Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Adenostoma fasciculatum
(chamise)

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Datasheet

Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Documented Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Adenostoma fasciculatum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • chamise
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. fasciculatum is an evergreen, drought-tolerant shrub, native to California and neighbouring states. It is one the most dominant and typical species over an estimated three million hectares of chaparral. Oils...

  • Principal Source
  • Draft datasheet under review

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); habit, showing flowers and foliage.
TitleHabit
CaptionAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); habit, showing flowers and foliage.
Copyright©Daniel Passarini-2012/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); habit, showing flowers and foliage.
HabitAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); habit, showing flowers and foliage.©Daniel Passarini-2012/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close view of flowers.
TitleFlowers
CaptionAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close view of flowers.
Copyright©Keir Morse-2009/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close view of flowers.
FlowersAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close view of flowers.©Keir Morse-2009/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); foliage. Pinnacles NP, California, USA. March, 2003.
TitleFoliage
CaptionAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); foliage. Pinnacles NP, California, USA. March, 2003.
Copyright©Keir Morse-2009/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); foliage. Pinnacles NP, California, USA. March, 2003.
FoliageAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); foliage. Pinnacles NP, California, USA. March, 2003.©Keir Morse-2009/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close-up of foliage.
TitleFoliage
CaptionAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close-up of foliage.
Copyright©Keir Morse-2009/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close-up of foliage.
FoliageAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); close-up of foliage.©Keir Morse-2009/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); flowers and foliage.
TitleFlowers
CaptionAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); flowers and foliage.
Copyright©Gary A. Monroe-2010/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); flowers and foliage.
FlowersAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); flowers and foliage.©Gary A. Monroe-2010/CalPhotos - CC BY-NC 3.0
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); seeds. Note scale.
TitleSeeds
CaptionAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); seeds. Note scale.
CopyrightPublic Domain - released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Steve Hurst
Adenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); seeds. Note scale.
SeedsAdenostoma fasciculatum (chamise); seeds. Note scale.Public Domain - released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Steve Hurst

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Adenostoma fasciculatum Hook. & Arn.

Preferred Common Name

  • chamise

International Common Names

  • English: common chamise; greasewood

Local Common Names

  • Finland: chamissepensas
  • Mexico: yerba del pasma

EPPO code

  • ADSFA (Adenostoma fasciculatum)

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. fasciculatum is an evergreen, drought-tolerant shrub, native to California and neighbouring states. It is one the most dominant and typical species over an estimated three million hectares of chaparral. Oils in the leaves and branches make the plant highly flammable, especially when dry, and this helps to fuel periodic and destructive wildfires that occur in these habitats, where it rapidly re-sprouts afterwards. On dry hills and slopes, A. fasciculatum is often found in dense monotypic stands, but as a truly native component of several typical vegetation associations. A. fasciculatum may also invade woodlands where grass cover is sparse, and it may sometimes invade productive soils. It has been controlled in the past to convert land to improved pasture, and more recently to reduce threats from wildfires, but it is not considered invasive. However, it is used as an ornamental species in the USA, and it is possible that it may be introduced to other countries for the same purpose, and where it may pose a risk of invasion in introduced habitats.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Rosales
  •                         Family: Rosaceae
  •                             Genus: Adenostoma
  •                                 Species: Adenostoma fasciculatum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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A. fasciculatum is an evergreen chaparral shrub in the Rose family (Rosaceae). Three varieties, besides var. fasciculatum, are noted by Missouri Botanical Gardens (2015): var. densiflorum; var. obtusifolium; and var. prostratum. McMurray (1990) accepts only one variety, var. obtusifolium, separated largely on the basis of leaf morphology. However, Jones (2013) and many others accept var. obtusifolium and also var. prostratum.

