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SPECIES:  Salix brachycarpa
Shortfruit willow. Image by Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte,


SPECIES: Salix brachycarpa
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION: Coladonato, Milo. 1993. Salix brachycarpa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
Revisions: The common name was changed in FEIS from: small-fruit willow to: shortfruit willow on 24 August 2014. Images were also added. ABBREVIATION: SALBRA SYNONYMS: NO-ENTRY NRCS PLANT CODE [24]: SABR SABRB7 SALBRP5 COMMON NAMES: shortfruit willow barren-ground willow small-fruit sand dune willow small-fruit willow TAXONOMY: The scientific name for shortfruit willow is Salix brachycarpa Nutt (Salicaceae) [19,24]. There are two recognized varieties [15,19,22,24]: Salix brachycarpa var. brachycarpa Nutt., typical variety Salix brachycarpa Nutt. var. psammophila Raup, small-fruit sand dune willow LIFE FORM: Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS: No special status OTHER STATUS: NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Salix brachycarpa
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: In northern Canada shortfruit willow is distributed from the Yukon Territory to adjacent British Columbia and east to the Hudson Bay. In the contiguous United States shortfruit willow occurs from the Canadian border southward in the cordilleras to Utah and Colorado [3,7,15,19].
Distribution of shortfruit willow. Map courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC [2018, August 24] [24].
   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES44  Alpine

     CO  ID  MT  OR  UT  WA  WY  AB  BC
     MB  NY  SK  YT

    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains

   K015  Western spruce - fir forest
   K052  Alpine meadows and barren

    12  Black spruce
   107  White spruce
   201  White spruce
   204  Black spruce
   206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
   251  White spruce - aspen
   253  Black spruce - white spruce


Shortfruit willow codominates in several willow and mixed shrub
floodplain communities in Alaska and northern Canada [2].  In
northwestern Colorado, it is a codominant along rivers and streams along
with diamondleaf willow (Salix planifolia), marsh marigold (Caltha
leptosepala), and water sedge (Carex aquatilis) [3].  Other riparian
community associates include Alaska willow (S. alaxensis), littletree
willow (S. arbusculoides), grayleaf willow (S. glauca), and alders
(Alnus spp.) [4,18].


SPECIES: Salix brachycarpa
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE: Shortfruit willow is an important forage for moose in the floodplains of interior Alaska and has been planted for moose habitat restoration on the North Slope of Alaska [8,26]. Willows (Salix spp.) are generally a preferred food and building material for beaver [2]. Willow shoots, catkins, and buds are eaten by numerous small mammals and birds [5,12]. PALATABILITY: NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE: NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE: NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES: Willow stems are commonly planted for restoration of wildlife habitat, streambank protection, and the reclamation of sites disturbed by mining and construction [20]. Shortfruit willow is apparently well suited for these purposes. Shortfruit willow is also planted for windbreaks [27]. OTHER USES AND VALUES: All willows produce salacin which is closely related chemically to aspirin. Native American used various preparations from willows to treat toothache, bee stings, stomachache, and diarrhea [14,17]. Native Americans also used flexible willow stems for making baskets, bows, arrows, and fish and muskrat traps [14]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Salix brachycarpa
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Shortfruit willow is a much-branched, low-growing, and often prostrate shrub typically between 1 and 3 feet (0.3-0.9 m) tall. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants in 0.7- to 2-inch-long (1.5-5 cm) catkins that persist throughout the summer and often through the following winter. The fruit is a two-valved capsule [3,6,19,28]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM: Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES: Like all willows, shortfruit willow's primary mode of reproduction is sexual. It produces an abundance of lightweight seed and begins seed production at an early age (between 2 and 10 years) [12]. Willow seed has an extremely short period of viability. Under natural conditions, most seeds remain viable for only a few days. Seeds usually germinate within 12 to 24 hours of landing on a suitable seedbed. At maturity, the capsular fruits split open to release the minute downy seeds that are dispersed by either wind or water [12,19]. Vegetative reproduction: Willows are prolific sprouters. Small-fruit willow sprouts from the root crown if aboveground stems are broken or destroyed by cutting or fire [12]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Shortfruit willow occurs on a wide variety of sites including open woodlands, bogs, muskegs, meadows, streambanks, alpine slopes, swamp margins, and moraines. It also occurs on serpentine barrens, salt marshes, alkaline meadows, and salt flats [11,28]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Obligate Initial Community Species Shortfruit willow is an early seral species. It is one of the first species to become established on exposed silt and gravel bars and the inside of river meanders [1,18]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Shortfruit willow flowers in June and July, and the seed is dispersed in July and August [28].


