Eurybia saxicastellii - (J.N. Campbell & M. Medley) Nesom
Rockcastle Wood-aster
Other English Common Names: Rockcastle Aster
Other Common Names: rockcastle aster
Synonym(s): Aster saxicastellii J.N. Campbell & M. Medley
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eurybia saxicastellii (J.J.N. Campbell & M. Medley) G.L. Nesom (TSN 513457)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.134555
Element Code: PDASTEB0L0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Eurybia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Eurybia saxicastellii
Taxonomic Comments: Epithet spelled "saxicastellii" in original publication (Sida 13(3): 277-284, 1989); name (Rockcastle) is for Rockcastle River in Kentucky. Accepted by Kartesz (1994) in genus Aster; treated in genus Eurybia in Kartesz (1999).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2007
Global Status Last Changed: 31Oct1990
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Described in 1989, this species is known from only about 5 river-kilometers along the Rockcastle River in southeastern Kentucky and from about 14 occurrences along the nearby Big South Fork River in northeastern Tennessee. Threats include invasive exotic plants, heavy recreational use, alterations to hydrology, road and trail construction, and timber removal.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Kentucky (S1S2), Tennessee (S1S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: 3 counties in Kentucky and 1 in Tennessee.

Area of Occupancy: 1-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 16 in Tennessee and approximately 16 in Kentucky. However, just a few river systems comprise all of the known occurrences.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threatened by invasive exotic plants, heavy recreational use including ATVs within the floodplain terraces (outside of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area), alterations to hydrology including changes in natural river flow and water quality, road and trail construction, and timber removal (KSNPC 2006). Timber removal adjacent to known sites could result in increased sedimentation to the gravel bars (Shea 1994). Dramatic declines could occur if hydrology is altered through impoundment of rivers or perhaps even from flow change through water intake for municipalities. The limited distribution of this species makes it especially vulnerable to habitat loss or fragmentation and other human disturbances (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: There is no evidence to suggest that the overall short-term trend for this species is changing. However, for each occurrences numbers can fluctuate based in part in woody encroachment due to lack of river scour.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: 3 counties in Kentucky and 1 in Tennessee.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States KY, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY Laurel (21125), McCreary (21147), Pulaski (21199)
TN Scott (47151)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Rockcastle (05130102)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A glabrous, perennial herb, usually with a single stem, 4-12 dm tall. Leaves are broadly lanceolate with a winged petiole; lower leaves coarsely serrate except at apex, deciduous prior to flowering, generally 4 - 5 cm wide and 9 - 14 cm long; petiole 0.4 - 3 cm long; upper leaves usually entire and reduced. Flower heads with 10 - 30 white to pale blue ray flowers with 10 - 20 yellow (turning pinkish with age) disk flowers. Flowers mid-August to early October (Campbell and Medley 1989).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Eurybia saxicastellii is closely related to E. radula and both species occur in Kentucky (Jones 2005). Eurybia saxicastellii can be distinguished from E. radula by its leaf shape and margination, floral and fruit characters (Campbell and Medley 1989). The leaves of E. saxicastellii are broader with a width of 40-50 mm compared to 3-8 mm for E. radula. E. saxicastellii leaves taper to a winged petiole whereas E. radula leaves are nearly sessile. E. saxicastellii leaves are also more coarsely serrate than those of E. radula. The flowers of E. saxicastellii are generally larger than those of E. radula and white or pale blue/purple while those of E. radula are purple. The cypselas of E. saxicastellii are pubescent whereas those of E. radula are glabrous. E. saxicastellii cypselas are also generally larger and have a white pappus while the pappus in E. radula is usually pale brown (Campbell and Medley 1989; Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2006; Jones 2005).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Sandstone boulder-cobble river bars that are spring-flooded and summer-dry (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2006). The boulder-cobble river bars are in varying stages of succession (density and size of shrubs appears to increase with decreased flooding/river scour) (Bailey 2000). Patches of Eurybia saxicastellii are usually found in a shrubby transitional zone, about 3-5 m wide, between the open grassy vegetation on the river-bars and adjacent forests on terraces or slopes (Campbell and Medley 1989). Associated species within or near this shrubby zone can include Alnus serrulata, Apios americana, Aster cordifolius, Betula nigra, Coreopsis tripteris, Eupatorium fistulosum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa sylvatica, Osmunda regalis, Trautvetteria carolinensis, and Xanthorhiza simplicissima (Shea 1994).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Prevent alterations to hydrology including changes in natural river flow and water quality (KSNPC 2006). Avoid activities that increase erosion and weed invasion such as trail and road construction and timber removal (KSNPC 2006). Remove invasive exotic plants (KSNPC 2006). If, for some reason, flooding and river scour do not occur, hand removal of woody plants would likely benefit this species.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Jan1996
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: D. White (1996), rev. A. Tomaino (2006), rev. R. McCoy (2007)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bailey, C. 2000. Field survey for Aster saxicastellii (Rockcastle aster) and Calamovilfa arcuata (Cumberland sandgrass). Report submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Natural Heritage.

  • Campbell, J.J.N., and M.E. Medley. 1989. Aster saxicastellii (Asteraceae), a new species from the Rockcastle River bars in southeastern Kentucky. Sida 13(3): 277-284.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 20. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 7: Asteraceae, part 2. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxii + 666 pp.

  • Jones, R. L. 2005. Plant Life of Kentucky. The University Press of Kentucky. 834 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. 2006. April last update. Kentucky Rare Plant Database. Online. Available: http://eppcapps.ky.gov/nprareplants/ (accessed 2006).

  • Shea, M.M. 1994. Status survey for Aster saxicastellii. Cooperative Agreement No. 14-16-0004-89-956, Kentucky Endangered Species Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Asheville Field Office, Asheville, NC.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

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