. Silvicultural systems for the major forest types of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 445. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 84-86. [3899]
  • 89. Merkle, John. 1952. An analysis of a pinyon-juniper community at Grand Canyon, Arizona. Ecology. 33: 375-384. [1640]
  • 93. Neilson, Ronald P. 1987. On the interface between current ecological studies and the paleobotany of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 93-98. [4816]
  • 97. Pieper, Rex D. 1977. The southwestern pinyon-juniper ecosystem. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., technical coordinators. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 1-6. [17251]
  • 101. Roundy, Bruce A.; Blackburn, W. H.; Eckert, R. E., Jr. 1978. Influence of prescribed burning on infiltration and sediment production in the pinyon-juniper woodland, Nevada. Journal of Range Management. 31(4): 250-253. [2034]
  • 102. Scholl, David G. 1971. Soil wettability in Utah juniper stands. Soil Science Society of America Proceedings. 35(2): 344-345. [2084]
  • 107. Shantz, H. L.; Piemeisel, R. L. 1940. Types of vegetation in Escalante Valley, Utah, as indicators of soil conditions. Tech. Bull. 713. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 46 p. [2117]
  • 114. Springfield, H. W. 1976. Characteristics and management of Southwestern pinyon-juniper ranges: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap. RM-160. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. [2216]
  • 31. Clary, Warren P.; Baker, Malchus B.; O'Connell, Paul F.; [and others]. 1974. Effects of pinyon-juniper removal on natural resource products and uses in Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-128. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [640]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: climax, tree


Utah juniper is a climax species in a number of pinyon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus spp.), sagebrush (Artemisia spp.)-grassland, and shrub-steppe habitat types. At the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site, Utah juniper dominates with big sagebrush (A. tridentata), antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), and threetip sagebrush (A. arbuscula), on areas with bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), needle-and-thread grass (Hesperostipa comata), Thurber's needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberiana), and Sandberg bluegrass (P. secunda) [3].

In Utah pinyon-juniper sites, Utah juniper dominates with singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), threetip sagebrush, black sagebrush (Artemisia nova), big sagebrush, desert ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii), curlleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), true mountain-mahogany (C. montanus), green rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus), Stansbury cliffrose (Purshia mexicana var. stansburiana), antelope bitterbrush, desert snowberry (Symphoricarpos longiflorus), blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides), sheep fescue (Festuca ovina), galleta (Hilaria jamesii), prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha), Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), Sandberg bluegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, and needle-and-thread grass [24].

In pinyon-juniper woodlands in southern California, Utah juniper dominates with singleleaf pinyon, Parry pinyon (Pinus quadrifolia), and California juniper (Juniperus californica). Common associates include Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), oaks (Quercus spp.), manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), Ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.), mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), ephedra (Ephedra spp.), buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.), silktassel (Garrya spp.), snakeweed (Gutierrezia spp.), goldenweed (Isocoma spp.), bitterbrush (Purshia spp.), horsebrush (Tetradymia spp.), blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), Stansbury cliffrose, Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa), California fremont (Fremontodendron californicum), desert peach (Prunus fasciculata), skunkbush sumac (Rhus trilobata), and needlegrass (Achnatherum spp.) [118].

Habitat typings in which Utah juniper appears as a community dominant include:

Classification of the forest vegetation of Colorado by habitat type and community type [1]

Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona south of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico [11]

Vegetation and soils of the Coils Creek Watershed [15]

Vegetation and soils of the Cow Creek Watershed [16]

Vegetation and soils of the Crane Springs Watershed [17]

Vegetation and soils of the Rock Springs Watershed [18]

Vegetation and soils of the Duckwater Watershed [20]

Vegetation and soils of the Mill Creek Watershed [21]

Vegetation and soils of the Churchill Canyon Watershed [22]

Vegetation and soils of the Pine and Mathews Canyon Watersheds [23]

Vegetation of the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming, in relation to substrate and climate [38]

Grassland, shrubland, and forestland habitat types of the White River-Arapaho National Forest [65]

A preliminary riparian habitat type classification system for the Bureau of Land Management Districts in southern and eastern Idaho [61]

Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of northern New Mexico and
northern Arizona [81]

Flora of the Orange Cliffs of Utah [110]

