Overview

Distribution

Occurrence in North America

     AK  AZ  CA  CO  ID  ME  MI  MN  MT  NV
     NH  NM  NY  OR  UT  VT  WA  WI  WY  AB
     BC  LB  PQ  MEXICO

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Dwarf bilberry grows from Labrador, westward through subarctic North
America to south-central Alaska [8,40].  It extends southward through
the Cascades into California and through the Rocky Mountains to Colorado
and New Mexico [33,40].  In eastern North America, dwarf bilberry
grows southward through New England to New York and reaches portions of
northern Michigan and Minnesota to the west [8,61,68].  Disjunct
populations have been reported in certain mountainous areas of northern
Mexico [8].
  • 33.  Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific        Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p.  [1168]
  • 8.  Camp, W. H. 1942. A survey of the American species of Vaccinium,        subgenus Euvaccinium. Brittonia. 4: 205-247.  [6950]
  • 40.  Keeler, Harriet L. 1969. Vacciniaceae--huckleberry family. In: Our        northern shrubs and how to identify them. New York: Dover Publications,        Inc.: 315-342.  [9272]
  • 61.  Parminter, John. 1984. Fire-ecological relationships for the        biogeoclimatic zones of the northern portion of the Mackenzie Timber        Supply Area. In: Northern Fire Ecology Project: Northern Mackenzie        Timber Supply Area. Victoria, BC: Province of British Columbia, Ministry        of Forests. 102 p.  [9206]
  • 68.  Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed.        Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L.        Moldenke. 611 p.  [7604]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

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):

    2  Cascade Mountains
    4  Sierra Mountains
    5  Columbia Plateau
    6  Upper Basin and Range
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Vaccinium arbuscula (A. Gray) Merriam:
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.
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

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Vaccinium caespitosum Michx.:
Canada (North America)
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.
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

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: shrub

Dwarf bilberry is a dwarf-to-low, spreading, rhizomatous shrub
[34,71,80,81].  This often mat-forming shrub grows 2 to 20 inches (5-50
cm) in height [34,55,71,81].  Twigs are much-branched, angled, glaucous,
and glabrous to puberulent [55,81,85].  When young, twigs are green,
tannish, or reddish, but with age twigs become brown or brownish-gray
[71,81].  The shreddy bark is yellowish-green, green, or reddish
[34,73].  Roots of the dwarf bilberry are fibrous and spreading [73]
and reach depths of 0 to 67 inches (0-170 cm) [57].  Plants are
relatively short-lived [73].

The deciduous, alternate leaves are elliptic to oblanceolate or obovate,
and widest well above midlength [40,47,60,71].  Leaves are acute or
rounded at the apex, entire, crenulate or serrulate from the tip to
middle, and 0.4 to 2 inches (1-5 cm) in length [34,73,84,85].  The upper
surface is bright green and glabrous, whereas the lower surface is
glandular and a paler, light green [30,34,81].

Flowers are urn or bell-shaped and borne singly in the axils of leaves
[41,55,60].  The small, inconspicuous, waxy flowers are pink, white, or
red [41,73,77].  Floral morphology of the dwarf bilberry has been
considered in detail [59].  Fruit is a subglobose to globose berry which
averages 0.2 to 0.8 inch (5-8 mm) in diameter [34,55,85].  Berries are
dark blue to black with a glaucous bloom [47,71,85].  Fruit is sweet
[34] but generally not produced in abundance [80].  Berries contain
small, brown, cellular-pitted seeds [55,72].
  • 81.  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]
  • 55.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 30.  Hayes, Doris W.; Garrison, George A. 1960. Key to important woody plants        of eastern Oregon and Washington. Agric. Handb. 148. Washington, DC:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 227 p.  [1109]
  • 34.  Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur; Ownbey, Marion. 1959. Vascular        plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 4: Ericaceae through        Campanulaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 510 p.        [1170]
  • 40.  Keeler, Harriet L. 1969. Vacciniaceae--huckleberry family. In: Our        northern shrubs and how to identify them. New York: Dover Publications,        Inc.: 315-342.  [9272]
  • 41.  Kelly, George W. 1970. A guide to the woody plants of Colorado. Boulder,        CO: Pruett Publishing Co. 180 p.  [6379]
  • 47.  Lee, Lyndon C.; Pfister, Robert D. 1978. A training manual for Montana        forest habitat types. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of        Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 142 p.        [1434]
  • 57.  Nimlos, Thomas J.; Van Meter, Wayne P.; Daniels, Lewis A. 1968. Rooting        patterns of forest understory species as determined by radioiodine        absorption. Ecology. 49(6): 1145-1151.  [4120]
  • 59.  Palser, Barbara F. 1961. Studies of floral morphology in the Ericales.        V. Organography and vascular anatomy in several United States species of        the Vacciniaceae. Botanical Gazette. 123(2): 79-111.  [9032]
  • 60.  Patterson, Patricia A.; Neiman, Kenneth E.; Tonn, Jonalea. 1985. Field        guide to forest plants of northern Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-180.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Research Station. 246 p.  [1839]
  • 71.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Abbreviated key to western Montana Vacciniums.        Unpublished paper on file at:  U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service,Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT.  [10487]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]
  • 73.  Sutton, Richard F.; Johnson, Craig W. 1974. Landscape plants from Utah's        mountains. EC-368. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Cooperative        Extension Service. 135 p.  [49]
  • 77.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1937. Range plant        handbook. Washington, DC. 532 p.  [2387]
  • 80.  Vander Kloet, S. P. 1983. Seed and seedling characters in Vaccinium        Myrtillus. Naturaliste Canadien. 110: 285-292.  [10592]
  • 84.  Weber, William A. 1987. Colorado flora: western slope. Boulder, CO:        Colorado Associated University Press. 530 p.  [7706]
  • 85.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

Dwarf bilberry occurs at the margins of subalpine meadows, in
mountain ravines, along riverbanks, near snowbanks, or along the shores
of ponds and bogs [55,56,68,71,74,81,84].  It commonly grows on moist
subalpine or alpine slopes and on mossy forest floors where it
frequently forms a low, nearly continuous layer [41,84,85,46].  Dwarf
huckleberry is particularly abundant on flat terraces, benches, or
basins subject to frost [13,38].

Soils:  Dwarf bilberry grows well on medium-coarse, well-drained,
granitic soils [73,79].  Most huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) require
acidic soils and can grow on infertile sites which have relatively small
amounts of many essential elements [43].  Dwarf bilberry commonly
occurs on soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 [73].

