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Overview

Brief Summary

Fireweed is one of the first plants to colonize a burnt site, which is how it got its name. Buried seeds stay viable for years, so that should fire or other disturbances take place, it can quickly re-colonize the area. Beside seeds, fireweed spreads with underground roots. These roots have been dated up to 25 years old! They even show year rings.
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Comprehensive Description

General Description

Herbs perennial, erect, forming large clones by vigorous soboles from a woody caudex or by long lateral roots. Stems 20-130 cm tall, subglabrous. Leaves subsessile; basal leaf blade scalelike below ground, lanceolate-oblong to obovate, 0.5-2 cm; cauline blade green, linear-lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, 7-14 cm long, 0.7-1.3 cm wide, glabrous throughout, lateral veins 10-25 per side, often indistinct but submarginal vein distinct, base obtuse to cuneate, margin subentire to obscurely denticulate, somewhat revolute. Bracts much smaller than cauline leaves. Inflorescence subglabrous. Flowers nodding in bud, suberect at anthesis. Sepals 6-15 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide. Petals pale pink to purple or rarely white, 9-15 mm long, 3-9 mm wide. Ovary 0.6-2.5 cm, densely canescent; style 8-16 mm, lower part villous. Capsules 4-8 cm, densely appressed-canescent; pedicels 0.5-1.9 cm. Seeds 0.9-1 mm long, 0.3-0.45 mm wide, irregularly reticulate, with indistinct chalazal collar; coma dingy or white, 1-1.7 cm, not easily detaching.
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Source: Plants of Tibet

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Distribution

Occurrence in North America

     AK  AZ  CA  CO  CT  DE  ID  IL  IN  IA
     KS  ME  MD  MA  MI  MN  MT  NE  NV  NH
     NJ  NM  NY  NC  ND  OH  OH  OR  PA  RI
     SD  TN  UT  VT  VA  WA  WV  WI  WY  AB
     BC  LB  MB  NB  NF  NT  NS  ON  PE  PQ
     SK  YT  MEXICO

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Fireweed is a circumboreal native species and is found in all of the
Canadian provinces [72,82,127,188].  It occurs throughout the United
States except in the southeastern states and Texas [83,94,113,175,191].
  • 72. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 82. Gleason, H. A.; Cronquist, A. 1963. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. 810 p. [7065]
  • 83. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 94. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1961. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 3: Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 614 p. [1167]
  • 113. 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]
  • 127. Lakela, O. 1965. A flora of northeastern Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. 541 p. [18142]
  • 175. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 188. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Ottawa, Canada: National Museums of Canada. (4 volumes). [18143]
  • 191. 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]

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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):

    1  Northern Pacific Border
    2  Cascade Mountains
    3  Southern Pacific Border
    4  Sierra Mountains
    5  Columbia Plateau
    6  Upper Basin and Range
    7  Lower Basin and Range
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau
   13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont
   14  Great Plains
   15  Black Hills Uplift
   16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

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Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia; N Africa, C, N, and SW Asia, Europe, North America].
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Chamerion angustifolium is occurring in Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan of China, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia; C, N, and SW Asia, Europe, North America.
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© Wen, Jun

Source: Plants of Tibet

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: capsule, forb

Fireweed is a robust native perennial forb.  It has fine roots and
rhizomes that extend down vertically to 17.7 inches (45 cm) from the
plant, with most growing between 0 and 5.9 inches (0-15 cm) deep
[103,154,161].  The single stems are from 3 to 9 feet (1-2.7 m) tall and
may be very leafy [72,104].  Leaves are 2.8 to 5.9 inches (7-15 cm) long
[72].  One plant may have 15 or more flowers [29].  Each flower produces
a capsule with 300 to 500 seeds [72,196].  Seeds have a tuft of long
hairs on one end [196].
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 72. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 103. 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]
  • 104. Ingram, Douglas C. 1931. Vegetative changes and grazing use on Douglas-fir cut-over land. Journal of Agricultural Research. 43(5): 387-417. [8877]
  • 154. Messier, Christian; Kimmins, James P. 1991. Above- & below-ground vegetation recovery in recently clearcut & burned sites dominated by Gaultheria shallon in coastal British Columbia. Forest Ecology and Management. 46(3-4): 275-294. [17206]
  • 161. Moss, E. H. 1936. The ecology of Epilobium angustifolium with particular reference to rings of periderm in the wood. American Journal of Botany. 23: 114-120. [12806]
  • 196. Solbreck, Crister; Andersson, David. 1987. Vertical distribution of fireweed, Epilobium augustifolium, seeds in the air. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 2177-2178. [6619]

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Description

Herbs perennial, erect, forming large clones by vigorous soboles from a woody caudex or by long lateral roots. Stems 20-200 cm tall, glabrous to densely strigillose especially on inflorescence. Leaves sessile or petioles to 7 mm; basal leaf blade scalelike below ground, lanceolate-oblong to obovate, 0.5-2 cm; cauline blade green, linear to lanceolate, 3-23 × 0.3-3.4 cm, glabrous throughout or abaxially strigillose on midvein, lateral veins 10-25 per side, confluent to submarginal vein, base obtuse or cuneate to attenuate, margin entire or scarcely denticulate, apex attenuate-acute. Bracts much smaller than cauline leaves. Inflorescence glabrous or strigillose. Flowers nodding in bud, suberect at anthesis. Sepals 6-19 × 1.5-3 mm. Petals pale pink to purple or rarely white, 9-25 × 3-15 mm. Ovary 0.6-2.5 cm, densely canescent; style 8-16 mm, lower part villous. Capsules 4-9.5 cm, densely appressed-canescent; pedicels 0.5-3 cm. Seeds 0.9-1.3 × 0.3-0.45 mm, irregularly reticulate, with indistinct chalazal collar; coma dingy or white, 1-1.7 cm, not easily detaching.
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Diagnostic Description

Chamerion angustifolium subsp. angustifolium is close relative of Chamerion angustifolium subsp. circumvagum, but differs from the latter in its leaves abaxially glabrous on midvein, 7-14 × 0.7-1.3 cm (vs. pubescent on midvein, 9-23 × 1.5-3.4), base obtuse or subrounded (vs. cuneate), margin subentire (vs. denticulate), subsessile (vs. petioles 2-7 mm), stems subglabrous (vs. strigillose at least above), petals 9-15 × 3-9 mm (vs. 14-25 × 7-15 mm).
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Source: Plants of Tibet

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: frequency, shrubs, swamp, tundra

Fireweed tolerates a wide range of site and soil conditions, but it most
commonly occurs on disturbed ground.  It is abundant in coniferous
forests, mixed forests, aspen parklands, grasslands, sylvotundra (i.e.,
area between treeless tundra and circumpolar coniferous forest), and
muskegs [54,134,144,163,210].  Fireweed grows on disturbed areas such as
cut-over or burned forests and swamps, avalanche areas, recently
deglaciated areas, and riverbars [22,101,153,208].  Additional disturbed
sites are highway and railroad rights-of-way, waste places, and old
fields [94,188].

In North America, fireweed occurs in maritime to strongly continental
climates with short, warm summers and long, cold winters [28,229].
Annual precipitation averages between 13 inches (330 mm) on the
north-central edge of its range and 134.7 inches (3,420 mm) on the west
coastal edge [4,28].

Fireweed occurs on soils that vary from thin layers above permafrost in
the subarctic regions to deep loams in the western United States [136].
Soil development ranges from clays and clayey loams to sandy loams to
unweathered parent material [4,73].  Organic matter may be low in
fireweed soils or very high and peaty [227].  Low soil pH may affect
plant fertility.  Fireweed grown in soil with pH 3.5 produced 80 percent
fewer seeds than plants grown in soil with pH 5.0 [29].  Fireweed may
occur in neutral soils [48,208].  Northern soils in which fireweed
occurs may be frozen 4 to 5 months or longer [29].

Fireweed occurs on flat to rolling topography or moderate to steep
slopes [12].  It is found from sea level to high alpine elevations
[89,185].  Mueggler [162] found no significant (p>0.05) effect of aspect
on the frequency of fireweed in burned areas in Idaho.

Fireweed has numerous common associates.  Trees associated with fireweed
include Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa),
American hazel (Corylus americana), Alaska-cedar (Chamaecyparis
nootkatensis), and swamp black gum (Nyssa biflora) [22,53,69,153].

Common shrubs found with fireweed are snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus),
snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus),
salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), prickly rose (Rosa acicularis), hoary
willow (Salix candida), black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), and
common juniper (Juniperus communis) [123,130,134,136,178,229].

Other postdisturbance species associated with fireweed are bluejoint
reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), pinegrass (C. rubescens), purple
reedgrass (C. purpurascens), and Wyoming wildrye (Leymus flavescens)
[65,97,136,190,227].  In moister grasslands, fireweed occurs with sedges
(Carex spp.) and sailorcaps shootingstar (Dodecatheon conjugens) [210].
Pteridophyte associates are western swordfern (Polystichum minutum),
brackenfern (Pteridium aquilinum), and woodland horsetail (Equisetum
sylvaticum) [21,229].  Important liverwort and moss associates are
Marchantia polymorpha and Ceratodon purpureus [226]. (Also see
Distribution and Association)
  • 4. Alaback, Paul B.; Herman, F. R. 1988. Long-term response of understory vegetation to stand density in Picea-Tsuga forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 18: 1522-1530. [6227]
  • 12. Argus, George W. 1966. Botanical investigations in northeastern Saskatchewan: the subarctic Patterson-Hasbala Lakes region. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 80(3): 119-143. [8406]
  • 21. Beasleigh, W. J.; Yarranton, G. A. 1974. Ecological strategy and tactics of Equisetum sylvaticum during a postfire succession. Canadian Journal of Botany. 52: 2299-2318. [9965]
  • 22. Beaven, George Francis; Oosting, Henry J. 1939. Pocomoke Swamp: a study of a cypress swamp on the eastern shore of Maryland. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 66: 376-389. [14507]
  • 28. Breitung, August J. 1954. A botanical survey of the Cypress Hills. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 68: 55-92. [6262]
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 48. Cragg, J. B.; Carter, Alan; Leischner, Clara; [and others]
  • 53. Crowther, Evan G.; Harper, K. T. 1965. Vegetational and edaphic characteristics associated with aspen "strips" in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Utah Academy Proceedings. 42(II): 222-230. [15663]
  • 54. Curtis, Alan B. 1986. Camas Swale Research Natural Area. Supplement No. 21. In: Franklin, Jerry F.; Hall, Frederick C.; Dyrness, C. T.; Maser, Chris. Federal research natural areas in Oregon and Washington: A guidebook for scientists and educators. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest and Range Experiment Station. 18 p. [226]
  • 65. Edwards, M. E.; Armbruster, W. S. 1989. A tundra-steppe transition on Kathul Mountain, Alaska, U.S.A. Arctic and Alpine Research. 21(3): 296-304. [9673]
  • 69. Ewing, J. 1924. Plant successions of the brush-prairie in north-western Minnesota. Journal of Ecology. 12: 238-266. [11122]
  • 73. Foiles, Marvin W.; Curtis, James D. 1965. Natural regeneration of ponderosa pine on scarified group cuttings in central Idaho. Journal of Forestry. 63(7): 530-535. [15783]
  • 89. Harper, K. T.; Freeman, D. Carl; Ostler, W. Kent; Klikoff, Lionel G. 1978. The flora of Great Basin mountain ranges: diversity, sources, and dispersal ecology. In: Harper, Kimball T.; Reveal, F. L., eds. Intermountain biogeography: a symposium. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs No. 2. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University: 81-103. [15100]
  • 94. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1961. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 3: Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 614 p. [1167]
  • 97. Hogg, E. H.; Lieffers, V. J. 1991. Seasonal changes in shoot regrowth potential in Calamagrostis canadensis. Oecologia. 85(4): 596-602. [14871]
  • 101. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 123. Krebill, R. G. 1972. Mortality of aspen on the Gros Ventre elk winter range. Res. Pap. INT-129. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 16 p. [16089]
  • 130. LePage, P.; Pollack, J. C.; Coates, K. D. 1991. Chemical and manual control of thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) in northwestern British Columbia: a rate and timing trial. Western Journal of Applied Forestry. 6(4): 99-102. [16224]
  • 134. Lewis, Francis J.; Dowding, E. S. 1926. The vegetation and retrogressive changes of peat areas ("muskegs") in central Alberta. Journal of Ecology. 14: 317-341. [12740]
  • 136. Lopushinsky, W.; Klock, G. O. 1990. Soil water use by Ceanothus velutinus and two grasses. Res. Note PNW-RN-496. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 9 p. [13087]
  • 144. Maini, J. S. 1966. Pytoecological study of sylvotundra at Small Tree Lake, N.W.T. Arctic. 19: 220-243. [8259]
  • 153. Meehan, William R. 1974. The forest ecosystem of southeast Alaska: 4. Wildlife habitats. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-16. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. [13479]
  • 162. Mueggler, W. F. 1961. Ecology of seral shrub communities in the cedar-hemlock zone of northern Idaho. Durham, NC: Duke University. 126 p. Thesis. [9981]
  • 163. Mueggler, W. F. 1985. Vegetation associations. In: DeByle, Norbert V.; Winokur, Robert P., eds. Aspen: ecology and management in the western United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-119. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 45-55. [11907]
  • 178. Rejmanek, Marcel; Rosen, Ejvind. 1988. The eff. of colonizing shrubs (Juniperus communis &Potentilla fructicosa on species richness in the grasslands of Stora Alvaret, Oland (Sweden). Acta phytogeographica suecica. 76: 67-72. [9745]
  • 185. Schaack, Clark G. 1983. The alpine vascular flora of Arizona. Madrono. 30(4): 79-88. [2069]
  • 188. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Ottawa, Canada: National Museums of Canada. (4 volumes). [18143]
  • 190. Seip, Dale R.; Bunnell, Fred L. 1985. Species composition and herbage production of mountain rangelands in northern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Botany. 63: 2077-2080. [2104]
  • 208. Taylor, R. F. 1932. The successional trend and its relation to second-growth forests in southeastern Alaska. Ecology. 13(4): 381-391. [10007]
  • 210. 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]
  • 226. Yarie, J.; Viereck, L.; Van Cleve, K.; Dryness, C. T. 1988. The chronosequence as an aid to understanding the long-term conse- quences of management activities. In: Dyck, W. J.; Mees, C. A, eds. Research Strategies for Long-term Productivity. Proceedings, IEA/BE A3 Workshop; [Date of conference unknown]
  • 227. Zasada, J. 1986. Natural regeneration of trees and tall shrubs on forest sites in interior Alaska. In: Van Cleve, K.; Chapin, F. S., III; Flanagan, P. W.; [and others]
  • 229. Zinke, Paul J. 1977. The redwood forest and associated north coast forests. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 679-698. [7212]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: forb, taiga