  • 1. Alexander, Robert R. 1987. Classification of the forest vegetation of Colorado by habitat type and community type. Res. Note RM-478. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 14 p. [9092]
  • 15. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr.; Tueller, Paul T. 1969. Vegetation and soils of the Coils Creek Watershed. R-48. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Agricultural Experiment Station. 80 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [455]
  • 16. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr.; Tueller, Paul T. 1969. Vegetation and soils of the Cow Creek Watershed. R-49. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Agricultural Experiment Station. 77 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [458]
  • 17. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr.; Tueller, Paul T. 1969. Vegetation and soils of the Crane Springs Watershed. R-55. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Agricultural Experiment Station. 65 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Burearu of Land Management. [456]
  • 18. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr.; Tueller, Paul T. 1971. Vegetation and soils of the Rock Springs Watershed. R-83. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Agricultural Experiment Station. 116 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [457]
  • 20. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Tueller, Paul T.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr. 1968. Vegetation and soils of the Duckwater Watershed. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, College of Agriculture. 81 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [7439]
  • 21. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Tueller, Paul T.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr. 1968. Vegetation and soils of the Mill Creek Watershed. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, College of Agriculture. 71 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [12500]
  • 22. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Tueller, Paul T.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr. 1969. Vegetation and soils of the Churchill Canyon Watershed. R-45. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Agricultural Experiment Station. 155 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [460]
  • 23. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Tueller, Paul T.; Eckert, Richard E., Jr. 1969. Vegetation and soils of the Pine and Mathews Canyon watersheds. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Agricultural Experiment Station. 109 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [7437]
  • 24. Bradley, Anne F.; Noste, Nonan V.; Fischer, William C. 1991. Fire ecology of forests and woodlands in Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-287. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 128 p. [18211]
  • 38. Despain, Don G. 1973. Vegetation of the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming, in relation to substrate and climate. Ecological Monographs. 43(3): 329-355. [789]
  • 61. Hall, James B.; Hansen, Paul L. 1997. A preliminary riparian habitat type classification system for the Bureau of Land Management Districts in southern and eastern Idaho. Tech. Bull. No. 97-11. Boise, ID: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management; Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Riparian and Wetland Research Program. 381 p. [28173]
  • 65. Hess, Karl; Wasser, Clinton H. 1982. Grassland, shrubland, and forestland habitat types of the White River-Arapaho National Forest. Final Report. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 335 p. [1142]
  • 81. Larson, Milo; Moir, W. H. 1987. Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of northern New Mexico and northern Arizona. 2d ed. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwestern Region. 90 p. [8947]
  • 110. Shultz, L. M.; Neely, E. E.; Tuhy, J. S. 1987. Flora of the Orange Cliffs of Utah. The Great Basin Naturalist. 47(2): 287-298. [4056]
  • 118. Thorne, Robert F. 1982. The desert and other transmontane plant communities of southern California. Aliso. 10(2): 219-257. [3768]
  • 3. Anderson, Jay E.; Jeppson, R. J.; Wildosz, R. J.; [and others]. 1978. Trends in vegetation development on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site. In: Markham, O. D., ed. Ecological studies on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site: 1978 Progress Report. IDO-112087. Idaho Falls, ID: U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Sciences Branch, Radiological and Environmental Sciences Lab: 144-166. [320]
  • 11. Bassett, R.; Larson, M.; Moir, W. 1987. Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona south of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico. 2nd Edition. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwestern Region. [Pages unknown]. [20308]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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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):



FRES21   Ponderosa pine

FRES28   Western hardwoods

FRES29   Sagebrush

FRES30   Desert shrub

FRES34   Chaparral-mountain shrub

FRES35   Pinyon-juniper

FRES36   Mountain grasslands

FRES40   Desert grasslands

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

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



210   Bitterbrush

211   Creosote bush scrub

212   Blackbush

412   Juniper-pinyon woodland

413   Gambel oak

415   Curlleaf mountain-mahogany

416   True mountain-mahogany

417   Littleleaf mountain-mahogany

503   Arizona chaparral

504   Juniper-pinyon pine woodlands

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Habitat: Cover Types

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



220   Rocky Mountain juniper

237   Interior ponderosa pine

239   Pinyon-juniper

240   Arizona cypress

241   Western live oak

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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



K019   Arizona pine forest

K023   Juniper-pinyon woodland

K031   Oak-juniper woodlands

K032   Transition between K031 and K037

K037   Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub

K038   Great Basin sagebrush

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Dry, rocky soil and slopes; 1300--2600m.
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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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: climax, cover, forb, natural, phase, prescribed fire, shrub, shrubs, succession, tree, understory fire, wildfire

Juniper habitats are often burned to increase herbaceous cover for grazing or wildlife. Junipers are often difficult to ignite, and burning has been most successful when the trees themselves were lit and managers did not depend on understory fire to carry into the crowns. Often the conditions necessary to get a fire to burn in a dense juniper stand--hot, dry, windy weather--are too dangerous to allow burning [26,114].

One technique for determining whether a prescribed fire in a juniper stand is likely to succeed, at temperatures below 75° Fahrenheit (24°C) and windspeeds above 5 miles/h, was published in 1979. Add together the maximum windspeed (miles/h), air temperature (°F), and percent vegetation cover. When the total of those three numbers exceeds 110, a burn is likely to succeed, with some retorching and some mosaic burning; when the number exceeds 130, conditions are too hazardous for burning. Ideal conditions for a carrying (self-sustaining) fire exist at a score of 126-130 [26].

Vegetative recovery following a fire in a mature juniper site may be slow, since the prefire herbaceous cover is often sparse [45,46,48]. During this intervening period, soil erosion may be a problem [29,57]. However, Roundy and others [101]studied erosion and infiltration rates following prescribed burns in Nevada and concluded that erosion rates would increase on interspaces, but that on coppice dunes (areas around vegetation with higher infiltration rates) erosion is not a problem.

Prediction of postfire succession is affected by prefire vegetation and its fire survivability, soil seedbank, immigrating propagules, and postfire precipitation [46,48,49,51]. Succession following fire in a climax pinyon-juniper woodland often proceeds as follows: skeleton forest and bare soil; annual stage (2-3 years); annual-perennial forb stage (3-4 years); perennial forb-grass-half-shrub phase (4-6 years); shrub stage or perennial grass stage; eventual pinyon-juniper climax [4,10,41]. However, Everett and Ward [51] studied 6 burned sites to determine successional pathways, and they concluded that succession starts from multiple points along a hypothetical pathway, and that early postfire communities vary considerably.

In the years following a fire, burned pinyon-juniper and juniper sites are preferred by wildlife species such as pronghorn, elk, bighorn sheep, and mule deer, due to increased understory forage [106]. McCulloch [85] evaluated the effects of wildfire and prescribed burns on mule deer use of pinyon-juniper woodlands. During a mild winter, there was no significant difference between use of the burned and unburned plots, but during the following winter, a harsh one, mule deer use was significantly higher (p<0.10) on the burned than unburned sites.

Severe fires that result in soil temperatures above 122° Fahrenheit (50oC) reduce the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae propagules in the soil and may restrict the ability of juniper to recolonize the site [77,76].

Utah junipers, like many other arid and semi-arid shrubs and trees, concentrate soil nutrients underneath their canopies by withdrawing them from a large area around the tree through extensive roots. Burning may result in a volatilization loss of nitrogen from a nutrient poor site. Natural nitrogen replenishment rates on these sites are low [119].