Elevation:  Dwarf bilberry extends through the subalpine zone to well
above treeline [33].  In eastern North America, it typically occurs at
higher elevations [68].  Generalized elevational ranges by state are as
follows [18,55,81,85]:

                     to 3,800 feet (1,200 m) in AK
                   from 7,000 to 12,000 feet (2,134-3,660 m) in CA
                        8,000 to 12,000 feet (2,438-3,660 m) in CO
                        3,500 to 10,000 feet (1,067-3,048 m) in MT
                        7,300 to 10,363 feet (2,225-3,420 m) in UT
                        8,500 to 10,600 feet (2,591-3,233 m) in WY
  • 13.  Cole, David N. 1988. Disturbance and recovery of trampled montane        grassland and forests in Montana. Res. Pap. INT-389. Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station. 37 p.  [3622]
  • 81.  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]
  • 55.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 33.  Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific        Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p.  [1168]
  • 18.  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]
  • 38.  Johnston, Barry C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential        plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and        Kansas. 4th ed. R2-ECOL-87-2. Lakewood, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. 429 p.  [3519]
  • 41.  Kelly, George W. 1970. A guide to the woody plants of Colorado. Boulder,        CO: Pruett Publishing Co. 180 p.  [6379]
  • 43.  Korcak, Ronald F. 1988. Nutrition of blueberry and other calcifuges.        Horticultural Reviews. 10: 183-227.  [9612]
  • 46.  Langenheim, Jean H. 1962. Vegetation and environmental patterns in the        Crested Butte area, Gunnison County, Colorado. Ecological Monographs.        32(2): 249-285.  [1399]
  • 56.  Neiland, Bonita J. 1971. The forest-bog complex of southeast Alaska.        Vegetatio. 22: 1-64.  [8383]
  • 68.  Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed.        Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L.        Moldenke. 611 p.  [7604]
  • 71.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Abbreviated key to western Montana Vacciniums.        Unpublished paper on file at:  U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service,Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT.  [10487]
  • 73.  Sutton, Richard F.; Johnson, Craig W. 1974. Landscape plants from Utah's        mountains. EC-368. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Cooperative        Extension Service. 135 p.  [49]
  • 74.  Thompson, Larry S.; Kuijt, Job. 1976. Montane and subalpine plants of        the Sweetgrass Hills, Montana and their relation to early postglacial        environments on the northern Great Plains. Canadian Field-Naturalist.        90(4): 432-448.  [7894]
  • 79.  Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States,        their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture. 362 p.  [4240]
  • 84.  Weber, William A. 1987. Colorado flora: western slope. Boulder, CO:        Colorado Associated University Press. 530 p.  [7706]
  • 85.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: association, bog, climax, codominant, cover, heath, natural, shrub

Dwarf bilberry occurs as an understory dominant or codominant in high
elevation spruce (Picea spp.)-fir (Abies spp.) forests throughout much
of western North America.  It also grows, often in great abundance, in
some relatively moist Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesia), quaking aspen
(Populus tremuloides), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) communities.
Common understory codominants in these western forests include bog
Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), grouse whortleberry (Vaccinium
scoparium), queencup beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), and bluejoint
reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis).  Dwarf bilberry also occurs in
alpine heath communities and is codominant with species such as grouse
whortleberry, and pine dropseed (Blepharoneuron tricholepis) or other
forbs.  In the lower alpine zone of the West, this shrub, along with
grouse whortleberry, commonly dominates shrubfields which develop in
areas of prolonged snow cover [38].  In the East and North, it occurs in
black spruce (Picea mariana), balsam fir (A. balsamea)-white spruce (P.
glauca), paper birch (Betula papyrifera)-balsam fir, oak-maple
(Quercus-Acer spp.), and eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests
[20,53].  In the East, blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) commonly dominate
the understory of many eastern hemlock, red maple (A. rubrum)-red oak
(Q. rubra), eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), sugar maple (A.
saccharum), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana)-red pine (P. resinosa)
forests.

Plant associates:  In the West, dwarf bilberry commonly grows in
association with twinflower, queencup beadlily, Labrador tea, swordfern
(Polystichum spp.), huckleberries (V. membranaceum, V. globulare),
bluejoint reedgrass, elk sedge (Carex geyeri), and kinnikinnick
(Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) [62,74,75].  Common eastern understory
associates include maples (Acer spp.), blueberries (Vaccinium spp.),
lichens (Cladonia spp.), bog Labrador tea, wintergreen (Gaultheria
spp.), maianthemum (Maianthemum spp.), black crowberry (Empetrum
nigrum), mountain-laurel (Kalmia polifolia), and viburnum (Viburnum
spp.)  [20,44,45,53].

Dwarf bilberry has been listed as an indicator or dominant
in the following classifications:

 1.  Forest types of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex [1]
 2.  Classification of the forest vegetation of Wyoming [2]
 3.  A preliminary classification on the natural vegetation of Colorado [4]
 4.  Natural vegetation of Oregon and Washington [21]
 5.  Ecoclass coding system for the Pacific Northwest plant associations [27]
 6.  Riparian site types, habitat types, and community types of southwestern
       Montana [28]
 7.  Classification and management of riparian sites in central and eastern
       Montana [29]
 8.  Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest [31]
 9.  Preliminary forest habitat types of the Uinta Mountains, UT [32]
10.  Plant associations of south Chiloquin and Klamath Ranger
       Districts--Winema National Forest [36]
11.  Habitat types on selected parts of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre National
       Forests [42]
12.  Application of a forest habitat-type classification system in Michigan and
       Wisconsin [44]
13.  Habitat type classification system for northern Wisconsin [45]
14.  Flora and major plant communities of the Ruby-East Humboldt Mountains
       with special emphasis on Lamoille Canyon [48]
15.  Coniferous forest habitat types of northern Utah [52]
16.  Aspen community types of Utah [54]
17.  Forest habitat types of Montana [62]
18.  Climax vegetation of Montana based on soils and climate [67]
19.  Forest habitat types of central Idaho [70]
20.  Riparian classification for the Upper Salmon/Middle Fork Salmon River
       drainages, Idaho [76]
21.  Plant associations in the central Oregon Pumice Zone [83]
22.  Forested plant associations of the Okanogan National Forests [86]
23.  Coniferous forest habitat types of central and southern Utah [87]
  • 2.  Alexander, Robert R. 1986. Classification of the forest vegetation of        Wyoming. Res. Note RM-466. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station. 10 p.  [304]
  • 21.  Franklin, Jerry F.; Dyrness, C. T. 1973. Natural vegetation of Oregon        and Washington. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-8. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range        Experiment Station. 417 p.  [961]
  • 1.  Agee, James K.; Kertis, Jane. 1987. Forest types of the North Cascades        National Park Service Complex. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65:        1520-1530.  [6327]
  • 4.  Baker, William L. 1984. A preliminary classification of the natural        vegetation of Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist. 44(4): 647-676.  [380]
  • 20.  Foster, David R. 1985. Vegetation development following fire in Picea        mariana (black spruce) - Pleurozium forests of south-eastern Labrador,        Canada. Journal of Ecology. 73: 517-534.  [7222]
  • 27.  Hall, Frederick C. 1984. Ecoclass coding system for the Pacific        Northwest plant associations. R6 Ecol 173-1984. Portland, OR: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 83        p.  [7650]
  • 28.  Hansen, Paul; Chadde, Steve; Pfister, Robert; [and others]
  • 29.  Hansen, Paul; Pfister, Robert; Boggs, Keith; [and others]
  • 31.  Hemstrom, Miles A.; Logan, Sheila E.; Pavlat, Warren. 1987. Plant        association and management guide: Willamette National Forest. R6-Ecol        257-B-86. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Pacific Northwest Region. 312 p.  [13402]
  • 32.  Henderson, Jan A.; Mauk, Ronald L.; Anderson, Donald L.; [and others]
  • 36.  Hopkins, William E. 1979. Plant associations of south Chiloquin and        Klamath Ranger Districts-- Winema National Forest. R6-Ecol-79-005.        Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific        Northwest Region. 96 p.  [7339]
  • 38.  Johnston, Barry C. 1987. Plant associations of Region Two: Potential        plant communities of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and        Kansas. 4th ed. R2-ECOL-87-2. Lakewood, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. 429 p.  [3519]
  • 42.  Komarkova, Vera. 1986. Habitat types on selected parts of the Gunnison        and Uncompahgre National Forests. Final Report Contract No. 28-K2-234.        Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 270 p.  [1369]
  • 44.  Kotar, J. 1986. Application of forest habitat-type classification system        in Michigan and Wisconsin. In: Site classification in relation to forest        management: Proceedings of a symposium; 1985 August 27-29; Sault Ste.        Marie, ON. COJFRC Symposium Proceedings O-P-14. [Place of publication        unknown]
  • 45.  Kotar, John; Kovack, Joseph; Locey, Craig. 1989. Habitat classification        system for northern Wisconsin. In: Ferguson, Dennis E.; Morgan,        Penelope; Johnson, Frederic D., eds. Proceedings--Land classifications        based on vegetation applications for resource management; 1987 November        17-19; Moscow, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-257. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 304-306.        [6962]
  • 48.  Lewis, Mont E. 1971. Flora and major plant communities of the Ruby-East        Humboldt Mountains with special emphasis on Lamoille Canyon. Elko, NV:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Region 4, Humboldt        National Forest. 62 p.  [1450]
  • 52.  Mauk, Ronald L.; Henderson, Jan A. 1984. Coniferous forest habitat types        of northern Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-170. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station. 89 p.  [1553]
  • 53.  Morin, Hubert; Payette, Serge. 1988. Buried seed populations in the        montane, subalpine, and alpine belts of Mont Jacques-Cartier, Quebec.        Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 101-107.  [6376]
  • 54.  Mueggler, Walter F.; Campbell, Robert B., Jr. 1986. Aspen community        types of Utah. Res. Pap. INT-362. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 69 p.        [1714]
  • 62.  Pfister, Robert D.; Kovalchik, Bernard L.; Arno, Stephen F.; Presby,        Richard C. 1977. Forest habitat types of Montana. Gen. Tech. Rep.        INT-34. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 174 p.  [1878]
  • 67.  Ross, Robert L.; Hunter, Harold E. 1976. Climax vegetation of Montana        based on soils and climate. Bozeman, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Soil Conservation Service. 64 p.  [2028]
  • 70.  Steele, Robert; Pfister, Robert D.; Ryker, Russell A.; Kittams, Jay A.        1981. Forest habitat types of central Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-114.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Forest and Range Experiment Station. 138 p.  [2231]
  • 74.  Thompson, Larry S.; Kuijt, Job. 1976. Montane and subalpine plants of        the Sweetgrass Hills, Montana and their relation to early postglacial        environments on the northern Great Plains. Canadian Field-Naturalist.        90(4): 432-448.  [7894]
  • 75.  Tisdale, E. W.; McLean, A. 1957. The Douglas-fir zone of southern        interior British Columbia. Ecological Monographs. 27(3): 247-266.        [8866]
  • 76.  Tuhy, Joel S.; Jensen, Sherman. 1982. Riparian classification for the        Upper Salmon/Middle Fork Salmon River drainages, Idaho. Smithfield, UT:        White Horse Associates. Final Report, Contract with U.S.S. Forest        Service, Region 4. 153 p.  [8380]
  • 83.  Volland, Leonard A. 1985. Ecological classification of lodgepole pine in        the United States. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Krebill, Richard G.;        Arnott, James T.; Weetman, Gordon F., compilers and editors. Lodgepole        pine: The species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1984 May        8-10; Spokane, WA; 1984 May 14-16; Vancouver, BC. Pullman, WA:        Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 63-75.  [9441]
  • 86.  Williams, Clinton K.; Lillybridge, Terry R. 1983. Forested plant        associations of the Okanogan National Forest. R6-Ecol-132b. Portland,        OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest        Region. 116 p.  [2566]
  • 87.  Youngblood, Andrew P.; Mauk, Ronald L. 1985. Coniferous forest habitat        types of central and southern Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-187. Ogden, UT:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station. 89 p.  [2684]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

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):

     5  Balsam fir
    12  Black spruce
    18  Paper birch
    35  Paper birch - red spruce - balsam fir
   107  White spruce
   201  White spruce
   202  White spruce - paper birch
   206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
   210  Interior Douglas-fir
   212  Western larch
   213  Grand fir
   217  Aspen
   218  Lodgepole pine
   224  Western hemlock
   230  Douglas-fir - western hemlock
   252  Paper birch

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

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):

   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES19  Aspen - birch
   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES21  Ponderosa pine
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce
   FRES25  Larch
   FRES26  Lodgepole pine
   FRES28  Western hardwoods
   FRES37  Mountain meadows
   FRES44  Alpine

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

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):

   K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest
   K011  Western ponderosa forest
   K012  Douglas-fir forest
   K014  Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K015  Western spruce - fir forest
   K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest
   K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K021  Southwestern spruce - fir forest
   K052  Alpine meadows and barren
   K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
   K096  Northeastern spruce - fir forest

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: cover, fire suppression, prescribed fire, succession

Postharvest treatment:  Dwarf bilberry can often survive broadcast
burns which follow timber harvest [37].  However, shallow rhizomes can
be seriously damaged by hot burns which occur in piled slash or where
fuel loading is heavy.