Fireweed is a dominant species in many diverse riparian and upland seral
community types.  It is not useful for vegetation classification in some
areas because it is abundant in a wide variety of stands [128].
Fireweed is an indicator species in ruderal vegetation types in
Minnesota, Alaska, British Columbia, and Quebec [56,88,120,122].
Fireweed is a dominant species and is used in the following
classifications:

(1)  Classification of the riparian vegetation of the montane and
     subalpine zones in western Colorado [16]
(2)  Phytogeographia Laurentiana. II. The principal plant associations
     of the Saint Lawrence Valley [56]
(3)  Vegetation of the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming, in relation to
     substrate and climate [59]
(4)  Montane zone vegetation of the Alsek River region, southwestern
     Yukon [61]
(5)  Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities
     after fire in the taiga of interior Alaska [76]
(6)  Subalpine forb community types of the Bridger-Teton National
     Forest, Wyoming [85]
(7)  Vegetation types in northwestern Alaska and comparisons with
     communities in other Arctic regions [88]
(8)  Vegetation relationships among some seral ecosystems in
     southwestern British Columbia [122]
(9)  Ecosystem classification and interpretation of the sub-boreal
     spruce zone, Prince Rupert Forest Region, British Columbia [173]
  • 16. Baker, William L. 1989. Classification of the riparian vegetation of the montane and subalpine zones in western Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist. 49(2): 214-228. [7985]
  • 56. Dansereau, Pierre. 1959. The principal plant associations of the Saint Lawrence Valley. No. 75. Montreal, Canada: Contrib. Inst. Bot. Univ. Montreal. 147 p. [8925]
  • 59. 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. Douglas, George W. 1974. Montane zone vegetation of the Alsek River region, southwestern Yukon. Canadian Journal of Botany. 52: 2505-2532. [17283]
  • 76. Foote, M. Joan. 1983. Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities after fire in the taiga of interior Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-307. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 108 p. [7080]
  • 85. Gregory, Shari. 1983. Subalpine forb community types of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming. Final Report. U.S. Forest Service Cooperative Education Agreement: Contract OM 40-8555-3-115. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 100 p. [1040]
  • 88. Hanson, Herbert C. 1953. Vegetation types in northwestern Alaska and comparisons with communities in other arctic regions. Ecology. 34(1): 111-140. [9781]
  • 120. Kittredge, Joseph, Jr. 1938. The interrelations of habitat, growth rate, and associated vegetation in the aspen community of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs. 8(2): 152-246. [10356]
  • 122. Klinka, K.; Scagel, A. M.; Courtin, P. J. 1985. Vegetation relationships among some seral ecosystems in southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Forestry. 15: 561-569. [5985]
  • 128. La Roi, George H. 1967. Ecological studies in the boreal spruce-fir forests of the North American taiga. I. Analysis of the vascular flora. Ecological Monographs. 37(3): 229-253. [8864]
  • 173. Pojar, J.; Trowbridge, R.; Coates, D. 1984. Ecosystem classification and interpretation of the sub-boreal spruce zone, Prince Rupert Forest Region, British Columbia. Land Management Report No. 17. Victoria, BC: Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Forests. 319 p. [6929]

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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):

     1  Jack pine
     5  Balsam fir
    12  Black spruce
    13  Black spruce - tamarack
    16  Aspen
    18  Paper birch
    20  White pine - northern red oak - red maple
    55  Northern red oak
    76  Shortleaf pine - oak
   102  Baldcypress - tupelo
   108  Red maple
   201  White spruce
   202  White spruce - paper birch
   203  Balsam poplar
   204  Black spruce
   205  Mountain hemlock
   206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
   210  Interior Douglas-fir
   212  Western larch
   213  Grand fir
   216  Blue spruce
   217  Aspen
   218  Lodgepole pine
   223  Sitka spruce
   224  Western hemlock
   225  Western hemlock - Sitka spruce
   227  Western redcedar - western hemlock
   229  Pacific Douglas-fir
   230  Douglas-fir - western hemlock
   232  Redwood
   243  Sierra Nevada mixed conifer
   251  White spruce - aspen
   252  Paper birch
   253  Black spruce - white spruce
   254  Black spruce -  paper birch
   256  California mixed subalpine

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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):

More info for the term: shrub

   K001  Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest
   K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest
   K003  Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K004  Fir - hemlock forest
   K005  Mixed conifer forest
   K006  Redwood forest
   K008  Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest
   K010  Ponderosa shrub forest
   K011 Western ponderosa forest
   K012 Douglas-fir forest
   K013  Cedar - hemlock - pine forest
   K014  Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K015  Western spruce - fir forest
   K017  Black Hills pine forest
   K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest
   K019  Arizona pine forest
   K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K021  Southwestern spruce - fir forest
   K029  California mixed evergreen forest
   K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
   K095  Great Lakes pine forest
   K096  Northeastern spruce - fir forest
   K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest
   K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest
   K112  Southern mixed forest

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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):

   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine
   FRES14  Oak - pine
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch
   FRES19  Aspen - birch
   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES21  Ponderosa pine
   FRES22  Western white pine
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce
   FRES25  Larch
   FRES26  Lodgepole pine
   FRES27  Redwood
   FRES44  Alpine

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Moist often disturbed places; near sea level to 4700 m.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Growing in moist often disturbed places in mountains; 500-4700 m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Wen, Jun

Source: Plants of Tibet

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Associations

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Allophylaria macrospora is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, solitary or grouped, clypeate perithecium of Anthostomella clypeoides is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 10-5

Foodplant / pathogen
Armillaria mellea s.l. infects and damages Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Bromius obscurus grazes on live leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 5-10
Other: major host/prey

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / feeds on
pycnidium of Conothyrium coelomycetous anamorph of Coniothyrium conoideum feeds on Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Coremiella dematiaceous anamorph of Coremiella cubispora is saprobic on Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 7-10

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Crepidotus cesatii is saprobic on decayed, dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Diaporthe epilobii is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 5

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Diaporthe pardalota is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 1-8

Foodplant / saprobe
acervulus of Hainesia coelomycetous anamorph of Discohainesia oenotherae is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, in small groups, weakly clypeate perithecium of Discostroma tostum is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 3-7

Foodplant / saprobe
hypophyllous fruitbody of Efibulobasidium albescens is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Endoperplexa subfarinacea is saprobic on dead, standing stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
solitary or clustered apothecium of Hyalinia dilutella is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Hymenoscyphus repandus is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Lachnum clavigerum is saprobic on Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
long stalked apothecium of Lachnum virgineum is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 2-8

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Lasiobelonium nazarovae is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial perithecium of Lasiosphaeria phyllophila is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 11-4

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Lentinellus tridentinus is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
Macrosiphum rosae sucks sap of live Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Moellerodiscus tenuistipes is saprobic on dead, fallen, rotting leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
thyriothecium of Morenoina epilobii is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 7

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Mycena adscendens is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile sporodochium of Myrothecium dematiaceous anamorph of Myrothecium carmichaelii is saprobic on dead leaf of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
short-stalked apothecium of Pezizella discreta is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 10-11

Foodplant / saprobe
thinly scattered apothecium of Pezizella punctoidea is saprobic on dead leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 7-12

Foodplant / spot causer
hypophyllous pseudostroma of Ramularia anamorph of Phaeoramularia punctiformis causes spots on live leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 8-9

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Pleospora epilobii is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 3

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pleurophragmium dematiaceous anamorph of Pleurophragmium parvisporum is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pseudospiropes dematiaceous anamorph of Pseudospiropes rousselianus is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pseudospiropes dematiaceous anamorph of Pseudospiropes subuliferus is saprobic on dead stem (near base) of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / pathogen
hypophyllous pycnium of Puccinia pulverulenta infects and damages live leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / spot causer
uredium of Pucciniastrum epilobii causes spots on live leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 8-10
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
Pucciniastrum fustulum parasitises Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent apothecium of Pyrenopeziza chamaenerii is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 6-8

Foodplant / spot causer
Ramularia anamorph of Ramularia punctiformis causes spots on live leaf of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, subepidermal, black pycnidium of Rhabdospora coelomycetous anamorph of Rhabdospora pleosporoides is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 1-3

Foodplant / saprobe
solitary or in small groups apothecium of Rutstroemia hercynica is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 7-10

Foodplant / parasite
Sphaerotheca epilobii parasitises live Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 8-10

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, sometimes in rows perithecium of Sydowiella fenestrans is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 4-7

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Trichoderma dematiaceous anamorph of Trichoderma koningii is saprobic on dead stem of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Triposporium dematiaceous anamorph of Triposporium elegans is saprobic on dead, often grey or purple stained stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Typhula crassipes is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed leaf of Chamerion angustifolium

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Typhula todei is saprobic on dead, decaying stem of Chamerion angustifolium
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous, clustered pseudothecium of Venturia maculiformis causes spots on live leaf of Chamerion angustifolium
Remarks: season: 5-9

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: cover, forb, forbs, frequency, fuel, prescribed fire, shrubs, tree

In white spruce-aspen stands in Alberta, prescribed fire was not
effective for conifer regeneration after logging [119].  Heavy postfire
sprouting by aspen and fireweed inhibited white spruce seedling
establishment.  Light surface fires stimulated fireweed growth to 100
pounds per acre (111.9 kg/ha) within 3 months.