The name fasciculatum is derived from the clustered (or fascicled) leaves. The species is commonly known as chamise, or greasewood, referring to the oily leaves and twigs, and dense stands of the species are sometimes called ‘chamissal’. Adenostoma contains one other accepted species, Adenostoma sparsifolium (common name red shank), with a similar native range (The Plant List, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2015), although Missouri Botanical Gardens (2015) also lists A. brevifolium.

Description

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Adapted from Munz (1973), Kummerow et al. (1977), McMurray (1990), Jones (2013):

A. fasciculatum is an evergreen, unarmed shrub, 0.5 to 4 m tall, diffusely branched from ground level and spreading in habit. Stems are slender, numerous, resinous, glabrous to puberulent, stiff, stipules up to 1.5 mm, having a reddish bark when young, becoming grey to grey-brown with age, and which it sheds in long, thin shreds. Clustered leaves are generally linear to oblanceolate, or sickle-shaped, in alternate fascicles along the stem, 5-(6-10)-13 mm long, sharply pointed, acute-acuminate apex and heavily sclerified. Inflorescences dense to open, up to 17 cm; pedicels 0-1.1 mm, bractlets 1-3, not enclosing buds, 3-lobed, lanceolate to narrow-elliptic, not translucent. Showy white flower, 2.5-10 cm long in terminal clusters: hypanthium 0.8-3.2 mm, strongly 10-ribbed; calyx lobes wider than they are long; petals round to widely obovate; stamens 15. Fruits are ovoid. Seeds approximately 2.5 mm long (see image) (USDA-NRCS, 2015).

Following Jones (2013):

The variety var. obtusifolium differs from the type variety var. fasciculatum in being smaller, up to 2 m rather than up to 4 m, with shorter leaves, 2-6 mm long (c.f. 5-13 mm), having blunt and not sharp apexes, and slightly pubescent rather than glabrous, and shorter inflorescences to 10 cm long. The less common var. prostratum is considerably shorter, generally less than 0.5 m tall, but occasionally up to 1.5 m, but with leaves and inflorescences of similar size to var. obtusifolium.

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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The native range of A. fasciculatum is recorded by USDA-ARS (2015) to be limited to California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico. It is present over much of California, but only in northern Baja California, and is also recorded as native to small areas of the neighbouring states of Nevada (USDA-NRCS, 2015) and south-western Oregon (Jones, 2013). It may be introduced, or have spread in recent times to these outlying areas, though a broader native range is accepted for the purposes of this datasheets.

A. fasciculatum is probably the most widely distributed chaparral shrub species in California, where it is very common in the Coast, Transverse and Peninsular ranges, from Mendocino County in the north to the Mexican border. It is also found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and on offshore islands (McMurray, 1990). Jones (2013) notes differing ranges for the three varieties: var. fasciculatum is found up to 1830 m in North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, south-western California, south-western Oregon, and Baja California; var. obtusifolium to 800 m in southern South Coast, south-western Peninsular Ranges, and Baja California; and var. prostratum up to 750 m in the Central Coast and Channel Islands. 

A. fasciculatum is not recorded as introduced elsewhere, with no records in Australia (AVH, 2015), the Pacific (PIER, 2015), China (Flora of China, 2015) nor Europe (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2015). However, there are indications that occasional introductions into Europe may have occurred for use as an ornamental plant, though no firm records have been identified. If it is present, it is likely to be only as isolated individuals. 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

North America

MexicoLocalisedNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2015Baja California
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresentNative Invasive Flint, 2008; USDA-ARS, 2015
-NevadaLocalisedNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2015Western regions
-OregonLocalisedNative Not invasive Jones, 2013South-western regions

Risk of Introduction

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Used as an ornamental species, and promoted on the websites of many nurseries and retailers of ornamental plants as an attractive and drought-hardy species. It is thus likely that it may be introduced to other countries outside of the USA and Mexico, where it may become a garden escape, and naturalize. 

