Lowbush blueberries grow in a wide variety of habitats so they are in contact with numerous other organisms and species.  Certain trees that grow in forests with V. angustifolium have a negative impact on the lowbush blueberry because the trees canopy the forest.  This blocks the sunlight from reaching the lowbush blueberries.  Some of these trees include the white pine, the jack pine, and the sugar maple


Lowbush blueberries provide a sweet meal to many animals and birds.  Grouse, turkey, mourning doves, thrushes, bluebirds, and scarlet tanger birds all eat the berries.  Even young whooping cranes feed on lowbush blueberries.  Black bears, foxes, deer, rabbits, skunks, fox squirrels, and chipmunks will eat the fruits as well as the twigs and leaves.


Black bears feed on blueberries, specifically V. angustifolium.  There is a direct correlation between black bear reproductive success and blueberry crops.  During poor berry production years, reproduction is lower in black bears.  Also, damage to crops, the number of livestock lost, and human interactions with black bears increase during low berry production years.


The blueberry maggot fly is one of the most common insect pests among V. angustifolium in all lowbush blueberry habitats except in Quebec and Newfoundland, Canada.  This fly infects nearly all the fruits of V. angustifolium plants.  This makes production of V. angustifolium impossible without the use of insecticides.  Many lowbush blueberries are produced commercially for consumer sale.  There is zero tolerance for infested blueberries.  


V. angustifolium has an important interaction with honeybees.  Honeybees are the main insect that pollinate lowbush blueberry plants.  Without cross pollination by insects, successful reproduction would not be possible for V. angustifolium.


V. angustifolium has an important interaction with ericoid mycorrhizae that provides a beneficial adaptation for the lowbush blueberry.  Mycorrhizal literally means fungus root.  This describes its relationship with the roots of most plants in nature.  The mycorrhizal fungal filaments called hyphae penetrate the roots of the lowbush blueberry.  This increases the surface area of the roots which increase water and mineral uptake.  This greatly benefits plant development and growth.  The fungus also benefits from this relationship by receiving sugars produced by photosynthesis in the plant.  Ericoid mycorrhizal interactions are the type of relationships found among members of the family Ericaceae.  To learn about another type of mycorrhizal fungus, click here to visit another Multiple Organisms webpage. 


In my personal opinion, the most interesting interaction is between humans and V. angustifolium.  Every year, thousands of people travel to commercially grown lowbush blueberry fields to pick their very own fresh, plump, delicious blueberries. Blueberry picking patches are common where lowbush blueberries are grown.  They are a main commercial item in Michigan and Maine especially.  Other than their pleasantly sweet taste, blueberries are rich in antioxidants and provide many health benefits to those who eat them.





Want to learn some some facts and delicious blueberry recipes?  Then let's go to my Interesting Facts page!