Fireweed and other forbs produced heavy cover following a severe fire in
Minnesota that inhibited jack pine growth [1].  Jack pine seedlings were
thin, light colored, and stunted.  Despite detrimental effects of
shading tree seedlings, herbaceous cover may provide higher microsite
humidity and suppress shrubs [2,151].

Fireweed effectively uptakes and recycles large amounts of nutrients
from burned-over areas [166].  Fireweed foliage had significantly
(p less than 0.05) higher levels of nutrients (potassium, magnesium, manganese,
phosphates, and zinc) on burned areas compared to unburned controls
[197].

Fire protection managers should consider using fireweed when they
require a species with low flammability rating (for rating factors see
Fire Ecology or Adaptations) [223].  Fireweed is included in the
narrow-leaved forb class for establishing fuel weights [31].

Following logging, slash may be bulldozed into piles.  Bulldozing
scarifies the soil, and slash piles burn very hot; fireweed readily
established in these open spots [14,218,222].  Fireweed had
significantly (p less than 0.05) higher frequency of occurrence on logged and
broadcast burned areas than on unburned areas [162].  Dense fireweed
stands protected slash from sun and wind during the fifth year after
cutting, reducing the probable rate of fire spread compared to the first
summer after cutting [159].  However, fireweed increases the rate of
fire spread with dead leaves and stems.

Burning, mechanical (e.g., tree cutting), biological (e.g., intense
sheep grazing), and chemical controls were applied to enhance big
huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) communities on Mount Adams,
Washington.  These treatments had no significant (p>0.05) effect on
fireweed abundance during postdisturbance years 1 and 2 [156].  Fireweed
was significantly more abundant on burned plots postdisturbance year 5.
No other treatments had a significant (p>0.05) effect on fireweed
abundance after 5 years.

In Alberta, forage species, such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and
crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum cv. Fairway) were seeded into
burned areas [5].  Fireweed successfully invaded the plantings and was
still present after five years.  Grasses aerially seeded on burns may
compete and displace fireweed.  In Montana, Pattee Canyon was aerially
seeded with commercial grasses following a fire.  Fireweed had low cover
values 10 years later [211].  Toth [211] suggested that orchardgrass
(Dactylis glomerata) had displaced fireweed.
  • 1. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1959. Some effects of fire on forest reproduction in northeastern Minnesota. Journal of Forestry. 57: 194-200. [208]
  • 2. Ahlgren, Clifford E. 1970. Some effects of prescribed burning on jack pine reproduction in northeastern Minnesota. Misc. Rep. 94, Forestry Series 5-1970. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment Station. 14 p. [7285]
  • 5. Anderson, C. H.; Elliott, C. R. 1957. Studies on the establishment of cultivated grasses and legumes on burned-over land in northern Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 37: 97-101. [12821]
  • 119. Kiil, A. D. 1970. Effects of spring burning on vegetation in old partially cut spruce-aspen stands in east-central Alberta. Information Report A-X-33. Edmonton, AB: Canadian Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry, Forest Research Laboratory. 12 p. [12997]
  • 151. McRae, D. J. 1979. Prescribed burning in jack pine logging slash: a review. Report 0-X-289. Sault Ste. Marie, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Great Lakes Forest Research Centre. 57 p. [7290]
  • 162. Mueggler, W. F. 1961. Ecology of seral shrub communities in the cedar-hemlock zone of northern Idaho. Durham, NC: Duke University. 126 p. Thesis. [9981]
  • 166. Newton, M.; Comeau, P. G. 1990. Control of competing vegetation. In: Lavender, D. P.; Parish, R.; Johnson, C. M.; [and others]
  • 211. Toth, Barbara L. 1991. Factors affecting conifer regeneration and community structure after a wildfire in western Montana. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 124 p. Thesis. [14425]
  • 223. Wein, Ross W. 1975. Arctic tundra fires--ecological consequences. In: Proceedings, circumpolar conference on northern ecology; [Date unknown]
  • 14. Arno, Stephen F.; Simmerman, Dennis G.; Keane, Robert E. 1985. Forest succession on four habitat types in western Montana. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-177. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 74 p. [349]
  • 31. Brown, James K.; Marsden, Michael A. 1976. Estimating fuel weights of grasses, forbs, and small woody plants. Res. Note INT-210. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest & Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [5030]
  • 156. Minore, Don; Smart, Alan W.; Dubrasich, Michael E. 1979. Huckleberry ecology and management research in the Pacific Northwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-93. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 50 p. [6336]
  • 159. Morris, William G. 1958. Influence of slash burning on regeneration, other plant cover, and fire hazard in the Douglas-fir region (A progress report). Res. Pap. PNW-29. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 49 p. [4803]
  • 197. Stark, Nellie M. 1977. Fire and nutrient cycling in a Douglas-fir/larch forest. Ecology. 58: 16-30. [8618]
  • 218. Vogl, Richard J.; Ryder, Calvin. 1969. Effects of slash burning on conifer reproduction in Montana's Mission Range. Northwest Science. 43(3): 135-147. [8546]
  • 222. Weaver, Harold. 1951. Observed effects of prescribed burning on perennial grasses in the ponderosa pine forests. Journal of Forestry. 49(4): 267-271. [4618]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: cover, density, forbs, frequency, series, severity, shrub, taiga

Fireweed is an important off-site colonizer after fire [203,204].
Often, it is not present on a site before a fire but establishes during
the first postfire year [8,9,38,215].  Seedlings are initially present
in low amounts [155,174].  Colony growth continues via rhizome
expansion; some seedlings continue to establish as mineral soil
microsites open.

Initial establishment of fireweed seedlings usually exceeds expectations
of frequency based upon on-site prefire vegetation [141].  Following a
fire in eastern Siberian taiga, fireweed regenerated, and 79.5 percent
of fireweed individuals present sprouted from seed [212].

Fireweed is usually an increaser following fire [36,78,193,205].  Within
3 postfire months, fireweed was present at 3 percent frequency and 1
percent cover in central Alberta [7].  Fireweed slowly increases in
abundance, often with 100 percent frequency and 30 percent or more
cover, to peak on average postfire years 5 [18,39,51,63,80,155,170].  In
the Cascade Range, fireweed had significantly (p less than 0.05) different amounts
of cover at postfire years 3 to 5, but from years 11 to 16, there was no
significant (p>0.05) change in cover between burned and unburned areas
[160].  However, at 11 postfire years, fireweed was present at 91
percent frequency on upland sites in northwestern Oregon [165].  It was
not in the surrounding Douglas-fir-western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)
stand.  Fireweed was still one of the principal cover species 10 to 12
postfire years on severe fire sites in northern Idaho and western
Montana [45,140,147,203].  In other studies, the highest frequency for
fireweed was reached 17 to 20 years after fire [45,142,162].

Fireweed production may vary with severity of fire.  Severe fires remove
organic soil layers, exposing mineral soil which is an excellent seedbed
for fireweed.  Therefore, cover and density are greatest on severely
burned areas because of good seedling establishment [13,17,19,20,43].
Three years following an August fire, fireweed production steadily
increased from 423.8 air dried pounds per acre (475 kg/ha) on
low-severity burns to 1,478.4 air dried pounds per acre (1,657 hg/ha) on
high-severity burns [20].  However, fireweed was more dense 1 year after
fire in Wyoming on moderate-severity burns compared to high-severity
burns [6].

Initially, fireweed decreased after fire from prefire levels of cover
(20 percent) in a Douglas-fir stand in south-central Idaho [139].
However, by postfire year 3, cover had doubled the amount present
prefire.  Postfire years 5 to 8, fireweed cover peaked at 84 to 88
percent [139].  Fireweed was expected to decline over the next 20 years
to prefire levels.

Fireweed is one of the most abundant forbs on most burned areas of
interior Alaska [138].  A series of severe fires in Alaska will convert
any forest type into a semipermanent herbaceous or shrub community [33].
The herbaceous communities are usually fireweed and grasses, such as
bluejoint reedgrass.

Immediately following burning of a white spruce type, fireweed can form
relatively stable communities with bluejoint reedgrass that may last 100
years in interior Alaska [137].  Following fire in black spruce (Picea
mariana) in the Northwest Territories, fireweed is the most prominent
plant and is one of several diagnostic species for the first stage of
recovery [26].  This stage may last 1 to 20 years [26].

In Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir communities (Picea engelmannii-Abies
lasiocarpa), fireweed was dominant on stands 1 to 10 postdisturbance
years; it declined on stands 11 to 80 postdisturbance years [71,189].
Following fire in the western hemlock/Douglas-fir zone in the Olympic
Mountains, Washington, fireweed was common for stands 2 postfire years
[100].  However, it began to decline in frequency in stands 3 to 19
postfire years.  After about 30 years, fireweed had a low average
frequency (4 to 10 percent) with about 1 percent cover in burned-over
areas of different cover types, such as paper birch (Betula papyrifera),
aspen, and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) [168].  This pattern was seen in
Douglas-fir stands in the Cascade Range, Washington, aged 5 to 73 years
following logging and burning [135].  Fonda [75] found that fireweed
persisted under similar circumstances in stands 65 years or younger.
Fireweed began to decline in frequency as the crown of different forest
types closed in stands approximately 57 to 280 postfire years and was
absent in stands aged 290 to 515 postfire years [40,100,207].
  • 6. Anderson, Jay E.; Romme, William H. 1991. Initial floristics in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests following the 1988 Yellowstone fires. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 1(2): 119-124. [16008]
  • 7. Anderson, Murray L.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1979. Effect of fire on a Symphoricarpos occidentalis shrub community in central Alberta. Canadian Journal of Botany. 57: 2820-2823. [2867]
  • 8. Apfelbaum, Steven; Haney, Alan. 1981. Bird populations before and after wildfire in a Great Lakes pine forest. Condor. 83: 347-354. [8556]
  • 9. Apfelbaum, Steven I.; Haney, Alan; Dole, R. Edward. 1984. Ascocarp formation by Morchella angusticeps after wildfire. Michigan Botanist. 23: 99-102. [8335]
  • 13. Armour, Charles D.; Bunting, Stephen C.; Neuenschwander, Leon F. 1984. Fire intensity effects on the understory in ponderosa pine forests. Journal of Range Management. 37(1): 44-48. [6618]
  • 17. Barmore, William J., Jr.; Taylor, Dale; Hayden, Peter. 1976. Ecological effects and biotic succession following the 1974 Waterfalls Canyon Fire in Grand Teton National Park. Research Progress Report 1974-1975. Unpublished report on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. 99 p. [16109]
  • 18. Barth, Richard C. 1970. Revegetation after a subalpine wildfire. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 142 p. Thesis. [12458]
  • 19. Bartos, Dale L. 1979. Effects of burning on the aspen ecosystem. In: Johnson, Kendall L., ed. Wyoming shrublands: Proceedings of the 8th shrub ecology workshop; 1979 May 30-31; Jackson, WY. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, Division of Range Management, Wyoming Shrub Ecology Workshop: 47-58. [400]
  • 20. Bartos, D. L.; Mueggler, W. F. 1981. Early succession in aspen communities following fire in western Wyoming. Journal of Range Management. 34(4): 315-318. [5100]
  • 26. Black, R. A.; Bliss, L. C. 1978. Recovery sequence of Picea mariana - Vaccinium uliginosum forests after burning near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. Canadian Journal of Botany. 56: 2020-2030. [7448]
  • 33. Buckley, John L. 1958. Effects of fire on Alaskan wildlife. In: Proceedings of the Society of American Foresters: 123-126. [16306]
  • 36. Cattelino, Peter J. 1980. A reference base for vegetative response and species reproductive strategies. Final Report. Supplement No. 10 to Master Memorandum between Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station and Gradient Modeling, Inc. Missoula, MT: Gradient Modeling, Inc. 30 p. [12085]
  • 38. Chrosciewicz, Z. 1970. Regeneration of jack pine by burning and seeding treatments on clear-cut sites in central Ontario. Inf. Rep. 0-X-138. Forest Research laboratory, Ontario Region, Canadian Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 13 p. [7241]
  • 39. Chrosciewicz, Z. 1976. Burning for black spruce regeneration on a lowland cutover site in southeastern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 6(2): 179-186. [7280]
  • 40. Clagg, Harry B. 1975. Fire ecology in high-elevation forests in Colorado. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 137 p. Thesis. [113]
  • 43. Comeau, Philip G.; Watts, Susan B.; Caza, Caroline L.; [and others]
  • 45. Cooper, William S. 1928. Seventeen years of successional change upon Isle Royale, Lake Superior. Ecology. 9(1): 1-5. [7297]
  • 51. Croskery, P. R.; Lee, P. F. 1981. Preliminary investigations of regeneration patterns following wildfire in the boreal forest of northwestern Ontario. Alces. 17: 229-256. [7888]
  • 63. Dyrness, C. T. 1973. Early stages of plant succession following logging and burning in the western Cascades of Oregon. Ecology. 54(1): 57-69. [7345]
  • 71. Fahnestock, George Reeder. 1977. Interactions of forest fire, flora, and fuels in two Cascade Range wilderness Areas. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 179 p. Thesis. [10431]
  • 75. Fonda, R. W. 1979. Fire resilient forests of Douglas-fir in Olympic National Park: a hypothesis. In: Linn, Robert M., ed. Proceedings, 1st conference on scientific research in the National Parks, Vol. 2; 1976 November 9-12; New Orleans, LA. NPS Transactions and Proceedings No. 5. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 1239-1242. [6698]
  • 78. 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]
  • 80. Gashwiler, Jay S. 1970. Plant and mammal changes on a clearcut in west-central Oregon. Ecology. 51(6): 1018-1026. [8523]
  • 100. Huff, Mark Hamilton. 1984. Post-fire succession in the Olympic Mountains, Washington: forest vegetation, fuels, and avifauna. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 235 p. Dissertation. [9248]
  • 135. Long, James N. 1977. Trends in plant species diversity associated with development in a series of Pseudotsuga menziesii/Gaultheria shallon stands. Northwest Science. 51(2): 119-130. [10152]
  • 137. Lutz, H. J. 1953. The effects of forest fires on the vegetation of interior Alaska. Juneau, AK: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 36 p. [7076]
  • 138. Lutz, H. J. 1956. Ecological effects of forest fires in the interior of Alaska. Tech. Bull. No. 1133. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 121 p. [7653]
  • 139. Lyon, L. Jack. 1971. Vegetal development following prescribed burning of Douglas-fir in south-central Idaho. Res. Pap. INT-105. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 30 p. [1495]
  • 140. Lyon, L. Jack. 1976. Vegetal development on the Sleeping Child burn in western Montana, 1961 to 1973. Res. Pap. INT-184. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 24 p. [138]
  • 141. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496]
  • 142. MacLean, David A.; Wein, Ross W. 1977. Changes in understory vegetation with increasing stand age in New Brunswick forests: species composition, cover, biomass, and nutrients. Canadian Journal of Botany. 55: 2818-2831. [10106]
  • 147. Martin, J. Lynton. 1956. An ecological survey of burned-over forest land in southwestern Nova Scotia. Forestry Chronicle. 32: 313-336. [8932]
  • 155. Miller, Margaret M.; Miller, Joseph W. 1976. Succession after wildfire in the North Cascades National Park complex. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference: Pacific Northwest; 1974 October 16-17; Portland, OR. No. 15. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 71-83. [6574]
  • 160. Morris, William G. 1970. Effects of slash burning in overmature stands of the Douglas-fir region. Forest Science. 16(3): 258-270. [4810]
  • 162. Mueggler, W. F. 1961. Ecology of seral shrub communities in the cedar-hemlock zone of northern Idaho. Durham, NC: Duke University. 126 p. Thesis. [9981]
  • 165. Neiland, Bonita J. 1958. Forest and adjacent burn in the Tillamook Burn area of northwestern Oregon. Ecology. 39(4): 660-671. [8879]
  • 168. Ohmann, Lewis F.; Cushwa, Charles T.; Lake, Roger E.; [and others]
  • 170. Oswald, E. T.; Brown, B. N. 1990. Vegetation establishment during 5 years following wildfire in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon Territory. Information Report BC-X-320. Victoria, BC: Forestry Canada, Pacific and Yukon Region, Pacific Forestry Centre. 46 p. [16934]
  • 174. Racine, Charles H.; Johnson, Lawrence A.; Viereck, Leslie A. 1987. Patterns of vegetation recovery after tundra fires in northwestern Alaska, U.S.A. Arctic and Alpine Research. 19(4): 461-469. [6114]
  • 189. Scrivner, Jerry H.; Smith, H. Duane. 1981. Pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides) in successional stages of spruce-fir forest in Idaho. Great Basin Naturalist. 41(3): 362-367. [7900]
  • 193. Simpson, Michael L. 1990. The subalpine fir/beargrass habitat type: Succession and management. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho. 134 p. Thesis. [13464]
  • 203. Stickney, Peter F. 1986. First decade plant succession following the Sundance Forest Fire, northern Idaho. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-197. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 26 p. [2255]
  • 204. Stickney, Peter F. 1990. Early development of vegetation following holocaustic fire in Northern Rocky Mountains. Northwest Science. 64(5): 243-246. [12715]
  • 205. Strang, Roy M. 1989. Impacts of fire on herbaceous vegetation. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Breuer, David W.; Zamora, Benjamin A.; [and others]
  • 207. Taylor, Dale L. 1969. Biotic succession of lodgepole pine forests of fire origin in Yellowstone National Park. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming. 320 p. M.S. thesis. [9481]
  • 212. Uemura, Shigeru; Tsuda, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Sakae. 1990. Effects of fire on the vegetation of Siberian taiga predominated by Larix dahurica. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 20: 547-553. [11808]
  • 215. Van Cleve, K.; Viereck, L.A.; Dyrness, C.T. 1988. Vegetation productivity and soil fertility in post-fire secondary succession in Interior Alaska. In: Slaughter, Charles W.; Gasbarro, Tony. Proceedings of the Alaska forest soil productivity workshop; 1987 April 28-30; Anchorage, AK. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-219. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Station; Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management: 101-102. [5582]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Fire top-kills fireweed.  Seed in the surface organic layers is killed
by fire [74].  Surviving fireweed rhizomes vigorously sprout after a
fire [35,86].  Twenty to thirty days after fires in July and August
fireweed sprouted from rhizomes [195,199].
  • 35. Carroll, S. B.; Bliss, L. C. 1982. Jack pine - lichen woodland on sandy soils in northern Saskatchewan and northeastern Alberta. Canadian Journal of Botany. 60: 2270-2282. [7283]
  • 74. Flinn, Marguerite A.; Wein, Ross W. 1977. Depth of underground plant organs and theoretical survival during fire. Canadian Journal of Botany. 55: 2550-2554. [6362]
  • 86. Halpern, C. B. 1989. Early successional patterns of forest species: interactions of life history traits and disturbance. Ecology. 70(3): 704-720. [6829]
  • 195. Skutch, Alexander F. 1929. Early stages of plant succession following forest fires. Ecology. 10(2): 177-190. [21349]
  • 199. Steele, Robert; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen. 1991. Monitoring the effects of postfire grass seeding on the Lowman Burn. Unpublished first year progress report. 4 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [17154]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: geophyte, secondary colonizer

   Geophyte, growing points deep in soil
   Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)
   Secondary colonizer - on-site seed

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: litter

Fireweed is a component of diverse ecosystems in boreal and temperate
regions with variable FIRE REGIMES.  Fireweed is primarily adapted to
fire through its rhizomes and its prolific production of wind-dispersed
seed.  Depending upon depth of rhizomes in the soil, fireweed is
moderately susceptible to resistant to fire [43,150,219].  The majority
of roots and rhizomes are in the top 2 inches (5 cm) of mineral soil and
can survive relatively intense fires [43,74,150].

Fireweed has high ash and high moisture content; it is not considered
flammable [223].  A study that examined litter fall in aspen (Populus
tremuloides) stands found that the dominant herbaceous species was
fireweed, which contributed 334.6 pounds per acre (375 kg/ha) to litter
[48].  However, fireweed litter rapidly decomposes.  Fireweed leaves
lost more than 70 percent of their mass after 3 years in the field
[206].
  • 43. Comeau, Philip G.; Watts, Susan B.; Caza, Caroline L.; [and others]
  • 48. Cragg, J. B.; Carter, Alan; Leischner, Clara; [and others]
  • 74. Flinn, Marguerite A.; Wein, Ross W. 1977. Depth of underground plant organs and theoretical survival during fire. Canadian Journal of Botany. 55: 2550-2554. [6362]
  • 150. McLean, Alastair. 1968. Fire resistance of forest species as influenced by root systems. Journal of Range Management. 22: 120-122. [1621]
  • 206. Taylor, B. R.; Prescott, C. E.; Parsons, W. J. F.; Parkinson, D. 1991. Substrate control of litter decomposition in four Rocky Mountain coniferous forests. Canadian Journal of Botany. 69: 2242-2250. [17444]
  • 219. Volland, Leonard A.; Dell, John D. 1981. Fire effects on Pacific Northwest forest and range vegetation. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Range Management and Aviation and Fire Management. 23 p. [2434]
  • 223. Wein, Ross W. 1975. Arctic tundra fires--ecological consequences. In: Proceedings, circumpolar conference on northern ecology; [Date unknown]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: cover, frequency, shrub, succession, tree

Fireweed is an important colonizer following vegetation disturbances in
temperate climates worldwide [46,157].  Although the role of fireweed as
an early seral species does not change, the length of time fireweed
populations are present varies among ecosystems.  Fireweed enters a
disturbed community and rapidly becomes abundant.  It may achieve a peak
in dominance within 2 to 3 years [43].  It starts low in frequency and
density if it must seed in from off-site [118].  Halpern [86] found that
after disturbance in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in
Oregon, fireweed cover peaked in year 7 and then slowly declined.

Fireweed populations can maintain themselves through vegetative
reproduction if conditions are not conducive to flowering.  Depending
upon surrounding vegetation fireweed may create widely spaced colonies
with low stem densities [29].  In Alaska, ground that was covered 30
years by debris from oil exploration was cleared or burned [64].
Fireweed vegetatively colonized these areas at low frequencies and
cover.  In 20 study sites in Montana, Stickney [202] reported that
fireweed established with about 3 percent cover 1 year after
disturbance.  By the second year, it peaked at about 30 percent cover
and stayed around this amount for the next 8 years.

Fireweed is one of the first plants to enter a community during the
seedling/herb stage [3,50].  This may last 1 to 15 years in the Yukon
Territory [92].  Sometimes, it will persist into the pole stage [84].
Young forests differ in the range of microhabitats (i.e., variations in
light, nutrients, and moisture) available; fireweed will persist if a
stand is open [43].

