Friends and Foes

 Though a bog does not seem like the ideal place to live, there are many organisms that share this home with the cranberry. 


Throughout the bog you can find many different plants that compete for sunlight, and nutrients.  Some of these plants include large tamarack, orchids, mosses, black spruce, along with many others. 


There are many animals that can also be found on the bog as well including the red deer, occasionally black bear, damselflies, grouse, small rodents like the house mouse, and many more.  Theses animals can sometimes eat the cranberry, especially black bear, rodents, birds, and deer. Keep in mind that some of the larger animals like red deer, wolves, and bear are usually only found on larger bogs.

The cranberry supplies food and shelter to many animals.  Birds residing on bogs find the cranberry to be a very good food source.  Birds like jays, chickadees, woodpeckers, wrens, and warblers all enjoy eating the berries.  One of the many birds that loves cranberries is the red-winged blackbird. It is important to note that the cranberry is not the only part of any of these birds’ diets.  The cranberry can also make great shelter for many animals.  Mice and other small rodents use broken stems to weave into grass homes, and a multitude of birds can interweave the stems into their nests.


The cranberry also has a mutual symbiotic relationship with endomycorrhizal fungi. These fungi grow inside of the plants roots, and help the plant absorb water and essential nutrients. In return, the plant gives the fungi sugar. Endomycorrhizal fungi can be found in many plants throughout the world, and in most cases are essential to the survival of most plants. To learn more about endomycorrhizal fungi and other fungi, check out Tom Volk's Fungi.


To learn about the medical uses of the cranberry, click here.




Copyright Britney Mullenbach – Last updated 4/16/2011