  • 4. Arnold, Joseph F.; Jameson, Donald A.; Reid, Elbert H. 1964. The pinyon-juniper type of Arizona: effects of grazing, fire and tree control. Production Research Report No. 84. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [353]
  • 10. Barney, Milo A.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1974. Vegetation changes following fire in the pinyon-juniper type of west-central Utah. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 91-96. [397]
  • 29. Bunting, Stephen C. 1990. Prescribed fire effects in sagebrush-grasslands and pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Alexander, M. E.; Bisgrove, G. F., technical coordinator. The art and science of fire management: Proceedings of the 1st Interior West Fire Council annual meeting and workshop; 1988 October 24-27; Kananaskis Village, AB. Information Rep. NOR-X-309. Edmonton, AB: Forestry Canada, Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre: 176-181. [15519]
  • 45. Everett, Richard L. 1987. Plant response to fire in the pinyon-juniper zone. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 152-157. [4755]
  • 77. Klopatek, Carole Coe; DeBano, Leonard F.; Klopatek, Jeffery M. 1990. Impact of fire on the microbial processes in pinyon-juniper woodlands: management implications. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech, Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 197-205. [11290]
  • 101. Roundy, Bruce A.; Blackburn, W. H.; Eckert, R. E., Jr. 1978. Influence of prescribed burning on infiltration and sediment production in the pinyon-juniper woodland, Nevada. Journal of Range Management. 31(4): 250-253. [2034]
  • 114. Springfield, H. W. 1976. Characteristics and management of Southwestern pinyon-juniper ranges: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap. RM-160. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. [2216]
  • 119. Tiedemann, Arthur R. 1987. Nutrient accumulations in pinyon-juniper ecosystems--managing for future site productivity. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 352-359. [29491]
  • 26. Bruner, Allen D.; Klebenow, Donald A. 1979. Predicting success of prescribed fires in pinyon-juniper woodland in Nevada. Res. Pap. INT-219. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [3254]
  • 41. Erdman, James A. 1970. Pinyon-juniper succession after natural fires on residual soils of Mesa Verde, Colorado. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin. Biological Series. 11(2): 1-26. [11987]
  • 46. Everett, Richard L.; Clary, Warren. 1985. Fire effects and revegetation on juniper-pinyon woodlands. In: Sanders, Ken; Durham, Jack, eds. Rangeland fire effects: a symposium; 1984 November 27-29; Boise, ID. Boise, ID: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office: 33-37. [888]
  • 48. Everett, Richard L.; Sharrow, Steven H. 1983. Response of understory species to tree harvesting and fire in pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Shaw, Nancy, compilers. Managing Intermountain rangelands--improvement of range and wildlife habitats: Proceedings of symposia; 1981 September 15-17; Twin Falls, ID; 1982 June 22-24, Elko, NV. General Technical Report INT-157. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 62-66. [897]
  • 49. Everett, Richard L.; Sharrow, Steven H. 1985. Understory response to tree harvesting of singleleaf pinyon and Utah juniper. The Great Basin Naturalist. 45(1): 105-112. [898]
  • 51. Everett, Richard L.; Ward, Kenneth. 1984. Early plant succession on pinyon-juniper controlled burns. Northwest Science. 58(1): 57-68. [901]
  • 57. Gifford, Gerald F.; Buckhouse, John C.; Busby, Frank E. 1976. Hydrologic impact of burning and grazing on a chained pinyon-juniper site in southeastern Utah. Completion Report Project A-022-Utah. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Utah Water Research Laboratory. 22 p. [16587]
  • 85. McCulloch, Clay Y. 1969. Some effects of wildfire on deer habitat in pinyon-juniper woodland. Journal of Wildlife Management. 33(4): 778-784. [1594]
  • 106. Severson, Kieth E.; Rinne, John N. 1990. Increasing habitat diversity in Southwestern forests and woodlands via prescribed fire. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 94-104. [11277]
  • 76. Klopatek, Carole Coe, Friese, Carl; Allen, Michael F.; [and others]. 1991. The effect of a high intensity fire on the patch dynamics of VA mycorrhizae in pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Nodvin, Stephen C.; Waldrop, Thomas A., eds. Fire and the environment: ecological and cultural perspectives: Proceedings of an international symposium; 1990 March 20-24; Knoxville, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-69. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 123-128. [16642]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: basal area, cover

Barney and Frischknecht [10] evaluated 28 different burns in west-central Utah to assess vegetation changes following fire in pinyon-juniper communities. The effects of fire on Utah juniper over time were as follows:

Approximate age of burn (yrs) Crown cover (%) Basal area (ft2/acre)
3 -- --
6 -- --
11 trace trace
22 0.5 0.6
36 1.2 1.9
46 1.3 1.6
71 16.0 21.5
86 17.2 33.4
100+ 31.8 142.6
 

Trees that established on burned sites immediately after the fire were adjacent to or underneath burned trees, suggesting they had grown from residual seed on the site. Utah junipers dominated these sites 46 to 71 years following the burn [10].

Rate of re-establishment of juniper depends on the age of the burned stand. More mature trees produce more seed, thereby increasing the rate at which a new stand is established [10,35]. Large rodent populations and unburned seeds or unburned patches within a burned stand will speed up re-establishment of Utah junipers [125].  