Moore [157] stated that fireweed declined in successional communities
because soil conditions became unsuitable for growth as nutrients are
leached out.  However, other studies suggest that fireweed declines due
to the effects of competing vegetation [149,207].  Progressive changes
from open to closed canopy in a forest result in decreasing abundance of
fireweed [3,40,207].  Several studies report that fireweed is shade
intolerant [81,115,124,157,182,217].  However, it can exist in partial
shade with a corresponding reduction in productivity [200].  Shirley
[192] found that fireweed response to Norway pine (Pinus resinosa)
canopy cover was variable.  At 5 percent of total sunlight, fireweed
occurred with 62 percent frequency; at 10 percent of total sunlight,
fireweed occurred with 100 percent frequency [192].  Frequency of
fireweed plants declined to 50 percent at 45 percent of total sunlight
and then, increased to 100 percent frequency at 65 to 100 percent of
total sunlight.  Mueggler [162] found a significant (p less than 0.05) decrease in
fireweed frequency when tree canopy cover exceeded 41 percent.

Fireweed colonizes recent alluvial deposits [132].  It acts as a pioneer
species on glacial moraines, establishing with willows (Salix spp.) on
exposed gravel, sand, and silt bars [216,226].  In Glacier Bay, Alaska,
the pioneer stage with fireweed and willows lasts 1 to 5 years [213].

In succession on delta swamps in Michigan, the grass stage with
bluejoint reedgrass and fireweed follows the sedge-mat stage.  The grass
stage is succeeded by a shrub stage [44].

Fireweed is an indicator of a mid-seral stage of succession in the herb
layer of the grand fir/Rocky mountain maple (Abies grandis/Acer glabrum)
habitat type in central Idaho [200].  It is an indicator of early seral
stages in grand fir/blue huckleberry (Vaccinium globulare) habitat types
[198].
  • 3. Alaback, Paul B. 1984. Plant succession following logging in the Sitka spruce-western hemlock forests of southeast Alaska. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-173. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p. [7849]
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 40. Clagg, Harry B. 1975. Fire ecology in high-elevation forests in Colorado. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 137 p. Thesis. [113]
  • 43. Comeau, Philip G.; Watts, Susan B.; Caza, Caroline L.; [and others]
  • 46. Cormack, R. G. H. 1953. A survey of coniferous forest succession in the eastern Rockies. Forestry Chronicle. 29: 218-232. [16458]
  • 50. Cromack, K.; Swanson, F. J.; Grier, C. C. 1979. A comparison of harvesting methods and their impact on soils and environment in the Pacific Northwest. In: Youngberg, Chester T., ed. Forest soils and land use--Proceedings, 5th North American forest soils conference; 1978 August 6-9; [Location of conference unknown]
  • 64. Ebersole, James J. 1987. Short-term vegetation recovery at an Alaskan arctic coastal plain site. Arctic and Alpine Research. 19(4): 442-450. [9476]
  • 81. Gates, Frank C. 1942. The bogs of northern lower Michigan. Ecological Monographs. 12(3): 213-254. [10728]
  • 84. Green, Pat; Jensen, Mark. 1991. Plant succession within managed grand fir forests of northern Idaho. In: Harvey, Alan E.; Neuenschwander, Leon F., compilers. Proceedings--management and productivity of western-montane forest soils; 1990 April 10-12; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-280. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 232-236. [15987]
  • 86. Halpern, C. B. 1989. Early successional patterns of forest species: interactions of life history traits and disturbance. Ecology. 70(3): 704-720. [6829]
  • 92. Hawkes, Brad C. 1982. Fire history and ecology of forest ecosystems in Kluane National Park. In: Wein, Ross W.; Riewe, Roderick R.; Methven, Ian R., eds. Resources and dynamics of the Boreal Zone; [Date of conference unknown]
  • 115. Kellman, M. C. 1969. Plant species interrelationships in a secondary succession in coastal British Columbia. Syesis. 2: 201-212. [6589]
  • 118. Kienholz, Raymond. 1929. Revegetation after logging and burning in the Douglas-fir region of western Washington. Illinois State Academy of Science. 21: 94-108. [8764]
  • 124. Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p. [19376]
  • 149. McArdle, Richard E.; Isaac, Leo A. 1934. The ecological aspects of natural regeneration of Douglas fir in the Pacific North-west. Proceedings, 5th Pacific Science Congress. 5: 4009-4051. [15053]
  • 157. Moore, Peter D. 1982. Fire: catastrophic or creative force?. Impact of Science on Society. 32(1): 5-14. [15628]
  • 162. Mueggler, W. F. 1961. Ecology of seral shrub communities in the cedar-hemlock zone of northern Idaho. Durham, NC: Duke University. 126 p. Thesis. [9981]
  • 182. McCune, Bruce. 1982. Site, history and forest dynamics in the Bitterroot canyons, Montana. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin. 166 p. Thesis. [7232]
  • 192. Shirley, Hardy L. 1932. Light intensity in relation to plant growth in a virgin Norway pine forest. Journal of Agricultural Research. 44: 227-244. [10360]
  • 200. Steele, Robert; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen. 1992. The grand fir/mountain maple habitat type in central Idaho: succession and management. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-284. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 90 p. [17791]
  • 202. Stickney, Peter F. 1980. Data base for post-fire succession, first 6 to 9 years, in Montana larch-fir forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-62. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 133 p. [6583]
  • 207. Taylor, Dale L. 1969. Biotic succession of lodgepole pine forests of fire origin in Yellowstone National Park. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming. 320 p. M.S. thesis. [9481]
  • 217. Vogl, Richard J. 1964. The effects of fire on a muskeg in northern Wisconsin. Journal of Wildlife Management. 28(2): 317-329. [12170]
  • 226. Yarie, J.; Viereck, L.; Van Cleve, K.; Dryness, C. T. 1988. The chronosequence as an aid to understanding the long-term conse- quences of management activities. In: Dyck, W. J.; Mees, C. A, eds. Research Strategies for Long-term Productivity. Proceedings, IEA/BE A3 Workshop; [Date of conference unknown]
  • 44. Cooper, William S. 1913. The climax forest of Isle Royale, Lake Superior, and its development. III. Botanical Gazette. 55(3): 189-235. [11539]
  • 132. LeResche, R. E.; Bishop, R. H.; Coady, J. W. 1974. Distribution and habitats of moose in Alaska. Le Naturaliste Canadien. 101: 143-178. [15190]
  • 198. Steele, Robert; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen. 1987. The grand fir/blue huckleberry habitat type in central Idaho: succession and management. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-228. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 66 p. [8133]
  • 213. Ugolini, F. C. 1968. Soil development and alder invasion in a recently deglaciated area of Glacier Bay, Alaska. In: Trappe, J. M.; Franklin, J. F.; Tarrant, R. F.; Hansen, G. M., eds. Biology of alder: Proceedings of a symposium; 1967 April 14-15; Pullman, WA. Portland, OR: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 115-140. [6211]
  • 216. Viereck, Leslie A. 1970. Forest succession and soil development adjacent to the Chena River in interior Alaska. Arctic and Alpine Research. 2(1): 1-26. [12466]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: eruption, rhizome

Fireweed regenerates sexually and asexually.  Airborne seeds allow
fireweed to establish rapidly [93].  Hungerford [103] noted that an
opening in a canopy was not enough to ensure fireweed establishment.
Fireweed requires bare mineral soil in addition to high light for
germination [137].  Moisture supply is more stable and more nutrients
are available on a mineral soil seedbed [137].  Once established, it
forms large colonies via rhizomes and produces large amounts of seed
[41].

Vegetative Reproduction:  Vegetative reproduction is more prevalent than
sexual reproduction [29].  Fireweed may not flower every year in the
northern limits of its range or at alpine elevations in the southern
limits [43,185].

Fireweed readily sprouts from rhizomes following disturbance.  Fireweed
was a residual survivor on Mount St. Helens, Washington, following the
1980 volcanic eruption [143,152].  Shoots sprouting from rhizomes are
capable of very rapid growth; they may bloom within 1 month [195].
Fragmentation of rhizomes stimulates shoot production [41].  A
4-year-old rhizome was excavated and found to be 20 feet (6.1 m) long;
it had 56 perennating buds.  Rhizome length depends on soil fertility
and amount of competing vegetation present [104].

Sexual Reproduction:  Fireweed flowers can self-cross or outcross [29].
They are principally pollinated by insects [29].  Fireweed is a prolific
seed producer [41].  One plant may produce about 80,000 seeds per year
[196].  In seed traps placed on a burn in Saskatchewan, fireweed
represented 63 percent of all germinated seeds [11].  One year after the
Mount St. Helens explosion, 81 percent of seed collected in seed traps
were fireweed seeds [55].  Fireweed was one of the most abundant
colonizers on Mount St. Helens [143,152,158].

Seeds are nondormant and germinate over a variety of temperatures.  One
hundred percent of newly collected fireweed seeds germinated within 10
days [29].  Fireweed does not create a long-lived seed bank [10,110,146].
Most seeds lose viability after 18 to 24 months [29,43,87].  Optimum
germinating conditions are warm, well-lighted, and humid [29].  Seed
collected from subalpine (9,285 feet [2,830 m]) meadows in the Sierra
Nevada, California, gave 55 to 68 percent germination under day/night
temperature regimes of 62/55 degrees Fahrenheit (17/13 deg C) and 81/73
degrees Fahrenheit (27/23 deg C), respectively.  The lowest percent
germination (12 percent) was at 53.6/46.4 degrees Fahrenheit (12/8 deg
C) [37].  Broderick [29] reported similar germination rates; however, he
saw 86 percent germination at 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 deg C).