Habitat

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A. fasciculatum is a common shrub in chaparral, and several forest communities throughout much of California, notably dry coniferous woodlands (Holland, 1986). Pure stands generally occur on hot, dry, south-facing slopes and on poor soils, typically dominating on the hottest and driest sites, and occur in mixed chaparral mainly on north-facing slopes and in ravines (McMurray, 1990). In southern California it dominates on outwash plains, mesas, ridges and dry, south- and west-facing slopes at elevations up to 1800 m.

Bloom and Watson (2006) cited a 1922 monograph on the California chaparral, where the author William Cooper hypothesized that areas of A. fasciculatum growing on deep alluvial soils on western slopes of the lower Sacramento Valley were relicts of "the true regional climax". The premise is that centuries of Indian burning in the valley bottom accounted for the prevalence of grass instead of brush seen when the first Europeans arrived, and an analysis of historical evidence confirmed this.

In the 1990s, an inventory of chaparral-dominated lands in southern California by Fried et al. (2004) found that A. fasciculatum and A. sparsifolium were the most common type of chaparral (42%), followed by mixed and montane (31%), scrub oak (12%) and coastal transition (15%). A. fasciculatum was also the most common shrub species, occurring on 71% of the area sampled, followed by Quercus dumosa and Q. john-tuckeri together at 39%, and Heteromeles arbutifolia at 19%, with emergent trees totalling 11%. Fire is an important part of the habitat, and Fried et al. (2004) studied prevalence of burning between1984 and 1994. During that time, 16% of the chaparral outside national forests, was burned, and 27% inside national forests. Unburned chaparral showed little degradation or loss of biodiversity, but burned sites showed significantly lower shrub cover and more grass and herbaceous cover, notably with the decline of the nitrogen fixing Ceanothus spp.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural
Deserts Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Arid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive Biology

A. fasciculatum reproduces mostly by seed, though both sexual and vegetative reproduction are reported (McMurray, 1990). Flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects (Plants for a Future, 2015). Seed germination, seedling recruitment and population expansion are all fire-dependent, though the production of new basal sprouts occurs and canopy rejuvenation will occur with or without the influence of fire. A. fasciculatum usually begins to produce seed by 3 years of age and seed production does not appear to decrease with age, with 90-year-old shrubs generally producing substantially greater quantities of seed than those at 20 years of age (Keeley, 1987). Fruiting is abundant, but most achenes are empty and seed viability tends to be very low, sometimes below 4%, with maximum seed production occurring after winters with above-average rainfall (Hanes, 1965).

The seed produced by A. fasciculatum contains dormant as well as readily germinable seeds. Dormancy is caused by an impermeable seed coat, which is scarified by fire which thus stimulates germination. Germination is enhanced following 15 minutes exposure to temperatures of 71-82 degrees Celsius (Christensen and Muller, 1975). Keeley (1987) also suggested that heat shock from fire and the presence of charred wood may act synergistically to stimulate germination, with maximum germination (18%) occurring when heat-treated seeds were incubated in the presence of charred wood.

Dormant seeds accumulate in the soil until stimulated by fire to germinate. Some seed will also germinate without fire scarification when soil moisture and temperature are favourable. Seedbank densities can be very high, with 21,000 seeds per square metre being reported in 85 year old stands (McMurray, 1990). Germination occurs during the first rainy season after fire, and although seedling populations are high, mortality is also high in subsequent years due to drought, herbivory by small mammals, and competition, particularly from annual grasses but also from re-sprouting shrubs.

Vegetative regeneration also occurs via re-sprouting from rootstock and adventitious buds on lignotubers, though this is not a means of dispersal. It has also been propagated by cuttings used in erosion control plantings, thus the possibility of spread from broken stems cannot be discounted.

Physiology and Phenology

A. fasciculatum is long-lived, with estimates of 100-200 years. It is a shade-intolerant shrub with deep roots to 4 m, and a root system that also spreads far beyond the plant crown (McMurray, 1990). Stem elongation occurs from February to May, flowering in May and June, and fruit ripening and dispersal in July and August.

