Geum peckii - Pursh
Mountain Avens
Other English Common Names: Peck's Avens, eastern mountain avens
Other Common Names: mountain avens
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Geum peckii Pursh (TSN 24655)
French Common Names: benoîte de Peck
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.146728
Element Code: PDROS0S090
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Rose Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Rosales Rosaceae Geum
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: 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.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Geum peckii
Taxonomic Comments: May be conspecific with Geum radiatum of the southern Appalachians, according to S.P. vander Kloet (discussion with L. Morse, Aug 1994). However, otherwise generally recognized as distinct. LEM 12Aug94 & 24Oct96.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Sep2015
Global Status Last Changed: 24Oct1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known only from less than 20 occurrences mostly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but also from one population on Brier Island, Nova Scotia, in the Bay of Fundy, and two mainland occurrences in Nova Scotia. Scattered but locally abundant in these restricted areas. Threatened in the U.S. by trampling and potentially by nutrient inputs caused by overnight visitors; in Nova Scotia the habitat has been altered by drainage ditches built for agriculture.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2
Nation: Canada
National Status: N1 (21Sep2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States New Hampshire (S2)
Canada Nova Scotia (S1)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: E (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (25Apr2010)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: This globally imperiled species is geographically restricted in Canada to locations of open peatland habitat in Nova Scotia. Its habitat has declined due to encroachment by woody vegetation, exacerbated by artificial drainage of sites. Portions of the habitat have also become degraded by nesting gulls. Threats including all-terrain vehicles, road maintenance and development have also impacted this species. Fewer than 9000 mature individuals remain with most found on private land.

Status history: Designated Endangered in April 1986. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1999, May 2000, and April 2010.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Restricted to a small area in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Brier Island, Nova Scotia and the mainland Nova Scotia (but only a small area on the mainland).

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Occurs in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire. There are 2 occurrences in Mount Washington and the northern Presidential Range, NH (not 11 occurrences). There were new subpopulations discovered that filled in the distribution between the 11 occurrences forming two EOs. Four EOs occur in Nova Scotia on Brier Island in the Bay of Fundy, and Digby Neck is another occurrence (this neck leads to Brier Island). 17 occurrences are known as of 2005.

Population Size Comments: Scattered throughout an 8 mile area in New Hampshire. Total population numbers for New Hampshire and Nova Scotia are estimated in the 10s of thousands.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Sensitive to trampling by visitors. Potentially threatened by nutrient inputs near overnight huts along hiking trails and campgrounds. The population in Nova Scotia has been experiencing a decline due to the cumulative effects of drainage ditches (built in an unsuccessful attempt to make the area suitable for farming). The ditches lowered the water table enough to attract roosting gulls to the area. Gull droppings have raised the nutrient levels in the soils and have acted as a vector for weed seeds, which are successfully colonizing the drier, more nutrient-rich sites.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: The population in Nova Scotia has been experiencing a decline, however, the population is larger than originally thought.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species is not intrinsically vulnerable, however it requires a specific habitat.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Occurs in snowfields in alpine habitat along streams.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Restricted to a small area in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Brier Island, Nova Scotia and the mainland Nova Scotia (but only a small area on the mainland).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States NH
Canada NS