Fireweed seed hairs or plumes respond to humidity.  Increased humidity
causes a decreased plume diameter which results in reduced loft [55].
This increases the chance that seeds are deposited in places with
moisture adequate for germination.  Plumed seed has low rates (0.21 to
0.23 foot per second [0.065-0.069 m/s]) of fall in still air [196].
Using modified insect suction traps mounted on radio towers, Solbreck
and Andersson [196] found that 20 to 50 percent of the seeds sampled at
328 feet (100 m) in an air column above a burned forest in Sweden were
fireweed seeds.  Since the seeds were commonly aloft for 10 hours per
day, they suggested that the seeds traveled 62.2 to 186.5 miles (100-300
km) during that time.  Broderick [29] reported that the seed rain of
fireweed for all of northern Quebec was 3.7 seeds per square foot (40
seeds/sq m).
  • 10. Archibold, O. W. 1979. Buried viable propagules as a factor in postfire regeneration in northern Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Botany. 57: 54-58. [5934]
  • 11. Archibold, O. W. 1980. Seed imput into a postfire forest site in northern Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 10: 129-134. [4506]
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 37. Chabot, Brian F.; Billings, W. D. 1972. Origins and ecology of the Sierran alpine flora and vegetation. Ecological Monographs. 42(2): 163-199. [11228]
  • 41. Coates, D.; Haeussler, S. 1986. A preliminary guide to the response of major species of competing vegetation to silvicultural treatments. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Forests, Information Services Branch; Land Management Handbook Number 9. 88 p. [17453]
  • 43. Comeau, Philip G.; Watts, Susan B.; Caza, Caroline L.; [and others]
  • 55. Dale, Virginia H. 1989. Wind dispersed seeds and plant recovery on the Mount St. Helens debris avalanche. Canadian Journal of Botany. 67: 1434-1441. [12670]
  • 87. Hamilton, Evelyn H.; Yearsley, H. Karen. 1988. Vegetation development after clearcutting and site preparation in the SBS zone. Economic and Regional Development Agreement: FRDA Report 018. Victoria, BC: Canadian Forestry Service, Pacific Forestry Centre; British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Lands. 66 p. [8760]
  • 93. Hendrickson, William H. [n.d.]
  • 103. 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]
  • 104. Ingram, Douglas C. 1931. Vegetative changes and grazing use on Douglas-fir cut-over land. Journal of Agricultural Research. 43(5): 387-417. [8877]
  • 110. Johnson, E. A. 1975. Buried seed populations in the subarctic forest east of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. Canadian Journal of Botany. 53: 2933-2941. [6466]
  • 137. Lutz, H. J. 1953. The effects of forest fires on the vegetation of interior Alaska. Juneau, AK: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 36 p. [7076]
  • 143. MacMahon, James A. 1983. Nothing succeeds like succession: ecology and the human lot. 67th Faculty Honor Lecture, Utah State University, Logan Utah. Utah State University Press. 31 p. [7916]
  • 146. Major, J.; Pyott, W. T. 1966. Buried, viable seeds in two California bunchgrass sites and their bearing on the definition of a flora. Vegetatio. 13: 254-282. [6343]
  • 152. Means, Joseph E.; McKee, W. Arthur; Moir, William H.; Franklin, Jerry F. 1982. Natural revegetation of the northeastern portion of the devestated area. In: Keller, S. A, C.; ed. Mount St. Helens: one year later: Proceedings of a symposium; 1981 May 17-18; Cheney, WA. Cheney, WA: Eastern Washington University Press: 93-103. [5977]
  • 158. Morris, William F.; Wood, David M. 1989. The role of lupine in succession on Mount St. Helens: facilitation or inhibition. Ecology. 70(3): 697-703. [9149]
  • 185. Schaack, Clark G. 1983. The alpine vascular flora of Arizona. Madrono. 30(4): 79-88. [2069]
  • 195. Skutch, Alexander F. 1929. Early stages of plant succession following forest fires. Ecology. 10(2): 177-190. [21349]
  • 196. Solbreck, Crister; Andersson, David. 1987. Vertical distribution of fireweed, Epilobium augustifolium, seeds in the air. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 2177-2178. [6619]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, hemicryptophyte

   Geophyte
   Hemicryptophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: forb

Forb

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

The time ranges given here for the phenological stages of fireweed
reflect its widespread distribution, varying from region to region and
from habitat to habitat.  Root growth can begin at 40 degrees Fahrenheit
(4.5 deg C), preceding stem emergence [29].  Shoots emerge in spring
(late March to early June).  Leaves are full grown approximately 1 month
after emergence [43].  Maximum biomass occurs in summer (August) and may
be 0.12 to 0.19 pounds per square foot (0.6-0.9 kg/sq m) [43].  Flowers
bloom June through September [83,111,164,188,191,224].  Fruits mature
approximately 1 month later [187].  Seeds are released beginning in
August and continue to be shed after shoots have died from frost injury
[43,187].  Foliage will turn color with limited water availability in
the late summer and fall [62].  Seeds germinate late summer or fall, and
seedlings overwinter as a rosette [43].  The primary and secondary roots
of seedlings may develop buds which overwinter [195].  Shoot buds form
in the fall on lateral roots and overwinter just below the soil surface
[29].
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 43. Comeau, Philip G.; Watts, Susan B.; Caza, Caroline L.; [and others]
  • 62. Drew, Larry Albert. 1967. Comparative phenology of seral shrub communities in the cedar/hemlock zone. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho. 108 p. Thesis. [9654]
  • 83. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 111. Jones, G. N.; Fuller, G. D. 1955. Vascular plants of Illinois. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. 593 p. [18964]
  • 164. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 187. Schmidt, Wyman C.; Lotan, James E. 1980. Phenology of common forest flora of the northern Rockies--1928 to 1937. Res. Pap. INT-259. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 20 p. [2082]
  • 188. Scoggan, H. J. 1978. The flora of Canada. Ottawa, Canada: National Museums of Canada. (4 volumes). [18143]
  • 191. 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]
  • 195. Skutch, Alexander F. 1929. Early stages of plant succession following forest fires. Ecology. 10(2): 177-190. [21349]
  • 224. 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]

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Flowering from July to September; fruiting from August to October.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Wen, Jun

Source: Plants of Tibet

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Phylogenetic relationships of Onagraceae were inferred from nuclear region (ITS) and two chloroplast regions (trnL-trnF and rps16) (Levin et al., 2004). Results strongly suggest that tribe Gongylocarpeae is sister to tribes Epilobieae and Onagreae, both of which are monophyletic. Within this lineage, Chamerion angustifolium is sister to a monophyletic Epilobium.
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© Wen, Jun

Source: Plants of Tibet

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

The chromosomal number of Chamerion angustifolium is 2n = 36 (Yurtsev and Zhukova, 1982).
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© Wen, Jun

Source: Plants of Tibet

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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Chamerion angustifolium

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


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chamerion angustifolium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 22
Specimens with Barcodes: 39
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)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Threats

Comments: Lack of disturbance (succession) is a moderate threat to this species (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: cover, frequency, presence, tree

Although fireweed does not readily invade established vegetation, it may
be a problem when establishing confer seedlings [43].  Fireweed overtops
conifer seedlings and will persist for 10 years or more [15,29,43,
138,166].  It contributes to snow press damage of tree seedlings [87].
The thick rhizomes of fireweed may serve as occasional sources of
rootrot (Armillaria ostoyae), a destructive disease in ponderosa pine
(Pinus ponderosa) [121].

Fireweed is better adapted to subalpine habitats than are some
introduced species used in roadside seedings.  Some managers regard
fireweed as the most prominent weed of montane areas [77].

Biological Control:  A wide range of aphids and other insects have been
reported as parasites or associates on fireweed [29].  In a fireweed
population in northern Idaho, the smaller plants were dying of Aecidium
infections [102].

Chemical Control:  Soil-acting compounds (e.g., bromacil) and foliar
sprays (e.g., 2,4-D) give effective control of fireweed [29,43].
However, glyphosate only gives a short-term reduction in fireweed cover
[43,171].  Other herbicides, such as pronamid or terbacil at rates of 2
pounds active ingredients per acre (2.2 kg ai/ha), do not control
fireweed [201].

In a visual assessment of foliar susceptibility, fireweed was
extensively damaged by sulphur dioxide released from a burning landfill
[96].

Mechanical Control:  Fireweed is susceptible to damage from continual
grazing, trampling, or mowing [29].  However, stembases are stimulated
by cutting to produce more shoots and rhizomes [41].  Early spring
grazing of fireweed stimulates shoot production; plants can be grazed
again in the fall.  Since this grazing regime lowers fireweed
vitality, grazing can be used for suppression [104].  Fireweed cover was
reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent after 2 years of grazing by sheep
[107].  By year 7, fireweed began to disappear.  Fireweed has low
resistance to human trampling.  Less than 40 passes per year through a
fireweed population reduced its frequency and cover [42], but it was
able to recover between seasons of use.

Various straw mulches were placed on a clearcut in Quebec to suppress
herbaceous vegetation [109].  The mulch had no effect on the presence of
fireweed.

Disturbance to the forest floor may increase fireweed.  V-blade and
brush rake site preparation methods after clearcutting increased the
amount of fireweed; however, disking did not [108].  Unscalped areas
supported more fireweed cover on both clearcut and shelterwood cut white
spruce (Picea glauca) stands in Alaska [228].  Unscarified areas in
clearcut sub-boreal forests had higher fireweed cover than
blade-scarified areas; however, unscarified areas in clearcut boreal
forests had lower fireweed cover than blade-scarified areas [27].

To enhance forage species, such as fireweed, subalpine fir (Abies
lasiocarpa) was clearcut in strips.  Fireweed significantly (p less than 0.05)
increased in standing crop biomass on the cut areas [177].  Foliar cover
and height of fireweed are able to account for 89 percent of the
variation in biomass in a variety of cover types in Alaska [225].  This
model can be used to predict the productivity of an area.

Industry Considerations:  Fireweed is an important nectar producer for
the honey industry throughout Canada [29].  Honey production from
fireweed in the Soviet Union was reported as 892.2 pounds per acre (1,000
kg/ha) [29].  Ingram [104] noted that apiarists followed logging
operations to ensure fireweed nectar sources.
  • 27. Brand, David G. 1991. The establishment of boreal and sub-boreal conifer plantations: an integrated analysis of environmental conditions and seedling growth. Forest Science. 37(1): 68-100. [14408]
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 41. Coates, D.; Haeussler, S. 1986. A preliminary guide to the response of major species of competing vegetation to silvicultural treatments. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Forests, Information Services Branch; Land Management Handbook Number 9. 88 p. [17453]
  • 42. 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]
  • 43. Comeau, Philip G.; Watts, Susan B.; Caza, Caroline L.; [and others]
  • 77. Forcella, Frank; Harvey, Stephen J. 1983. Eurasian weed infestation in western Montana in relation to vegetation and disturbance. Madrono. 30(2): 102-109. [7897]
  • 87. Hamilton, Evelyn H.; Yearsley, H. Karen. 1988. Vegetation development after clearcutting and site preparation in the SBS zone. Economic and Regional Development Agreement: FRDA Report 018. Victoria, BC: Canadian Forestry Service, Pacific Forestry Centre; British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Lands. 66 p. [8760]
  • 96. Hocking, Drake. 1975. Effects on the forest of sulphur dioxide from a sulphur fire near Edson, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-139. Edmonton, AB: Environment Canada, Canadian Forestry Service, Northern Forest Research Center. 8 p. [7610]
  • 102. Humphrey, Harry B.; Weaver, John Ernst. 1915. Natural reforestation in the mountains of northern Idaho. Plant World. 18: 31-49. [12448]
  • 104. Ingram, Douglas C. 1931. Vegetative changes and grazing use on Douglas-fir cut-over land. Journal of Agricultural Research. 43(5): 387-417. [8877]
  • 107. Isaac, Leo A. 1940. Vegetative succession following logging in the Douglas-fir region with special reference to fire. Journal of Forestry. 38: 716-721. [4964]
  • 108. Jobidon, Robert. 1990. Short-term effect of 3 mechanical site preparation methods on species diversity. Tree Planters' Notes. 41(4): 39-42. [15005]
  • 109. Jobidon, R.; Thibault, J. R.; Fortin, J. A. 1989. Phytotoxic effect of barley, oat, and wheat-straw mulches in eastern Quebec forest plantations 1. Effects on red raspberry (Rubus idaeus). Forest Ecology and Management. 29: 277-294. [9899]
  • 121. Klein-Gebbinck, H. W.; Blenis, P. V.; Hiratsuka, Y. 1991. Spread of Armillaria ostoyae in juvenile lodgepole pine stands in west central Alberta. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 20-24. [14663]
  • 171. Otchere-Boateng, J.; Herring, L. J. 1990. Site preparation: chemical. In: Lavender, D. P.; Parish, R.; Johnson, C. M.; [and others]
  • 201. Stewart, R. E.; Beebe, T. 1974. Survival of ponderosa pine seedlings followingcontrol of competing grasses. Western Society Weed Science Proceedings. 27: 55-58. [7184]
  • 228. Zasada, John C.; Grigal, David F. 1978. The effects of silvicultural system and seed bed preparation on natural regeneration of white spruce and associated species in Interior Alaska. In: Hollis, Charles A.; Squillace, Anthony E., eds. Proceedings: Fifth North American Forest Biology Workshop; [Date of conference unknown]
  • 177. Regelin, Wayne L.; Wallmo, Olof C. 1978. Duration of deer forage benefits after clearcut logging of subalpine forest in Colorado. RM-356. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 4 p. [4499]
  • 225. Yarie, John; Mead, Bert R. 1988. Twig and foliar biomass estimation equations for major plant species in the Tanana River Basin of interior Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-401. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 20 p. [13487]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: cover, forbs, tundra

Fireweed is used for revegetation of mined land.  In Alberta, fireweed
successfully establishes on mine spoils in alpine and subalpine habitats
[32,183].  Fireweed voluntarily seeded into plantings of commercial
species on coal strip mines in Alaska [68].  Elliott and others [68]
cautioned against fireweed invasion when using nonnative reclamation
species.  Fireweed formed mycorrhizal associations on coal mine spoils
[29].