Wildlife:  Evidence suggests that fire suppression may have an adverse
impact on bear habitat [78,88].  Once productive seral berry fields are
currently being invaded by conifers.  Logging treatments which include
severe soil scarification or slash fires may also result in decreased
berry availability.  Even where timber harvest favors berry production,
lack of cover in early years can limit bear use.  However, wildfires
often create diverse habitat mosaics which include elements of hiding
cover which favors bear use.  Succession proceeds slowly on high
elevation berry fields, particularly on south slopes, and fires often
generate shrubfields that remain productive for long periods of time
[88].

Prescribed fire:  Prescribed fires, particularly those carried out
during the spring, may increase berry production for bears and other
animals.  Little research has been conducted on dwarf bilberry,
although the use of prescribed fire has been evaluated with respect to
blue huckleberries (Vaccinium globulare, Vaccinium membranaceum).  [see
VACGLO].  Light or moderate burns, conducted when the soil is somewhat
moist, may be most effective in promoting western huckleberries [50].
  • 37.  Hungerford, Roger D. 1986. Vegetation response to stand cultural        operations on small stem lodgepole pine stands in Montana. In: Weed        control for forest productivity in the interior West; 1985 February 5-7;        Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative        Extension: 63-71.  [5896]
  • 50.  Martin, Patricia A. E. 1979. Productivity and taxonomy of the Vaccinium        globulare, V. membranaceum complex in western Montana. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana. 136 p. Thesis.  [9130]
  • 78.  Unsworth, James W.; Beecham, John J.; Irby, Lynn R. 1989. Female black        bear habitat use in west-central Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management.        53(3): 668-673.  [8407]
  • 88.  Zager, Peter Edward. 1980. The influence of logging and wildfire on        grizzly bear habitat in northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University        of Montana. 131 p. Dissertation.  [5032]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: prescribed fire, restoration

The Research Project Summary Vegetation response to restoration treatments
in ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests of western Montana
provides information
on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant community species,
including dwarf bilberry, that was not available when this species
review was written.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, frequency, shrubs

Seedling establishment:  Seed banking does not appear to be an important
postfire regenerative strategy of dwarf bilberry.  Although seeds
were observed within the top 1.2 inches (3 cm) of soil in paper
birch-balsam fir-white spruce forests of Quebec, viability was low and
few seedlings could be expected to develop from seed stored on-site
[53].  Seeds of dwarf bilberry are dispersed considerable distances
by birds and mammals [37,72].  Seeds are generally unharmed by digestive
processes and can germinate on favorable sites during moist years.

Vegetative regeneration:  Shallow rhizomes may enable dwarf bilberry
to sprout and quickly reoccupy a site after most light to moderate fires
[37].  After severe treatments in which rhizomes are eliminated,
reestablishment most likely proceeds slowly through seedling
establishment or clonal expansion at the burn's periphery.  Following
small, patchy fires, such as those occurring after lighting strikes on
high elevation sites with discontinuous fuels, reestablishment would
presumably occur through rhizomatous spreading from the perimeter of the
burn.

Postfire reestablishment:  Light fires may favor dwarf bilberry by
reducing competitors, increasing nutrient availability, and opening the
canopy so that greater amounts of light reaches low shrubs.
Reestablishment is rapid where rhizomes are capable of sprouting.
Postfire cover can greatly exceed prefire levels [20].  In parts of the
central Rockies, light fires in high elevation spruce-fir forests create
a ground cover made up primarily of dwarf bilberry and a "few hardy
herbaceous ... relics" [46]. 

Postfire increases in dwarf bilberry have also been reported in
eastern North America.  After fire in a black spruce community in
Labrador, frequency of dwarf bilberry was 44.4 percent in unburned
stands compared with 63.1 percent in burned stands [20].
  • 20.  Foster, David R. 1985. Vegetation development following fire in Picea        mariana (black spruce) - Pleurozium forests of south-eastern Labrador,        Canada. Journal of Ecology. 73: 517-534.  [7222]
  • 37.  Hungerford, Roger D. 1986. Vegetation response to stand cultural        operations on small stem lodgepole pine stands in Montana. In: Weed        control for forest productivity in the interior West; 1985 February 5-7;        Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative        Extension: 63-71.  [5896]
  • 46.  Langenheim, Jean H. 1962. Vegetation and environmental patterns in the        Crested Butte area, Gunnison County, Colorado. Ecological Monographs.        32(2): 249-285.  [1399]
  • 53.  Morin, Hubert; Payette, Serge. 1988. Buried seed populations in the        montane, subalpine, and alpine belts of Mont Jacques-Cartier, Quebec.        Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 101-107.  [6376]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Immediate Effect of Fire

Underground portions of dwarf bilberry can survive most light to
moderate fires.  However, rhizomes are relatively shallow and may be
killed by hot duff-reducing fires [37].
  • 37.  Hungerford, Roger D. 1986. Vegetation response to stand cultural        operations on small stem lodgepole pine stands in Montana. In: Weed        control for forest productivity in the interior West; 1985 February 5-7;        Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative        Extension: 63-71.  [5896]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: rhizome, shrub

   Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil
   Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: bog, severity, shrub

Patches of dwarf bilberry commonly develop after fire in lodgepole
pine and fir-spruce communities of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky
Mountains [30,46].  This shrub is also a prominent constituent of
postfire communities in black spruce forests of eastern Canada [20].
The widespread representation of dwarf bilberry in many postfire
communities suggests that it is capable of surviving many, if not most,
fires.  Dwarf bilberry has shallow rhizomes [55] and can presumably
sprout after fires of light or moderate severity [37].  Berries are
well adapted to animal dispersal and can be transported long distances
[37,72].  Very limited seedling establishment from off-site sources may
occur in favorable years, but vegetative regeneration appears to be of
primary importance in the postfire reestablishment of most Vacciniums.
Martin [50] notes that "the role of fire in establishing new populations
of western Vacciniums or in maintaining existing ones, is not
well-documented."