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NH Coos (33007), Grafton (33009)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Androscoggin (01040002)+, Saco (01060002)+, Pemigewasset (01070001)+, Upper Connecticut (01080101)+, Waits (01080103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with erect flower stalks, mostly 2-4 dm high, arising from a basal rosette of broadly rounded leaves. The flowering stalks are topped with bright yellow flowers during most of the summer. This northeastern species is very closely related to G. radiatum, a plant that occurs only in a small part of the southern Appalachians.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Geum peckii reproduces both sexually via wind-dispersed achenes and asexually via rhizomes (Paterson and Snyder 1999). Self-pollination is possible, though total number of seeds produced is higher when flowers are cross-pollinated (Zinck 1996). An average of 50 seeds are produced by each flower (Keddy 1986). Seeds must be cold-stratified in order to germinate and germination rates in greenhouse tests are typically low (<5% of 300 tested seeds (NEWFS pers. comm.). Other than these life-history characteristics, little is known about the population biology of this species. Factors such as survival rate, reproductive age and lifespan are not well documented.
Riverine Habitat(s): High gradient
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Bare rock/talus/scree, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: In New Hampshire found in alpine streamside ravines and moist (snowfields), rocky heath-meadow communities at 1200-1830 m elevation; descends to subalpine elevations (425-760 m) along high-gradient streams, especially at open cascades. In Nova Scotia found at near sea-level in a bog and in nearby sphagnous depressions along the sea coast.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: An Element Occurrence for Geum peckii Pursh.is any natural occurrence of one or more plants and the habitat on which the plant(s) is/are present. Individual genets are often difficult to distinguish due to the prevalence of rhizomatous growth. An alternative strategy for assessing population size (defined clumps, aerial cover, etc.) may need to be developed. Geum peckii (New Hamsphire and Nova Scotia) is morphologically similar to G. radiatum Michx. (North Carolina and Tennessee) and has been considered a single species in the past (Gray 1856). Current manuals treat these as separate species and genetic analyses support this classification (Paterson and Snyder 1999).
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Justification: The distance for unoccupied but suitable habitat is set equal to the distance for unsuitable habitat because populations are usually local and often occur in an ecologically heterogeneous environment. Although propagules are dispersed by wind, successful colonization appears to be uncommon.
Date: 15Dec2007
Author: Coppola, M.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Populations of more than 1000 plants with sufficient sexual and /or asexual recruitment to maintain current numbers deserve this rank. Such populations may occur in alpine habitats, lower elevation riparian areas, and coastal bogs. For an A ranked population the habitat should be of large size with high natural integrity and functioning natural processes. The integrity of biotic and abiotic factors, community structure, and processes within (condition) and surrounding (landscape context) the occurrence and the degree to which they affect the continued existence of the EO should be excellent to receive an A rank.

Justification: EOs in the future probably will not significantly exceed the best that currently exist, so the A rank criteria are set based on the characteristics of the largest occurrences known to have persisted at the same site for decades. These populations occur in habitats with functioning natural processes and are relatively undisturbed by human-related activities. A-ranked population numbers exist and/or have existed historically in each of the three primary habitats (alpine, low elevation montane, and coastal bogs) that Geum peckii occurs in throughout its range (Newall 1999 and NH Natural Heritage Bureau 2007). Natural disturbance such as seasonal flooding and ice scour play an important role in limiting competition from surrounding vegetation (Keddy 1986 and Sperduto pers. comm). In New Hampshire, Geum peckii is found in moist to wet alpine habitats, and in wet cliff, waterfall, and riverside habitats in the mountains below the alpine zone (Sperduto et al. 1995). In Nova Scotia Geum peckii occurs near the coast in bogs, sphagnous depressions and occasionally in dryish depressions on mineral soil (Newell 2000). Habitats with open, non-shaded conditions are most favorable for Geum peckii, which has increased photosynthetic efficiency with higher light and temperature (Bliss 1966). Similarly, the relatively high respiration of Geum peckii suggests that higher light levels are needed much of time to maintain a positive energy balance (Bliss 1966). This suggests that Geum peckii is shade-intolerant.

Geum peckii reproduces both sexually via wind-dispersed achenes and asexually via rhizomes (Paterson and Snyder 1999). Self-pollination is possible, though total number of seeds produced is higher when flowers are cross-pollinated (Zinck 1996). An average of 50 seeds are produced by each flower (Keddy 1986). Seeds must be cold-stratified in order to germinate and germination rates in greenhouse tests are typically low (<5% of 300 tested seeds (NEWFS pers. comm.). Other than these life-history characteristics, little is known about the population biology of this species. Factors such as survival rate, reproductive age and lifespan are not well documented. Estimated viability is therefore based on population size at sites throughout its range that have little anthropogenic disturbance and are known to have persisted for extended periods.

Good Viability: Populations of 101-1000 plants with sufficient sexual and/or asexual recruitment to maintain current numbers deserve this rank. Populations may occur in good to excellent quality, moderate to large-sized habitats that may show low levels of anthropogenic disturbance, but are largely undisturbed. The integrity of biotic and abiotic factors, community structure, and processes within (condition) and surrounding (landscape context) the occurrence, and the degree to which they affect the continued existence of the EO should be good to excellent to receive a B rank. Occurrences exceeding minimum landscape context and habitat conditions and other criteria described for a defined population size remain at the rank specified by the population size unless the population size is close to that required by the next higher rank.
Fair Viability: Populations of 11-100 plants with sufficient sexual and /or asexual recruitment to maintain current numbers deserve this rank. Populations occur in fair to excellent, small- to large-sized habitats that may show signs of moderate levels of anthropogenic disturbance, although apparently not permanently detrimental. The increased threat brought on by moderate disturbance, particularly to smaller populations, necessitates a "C" rank. The integrity of biotic and abiotic factors, community structure, and processes within (condition) and surround (landscape context) the occurrence, and the degree to which they affect the continued existence of the EO should be fair to excellent to receive a C rank. Occurrences exceeding minimum landscape context and habitat conditions and other criteria described for a defined population size remain at the rank specified by the population size unless the population size is close to that required by the next higher rank.