When establishing on borrow pits of differing ages in northwestern
Canada, fireweed had variable success but was present on all sites
[117].  Kershaw and Kershaw [117] advocated the use of fireweed in
revegetation programs in tundra regions.

During a planting trial that tested the revegetation potential of
species along disturbed roadsides in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming,
fireweed naturally seeded in with the planted grasses and forbs during
the first year [145].  Fireweed is recommended for use as protective
groundcover throughout British Columbia on disturbed sites, such as
roadways and logged areas [221].  Planting guidelines for fireweed are
detailed [221].

Revegetation of crude oil spills is a concern in tundra regions.
Fireweed was 1 of 14 plants with cover greater than 2 percent on oil
spill areas that were 35 years old [116].  In British Columbia, fireweed
was able to survive diesel oil on its foliage; however, the plants died
where the spill penetrated to the roots [221].

Planting fireweed rhizomes may speed colonization of a disturbed area
[148].  Dormant rhizomes were collected and planted in simulated
pipeline trenches and road rights-of-way in the Northwest Territories
[148].  Fireweed plants established best with the addition of
fertilizer.
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 32. Brown, Ray W.; Johnston, Robert S.; Johnson, Douglas A. 1978. Rehabilitation of alpine tundra disturbances. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 33: 154-160. [14883]
  • 68. Elliott, Charles L.; McKendrick, Jay D.; Helm, D. 1987. Plant biomass, cover, and survival of species used for stripmine reclamation in south-central Alaska, U.S.A. Arctic and Alpine Research. 19(4): 572-577. [6116]
  • 116. Kershaw, G. Peter; Kershaw, Linda J. 1986. Ecological characteristics of 35-year-old crude-oil spills in tundra plant communities of the Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T. Canadian Journal of Botany. 64: 2935-2947. [12972]
  • 117. Kershaw, G. Peter; Kershaw, Linda J. 1987. Successful plant colonizers on disturbances in tundra areas of northwestern Canada. Arctic and Alpine Research. 19(4): 451-460. [6115]
  • 145. Majerus, Mark E. 1991. Yellowstone National Park-Bridger Plant Marterials Center native plant program. In: Rangeland Technology Equipment Council, 1991 annual report. 9222-2808-MTDC. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Technology and Development Program: 17-22. [17082]
  • 148. Maslen, Lynn; Kershaw, G. Peter. 1989. First year results of revegetation trials using selected native plant species on a simulated pipeline trench, Fort Norman, N.W.T., Canada. In: Walker, D. G.; Powter, C. B.; Pole, M. W., compilers. Reclamation, a global perspective: Proceedings of the conference; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Rep. No. RRTAC 89-2. Vol. 1. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 81-90. [14363]
  • 183. Russell, W. B. 1985. Vascular flora of abandoned coal-mined land, Rocky Mountain Foothills, Alberta. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(4): 503-516. [10461]
  • 221. Watson, L. E.; Parker, R. W.; Polster, D. F. 1980. Manual of plant species suitablity for reclamation in Alberta. Vol. 2. Forbs, shrubs and trees. Edmonton, AB: Land Conservation and Reclamation Council. 537 p. [8855]

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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

The degree to which fireweed provides cover during one or more seasons
for wildlife species have been rated as follows [60]:

                         MT      UT      WY
Pronghorn               ----    poor    poor
Elk                     ----    poor    poor
Mule deer               ----    fair    poor
White-tailed deer       poor    ----    ----
Small mammals           poor    fair    fair
Small nongame birds     poor    ----    fair
Upland game birds       ----    fair    fair
Waterfowl               ----    poor    poor       
  • 60. 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]

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Palatability

The palatability of fireweed for livestock and wildlife species has been
rated as follows [60,104,200]:

                         ID      MT      OR      UT      WA      WY
Cattle                  ----    ----    good    ----    good    ----
Sheep                   good    ----    good    ----    good    ----
Pronghorn               ----    ----    ----    good    ----    poor
Elk                     good    fair    ----    good    ----    good
Mule deer               good    fair    ----    good    ----    good
White-tailed deer       good    fair    ----    fair    ----    good
Small mammals           ----    ----    ----    fair    ----    good
Small nongame birds     ----    ----    ----    fair    ----    good
Upland game birds       ----    ----    ----    ----    ----    poor
Waterfowl               ----    ----    ----    poor    ----    poor
  • 60. 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]
  • 104. Ingram, Douglas C. 1931. Vegetative changes and grazing use on Douglas-fir cut-over land. Journal of Agricultural Research. 43(5): 387-417. [8877]
  • 200. Steele, Robert; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen. 1992. The grand fir/mountain maple habitat type in central Idaho: succession and management. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-284. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 90 p. [17791]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: forbs

Fireweed is a preferred food for ungulates in British Columbia, Wyoming,
and Oregon [29,58,91,184,205].  It is eaten by moose, caribou, muskrats,
and hares in British Columbia [29].  In Alberta, fireweed is incidental
forage for bighorn sheep [23].  Fireweed is consumed by woodland caribou
in Minnesota and Ontario [49,186].  It is an important summer food for
mountain goats in Alaska [95].  Small mammals, such as chipmunks and
pikas, eat fireweed seeds [221].  Fireweed is a nectar source for
hummingbirds [172,200].  Butterflies use both the nectar and pollen from
fireweed [25].

In the Rocky Mountains, fireweed is an important food for elk in summer
[106,126,129].  Elk sometimes feed exclusively on fireweed [180].  In
one study, utilization of fireweed reflected its availability; an
average of 4 percent of bites of forbs taken by elk on burned areas was
fireweed, compared with less than 0.5 percent of bites on unburned areas
[34].  In another study, elk utilized fireweed more in clearcuts than in
grass-shrub communities [106].

Fireweed use by white-tailed deer was restricted to the months of
January and May [114].  Foraging deer used fireweed 3 to 8 percent of
the time during July and August in Minnesota [105].

In Oregon, black-tailed deer prefer fireweed [66,67].  Black-tailed deer
use fireweed as forage from May to July in British Columbia and Alaska
[47,167].  In Washington, black-tailed deer stomach content analyses
showed that fireweed was a major food item, eaten with 14 percent
frequency [30].  It was consumed throughout the entire growing season
(May to October).

Mule deer use fireweed moderately as forage during the summer in Wyoming
and Colorado [57,220].  In Arizona, fireweed is rated as potentially
valuable forage for mule deer and elk during the spring (March to May)
[209].

Fireweed comprised 44 percent of summer and 18 percent of fall nonwoody
forage eaten by moose in Idaho [179].  In Montana, moose used fireweed
as food less than 2 percent during spring and winter [194].  Moose used
fireweed as approximately 5 percent of summer forage in Wyoming [99].
Fireweed was preferred by moose in Minnesota during June and July and
was eaten 7 to 17 percent of the time [105].  In Alaska, before it
flowered, fireweed was a preferred major food item for moose during July
[133].  Postflowering fireweed plants were rarely consumed.
  • 23. Bentz, Jerry A.; Woodard, Paul M. 1988. Vegetation characteristics and bighorn sheep use on burned and unburned areas in Alberta. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 16(2): 186-193. [15276]
  • 25. Bertsch, Andreas. 1983. Nectar prod. of Epilobium angustifolium L. at different air humidities; nectar sugar in individual flowers and the optimal foraging theory. Oecologia. 59: 40-48. [19636]
  • 29. Broderick, D. H. 1990. The biology of Canadian weeds. 93. Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 70: 247-259. [11077]
  • 30. Brown, Ellsworth R. 1961. The black-tailed deer of western Washington. Biological Bulletin No. 13. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 47. Cowan, Ian McTaggart. 1945. The ecological relationships of the food of the Columbian black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus (Richardson), in the c. forest region southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Ecological Monographs. 15(2): 110-139. [16006]
  • 49. Cringan, Alexander Thom. 1957. History, food habits and range requirements of the woodland caribou of continental North America. Transactions, North American Wildlife Conference. 22: 485-501. [15651]
  • 57. Davis, Peter R. 1976. Response of vertebrate fauna forest fire and clearcutting in south central Wyoming. Final Report Cooperative Agreements Nos. 16-391-CA and 16-464-CA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and University of Wyoming. Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming, Department of Zoology and Physiology. 94 p. [318]
  • 58. DeByle, Norbert V.; Urness, Philip J.; Blank, Deborah L. 1989. Forage quality in burned and unburned aspen communities. Res. Pap. INT-404. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 8 p. [6588]
  • 66. Einarsen, Arthur S. 1946. Management of black-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Management. 10(1): 54-59. [8727]
  • 67. Einarsen, Arthur S. 1946. Crude protein determination of deer food as an applied management technique. Transactions, 11th North American Wildlife Conference. 11: 309-312. [17031]
  • 91. Harshman, Edmund P.; Forsman, Richard. 1978. Measuring fireweed utilization. Journal of Range Management. 31(5): 393-396. [15676]
  • 95. Hjeljord, Olav. 1973. Mountain goat forage and habitat preference in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management. 37(3): 353-362. [16004]
  • 99. Houston, Douglas B. 1968. The Shiras Moose in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Tech. Bull. No. 1. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 105. Irwin, Larry L. 1985. Foods of moose, Alces alces, and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, on a burn in boreal forest. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 99(2): 240-245. [4513]
  • 106. Irwin, Larry L.; Peek, James M. 1983. Elk, Cervus elaphus, foraging related to forest management and succession in Idaho. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 97(4): 443-447. [16524]
  • 114. Keay, Jeffrey A. 1977. Relationship of habitat use patterns and forage preferences of white-tailed and mule deer to post-fire vegetation, Upper Selway River. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho. 76 p. Thesis. [1316]
  • 126. Kufeld, Roland C. 1973. Foods eaten by the Rocky Mountain elk. Journal of Range Management. 26(2): 106-113. [1385]
  • 129. Leege, Thomas A., compiler. 1984. Guidelines for evaluating and managing summer elk habitat in northern Idaho. [Wildlife Bull. No. 11]
  • 133. LeResche, Robert E.; Davis, James L. 1973. Importance of nonbrowse foods to moose on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management. 37(3): 279-287. [13123]
  • 167. Nyberg, J. Brian; McNay R, Scott; Kirchoff, Matthew D.; [and others]
  • 172. Pojar, Jim. 1975. Hummingbird flowers of British Columbia. Syesis. 8: 25-28. [6537]
  • 179. Ritchie, Brent W. 1978. Ecology of moose in Fremont County, Idaho. Wildlife Bulletin No. 7. Boise, ID: Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 33 p. [4482]
  • 180. Robbins, C. T.; Hanley, T. A.; Hagerman, A. E.; [and others]
  • 184. Sampson, Arthur W. 1914. Natural revegetation of range lands based upon growth requirements and life history of the vegetation. Journal of Agricultural Research. 3(2): 93-147. [4146]
  • 186. Schaefer, James A.; Pruitt, William O., Jr. 1991. Fire and woodland caribou in southeastern Manitoba. Wildlife Monograph No. 116. Washington, DC: The Wildlife Society, Inc. 39 p. [15247]
  • 194. Singer, Francis J. 1979. Habitat partitioning and wildfire relationships of cervids in Glacier National Park, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 43(2): 437-444. [4074]
  • 200. Steele, Robert; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen. 1992. The grand fir/mountain maple habitat type in central Idaho: succession and management. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-284. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 90 p. [17791]
  • 205. Strang, Roy M. 1989. Impacts of fire on herbaceous vegetation. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Breuer, David W.; Zamora, Benjamin A.; [and others]
  • 209. Thill, Ronald E.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Patton, David R. 1983. Deer and elk forage production in Arizona mixed conifer forests. Res. Pap. RM-248. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 13 p. [14381]
  • 220. Wallmo, Olof C.; Regelin, Wayne L.; Reichert, Donald W. 1972. Forage use by mule deer relative to logging in Colorado. Journal of Wildlife Management. 36: 1025-1033. [4486]
  • 221. Watson, L. E.; Parker, R. W.; Polster, D. F. 1980. Manual of plant species suitablity for reclamation in Alberta. Vol. 2. Forbs, shrubs and trees. Edmonton, AB: Land Conservation and Reclamation Council. 537 p. [8855]
  • 34. Canon, S. K.; Urness, P. J.; DeByle, N. V. 1987. Habitat selection, Foraging behavior, and dietary nutrition of elk in burned aspen forest. Journal of Range Management. 40(5): 443-438. [3453]

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Other uses and values

Young shoots were collected by Nuxalk Indians in British Columbia for
food [131].  Fireweed petals are made into jelly [98].  Mature leaves
are dried and used as tea [90].  Roots are eaten raw by Siberian Eskimos
[101].