Many sites occupied by dwarf bilberry burn infrequently.  Areas such
as wet meadows, bog and pond margins, and areas below timberline which
are too rocky to support trees are unlikely to experience fires at
frequent intervals.  However, fire is an important influence in many
forested communities.  Fire-free intervals have been estimated at 20
years in Douglas-fir/dwarf bilberry forests in the Swan Valley of
northwestern Montana and at 28 years in the Bitterroot Mountains of
western Montana.  Fire-free intervals of 17 years have been suggested
for spruce/queencup beadlily-dwarf bilberry habitat types of western
Montana [22].
  • 22.  Freedman, June D. 1983. The historical relationship between fire and        plant succession within the Swan Valley white-tailed deer winter range,        western Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana. 139 p.        Dissertation.  [6486]
  • 55.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 20.  Foster, David R. 1985. Vegetation development following fire in Picea        mariana (black spruce) - Pleurozium forests of south-eastern Labrador,        Canada. Journal of Ecology. 73: 517-534.  [7222]
  • 30.  Hayes, Doris W.; Garrison, George A. 1960. Key to important woody plants        of eastern Oregon and Washington. Agric. Handb. 148. Washington, DC:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 227 p.  [1109]
  • 37.  Hungerford, Roger D. 1986. Vegetation response to stand cultural        operations on small stem lodgepole pine stands in Montana. In: Weed        control for forest productivity in the interior West; 1985 February 5-7;        Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative        Extension: 63-71.  [5896]
  • 46.  Langenheim, Jean H. 1962. Vegetation and environmental patterns in the        Crested Butte area, Gunnison County, Colorado. Ecological Monographs.        32(2): 249-285.  [1399]
  • 50.  Martin, Patricia A. E. 1979. Productivity and taxonomy of the Vaccinium        globulare, V. membranaceum complex in western Montana. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana. 136 p. Thesis.  [9130]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, shrub

Dwarf bilberry occurs in climax Douglas-fir or spruce-fir forests
throughout much of the West [54,67].  However, it is also considered an
important seral shrub in many areas of western North America [26].  An
extensive network of shallow rhizomes enables this shrub to rapidly
reestablish after most light to moderate disturbances.
  • 26.  Haeussler, S.; Pojar, J.; Geisler, B. M.; [and others]
  • 54.  Mueggler, Walter F.; Campbell, Robert B., Jr. 1986. Aspen community        types of Utah. Res. Pap. INT-362. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 69 p.        [1714]
  • 67.  Ross, Robert L.; Hunter, Harold E. 1976. Climax vegetation of Montana        based on soils and climate. Bozeman, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Soil Conservation Service. 64 p.  [2028]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: natural

Dwarf bilberry reproduces both sexually and vegetatively, although
vegetative regeneration appears to be of primary importance.

Seed:  Vaccinium seeds are not dormant and require no pretreatment for
germination.  Seedlings first emerge within 1 month after seeds are
planted, and germination continues over a long period of time if no cold
stratification is provided.  Germination capacity of dwarf bilberry
in laboratory tests was estimated at 96 percent [15].  Berries are
sweet, nutritious, and highly attractive to mammalian dispersers.
Colorful berries are also consumed in great numbers by both year-round
resident and transient breeding birds which can effect long-distance
dispersal.  The tough seeds generally pass through digestive tracts
undamaged [72].

Dwarf bilberry seedlings are rarely observed under natural conditions
in the West.  Germination may be limited to exceptional sites in
favorable, moist years.  Seed stored on-site appears to contribute
little to regeneration of this species [37].  Buried seeds have been
recovered from the top 1.2 inches (3 cm) of soil in balsam fir (Abies
balsamea)-white spruce (Picea glauca) forests of Quebec, but viability
was very low (0-16 percent) [53].

Vegetative regeneration:  Dwarf bilberry is rhizomatous [55,71,80]
and plants are often capable of sprouting after the crown is removed
or damaged.  However, these regenerative structures are fairly shallow
and can be damaged or eliminated by deep, duff-consuming fires or
mechanical treatments which include severe soil scarification.  Twigs
are capable of regenerating at the nodes [81] and vegetative expansion
can occur even in the absence of disturbance.
  • 81.  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]
  • 55.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 15.  Crossley, John A. 1974. Vaccinium L.   Blueberry. In: Schopmeyer, C. S.,        ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450.        Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 840-843.        [7774]
  • 37.  Hungerford, Roger D. 1986. Vegetation response to stand cultural        operations on small stem lodgepole pine stands in Montana. In: Weed        control for forest productivity in the interior West; 1985 February 5-7;        Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative        Extension: 63-71.  [5896]
  • 53.  Morin, Hubert; Payette, Serge. 1988. Buried seed populations in the        montane, subalpine, and alpine belts of Mont Jacques-Cartier, Quebec.        Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 101-107.  [6376]
  • 71.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Abbreviated key to western Montana Vacciniums.        Unpublished paper on file at:  U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service,Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT.  [10487]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]
  • 80.  Vander Kloet, S. P. 1983. Seed and seedling characters in Vaccinium        Myrtillus. Naturaliste Canadien. 110: 285-292.  [10592]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

Shrub

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Dwarf bilberry flowers in late spring or summer with fruit maturation
beginning immediately after flowering [72,79].  Fruit ripens in mid to
late summer or fall, and seed dispersal occurs from July to September
[72,73].  Leaves drop in early autumn [40].  However, specific
phenological development varies annually according to weather
conditions.  Seasonal development in various geographic locations has
been documented as follows [18,53,55,60,68,81]:

     location             flowering               fruiting

       AK                 late May-mid July       August
       CA                 June-July               -----
       CO                 July                    -----
     n ID                 May-July                -----
     New England          June 1-June 27          -----
       QC                 June-July               July-September
       UT                 June                    -----
  • 81.  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]
  • 55.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 18.  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]
  • 40.  Keeler, Harriet L. 1969. Vacciniaceae--huckleberry family. In: Our        northern shrubs and how to identify them. New York: Dover Publications,        Inc.: 315-342.  [9272]
  • 53.  Morin, Hubert; Payette, Serge. 1988. Buried seed populations in the        montane, subalpine, and alpine belts of Mont Jacques-Cartier, Quebec.        Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 101-107.  [6376]
  • 60.  Patterson, Patricia A.; Neiman, Kenneth E.; Tonn, Jonalea. 1985. Field        guide to forest plants of northern Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-180.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Research Station. 246 p.  [1839]
  • 68.  Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed.        Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L.        Moldenke. 611 p.  [7604]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]
  • 73.  Sutton, Richard F.; Johnson, Craig W. 1974. Landscape plants from Utah's        mountains. EC-368. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Cooperative        Extension Service. 135 p.  [49]
  • 79.  Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States,        their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture. 362 p.  [4240]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Vaccinium caespitosum

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


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Vaccinium caespitosum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T5 - Secure

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Management considerations

More info for the term: cover

Chemical control:  Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) exhibit variable
susceptibility to herbicides such as 2,4-D [7].

