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    Long the bane of foresters, but of interest to ecologists, bearclover inhabits thousands of acres of forest land in northern and central California. Little quantification of its recovery after disturbance is available because knowledge on the morphology of flowers, seeds, and rhizomes is fragmented, and physiological processes, especially plant moisture and photosynthetic relationships, are unknown. Consequently, most of the dozens of treatments that have been tried to manipulate bearclover have failed. Bearclover’s rhizomes efficiently gather soil moisture and together with high rates of photosynthesis promote rapid growth and site capture. Using all available water limits species richness, and the plant community in established stands is limited to a few hardy species. Above-ground stem density of bearclover also is high. Because of nearly total site capture both above and below ground, successful long-term manipulation of bearclover is limited. The most effective treatments are those that kill bearclover rhizomes, and herbicides such as Roundup and Velpar are effective. In local environments, treatments such as the winged subsoiler and perhaps repeated fire at the time of flowering may prove to be effective. However, no treatment completely eliminates bearclover, and it persists as part of the plant community.

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    McDonald, Philip M.; Fiddler, Gary O.; Potter, Donald A. 2004. Ecology and manipulation of bearclover (Chamaebatia foliolosa) in northern and central California: The status of our knowledge. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-190. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 26 p.


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    bearclover, morphology, plant community, species development, vegetation management

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