  • 10. Barney, Milo A.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1974. Vegetation changes following fire in the pinyon-juniper type of west-central Utah. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 91-96. [397]
  • 35. Crane, Marilyn F. 1982. Fire ecology of Rocky Mountain Region forest habitat types. Final Report Contract No. 43-83X9-1-884. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 1. 272 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [5292]
  • 125. Ward, Kenneth V. 1977. Two-year vegetation response and successional trends for spring burns in the pinyon-juniper woodland. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 62 p. Thesis. [276]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Utah juniper is usually killed by fire [10,45], especially when shorter than 3 to 4 feet (0.9-1.2 m) [35,125]. Larger trees, above 4 feet (1.2 m) tall, are capable of surviving surface fires [24,114]. Mortality occurs when 60% or more of the crown is scorched [69,114]. Surface fires will thin a juniper stand to large trees and trees growing on rocks and in other refugia [35].

Tausch and West [117] studied fire scars of Utah junipers in a stand in southwestern Utah. Thirty-eight percent of the Utah junipers sampled were older than an approximately 146 year-old fire, and 4 trees had fire scars from a second fire 317 years before sampling.

  • 10. Barney, Milo A.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1974. Vegetation changes following fire in the pinyon-juniper type of west-central Utah. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 91-96. [397]
  • 24. Bradley, Anne F.; Noste, Nonan V.; Fischer, William C. 1991. Fire ecology of forests and woodlands in Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-287. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 128 p. [18211]
  • 35. Crane, Marilyn F. 1982. Fire ecology of Rocky Mountain Region forest habitat types. Final Report Contract No. 43-83X9-1-884. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 1. 272 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [5292]
  • 45. Everett, Richard L. 1987. Plant response to fire in the pinyon-juniper zone. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 152-157. [4755]
  • 69. Jameson, Donald A. 1966. Juniper control by individual tree burning. Research Note RM-71. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 4 p. [1249]
  • 114. Springfield, H. W. 1976. Characteristics and management of Southwestern pinyon-juniper ranges: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap. RM-160. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. [2216]
  • 117. Tausch, Robin J.; West, Neil E. 1988. Differential establishment of pinyon and juniper following fire. The American Midland Naturalist. 119(1): 174-184. [3671]
  • 125. Ward, Kenneth V. 1977. Two-year vegetation response and successional trends for spring burns in the pinyon-juniper woodland. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 62 p. Thesis. [276]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: ground residual colonizer, initial off-site colonizer

Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
Initial off-site colonizer (off-site, initial community)

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: cover, crown fire, fire interval, fuel, fuel loading, mean fire interval, mesic, tree, xeric

Utah juniper is usually killed by fire, especially when trees are small. However, Utah juniper habitat types rarely have sufficient fine fuels to produce severe or continuous fires. Fuel loads probably rarely exceed 1 to 3 tons per acre [34]. Phenolic compounds produced by the trees reduce ground cover and therefore further decrease fuel loading around the tree. Sites that are most likely to burn are those with small, scattered trees with sufficient herbaceous understory, or those with large, decadent trees able to sustain a crown fire under windy conditions [24]. Juniper stands are seldom dense enough to carry a crown fire from one tree to the next, so even if one tree is struck by lightning, a fire that burns throughout the stand may not result [35]. One difficulty in estimating fire histories in juniper habitat types is that junipers don't usually form fire scars. If a fire is severe enough to form a fire scar, it probably will kill the cambium [53].

Ten to 30 years is an estimated mean fire interval for Utah juniper in Arizona, and from 11 to 23 years in southwestern Idaho. Fires were probably more common on slightly more mesic sites than on xeric sites [24].

  • 24. Bradley, Anne F.; Noste, Nonan V.; Fischer, William C. 1991. Fire ecology of forests and woodlands in Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-287. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 128 p. [18211]
  • 34. Covington, W. Wallace; DeBano, Leonard F. 1990. Effects of fire on pinyon-juniper soils. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [11275]
  • 35. Crane, Marilyn F. 1982. Fire ecology of Rocky Mountain Region forest habitat types. Final Report Contract No. 43-83X9-1-884. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 1. 272 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [5292]
  • 53. Floyd-Hanna, Lisa; Heil, Ken; Romme, William H. 1991. Succession models and shrub-dating stand originating fires at Mesa Verde National Park. Research Center Report. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, National Park Service Research Center. Fall: 1-3. [16994]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, competition, cover, fire suppression, litter, shrub

Utah juniper is not shade tolerant [88]. It is a climax species in harsh areas where stands are open and regeneration can occur without competition for light.

Across the West, junipers have expanded their historical range in the years since European settlement [4,19,24,29,30,73,116,124], especially into sagebrush-grass communities below areas of traditional pinyon-juniper [10,36,86]. Overgrazing, fire suppression, and climatic change have been identified as potential causes of juniper invasion [19,30,33,37,42,86,95,114]. In the absence of fire or other disturbances, trees eventually dominate the site and crowd out herbaceous and shrub species [4,10,19]. On the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, herbaceous cover on a grazed area was twice as high after clearing junipers as on control plots [5].

Juniper litter has an allelopathic effect on some understory species, especially Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), Sandberg bluegrass, and blue grama [24,44,50,70,120]. This effect is particularly evident on heavy, poorly drained clay soils [70]. Broadcasting grass seeds over litter appeared to lower the allelopathic effects [44].

Cheatgrass does not appear to suffer from allelopathic effects [44], and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) growth increases under juniper canopies [72].