Recreational impacts:  Studies indicate that dwarf bilberry is
moderately resistant to trampling by recreationists.  Short-term
resilience is rated as moderate [13].

Timber harvest:  Dwarf bilberry often survives clearcutting which is
followed by broadcast burns, although the shallow rhizomes may be killed
by severe scarification [37].  Studies conducted in the Swan Valley of
northwestern Montana suggest that dwarf bilberry responds more
favorably to clearcutting than to other methods of timber harvest.
Average cover by timber harvest method was documented as follows [23]:

             treatment              average percent cover

             untreated                      12
             clearcut                       12
             plantation                      3
             seed tree                      10
             selection                       3

Impacts of timber harvest on bears:  Despite good fruit production in
clearcuts, bears may avoid these sites unless sufficient hiding cover is
present.  The extent to which grizzly bears use clearcuts dominated by
dwarf bilberry and other Vacciniums depends largely on the
availability of cover.  The size and shape of cutting units as well as
proximity of roads influence bear use.  In northern Idaho, black bears
avoid clearcuts, but in parts of western Washington, 18- to 25-year-old
clearcuts are used, although 9- to 14-year-old cuts are generally
avoided.  In a northern Montana study, bears used 10-year-old clearcuts
but did not utilize newer cuts [78].  Evidence suggests that grizzly
bears may prefer older clearcuts with sufficient cover and areas burned
by wildfires 25 to 60 years ago [50].  Berry production and grizzly bear
use has been poorly documented with respect to the dwarf bilberry.
Most research efforts have focused on the blue huckleberry complex (V.
membranaceum-V. globulare) [see VACGLO].

Grizzly habitat value of huckleberry shrubfields can be increased by
permanent or appropriate seasonal road closures, by coordinating timber
harvest dates to have minimal impact on habitat use patterns, and by
considering cumulative effects of habitat modification on adjacent
areas.  Site preparation should include minimizing soil compaction,
using broadcast burns rather than piling slash to generate hot fires, or
by eliminating site preparation where possible.  Grizzly use can be
favored by retaining hiding cover through treating small, irregular
patches rather than large contiguous areas and by leaving stringers of
timber in larger cuts [88].
  • 13.  Cole, David N. 1988. Disturbance and recovery of trampled montane        grassland and forests in Montana. Res. Pap. INT-389. Ogden, UT: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station. 37 p.  [3622]
  • 7.  Bovey, Rodney W. 1977. Response of selected woody plants in the United        States to herbicides. Agric. Handb. 493. Washington, DC: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 101 p.  [8899]
  • 23.  Freedman, June D.; Habeck, James R. 1985. Fire, logging, and        white-tailed deer interrelationships in the Swan Valley, northwestern        Montana. In: Lotan, James E.; Brown, James K., compilers. Fire's effects        on wildlife habitat--symposium proceedings; 1984 March 21; Missoula, MT.        Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-186. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 23-35.  [8319]
  • 37.  Hungerford, Roger D. 1986. Vegetation response to stand cultural        operations on small stem lodgepole pine stands in Montana. In: Weed        control for forest productivity in the interior West; 1985 February 5-7;        Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative        Extension: 63-71.  [5896]
  • 50.  Martin, Patricia A. E. 1979. Productivity and taxonomy of the Vaccinium        globulare, V. membranaceum complex in western Montana. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana. 136 p. Thesis.  [9130]
  • 78.  Unsworth, James W.; Beecham, John J.; Irby, Lynn R. 1989. Female black        bear habitat use in west-central Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management.        53(3): 668-673.  [8407]
  • 88.  Zager, Peter Edward. 1980. The influence of logging and wildfire on        grizzly bear habitat in northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University        of Montana. 131 p. Dissertation.  [5032]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

More info for the term: fresh

Berries of the dwarf bilberry are edible [41,69] but of no economic
importance [11].  Fruit is delicious when fresh or in jams and jellies
[81].  Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) were an important traditional food
source for many Native American peoples.  Berries of the dwarf
huckleberry are often less abundant than those of other species and were
presumably less important than those of more productive huckleberries.

Numerous cultivars of huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) have been developed
for use as ornamentals or in garden plantings [65].  The dwarf
huckleberry can be used in landscaping and forms an attractive ground
cover [73].  It was first cultivated in 1823 [15].
  • 81.  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]
  • 11.  Chandler, F. B.; Hyland, Fay. 1941. Botanical and economic distribution        of Vaccinium L. in Maine. Proceedings of the American Society for        Horticultural Science. 38: 430-433.  [9665]
  • 15.  Crossley, John A. 1974. Vaccinium L.   Blueberry. In: Schopmeyer, C. S.,        ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450.        Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 840-843.        [7774]
  • 41.  Kelly, George W. 1970. A guide to the woody plants of Colorado. Boulder,        CO: Pruett Publishing Co. 180 p.  [6379]
  • 65.  Reich, Lee. 1988. Backyard blues. Organic Gardening. 35(6): 28-34.        [9179]
  • 69.  Smith, D. W. 1962. Ecological studies of Vaccinium species in Alberta.        Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 42: 82-90.  [7004]
  • 73.  Sutton, Richard F.; Johnson, Craig W. 1974. Landscape plants from Utah's        mountains. EC-368. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Cooperative        Extension Service. 135 p.  [49]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

The dwarf bilberry has a fibrous, spreading root system [73] and can
presumably aid in preventing soil erosion on some sites.  It is rated as
having low to moderate value for short-term rehabilitation projects and
moderate value for long-term rehabilitation [18].