Fireweed is grown as an ornamental; however, it can become an aggressive
weed [94,221].
  • 90. Harrington, H. D. 1976. Edible native plants of the Rocky Mountains. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. 392 p. [12903]
  • 94. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1961. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 3: Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 614 p. [1167]
  • 98. Holloway, Patricia S.; Alexander, Ginny. 1990. Ethnobotany of the Fort Yukon region, Alaska. Economic Botany. 44(2): 214-225. [13625]
  • 101. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 131. Lepofsky, Dana; Turner, Nancy J.; Kuhnlein, Harriet V. 1985. Determining the availability of traditional wild plant foods: an example of Nuxalk foods, Bella Coola, British Columbia. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 16: 223-241. [7002]
  • 221. Watson, L. E.; Parker, R. W.; Polster, D. F. 1980. Manual of plant species suitablity for reclamation in Alberta. Vol. 2. Forbs, shrubs and trees. Edmonton, AB: Land Conservation and Reclamation Council. 537 p. [8855]

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Nutritional Value

Nutritional value of fireweed varies depending on season and site.
Fireweed crude protein averaged 20 percent throughout the second summer
following fire; dry matter digestibility was over 80 percent [58].  In
another study, crude protein content was 13.7 percent, and protein
digestibility (dry matter) was 13 percent [180].  Fireweed collected in
July in Alaska had 11.9 percent protein, 62.2 percent dry matter
digestibility for moose, and 64.7 percent dry matter digestibility for
dairy cow [169].  Fireweed samples taken in July and August in Minnesota
had crude protein of 4 to 9 percent and dry matter digestibility of 28
to 69 percent [186].  In Oregon, June fireweed foliage had 17.7 percent
protein [66].

Fireweed flowers contain tannins that have a very high capacity to
precipitate proteins, reducing the actual amount of protein available to
an herbivore [180].
  • 58. DeByle, Norbert V.; Urness, Philip J.; Blank, Deborah L. 1989. Forage quality in burned and unburned aspen communities. Res. Pap. INT-404. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 8 p. [6588]
  • 66. Einarsen, Arthur S. 1946. Management of black-tailed deer. Journal of Wildlife Management. 10(1): 54-59. [8727]
  • 169. Oldemeyer, J. L.; Franzmann, A. W.; Brundage, A. L.; [and others]
  • 180. Robbins, C. T.; Hanley, T. A.; Hagerman, A. E.; [and others]
  • 186. Schaefer, James A.; Pruitt, William O., Jr. 1991. Fire and woodland caribou in southeastern Manitoba. Wildlife Monograph No. 116. Washington, DC: The Wildlife Society, Inc. 39 p. [15247]

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Wikipedia

Chamerion angustifolium

"Fireweed" redirects here. For other uses, see Fireweed (disambiguation).


Chamerion angustifolium, commonly known as fireweed (mainly in North America), great willow-herb (some parts of Canada),[1] or rosebay willowherb (mainly in Britain), is a perennial herbaceous plant in the willowherb family Onagraceae. It is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests.

This species has been placed in the genus Chamerion (sometimes, incorrectly, given as Chamaenerion) rather than Epilobium based on several morphological distinctions: spiral (rather than opposite or whorled) leaf arrangement; absence (rather than presence) of a hypanthium; subequal stamens (rather than stamens in two unequal whorls); zygomorphic (rather than actinomorphic) stamens and stigma. Under this taxonomic arrangement, Chamerion and Epilobium are monophyletic sister genera.[2]

Two subspecies are recognized as valid:

Etymology[edit]

The species name angustifolium ('narrowleaved') is constructed from the Latin words angustus meaning 'narrow' and folium meaning 'leaved' or 'leaf'. It shares this name with other species of plant including Vaccinium angustifolium. The common British name, from the passing resemblance of the flowers to roses and the leaves to those of bay, goes back in print to Gerard's Herball of 1597.[3]

Description[edit]

The reddish stems of this herbaceous perennial are usually simple, erect, smooth, 0.5–2.5 m (1½–8 feet) high with scattered alternate leaves. The leaves are entire, lanceolate, and pinnately veined. A related species, dwarf fireweed (Chamerion latifolium), grows to 0.3–0.6 m tall.

The radially symmetrical flowers have four magenta to pink petals, 2 to 3 cm in diameter. The styles have four stigmas, which occur in symmetrical terminal racemes.

The reddish-brown linear seed capsule splits from the apex. It bears many minute brown seeds, about 300 to 400 per capsule and 80,000 per plant. The seeds have silky hairs to aid wind dispersal and are very easily spread by the wind, often becoming a weed and a dominant species on disturbed ground. Once established, the plants also spread extensively by underground roots, an individual plant eventually forming a large patch.

The leaves of fireweed are unique in that the leaf veins are circular and do not terminate on the edges of the leaf, but form circular loops and join together inside the outer leaf margins. This feature makes the plants very easy to identify in all stages of growth. When fireweed first emerges in early spring, it can closely resemble several highly toxic members of the lily family, however, it is easily identified by its unique leaf vein structure.

Ecology[edit]

This herb is often abundant in wet calcareous to slightly acidic soils in open fields, pastures, and particularly burned-over lands; the name Fireweed derives from the species' abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires. Its tendency to quickly colonize open areas with little competition, such as sites of forest fires and forest clearings, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light. As trees and brush grow larger the plants die out, but the seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank for many years; when a new fire or other disturbance occurs that opens up the ground to light again, the seeds germinate. Some areas with heavy seed counts in the soil can, after burning, be covered with pure dense stands of this species and when in flower the landscape is turned into fields of color.

In Britain the plant was considered a rare species in the 18th century,[4] and one confined to a few locations with damp, gravelly soils. It was misidentified as Great Hairy Willowherb in contemporary floras. The plant's rise from local rarity to widespread weed seems to have occurred at the same time as the expansion of the railway network, and the associated soil disturbance. The plant became locally known as bombweed due to its rapid colonization of bomb craters in the second world war.[4]

Uses[edit]

The young shoots were often collected in the spring by Native American people and mixed with other greens. As the plant matures the leaves become tough and somewhat bitter. The southeast Native Americans use the stems in this stage. They are peeled and eaten raw. When properly prepared soon after picking they are a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. The Dena'ina add fireweed to their dogs' food. Fireweed is also a medicine of the Upper Inlet Dena'ina, who treat pus-filled boils or cuts by placing a piece of the raw stem on the afflicted area. This is said to draw the pus out of the cut or boil and prevents a cut with pus in it from healing over too quickly.

A flowering fireweed plant

The root can be roasted after scraping off the outside, but often tastes bitter. To mitigate this, the root is collected before the plant flowers and the brown thread in the middle removed.

In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, and even ice cream are made from fireweed. Monofloral honey made primarily from fireweed nectar has a distinctive, spiced flavor.

In Russia, its leaves are used as tea substitute and were exported, known in Western Europe as Koporye Tea (Копорский чай) or Russian Tea. Fireweed leaves can undergo fermentation, much like real tea. Today, koporye tea is still occasionally consumed though not commercially important.

Chamerion angustifolium (Epilobium angustifolium) herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea for treatment of disorders of the prostate, kidneys, and urinary tract.[5]

Fireweed's natural variation in ploidy has prompted its use in scientific studies of polyploidy's possible effects on adaptive potential[6] and species diversification.[7]

Habitat restoration[edit]

Because fireweed can colonize disturbed sites, even following an old oil spill, it is often used to reestablish vegetation. It grows in (and is native to) a variety of temperate to arctic ecosystems. Although it is also grown as an ornamental plant, some may find it too aggressive in that context.[8]

Depictions in human culture[edit]

Fireweed is the floral emblem of Yukon.

Rosebay Willowherb was voted the County flower of London in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.[9]

Due to its pioneering properties rosebay willowherb was used by Terry Pratchett in his fictional Discworld novel Sourcery as the nearest comparative Roundworld flower to Sapient pearwood.[10]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto:McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 2004.
  2. ^ W. L. Wagner, P. C. Hoch, and P. H. Raven, 2007. Revised classification of the Onagraceae. Systematic Botany Monographs 83: 1-243.
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  4. ^ a b Flora Britannica, Richard Mabey, ISBN 978-1-85619-377-1
  5. ^ Vogl S, Picker P, Mihaly-Bison J, Fakhrudin N, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH,Wawrosch C, Reznicek G, Dirsch VM, Saukel J, Kopp B. Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine - An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs. J Ethnopharmacol.2013 Jun13. doi:pii: S0378-8741(13)00410-8. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed
  6. ^ Martin, Sara L.; Husband, Brian C. (1 March 2013). "Adaptation of diploid and tetraploid Chamerion angustifolium to elevation but not local environment". Evolution. doi:10.1111/evo.12065. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Husband, Brian C. "University of Guelph Department of Integrative Biology, Dr. Brian C. Husband". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Species: Chamerion angustifolium". Fire Effects Information System. 
  9. ^ Plantlife website County Flowers page
  10. ^ Pratchett, Terry: Sourcery, page 65. Corgi, 1988
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Treated as Chamerion angustifolium in Kartesz (1999).

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Synonyms

More info for the term: fern

Chamaenerion angustifolium (L.) Scop. [231]
Epilobium angustifolium L.
E. a. ssp. angustifolium Mosq.
E. a. ssp. circumvagum Mosq.
E. a. var. canescens Wood
E. a. f. albiflorum (Dum.) Haussk.
E. a. f. spectabile (Simmons) Fern. [72,112,224,230]
  • 72. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 224. 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]
  • 112. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]
  • 230. Mosquin, Theodore. 1966. A new taxonomy for Epilobium angustifolium L. (Onagraceae). Brittonia. 18(2): 167-188. [61446]
  • 231. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 2006. Flora Europaea, [Online]

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Common Names

fireweed
common fireweed
perennial fireweed
narrow-leaved fireweed
great willow-herb
rosebay willow-herb
blooming Sally

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The currently accepted name of fireweed is Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub [112];
it is in the evening primrose family (Onagraceae). This is an extremely variable
taxon with worldwide distribution [164]. Recognized subspecies are [112]:

C. a. ssp. angustifolium
C. a. ssp. circumvagum (Mosq.) Hotch
  • 164. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 112. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]

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