  • 5. Arnold, Joseph F.; Schroeder, W. L. 1955. Juniper control increases forage production on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Station Paper No. 18. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p. [16589]
  • 4. Arnold, Joseph F.; Jameson, Donald A.; Reid, Elbert H. 1964. The pinyon-juniper type of Arizona: effects of grazing, fire and tree control. Production Research Report No. 84. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [353]
  • 10. Barney, Milo A.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1974. Vegetation changes following fire in the pinyon-juniper type of west-central Utah. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 91-96. [397]
  • 19. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Tueller, Paul T. 1970. Pinyon and juniper invasion in black sagebrush communities in east-central Nevada. Ecology. 51(5): 841-848. [459]
  • 24. Bradley, Anne F.; Noste, Nonan V.; Fischer, William C. 1991. Fire ecology of forests and woodlands in Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-287. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 128 p. [18211]
  • 29. Bunting, Stephen C. 1990. Prescribed fire effects in sagebrush-grasslands and pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Alexander, M. E.; Bisgrove, G. F., technical coordinator. The art and science of fire management: Proceedings of the 1st Interior West Fire Council annual meeting and workshop; 1988 October 24-27; Kananaskis Village, AB. Information Rep. NOR-X-309. Edmonton, AB: Forestry Canada, Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre: 176-181. [15519]
  • 30. Bunting, Stephen C. 1994. Effects of fire on juniper woodland ecosystems in the Great Basin. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G., compilers. Proceedings--ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18-22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 53-55. [24252]
  • 33. Cottam, W. P.; Stewart, George. 1940. Plant succession as a result of grazing and of meadow desiccation by erosion since settlement in 1862. Journal of Forestry. 38(8): 613-626. [696]
  • 37. Davis, James N.; Harper, Kimball T. 1990. Weedy annuals and establishment of seeded species on a chained juniper-pinyon woodland in central Utah. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Romney, Evan M.; Smith, Stanley D.; Tueller, Paul T., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and management; 1989 April 5-7; Las Vegas, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-276. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 72-79. [12872]
  • 42. Ernst, Reg; Pieper, Rex D. 1996. Changes in pinon-juniper vegetation: a brief history. Rangelands. 18(1): 14-16. [26706]
  • 44. Everett, Richard L. 1987. Allelopathic effects of pinyon and juniper litter on emergence and growth of herbaceous species. In: Frasier, Gary W.; Evans, Raymond A., eds. Proceedings of symposium: "Seed and seedbed ecology of rangeland plants"; 1987 April 21-23; Tucson, AZ. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: 62-67. [3353]
  • 50. Everett, Richard L.; Sharrow, Steven H.; Meeuwig, Richard O. 1983. Pinyon-juniper woodland understory distribution patterns and species associations. Torrey Botanical Club. 110(4): 454-463. [899]
  • 70. Jameson, Donald A. 1970. Degradation and accumulation of inhibitory substances from Juniperus osteopserma (Torr.) Little. Plant and Soil. 33: 213-224. [1254]
  • 72. Johnsen, Thomas N., Jr. 1987. Using herbicides for pinyon-juniper control in the Southwest. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 330-334. [4926]
  • 73. Johnson, Kendall L. 1987. Rangeland through time: A photographic study of vegetation change in Wyoming 1870-1896. Miscellaneous Publication 50. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, Agricultural Experiment Station. 188 p. [2751]
  • 86. McKell, Cyrus M.; Goodin, J. R. 1975. United States arid shrublands in perspective. In: Hyder, Donald N., ed. Arid shrublands--proceedings, 3rd workshop of the United States/Australia rangelands panel; 1973 March 26 - April 15; Tucson, AZ. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management: 12-18. [1614]
  • 88. Meeuwig, Richard O.; Bassett, Richard L. 1983. Pinyon-juniper. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. Silvicultural systems for the major forest types of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 445. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 84-86. [3899]
  • 95. Parker, K. W. 1945. Juniper comes to the grasslands: why it invades southwestern grassland; suggestions on control. American Cattle Producer. 27(Nov): 12-14, 30-32. [5755]
  • 114. Springfield, H. W. 1976. Characteristics and management of Southwestern pinyon-juniper ranges: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap. RM-160. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. [2216]
  • 120. Tueller, Paul T.; Clark, James E. 1975. Autecology of pinyon-juniper species of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. In: The pinyon-juniper ecosystem: a symposium; 1975 May; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: 27-40. [2368]
  • 124. Walker, Scott C.; Mann, David K.; McArthur, E. Durant. 1996. Plant community changes over 54 years within the Great Basin Experimental Range, Manti-La Sal National Forest. In: Barrow, Jerry R.; McArthur, E. Durant; Sosebee, Ronald E.; Tausch, Robin J., compilers. Proceedings: shrubland ecosystem dynamics in a changing environment; 1995 May 23-25; Las Cruces, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-338. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 66-68. [27032]
  • 36. Daniel, T. W.; Rivers, R. J.; Isaacson, H. E.; [and others]. 1966. Management alternatives for pinyon-juniper woodlands: A. Ecological phase: "The ecology of the pinyon-juniper type. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 242 p. In cooperation with: Utah Bureau of Land Management. [730]
  • 116. Tausch, Robin J.; Nabi, Ageli; West, Neil E. [n.d.]. Successional changes in Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodlands. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]. 48 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [16795]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: dioecious, monoecious

Utah juniper is monoecious and sometimes dioecious [4,67,54,80,123]. It reproduces by seeds in cones and produces abundant seeds in most years [4] or every couple of years [9,62]. Cones have 1 or 2 seeds [66]. The seeds have dormant embryos and impermeable seedcoats, so they need a period of "after-ripening" and usually germinate the second season following maturity [120].

Utah junipers begin to produce seed only when they are about 30 years old [24,58]. Utah juniper seeds are long-lived. In one study, 17% of Utah juniper seeds germinated after 45 years [4,j71]. In general, about 8 to 49% of Utah juniper seeds germinate [58].

Animal transport of seeds is an important factor in the dissemination of juniper seeds [9,24,88], especially by jackrabbits [10,103]. Seeds that have passed through the digestive tract of animals germinate more quickly than those that have not [4].