Species within the genus Vaccinium can be propagated from hardwood
cuttings [15].  Dwarf bilberry can also be grown from seed which
averages 5,300,000 per pound (11,674/g) [15,73].  Seedlings grown in the
greenhouse can be transplanted onto favorable sites 6 to 7 weeks after
emergence [15].  Seed collection and storage techniques have been
examined in detail [15].
  • 15.  Crossley, John A. 1974. Vaccinium L.   Blueberry. In: Schopmeyer, C. S.,        ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450.        Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 840-843.        [7774]
  • 18.  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]
  • 73.  Sutton, Richard F.; Johnson, Craig W. 1974. Landscape plants from Utah's        mountains. EC-368. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Cooperative        Extension Service. 135 p.  [49]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Because of its low growth form, dwarf bilberry provides minimal cover
for most large mammals.  However, dense thickets can serve as good cover
for smaller birds and mammals.  Grand fir (Abies grandis)/dwarf
huckleberry habitat types of central Idaho reportedly offer adequate
cover for elk and white-tailed deer [70].  Cover value of dwarf
huckleberry has been rated as follows [18]:

                       UT      WY

Pronghorn             poor    poor
Elk                   poor    poor
Mule deer             poor    poor
White-tailed deer     ----    poor
Small mammals         good    good
Small nongame birds   fair    good
Waterfowl             poor    poor
  • 18.  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]
  • 70.  Steele, Robert; Pfister, Robert D.; Ryker, Russell A.; Kittams, Jay A.        1981. Forest habitat types of central Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-114.        Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain        Forest and Range Experiment Station. 138 p.  [2231]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Palatability

Dwarf bilberry browse is relatively unpalatable to most wild
ungulates and to domestic livestock [17,77].  However, berries are
highly palatable to black and grizzly bears, and to many small birds and
mammals [47].  The palatability of dwarf bilberry has been rated as
follows [18]:
                        CO      MT      UT      WY

Cattle                 poor    poor    poor    poor
Sheep                  fair    fair    fair    fair
Horses                 poor    poor    poor    poor
Pronghorn              ----    ----    poor    poor
Elk                    ----    ----    good    good
Mule deer              ----    ----    good    good
White-tailed deer      ----    ----    ----    good
Small mammals          ----    ----    good    good
Small nongame birds    ----    ----    good    good
Upland game birds      ----    ----    good    good
Waterfowl              ----    ----    poor    poor
  • 17.  Dayton, William A. 1931. Important western browse plants. Misc. Publ.        101. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 214 p.  [768]
  • 18.  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]
  • 47.  Lee, Lyndon C.; Pfister, Robert D. 1978. A training manual for Montana        forest habitat types. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of        Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 142 p.        [1434]
  • 77.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1937. Range plant        handbook. Washington, DC. 532 p.  [2387]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the terms: cover, shrub, shrubs

Browse:  Dwarf bilberry browse apparently provides minimal forage for
big game and domestic livestock [17,79].  This short-statured shrub may
be buried by snow and is often unavailable during much of the winter
[22].  However, certain Douglas-fir/dwarf bilberry habitat types of
northwestern Montana, which commonly occur on relatively warm, dry sites
where snow depths are not extreme, are preferred wintering areas for
white-tailed deer, elk, and moose [6,23,62].  Lack of hiding cover may
prevent deer from using recent clearcuts dominated by dwarf bilberry
and other low shrubs [22].

Fruit:  The sweet, attractive berries are an important food source for
many birds including the ruffed grouse, gray catbird, American robin,
and eastern bluebird [72].  The spruce grouse, ptarmigans, scarlet
tanager, bluebirds, thrushes, thrashers, titmice, blue grouse, and
towhees feed on the berries of many species of Vaccinium [51,79].  The
fruit of dwarf bilberry is readily eaten by small mammals such as the
white-footed mouse, red fox, and fox squirrel [72,73].  Chipmunks,
skunks, the common opossum, and raccoon also consume large amounts of
huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) [51,79].

Huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) are an extremely important food source
for grizzly and black bears and both species typically adjust their
seasonal ranges to exploit this resource most effectively [50,88].
Bears generally move from low elevation riparian areas to middle
elevation berry fields as soon as huckleberries become ripe.  In western
Montana, grizzly bears frequent open, midseral burns at higher
elevations during late summer or fall when berries are at their peak
ripeness [50].  The dwarf bilberry is generally less productive than
the globe huckleberry (V. globulare) and fruit tends to be smaller.
Nevertheless, dwarf bilberry is still considered an important grizzly
bear food [89,90].  It is reported to be a "major" grizzly food in
terrestrial spruce stands of floodplain complexes in the Bob Marshall
Wilderness Area of Montana.  Bench land habitat characterized by a dwarf
huckleberry understory is extremely important to grizzly bears during
fall in parts of British Columbia [89].