Although there is some disagreement about whether its dominance is a climatic climax or is a fire-induced subclimax, Hanes (1965) argued that it is unable to maintain high plant densities without recurrent fire, and calls A. fasciculatum chaparral a true ‘fire-type vegetation’. Dense stands of A. fasciculatum typically develop 8-10 years after fire, with at least 25% ground cover, which increases to 50% cover after 40 years.

Associations

From pure stands in the driest chaparral, other species begin to co-dominate as available moisture increases, including Arctostaphylos spp. and Ceanothus spp. It is also found as an understory shrub in dry coniferous woodlands dominated by Pinus quadrifolia, P. attenuata and P. sabiniana, less frequently in scrub woodlands under P. torreyana, P. attenuata, Cupressus arizonica var. nevadensis, C. arizonica var. stephensonii and C. forbesii (syn. C. guadalupensis var. forbesii), and in Pinus ponderosa forests in the maritime Coast Range (Holland, 1986; McMurray, 1990).

A list of plant associations noted by McMurray (1990) include pine-cypress forest, juniper-pinyon woodland, California oakwoods, chaparral, coastal sagebrush and various mosaics. Cover types include pinyon-juniper, Pacific ponderosa pine, California black oak, knobcone pine, canyon live oak, blue oak-digger pine and California coast live oak.

In the southern part of its range, in the Sierra La Asamblea on the Baja California Peninsula, A. fasciculatum and Pinus monophylla were the most frequent species between 800 m and 1600 m altitude (Bullock et al., 2008).

Environmental Requirements

A. fasciculatum is associated with hot, xeric sites receiving an annual rainfall of 250-1000 mm, and an annual temperature range of 0-38ºC. It tends to dominate in areas with 400-500 mm rainfall (Hedrick, 1951), preferring dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. It can be abundant in a range of elevations, exposures, soils and distances from the coast, on all aspects. It prefers deep, fertile and well-drained soils, but is also common on shallow, rocky and low fertility soils, even tolerating serpentine soils that are generally inhospitable to most plants, as well as slate, sand, clay and gravel soils. In higher rainfall areas, it becomes more restricted to poorer soils and drier, more exposed sites (Hedrick, 1951). A. fasciculatum requires full sunlight, and will not grow in the shade. It is common at elevations of 280-855 m in California but is also found at altitudes of up to 1800 m. Further south in Baja California it is common at 600-1320 m, but also up to 1600 m (Missouri Botanical Gardens, 2015).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Preferred < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
45 25

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 0 28

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration48number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall2501000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline
  • shallow
  • sodic

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Most seeds fall near to the parent plant, and wind is not considered to play a significant role in dispersal. On slopes, gravity (with the assistance of rainfall) is likely to lead to down-slope spread.

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Achenes are collected by packrats and other small mammals, which store them for consumption year-round, and this is likely to act as a means of local dispersal.

Intentional Introduction

A. fasciculatum is planted within its native range for erosion control and as an ornamental, but there are no reports of this as a cause of international introductions.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Disturbance Yes
Ornamental purposes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Water Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Positive

Impact: Economic

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Waxes, resins, oils, terpenes and fats in the tissues of A. fasciculatum make it highly flammable and quick to ignite and spread. This can result in intense, fast-spreading and potentially large fires. Consequently, A. fasciculatum shrubs are considered to be undesirable in the landscape due to the associated risks of increased frequency and intensity of wildfires. A. fasciculatum chaparral is most flammable in the autumn after hot summers have increased the concentrations of extractive chemicals (Dell and Philpot, 1965).

This poses both economic and social risks. The Los Angeles Fire Department (2011) includes A. fasciculatum as a target species in its ‘undesirable plant list’, since their complete or partial removal is a critical part of hazard reduction. They recommend that A. fasciculatum should not be planted close to structures in fire hazard areas, and if already present, should be removed because of the potential threat they pose. 