  • 66. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 4. Arnold, Joseph F.; Jameson, Donald A.; Reid, Elbert H. 1964. The pinyon-juniper type of Arizona: effects of grazing, fire and tree control. Production Research Report No. 84. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [353]
  • 9. Balda, Russell P.; Masters, Nancy. 1980. Avian communities in the pinyon-juniper woodland: a descriptive analysis. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 146-169. [17903]
  • 10. Barney, Milo A.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1974. Vegetation changes following fire in the pinyon-juniper type of west-central Utah. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 91-96. [397]
  • 24. Bradley, Anne F.; Noste, Nonan V.; Fischer, William C. 1991. Fire ecology of forests and woodlands in Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-287. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 128 p. [18211]
  • 54. Freeman, D. C.; McArthur, E. D.; Harper, K. T. 1984. The adaptive significance of sexual lability in plants using Atriplex canescens as a principal example. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 71: 265-277. [6238]
  • 62. Hall, Marion T. 1961. Notes on cultivated junipers. Butler University Botanical Studies. 14: 73-90. [19796]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 80. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]
  • 88. Meeuwig, Richard O.; Bassett, Richard L. 1983. Pinyon-juniper. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. Silvicultural systems for the major forest types of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 445. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 84-86. [3899]
  • 103. Schupp, Eugene W.; Heaton, Hoyt J.; Gomez, Jose M. 1997. Lagomorphs and the dispersal of seeds into communities dominated by exotic annual weeds. The Great Basin Naturalist. 57(3): 253-258. [28635]
  • 120. Tueller, Paul T.; Clark, James E. 1975. Autecology of pinyon-juniper species of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. In: The pinyon-juniper ecosystem: a symposium; 1975 May; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: 27-40. [2368]
  • 123. Vasek, Frank C. 1966. The distribution and taxonomy of three western junipers. Brittonia. 18: 350-372. [2426]
  • 58. Gottfried, Gerald J. 1992. Ecology and management of the southwestern pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others], technical coordinators. Ecology and management of oaks and associated woodlands: perspectives in the sw United States & n Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [19745]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Utah juniper seeds germinate in the spring [13].

Seasonal development of Utah juniper in Arizona is as follows [64]:

Phenological stage Date
Bark begins to slip March 25
Pollen shedding; seed cones open March 25
Approx. start of leader elongation April 20
First conspicuous new pollen cones August 19
Bark begins to stick September 15
Leader elongation ceases October 19

  • 13. Betancourt, Julio L. 1987. Paleoecology of pinyon-juniper woodlands: summary. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 129-139. [29488]
  • 64. Herman, F. R. 1956. Growth and phenological observations of Arizona junipers. Ecology. 37: 193-195. [4117]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Juniperus osteosperma

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 osteosperma

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
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 osteosperma is the most wide-spread species of juniper in the extensive Pinyon-Juniper woodland formation of the SW USA; it has little commercial value and occurs often on rocky escarpments and plateaus where few other plants get a foothold. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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Population

Population
An aggressive juniper, invading grasslands in Utah. Current control/eradication programs are unlikely to control it, as fire control is so good (and desired by the public).

Population Trend
Increasing
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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
This species is present in many protected areas, among which are famous national parks, in the (semi-)arid southwest.
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Management considerations



Currently one of the most important economic values of pinyon-juniper woodlands is for livestock grazing [98].

In northwest Colorado, chaining Utah juniper stands to increase livestock production resulted in a significant reduction of bird species diversity (p<0.05) and an increase in the number of small mammals [105].



Utah juniper is occasionally heavily infested by juniper mistletoe (Phoradendron juniperum ssp. juniperum) and dense mistletoe (P. bolleanum ssp. densum) [123].

  • 98. Pieper, Rex D. 1983. Overstory-understory relationships: pinyon-juniper and juniper woodlands. In: Bartlett, E. T.; Betters, David R., eds. Overstory-understory relationships in western forests. Western Regional Research Publication No. 1. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University Experiment Station: 35-37. [1890]
  • 105. Sedgwick, James A.; Ryder, Ronald A. 1987. Effects of chaining pinyon-juniper on nongame wildlife. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 541-551. [29498]
  • 123. Vasek, Frank C. 1966. The distribution and taxonomy of three western junipers. Brittonia. 18: 350-372. [2426]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Utah juniper is an important cover and shelter species for several large animals, including mule deer throughout its range, elk for winter cover in Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico, desert bighorn sheep throughout the Southwest, bison in Utah, wild horses throughout the West, mountain lion and lynx in Utah, Wyoming and Arizona, and pronghorn in Utah and Nevada [32,43,55,82,84,87,109].

Several small animals are also commonly found in pinyon-juniper woodlands, including the porcupine, desert cottontail, deer mouse, Great Basin pocket mouse, chisel-toothed kangaroo rat, desert woodrat, and others [55,121]. A study of small mammal populations on unchained, and on 8-year-old, and 15-year-old chained pinyon-juniper woodlands in Colorado found greater species diversity on the unchained site, although lower total numbers of animals [94].

Many reptiles also rely on the pinyon-juniper ecosystem for habitat [55].

Seventy-three different bird species breed in pinyon-juniper habitat woodlands, although of those, only 5 are obligates (screech owl, gray flycatcher, scrub jay, plain titmouse, and gray vireo) and 13 semi-obligates [9]. Ferruginous hawks nest in Utah juniper trees [68].

A study of chained juniper woodlands in Colorado concluded that breeding bird densities were more than double on unchained than on 8-year-old and 15-year-old chained areas. There were no breeding species in common between the 2 types of sites, since the woodland supported tree-dependent species, and the chained sites supported ground- and shrub-nesters. Species diversity was also greater on the unchained sites [94].

