Oligoneuron houghtonii - (Torr. & Gray ex Gray) Nesom
Houghton's Goldenrod
Other Common Names: Houghton's goldenrod
Synonym(s): Solidago houghtonii Torr. & Gray ex Gray
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Solidago houghtonii Torr. & A. Gray ex A. Gray (TSN 36267)
French Common Names: verge d'or de Houghton
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.139974
Element Code: PDAST8P0W0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
Image 10440

© Alfred R. Schotz

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Oligoneuron
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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: Solidago houghtonii
Taxonomic Comments: FNA (vol. 20, 2006) transfers Oligoneuron houghtonii to Solidago houghtonii.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Aug2015
Global Status Last Changed: 22Jun1990
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: A species that is mostly limited to shoreline habitats within a small geographic range, but which is relatively common where suitable habitat exists. Most extant sites are on the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron, where there are 60 sites in 9 Michigan counties. It is also known from several sites in Ontario, Canada and from 1 disjunct population in Genessee County, New York. This species is threatened by habitat loss or modification due to residential development and recreational activities, especially off-road vehicles. At least 20 percent of the historically known populations of this species have disappeared since 1975.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2? (15Dec2017)

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 Michigan (S3), New York (S1)
Canada Ontario (S2?)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (18Jul1988)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R3 - North Central
Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (15Aug2006)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (05May2005)
Comments on COSEWIC: A Great Lakes endemic present in Ontario at the tip of Bruce Peninsula and on Manitoulin Island. The few populations occupy very small areas of provincially rare alvar habitat that are at potential risk from aggregate extraction, use of recreational vehicles and expansion of invasive weeds.

Designated Special Concern in May 2005.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Lakes Michigan and Huron, concentrated near the north tip of lower Michigan; peripheral range extends north to Canadian shores of Georgian Bay, also 1 disjunct site in New York.

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are approximately 90 occurrences known (Penskar et al. 1996).

Population Size Comments: "Locally common" along the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron (Morton, 1979).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many (41-125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are at least 40 occurrences with good viability (NatureServe EO data, 2009).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include loss of habitat to development, fragmentation and activities that reduce dune activity.

Solidago houghtonii faces threats from residential development, off-road vehicles, other human-related disturbances and dune destabilization caused by fluctuating lake levels. Disruption of the naturally-occurring dune formation cycle (through development of roads, retaining walls, etc.) may lead to habitat loss through succession. Fragmentation of populations may prevent the expansion and colonization capabilities. Right-of-way maintenance (pavement recycling, shoulder widening, herbicide application, shoulder grading, mowing, salting, etc.) continues to threaten populations.

As of 2009, shoreline development, while done with more sensitivity, is still a threat. In addition, shorelines where this species occur are still under threat from recreational activities including, off road-vehicles, and beach-goers who tromp through senstivie shoreline habitats (pers. comm. M. Penskar).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Gradual loss of habitat to development, fragmentation and activities that reduce dune activity. As of 2009, these threats still exist even though there are increased efforts to inform the public of sensitive shoreline habitats.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Some long term decline is almost certain given that this species inhabits shoreline habitat where development pressure has been a long standing threat. It is also noted that since 1975 at least 20% of the historic populations of this species are gone.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Prefers open, moderately active sand dune regions.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Endemic to shoreline habitats.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Lakes Michigan and Huron, concentrated near the north tip of lower Michigan; peripheral range extends north to Canadian shores of Georgian Bay, also 1 disjunct site in New York.