Impact: Environmental

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A. fasciculatum may invade woodlands where grass cover is sparse, and it may sometimes invade productive soils following fire (Hedrick, 1951), although on deep soils it is often replaced by annual grasses. It has a limited ability to colonize disturbed areas, although it may be a pioneer species in rocky or alluvial areas. It is listed as weedy or invasive in California by Flint (2008)

Stands with more than 80% cover of A. fasciculatum are not uncommon (locally known as ‘chamisal’), and can be impenetrable. The competition for light is likely to be a factor that limits the germination and growth of other plant species. The density of A. fasciculatum roots could make the growth of plants more difficult through competition for water, as could declines in nitrogen and phosphorus in A. fasciculatum dominated soils. The plants also produce and release allelopathic toxins which inhibit germination and suppress the growth of other plants. It is also thought that A. fasciculatum restricts the growth of other plants by association with soil micro-organisms, which produce germination inhibitors (Kaminsky, 1981).

It is also worth noting that in its native range, A. fasciculatum itself is at risk from invasion by introduced plant species. For example, in fire-adapted ecosystems where A. fasciculatum dominates, plants may be resistant to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire frequency may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. A study in California by Keeley and Brennan (2012) showed that the population size of the native A. fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire, in sites where the fire occurred every three years. These sites also had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity as compared to sites burned only every 24 years. They concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and which can lead to a loss of native diversity and lead to conversion from a woody to herbaceous vegetation (Keeley and Brennan, 2012).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Long lived
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced amenity values
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading

Uses

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A. fasciculatum is reported as a traditional remedy for colds, convulsions, snake bites, cramps, lockjaw, and inflammations. Foliage fried in grease is made into a healing ointment, and native Americans also used an infusion of bark and leaves as a cure for syphilis (Conrad, 1987). The plant is also reported to have been used traditionally by the Chumash Indians of California to treat skin conditions such as eczema, and a binding agent for arrows and baskets was made from scale insects found on A. fasciculatum plants (Conrad, 1987). Moerman (1998) also notes that A. fasciculatum branches are used in basketry, and a gum from the plant has been used as glue. Large roots burn well and are a good source of firewood, and branches are also reported as being tied together and burnt as a torch. Wood density is 0.75 grams per cubic centimetre.

A. fasciculatum is an important forage plant where it is native because of its abundance and widespread distribution, even though palatability and protein content is low. Fresh leaves contain 18% crude protein, though only 3% in mature stems, and good levels of calcium and phosphorus (Reynolds and Sampson, 1943). The browse was rated by Sampson and Jespersen (1963) as almost useless for horses, poor to useless for cattle, and fair to good for sheep, goats, and deer. Goats were reported to prefer the flowers, whereas sheep and cattle will browse seedlings. Mule, deer and sheep prefer leaves that have re-sprouted after fire, tending to be larger and more succulent than those of unburned plants. 

It is also a staple browse for wild deer and other large animals in much of California, though mature and dense chaparral is little browsed because large animals cannot gain access (Reynolds and Sampson, 1943). However, it does provide a valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife of all sizes, serving as refuge, resting, and nesting sites, especially for many smaller birds and mammals. 

The shrubs have an extensive spreading root system, and as such are suitable for re-vegetation. They are planted on slopes, roadsides and other fragile soils to help control soil erosion (McMurray, 1990).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

Environmental

  • Amenity

Fuels

  • Fuelwood
  • Miscellaneous fuels

Materials

  • Baskets

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • garden plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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The only other species in the genus is A. sparsifolium, which can be taller, growing 2-6 m tall, with red-brown bark and, characteristically, un-clustered and generally larger leaves up to 26 mm long. It is found in similar habitats to A. fasciculatum, on dry slopes and chaparral, but in addition it is also found in California in ravines, flats and pinyon woodlands, up to 2000 m above sea level, in the southern Outer South Coast Ranges, eastern South Coast, southern Western Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges and Baja California. 