  • 9. Balda, Russell P.; Masters, Nancy. 1980. Avian communities in the pinyon-juniper woodland: a descriptive analysis. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 146-169. [17903]
  • 32. Coates, Kevin P.; Schemnitz, Sanford D. 1994. Habitat use and behavior of male mountain sheep in foraging associations with wild horses. The Great Basin Naturalist. 54(1): 86-90. [23693]
  • 43. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 55. Frischknecht, Neil C. 1975. Native faunal relationships within the pinyon-juniper ecosystem. In: The pinyon-juniper ecosystem: a symposium: Proceedings; 1975 May; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: 55-56. [974]
  • 68. Holechek, Jerry L. 1981. Brush control impacts on rangeland wildlife. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 36(5): 265-269. [1182]
  • 82. Leckenby, Donavin A.; Toweill, Dale E. 1983. Response of forage species seeded for mule deer in western juniper types of southcentral Oregon. Journal of Range Management. 36(1): 98-103. [8098]
  • 84. Logan, Kenneth A.; Irwin, Larry L. 1985. Mountain lion habitats in the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 13: 257-262. [4526]
  • 87. McNeil, Robert C.; Zobel, Donald B. 1980. Vegetation and fire history of a ponderosa pine-white fir forest in Crater Lake National Park. Northwest Science. 54(1): 30-46. [166]
  • 94. O'Meara, Timothy E.; Haufler, Jonathan B.; Stelter, Lavern H.; Nagy, Julius G. 1981. Nongame wildlife responses to chaining of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Journal of Wildlife Management. 45(2): 381-389. [4502]
  • 109. Short, Henry L.; Evans, Wain; Boeker, Erwin L. 1977. The use of natural and modified pinyon pine-juniper woodlands by deer and elk. Journal of Wildlife Management. 41(3): 543-559. [12036]
  • 121. Turkowski, Frank J.; Watkins, Ross K. 1976. White-throated woodrat (Neotoma albigula) habitat relations in modified pinyon-juniper woodland of southwestern New Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy. 57(3): 586-591. [2370]

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Nutritional Value

More info for the term: tree



Utah juniper is only moderately nutritious forage. The tree has low concentrations of manganese, iron, potassium, and phosphorus compared to other forage. Utah juniper does have high calcium, but with a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 28 to 1, animals probably would not do well on it [25]. Winter crude protein levels are from 6.4 to 7.9%. Eight percent protein is considered a maintenance value for mule deer [39]. In a Utah feeding trial, Smith [112] concluded that Utah juniper's low protein content makes it very poor feed, especially for young animals. In vitro dry matter digestibility for Utah juniper, measured in the fall, was 44.1% in a Utah study. Fifty percent is considered to be a maintenance level for mule deer [28].

Nutrient content of Utah juniper is as follows [90]:

Nutrient Content
Ash (%) 4.5
Crude fiber (%) 22.0
Ether extract (%) 16.3
N-free extract (%) 50.8
Protein (%) 6.4
Calcium (%) 1.59
Magnesium (%) 0.25
Phosphorus (%) 0.17
Thiamine (mg/kg) 2.4


Utah juniper needles contain volatile oils--monoterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes--that, in high concentration, can be damaging to the microorganisms in a deer's rumen and prevent proper digestion of food [39,104]. In a study comparing Utah juniper oil with that of alligator juniper and Rocky Mountain juniper, Utah juniper was most inhibitory of rumen microbial activity. Deer are able to detect the volatile oil content of food and will preferentially browse foods with lower content [39].

  • 25. Brotherson, Jack D.; Osayande, Solomon T. 1980. Mineral concentrations in true mountain mahogany and Utah juniper, and in associated soils. Journal of Range Management. 33(3): 182-185. [531]
  • 28. Bunderson, E. D.; Welch, Bruce L.; Weber, D. J. 1986. In vitro digestibility of Juniperus osteoperma (Torr.) Little from 17 Utah sites. Forest Science. 32(3): 834-840. [555]
  • 90. National Academy of Sciences. 1971. Atlas of nutritional data on United States and Canadian feeds. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. 772 p. [1731]
  • 104. Schwartz, Charles C.; Nagy, Julilus G.; Regelin, Wayne L. 1980. Juniper oil yield, terpenoid concentration, and antimicrobial effects on deer. Journal of Wildlife Management. 44(1): 107-113. [5792]
  • 112. Smith, Arthur D. 1952. Digestibility of some native forages for mule deer. Journal of Wildlife Management. 16(3): 309-312. [2160]
  • 39. Dietz, Donald R.; Nagy, Julius G. 1976. Mule deer nutrition and plant utilization. In: Workman; Low, eds. Mule deer decline in the West: A symposium; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. [Logan], UT: College of Natural Resources, Utah Agriculture Experiment Station: 71-78. [6909]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Utah juniper is used by many birds and animals, both wildlife and livestock, for cover and food.

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Wood Products Value

Utah juniper has long been used for construction, fence posts, firewood, pencils, Christmas trees, and other purposes [4,14,67,80]. Utah juniper wood is highly decay resistant [83].

  • 4. Arnold, Joseph F.; Jameson, Donald A.; Reid, Elbert H. 1964. The pinyon-juniper type of Arizona: effects of grazing, fire and tree control. Production Research Report No. 84. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [353]
  • 14. Bird, Douglas M. 1964. A history of timber resource use in the development of Cache Valley, Utah. Logan, UT: Utah State University. 72 p. M.S. thesis. [9482]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 80. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]
  • 83. Loehle, Craig. 1988. Tree life history strategies: the role of defenses. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 18(2): 209-222. [4421]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Utah juniper is generally considered too slow growing to be useful as a site rehabilitation species [126].

  • 126. Wasser, Clinton H. 1982. Ecology and culture of selected species useful in revegetating disturbed lands in the West. FWS/OBS-82/56. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 347 p. [15400]

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Palatability



Juniper "berries" or berry-cones are eaten by jackrabbits and coyotes [80]. Many bird species depend on juniper berry-cones for fall and winter food [9]. The foliage is grazed by mule deer when other foliage is scarce and during periods of deep snow [67,39,43,55]. Although deer mice and other small mammals are common in Utah juniper stands, in deer mice feeding trials in Nevada, Utah juniper seeds were the least preferred food choice of 28 seeds [47].