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 MI, NY
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MI Charlevoix (26029), Cheboygan (26031), Chippewa (26033), Crawford (26039), Emmet (26047), Kalkaska (26079), Mackinac (26097), Presque Isle (26141), Schoolcraft (26153)
NY Genesee (36037)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Fishdam-Sturgeon (04030112)+*, Manistee (04060103)+, Boardman-Charlevoix (04060105)+, Brevoort-Millecoquins (04060107)+, Lake Michigan (04060200)+, St. Marys (04070001)+, Carp-Pine (04070002)+, Lone Lake-Ocqueoc (04070003)+, Au Sable (04070007)+, Lake Huron (04080300)+, Lower Genesee (04130003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb. Stems are frequently tufted or clumped, up to 7.5 dm high. Leaves become linear upwards on the stems. The inflorescence is a terminal, more-or-less flat-topped cluster of relatively few, large flower heads, each consisting of about 6-9 pale to bright yellow ray flowers and several yellow disk flowers. The branches of the inflorescence are smooth, but the stalks of the flower heads are finely but distinctly hairy. Blooms in August.
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Barrens, Sand/dune
Habitat Comments: Primarily in damp, sparsely vegetated, sandy interdunal flats and hollows; sometimes on associated low dunes and beaches or cobbly shores, or in nearby fens, marl-bogs, and swales. Also found in limestone crevices and pavements, including seasonally wet alvars. Occurs along the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron, where plants are typically situated to benefit from cool moist lake winds. Often associated with Solidago ohioensis, Lobelia kalmii, and other calciphiles; occasionally associated with two other rare species: Pitcher's thistle (Cirsium pitcherii) and dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris). 100 - 400 m.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Monitoring needs include the assessment of population stability over time, as well as the species' response to natural habitat changes. Surrounding land use practices as they pertain to existing habitat should also be monitored. Research should include basic life history information needs (pollinator identification, selfing rates, seed set success, vegetative reproduction success and requirements of seed germination and establishment). Biosystematic and electrophoretic research should be conducted to determine the true origin and closest affinities of S. houghtonii. Demography, reproductive biology and genetic variability needs to be research in order to determine minimum viable size estimates for extant populations. Effects of competing species on S. houghtonii should also be researched, and continued survey of potential habitat be made. Management needs center on the protection of the habitat, pollinators and dispersal mechanism of the species. Restrictions to ORV traffic, trampling and shoreline development should be set.
Restoration Potential: Of the 52 known occurrences of this species in Michigan, 21 are at least partially contained within state or federal lands or nature preserves (Penskar 1989). Currently, two sites occur on public land, one within the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan and administered by the US Forest Service, and a second on an island in Chippewa County, Michigan, administered by the US Bureau of Land Management (USFWS 1988b). Roughly 17 additional sites in Michigan occur on State or Federal lands (Crispin and Penskar 1990). The Nature Conservancy protects a single population at its Grass Bay Preserve (USFWS 1987b). Several additional sites lie in Michigan Department of Transportation rights-of-way which have been designated protected areas (Crispin and Penskar 1990).

Solidago houghtonii can apparently survive transplantation, as evidenced by the inland population established via this methodology along a lake in Cheboygan County, Michigan (Penskar 1989). If adequate conditions exist, transplantation in order to enhance the survivability of the species may be warranted.

Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: In order to adequately protect occurrences of S. houghtonii, efforts must be centered around the protection of the habitat in which the species occurs (alvar or sand dune). Protection of the naturally-occurring dynamic lakeshore which serves to create open sand dunes and interdunal wetlands is a must. Off-shore structures designed to reduce wave and wind erosion should not be installed. Sufficient habitat buffer should be secured so that outside influences will have little impact on the survival of the species.
Management Requirements: The primary management needs for S. houghtonii center around the protection of its habitat, pollinators and dispersal mechanisms. These efforts should act to restrict ORV access and trampling onto extant sites and natural areas, and restrict shoreline development and dune stabilization efforts (Ewert pers. comm., USFWS 1988).

Protection of the habitat should be foremost in the long-range recovery of S. houghtonii. Restriction of ORV vehicles may be improved through the posting of signs, improving barriers and increasing the monitoring of sites by law enforcement officials (Penskar 1989).