Justification: Many small C-ranked size populations have persisted at their respective sites for 75-135 years (NH Natural Heritage Bureau 2007), thus suggesting that these sites have long-term viability. However, germination rates appear to be low for this species and Geum peckii does not occupy much of its available habitat for unknown reasons (CPC 2007). EO's not reaching C Rank Specs often occur in degraded habitats and are not likely to survive for extended periods due to low viability and susceptibility to extirpation from stochastic events.

Poor Viability: Populations of 1-10 plants deserve this rank. Populations often occur in small-sized habitats and/or habitats with moderate to high levels of anthropogenic disturbance. The integrity of biotic and abiotic factors, community structure, and processes within (condition) and surrounding (landscape context) the occurrence, and the degree to which they affect the continued existence of the EO can be poor to excellent to receive a D rank. Occurrences exceeding minimum landscape context and habitat conditions and other criteria described for a defined population size remain at D rank specified by the population size unless the population size is close to that required by the next higher rank.

Justification: An Element Occurrence for Geum peckii Pursh.is any natural occurrence of one or more plants and the habitat on which the plant(s) is/are present. Individual genets are often difficult to distinguish due to the prevalence of rhizomatous growth. An alternative strategy for assessing population size (defined clumps, aerial cover, etc.) may need to be developed. Geum peckii (New Hamsphire and Nova Scotia) is morphologically similar to G. radiatum Michx. (North Carolina and Tennessee) and has been considered a single species in the past (Gray 1856). Current manuals treat these as separate species and genetic analyses support this classification (Paterson and Snyder 1999).
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 15Dec2007
Author: Coppola, M.
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: 28Sep2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Edmondson, L. (1983), rev. Maybury (1996) and S.L.Neid (1998), B. Nichols and L. Oliver (rev. 2005), rev. Treher (2015)

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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  • Bliss, L.C. 1966. Plant productivity in alpine microenvironments on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. Ecological Monographs 36:125-155.

  • Center for Plant Conservation (CPC). 2007. Center for Plant Conservation-CPC Plant Profile-National Collection of Endangered Plants. http://www.centerforplantconservation.org/asp/CPC_ViewProfile.aspCPCNum=2022. Accessed: November 28, 2007.

  • Crow, G.E. 1982. New England's rare, threatened, and endangered plants. Univ. New Hampshire, Durham, NH. 129 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2014b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 9. Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 713 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Gray, A. 1856. Manual of Botany of the Northeastern United States, 2nd ed. American Book Co., New York.

  • 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.

  • Keddy, C. 1986. Status report on the eastern mountain avens, Geum peckii, in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

  • McLeod, C. 1993. The bog-dweller: In Nova Scotia, the eastern mountain avens thrives in wet, nutrient-poor soil. Nature Canada Fall: 14-15.

  • New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau. 2007. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System (BIOTICS) database (accessed: November 30, 2007). Concord, NH.

  • Newell, R.E. 2000. Update COSEWIC status report on the eastern mountain avens Geum peckii in Canada, in COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the eastern mountain avens Geum peckii in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. 1-11pp.

  • Paterson, I.G. and M. Snyder. 1999. Genetic evidence supporting the taxonomy of Geum peckii (Rosaceae) and G. radiatum as separate species. Rhodora 101(908):325-340.

  • Roland, A.E., and E.C. Smith. 1983. The flora of Nova Scotia: Volumes 1 and 2. Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax, NS, Canada. 746 pp.

  • Sperduto, D.D., B. Engstrom and A. Wong. 1995. Habitats of low-elevation to subalpine rare plants of the White Mountains. Unpublished Report. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, Concord, NH.

  • Zika, P.F. 1992b. Contributions to the alpine flora of the northeastern United States. Rhodora 94: 15-37.

  • Zinck, M.C. 1996. Numerical evaluation of Geum radiatum and preliminary studies of the pollination biology of its Nova Scotian population. Honours Thesis, Acadia University, Wolfeville, Nova Scotia.

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