Prevention and Control

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Cultural Control and Sanitary Measures

Both fire and herbivory affect the growth and density of A. fasciculatum stands, and thus could be used to control the species. Potts et al. (2010) analysed the impacts and interactions of both prescribed fire and browsing on shrub recovery.

Under intense herbivory, it is noted that plants produce few basal sprouts and are considered susceptible to eradication, and continued close browsing is reported to kill most plants within 2-3 years (Biswell, 1961). It was also considered by Narvaez et al. (2011) that goats could be more effective than sheep in controlling fuel loads in California chaparral by consuming A. fasciculatum.

Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) is often sown on recently burned chaparral as an emergency measure to reduce erosion, but this also inhibits the subsequent survival, growth and development of A. fasciculatum seedlings, to the point where almost no seedlings established where first-year ryegrass cover was 40-90% percent (McMurray, 1990). Ryegrass also produces an easily ignitable fuel bed that increases the likelihood of an early re-burn, which can completely kill off A. fasciculatum regrowth and seedling establishment.

A. fasciculatum can be susceptible to fire damage under certain conditions, depending on the frequency, intensity, severity and timing (season) of fires (see McMurray, 1990 for detailed information). Small plants with a biomass of less than 5 kg are particularly prone to fire mortality. Spring or summer fires may kill up to 50% of plants, whereas autumn fires result in less mortality. Mortality increases with increasing fire intensity, with 15-40% mortality in low intensity fires rising to more than 80%  in high intensity fires. A. fasciculatum is adapted to a fire cycle range of 10 to 100 years, and plants are extremely susceptible to short-interval fires.

Chemical Control

Many studies have showed that A. fasciculatum is sensitive to 2,4-D (Leonard, 1956; Bovey, 1977; Dennis, 1981; Hamel, 1981). Where it has been controlled, this has allowed for the conversion of chaparral to improved pasture (Juhren et al., 1955; Dennis, 1981). It is also controlled (treated and removed), in order to reduce the fire hazard around sensitive areas. In contrast, A. fasciculatum was seen to show a wide range of responses to applications of ammonium sulphamate and benzoic acid (Hamel, 1981).

Dennis (1981) reports on the conversion of A. fasciculatum-dominated chaparral to productive grasslands, using a combination of fire, herbicides, mechanical control, re-sowing and fertilization. In 1962-3, a trial area was successfully crushed and burned, and the soil broken up by disking, and re-sown with Phalaris aquatica and Trifoliumhirtum. Invading brush was controlled with the application of 2,4-D in 1965 and 1967 but was later allowed to reinvade; the main species being Ceanothus cuneatus, Arctostaphylos manzanita and Eriodictyon californicum. Brush invasion reduced available grazing by 20% and allowed undesirable annuals to invade, so the area was burnt again in 1979, which resulted in a 100% increase in forage availability.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Although A. fasciculatum is reported as an ornamental species outside of the USA, it is uncertain where else it may be present. Noting its ability to spread and form dense monotypic stands, it may be prudent to include this species on lists of potentially invasive ornamentals in areas with similar climatic conditions, such as in Australia, South Africa and Mediterranean Europe.

References

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Biswell HH, 1961. Manipulation of chamise brush for deer range improvement. California Fish and Game, 47(2):125-144.

Bloom KJ; Watson EB, 2006. The Arbuckle-Hershey chamisal (Adenostoma fasciculatum): a significant anomaly in California plant geography. Madroño, 53(3):275-277.

Bovey RW, 1977. Response of selected woody plants in the United States to herbicides. Agriculture Handbook, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, No. 493. 101 pp.

Bullock SH; Salazar Ceseña JM; Rebman JP; Riemann H, 2008. Flora and vegetation of an isolated mountain range in the desert of Baja California. Southwestern Naturalist, 53(1):61-73.

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Draft datasheet under review

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28/1/15 Original text by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Agroforestry Enterprises, France

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