Means of protecting existing habitat from practices that would serve to destroy or alter the natural habitat or habitat-forming processes should also be developed. Off-shore structures designed to reduce erosion should not be installed. Artificial or dune-stabilization plantings should not be placed within suitable habitat. Sufficient buffer areas should be obtained to further protect extant sites. Preserve designs should also allow for migration and dispersal of plants as water levels fluctuate over time (Ewert pers. comm.).

Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring should assess population stability over time as well as the species' response to fluctuating water levels (Ewert pers. comm.). Population re-establishment at newly forming lakeshore areas should also be monitored. Monitoring of the environmental parameters within all habitat types should also occur.

Monitoring of surrounding land use is a significant need for S. houghtonii. Impacts on lands adjacent to existing populations may significantly alter the habitat at extant sites by reducing recolonization capabilities, disturbing sand dune formation factors and introducing exotic species. Determinations of damage from natural or artificial disturbance regimes should be made (Penskar 1989).

Randomly-placed permanent plots should provide detailed life history information while tracking the status of S. houghtonii individuals. Mapping and marking of individuals within each plot will provide a means of detailing and tracking the survival of individual plants. Within each population undergoing monitoring, counts of total individuals, flowering individuals, rosette size, flowering stalks and habitat occupancy may be made. Monitoring should be conducted at several sites in varying habitats (both alvar and sand dune).

Monitoring of populations should occur on protected as well as unprotected sites if possible. Periodic, less-detailed surveys of existing populations should be undertaken in order to monitor protection efforts and elucidate threats and track the status of the populations. Contacts with landowners regarding the importance of the species should also be initiated and continued through time.


Management Programs: No active management is being conducted for this species in Michigan (Ewert pers. comm.). Existing trails, however, are generally away from populations of this species on TNC preserves.
Monitoring Programs: The Michigan Natural Features Inventory has been monitoring populations at two sites (Sturgeon Bay, Emmet County and Grass Bay Preserve, Cheboygan County) for the last eight years (Penskar pers. comm., Ewert pers. comm., Penskar 1989). Tagged individuals within permanent plots have been followed through time in order to accumulate information on the demographics of the species (Penskar pers. comm.).
Management Research Programs: At present, outside of the demographic monitoring/research listed under MONIT-PROGS-COMM, no known research is being conducted on the species.
Management Research Needs: Nearly all aspects of biology and autecology of S. houghtonii will require study as a prerequisite for ascertaining minimal viable population numbers (Penskar 1989). These include research on the demography, reproductive biology and genetic variability within the species. Basic life-history information pertaining to S. houghtonii should also be obtained through monitoring.

Detailed biosystematic and electrophoretic research on S. houghtonii needs to be conducted on the species in order to determine the species' true origin and its closest affinities (Penskar 1989). In addition, this research should provide additional information concerning the level of genetic heterozygosity within the species.

Information pertaining to the breeding system of S. houghtonii is essential in maintaining viable populations (Penskar 1989). At present, very little information is known concerning the reproductive biology of the species. Research in this area should be centered around pollinator identification, the degree of selfing within the species, as well as the success of seed set and seed dispersal. The significance of reproduction via vegetative propagation, and the requirements for seed germination and establishment should also be studied (Penskar 1989).

Detailed, long-term monitoring studies are needed in order to elucidate the colonization requirements and population dynamics of S. houghtonii (Penskar 1989). The effects of competing species (native or exotic) on S. houghtonii should also be considered as a research need.

Detailed surveys of areas within the range of S. houghtonii (Ontario and Michigan) should be made (Penskar 1989). Aerial photography interpretation should be used to identify appropriate habitat. Field searches of potential habitat should be made in order to identify new populations. New occurrences should be mapped, with detailed site information recorded pertaining to habitat, aerial extent of the populations, specific locations and threats (Penskar 1989).

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: 24Oct1990
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Losey, J.; rev. by W.R. Ostlie (MRO) and S. Gottlieb, rev. Penskar/Maybury (1996), rev. L. Oliver (2009)
Management Information Edition Date: 05Nov1990
Management Information Edition Author: WAYNE R. OSTLIE (1990)

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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