Reproductive success of black bears has been correlated with the size of
huckleberry crops [50,66].  Similarly, cub survival appears to be
reduced during years of low huckleberry availability [66].  Huckleberry
crop failures increase the likelihood of bear-human encounters, as
wide-ranging, hungry bears seeking alternate food sources come into
contact with recreationists or home owners.  Damage to crops and
beehives, as well as livestock losses, typically increase during poor
huckleberry years.
  • 22.  Freedman, June D. 1983. The historical relationship between fire and        plant succession within the Swan Valley white-tailed deer winter range,        western Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana. 139 p.        Dissertation.  [6486]
  • 17.  Dayton, William A. 1931. Important western browse plants. Misc. Publ.        101. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 214 p.  [768]
  • 6.  Berner, Kevin L.; Fiedler, Carl E.; Pletscher, Daniel H. 1988.        White-tailed deer winter habitat use in western Montana second-growth        forests. Res. Rep. No. 2. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, Montana        Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 7 p.  [6917]
  • 23.  Freedman, June D.; Habeck, James R. 1985. Fire, logging, and        white-tailed deer interrelationships in the Swan Valley, northwestern        Montana. In: Lotan, James E.; Brown, James K., compilers. Fire's effects        on wildlife habitat--symposium proceedings; 1984 March 21; Missoula, MT.        Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-186. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 23-35.  [8319]
  • 50.  Martin, Patricia A. E. 1979. Productivity and taxonomy of the Vaccinium        globulare, V. membranaceum complex in western Montana. Missoula, MT:        University of Montana. 136 p. Thesis.  [9130]
  • 51.  Martin, Alexander C.; Zim, Herbert S.; Nelson, Arnold L. 1951. American        wildlife and plants. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 500 p.        [4021]
  • 62.  Pfister, Robert D.; Kovalchik, Bernard L.; Arno, Stephen F.; Presby,        Richard C. 1977. Forest habitat types of Montana. Gen. Tech. Rep.        INT-34. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 174 p.  [1878]
  • 66.  Rogers, Lynn. 1976. Effects of mast and berry crop failures on survival,        growth, and reproductive success of black bears. Transactions, North        American Wildlife Conference. 41: 431-438.  [8951]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]
  • 73.  Sutton, Richard F.; Johnson, Craig W. 1974. Landscape plants from Utah's        mountains. EC-368. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Cooperative        Extension Service. 135 p.  [49]
  • 79.  Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States,        their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture. 362 p.  [4240]
  • 88.  Zager, Peter Edward. 1980. The influence of logging and wildfire on        grizzly bear habitat in northwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University        of Montana. 131 p. Dissertation.  [5032]
  • 89.  Mace, Richard D. 1986. Analysis of grizzly bear habitat in the Bob        Marshall Wilderness, Montana. In: Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E,        compilers. Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium; 1985 April 30 -        May 2; Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 136-149.        [10814]
  • 90.  Mace, Richard D.; Bissell, Gael N. 1986. Grizzly bear food resources in        the flood plains and avalanche chutes of the Bob Marshall Wilderness,        Montana. In: Contreras, Glen P.; Evans, Keith E., compilers.        Proceedings--grizzly bear habitat symposium; 1985 April 30 - May 2;        Missoula, MT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-207. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 78-91.        [10812]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Nutritional Value

Huckleberry foliage (Vaccinium spp.) is relatively high in carotene and
energy content [16].  Protein value of dwarf bilberry browse is rated
as fair [18].  Fruits of dwarf bilberry are sweet and contain high
concentrations of both mono- and disaccharides [72].  Huckleberries
are high in vitamin C but low in fat [65].  The crude fat content of
dwarf bilberry fruit averages approximately 3.80 percent [72].
  • 16.  Dahlgreen, Matthew Craig. 1984. Observations on the ecology of Vaccinium        membranaceum Dougl. on the southeast slope of the Washington Cascades.        Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 120 p. Thesis.  [2131]
  • 18.  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]
  • 65.  Reich, Lee. 1988. Backyard blues. Organic Gardening. 35(6): 28-34.        [9179]
  • 72.  Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed        dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous        forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  [6508]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Vaccinium cespitosum

Vaccinium cespitosum, (also, caespitosum), the dwarf bilberry, is a species of flowering shrub in the genus Vaccinium, which includes blueberries, huckleberries, and cranberries.

Range[edit]

Vaccinium cespitosum is found across Canada, the Great Lakes region, and the Western United States including California.

Description[edit]

Vaccinium cespitosum is a low-lying plant rarely reaching half a meter (1.5 feet) in height which forms a carpetlike stand in rocky mountainous meadows. The dwarf bilberry foliage is reddish-green to green and the flowers are tiny urn-shaped light pink cups less than a centimeter wide.

The fruits are edible blue bilberries.

See also[edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

More info for the term: swamp

dwarf bilberry
dwarf huckleberry
dwarf blueberry
swamp blueberry
dwarf bilberry
Sierra bilberry
blueberry
huckleberry
whortleberry
dwarf grouseberry

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

The Vaccinium genus is taxonomically complex [8]. Hybridization and
polyploidy make delineation of species difficult [9,10,71]. The genus
is characterized by rapid speciation among polyploids and widespread
hybridization with backcrosses [9]. Dwarf bilberry is a particularly
difficult taxon.

Dwarf bilberry is a member of the section Myrtillus [58] and has been
placed in the complex Caespitosae which includes a number of
low-statured Vacciniums [16]. The currently accepted scientific name of
dwarf bilberry is Vaccinium caespitosum Michx [39]. Great variation
exists in leaf and twig morphology and a number of forms have been
described [8]. Hitchcock and others [34] note that dwarf bilberry
has been "separated by seemingly intangible characteristics into two or
three additional taxa." Nevertheless, Kartesz [39] recognizes the
following varieties:

V. c. var. caespitosum
V. c. var. paludicola (Camp) Hulten

Intermediates between dwarf bilberry and ovalleaf huckleberry (V.
ovalifolium) have been described [8].
  • 8.  Camp, W. H. 1942. A survey of the American species of Vaccinium,        subgenus Euvaccinium. Brittonia. 4: 205-247.  [6950]
  • 16.  Dahlgreen, Matthew Craig. 1984. Observations on the ecology of Vaccinium        membranaceum Dougl. on the southeast slope of the Washington Cascades.        Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 120 p. Thesis.  [2131]
  • 34.  Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur; Ownbey, Marion. 1959. Vascular        plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 4: Ericaceae through        Campanulaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 510 p.        [1170]
  • 71.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Abbreviated key to western Montana Vacciniums.        Unpublished paper on file at:  U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service,Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT.  [10487]
  • 9.  Camp, W. H. 1942. On the structure of populations in the genus        Vaccinium. Brittonia. 4(2): 189-204.  [9512]
  • 10.  Camp, W. H. 1945. The North American blueberries with notes on other        groups of Vacciniaceae. Brittonia. 5(3): 203-275.  [9515]
  • 39.  Kartesz, John T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of        the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume II--thesaurus. 2nd ed.        Portland, OR: Timber Press. 816 p.  [23878]
  • 58.  Odell, A. E.; Vander Kloet, S. P.; Newell, R. E. 1989. Stem anatomy of        Vaccinium section Cyanococcus and related taxa. Canadian Journal of        Botany. 67(8): 2328-2334.  [8944]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Synonyms

Vaccinium arbusculum
Vaccinium caespitosum var. angustifolium
Vaccinium caespitosum var. cuneifolium
Vaccinium caespitosum var. pauludicolum
Vaccinium cespitosum
Vaccinium cespitosum var. arbuscula
Vaccinium globulare
Vaccinium nivictum
Vaccinium pauludicolum

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments: Epithet spelled as 'caespitosum' in Hulten and in Kartesz (1999); was spelled 'cespitosum' in Kartesz (1994).

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments: Epithet spelled as 'caespitosum' in Hulten and in Kartesz (1999); was spelled 'cespitosum' in Kartesz (1994).

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

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!