SPECIES: Salix brachycarpa
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS: Information on shortfruit willow's ability to sprout after fire is lacking. Like most willows it probably sprouts prolifically after fire. Shortfruit willow's wind-dispersed seed are probably important in colonizing recently burned sites [12]. FIRE REGIMES: Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY: Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Salix brachycarpa
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT: Low- to moderate-severity fires generally top-kill willows. Severe fire can kill willows by completely removing soil organic layers and charring the roots [29]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT: NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE: Like most willows shortfruit willow will probably sprout vigorously after fire [3,12]. Information regarding postfire establishment for shortfruit willow is lacking. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE: NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: NO-ENTRY

References for species: Salix brachycarpa

1. Adams, C. Phyllis; Viereck, Leslie A. 1992. Multivariate analysis of woody plant succession on the Tanana River in interior Alaska. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31; Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 4-10. [19087]
2. Allen, Arthur W. 1983. Habitat suitability index models: beaver. FWS/OBS-82/10.30 (Revised). Washingtion, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 20 p. [11716]
3. Argus, George W. 1973. The genus Salix in Alaska and the Yukon. Publications in Botany, No. 2. Ottowa, ON: National Museums of Canada, National Museum of Natural Sciences. 279 p. [6167]
4. Baker, William L. 1989. Classification of the riparian vegetation of the montane and subalpine zones in western Colorado. The Great Basin Naturalist. 49(2): 214-228. [7985]
5. Braun, Clait E.; Stevens, David R.; Giesen, Kenneth M.; Melcher, Cynthia P. 1991. Elk, white-tailed ptarmigan and willow relationships: a management dilemma in Rocky Mountain National Park. In: McCabe, Richard E, ed. Transactions, 56th North American wildlife and natural resources conference; 1991 March 17-22; Edmonton, AB. [Place of publication unknown]. [Publisher unknown]. 74-85. [20788]
6. Brayshaw, T. Christopher. 1976. Catkin bearing plants of British Columbia. Occas. Pap. No. 18. Victoria, BC: The British Columbia Provincial Museum. 176 p. [6170]
7. Brunsfeld, Steven J.; Johnson, Frederic D. 1985. Field guide to the willows of east-central Idaho. Bulletin Number 39. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho; College of Forestry, Wildlife and Range Sciences; Forest, Wildlife and Range Experiment Station. 82 p. [6175]
8. Densmore, R. V.; Neiland, B. J.; Zasada, J. C.; Masters, M. A. 1987. Planting willow for moose habitat restoration on the North Slope of Alaska, U.S.A. Arctic and Alpine Research. 19(4): 537-543. [6080]
9. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]
10. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]
11. Goodrich, Sherel. 1992. Summary flora of riparian shrub communities of the Intermountain region with emphasis on willows. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31; Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 62-67. [19097]
12. Haeussler, S.; Coates, D.; Mather, J. 1990. Autecology of common plants in British Columbia: A literature review. Economic and Regional Development Agreement FRDA Rep. 158. Victoria, BC: Forestry Canada, Pacific Forestry Centre; British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Research Branch. 272 p. [18033]
13. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1964. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 2: Salicaceae to Saxifragaceae. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 597 p. [1166]
14. Holloway, Patricia S.; Alexander, Ginny. 1990. Ethnobotany of the Fort Yukon region, Alaska. Economic Botany. 44(2): 214-225. [13625]
15. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
16. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]
17. Mozingo, Hugh N. 1987. Shrubs of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 342 p. [1702]
18. Neiland, Bonita J.; Viereck, Leslie A. 1977. Forest types and ecosystems. In: North American forest lands at latitudes north of 60 degrees: Proceedings of a symposium; 1977 September 19-22; Fairbanks, AK. [Place of publication unknown]. [University of Alaska, Fairbanks]: 109-136. [19933]
19. Hewsholme, Christopher. 1992. Willows: The genus Salix. Portland, OR: Timber Press, Inc. 224 p. [20106]
20. Platts, William S.; Armour, Carl; Booth, Gordon D.; [and others]. 1987. Methods for evaluating riparian habitats with applications to management. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-221. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 177 p. [6171]
21. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]
22. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Misc. Publ. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]
23. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 10 p. [20090]
24. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2018. PLANTS Database, [Online]. Available: /. [34262]
25. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
26. Wolff, Jerry O. 1976. Utilization of hardwood browse by moose on the Tanana flood plain of interior Alaska. Res. Note PNW-267. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 7 p. [16870]
27. Wright, Stoney. 1989. Advances in plant material and revegetation technology in Alaska. 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: 107-116. [14361]
28. Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1972. Alaska trees and shrubs. Agric. Handb. 410. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 265 p. [6884]
29. 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], eds. Forest ecosystems in the Alaska taiga: A synthesis of structure and function. New York: Springer-Verlag: 44-73. [2291]

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