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Life History and Disturbance Response of Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)
Family: Ebenaceae
Guild: opportunistic, dispersal limited (large-seeded)
Functional Lifeform: small to medium-size deciduous tree
Ecological Role: grows on a wide range of sites from dry, infertile uplands to rich, alluvial bottoms; competes well under harsh growing conditions; colonizes abandoned fields but also establishes in the understory and may persist for many years
Lifespan, yrs (typical/max): 80/Information Not Found
Shade Tolerance: very tolerant
Height, m: 9-24
Canopy Tree: yes
Pollination Agent: insects
Seeding, yrs (begins/optimal/declines): 10/25/50
Mast Frequency, yrs: 2
New Cohorts Source: seeds or sprouts
Flowering Dates: late spring
Flowers/Cones Damaged by Frost: yes
Seedfall Begins: early fall
Seed Banking: up to 1 yr
Cold Stratification Required: yes
Seed Type/Dispersal Distance/Agent: berry/ to 50 m/ birds, other animals
Season of Germination: late spring
Seedling Rooting System: taproot
Sprouting: stump sprouts and roots suckers common
Establishment Seedbed Preferences:
Substrate: variable
Light: overstory shade
Moisture: moist required
Temperature: neutral
Disturbance response:
Fire: Common persimmon is well-adapted to occasional fire and is known to decrease with fire exclusion. In the forests where this species grows, fires are usually low to moderate in intensity, and generally burn during the dormant season. Although often topkilled by surface fires, common persimmon sprouts readily from adventitious buds in the root crown or from root suckers. Stem density may increase following low- to moderate-intensity surface fires. Seedling establishment may occur from surviving trees onsite or from offsite seeds carried by water, birds, and other animals. Periodic fires have been used to decrease common persimmon dominance by preventing it from reaching the overstory in southern pine forests.
Weather: Young persimmon trees are susceptible to prolonged flooding.
Air pollution: Symptoms of foliar injury have been noted on persimmon trees in areas of high ambient ozone.