Large mammal use of Utah juniper is outlined in the following table [31,55,60,74,92,91,87,109,113]:



 

Species NV UT AZ NM CO
mule deer medium, in winter medium to high, in winter low low high, in winter
elk -- -- low medium, in winter low
domestic sheep -- none to low -- --
cattle -- none -- --
pronghorn -- -- low to medium -- --

  • 74. Julander, Odell. 1937. Utilization of browse by wildlife. Transactions, 2nd North American Wildlife Conference. ?: 276-287. [25031]
  • 47. Everett, Richard L.; Meeuwig, Richard O.; Stevens, Richard. 1978. Deer mouse preference for seed of commonly planted species, indigenous weed seed, and sacrifice foods. Journal of Range Management. 31(1): 70-73. [896]
  • 9. Balda, Russell P.; Masters, Nancy. 1980. Avian communities in the pinyon-juniper woodland: a descriptive analysis. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 146-169. [17903]
  • 43. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 55. Frischknecht, Neil C. 1975. Native faunal relationships within the pinyon-juniper ecosystem. In: The pinyon-juniper ecosystem: a symposium: Proceedings; 1975 May; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: 55-56. [974]
  • 60. Green, Lisle R.; Sharp, Lee A.; Cook, C. Wayne; Harris, Lorin E. 1951. Utilization of winter range forage by sheep. Journal of Range Management. 4: 233-241. [7891]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 80. Lanner, Ronald M. 1983. Trees of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 215 p. [1401]
  • 87. McNeil, Robert C.; Zobel, Donald B. 1980. Vegetation and fire history of a ponderosa pine-white fir forest in Crater Lake National Park. Northwest Science. 54(1): 30-46. [166]
  • 91. Neff, D. J. 1972. Responses of deer and elk to Beaver Creek watershed treatments. In: Proceedings, Arizona Watershed Symposium. 16: 18-24. [16593]
  • 92. Neff, Don J. 1974. Forage preferences of trained deer on the Beaver Creek watersheds. Special Report No. 4. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Game and Fish Department. 61 p. [162]
  • 109. Short, Henry L.; Evans, Wain; Boeker, Erwin L. 1977. The use of natural and modified pinyon pine-juniper woodlands by deer and elk. Journal of Wildlife Management. 41(3): 543-559. [12036]
  • 113. Smith, Arthur D.; Beale, Donald M. 1980. Pronghorn antelope in Utah: some research and observations. Publication No. 80-13. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. 88 p. [5305]
  • 31. Clary, Warren P.; Baker, Malchus B.; O'Connell, Paul F.; [and others]. 1974. Effects of pinyon-juniper removal on natural resource products and uses in Arizona. Res. Pap. RM-128. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 28 p. [640]
  • 39. Dietz, Donald R.; Nagy, Julius G. 1976. Mule deer nutrition and plant utilization. In: Workman; Low, eds. Mule deer decline in the West: A symposium; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. [Logan], UT: College of Natural Resources, Utah Agriculture Experiment Station: 71-78. [6909]

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Wikipedia

Juniperus osteosperma

Juniperus osteosperma (Utah Juniper; syn. J. utahensis) is a shrub or small tree reaching 3–6 m (rarely to 9 m) tall. It is native to the southwestern United States, in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, western New Mexico, western Colorado, Wyoming, southern Montana, southern Idaho and eastern California. It grows at moderate altitudes of 1,300-2,600 m, on dry soils, often together with Pinus monophylla.

Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) leaves, female cones and male cones, and (center) galls

The shoots are fairly thick compared to most junipers, 1.5–2 mm diameter. The leaves are arranged in opposite decussate pairs or whorls of three; the adult leaves are scale-like, 1–2 mm long (to 5 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, 8–13 mm in diameter, blue-brown with a whitish waxy bloom, and contain a single seed (rarely two); they are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are 2–4 mm long, and shed their pollen in early spring. It is largely monoecious with both sexes on the same plant, but around 10% of plants are dioecious, producing cones of only one sex.

Utah Juniper galls

The plants frequently bear numerous galls caused by the Juniper Tip Midge Oligotrophus betheli (Bibionomorpha: Cecidomyiidae); these are conspicuous pale violet-purple, produced in clusters of 5-20 together, each gall 1–2 cm diameter, with dense modified spreading scale-leaves 6–10 mm long and 2–3 mm broad at the base. Seeds are dispersed by Jackrabbits (mostly the Black-tailed Jackrabbit Lepus californicus spp.) rodents and to a lesser extent by coyotes (Canis latrans).

Juniperus osteosperma seedling along I-80 in northeastern Nevada

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • R.P. Adams. Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus. Trafford Publishing ISBN 1-4120-4250-X
  • J.C. Chambers, S.B. Vander Wall and E.W. Schupp. 1999. Seed and seedling ecology of piñon and juniper species in the pygmy woodlands of western North America. Botanical Review 65: 1-38.
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Notes

Comments

Juniperus osteosperma is the dominant juniper of Utah. It is reported to hybridize with J . occidentalis in northwestern Nevada (F. C. Vasek 1966).
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy



The accepted scientific name for Utah juniper is Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little (Cupressaceae) [66,67,75].

In northwestern Nevada, Utah juniper hybridizes with western juniper (J. occidentalis). In Arizona, Utah juniper hybridizes with oneseed juniper (J. monosperma), Rocky Mountain juniper (J. scopulorum), and alligator juniper (J. deppeana) [62].

  • 66. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 62. Hall, Marion T. 1961. Notes on cultivated junipers. Butler University Botanical Studies. 14: 73-90. [19796]
  • 67. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p. [1168]
  • 75. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]

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Common Names

Utah juniper

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