Aster Curtus from Ecology and Conservation of the South Puget Sound Prairie Landscape

Aster curtus Cronq. , a taxon in the family Asteraceae, is a rhizomatous, herbaceous
perennial endemic to the remnant prairies of Oregon, Washington and Vancouver Island,
British Columbia. The current population center is located on Fort Lewis Military Base in
Pierce and Thurston counties of Washington State. A “species of concern” under the
Endangered Species Act, its current listing in Washington is “Sensitive”. Aster curtus
cover is highest on prairies with low exotic species invasion and competes poorly with
associated native and exotic species at the seedling stage. Under field conditions,
recruitment by seed appears to be low, and persistence of this species is achieved
primarily through clonal growth. Aster curtus is self-compatible, though putative out
crossing appears to result in more filled seeds. Industrial, residential and agricultural
developments are the largest threats to its survival. Considering the degree of habitat
degradation that has already occurred throughout the range of A. curtus, the long-term
survival of this species will depend on how well we understand its autecology and how
well we protect its habitat. This paper summarizes past and present information that can
be applied to the conservation efforts of this species.

Follow this link to access all other chapters of Ecology and Conservation of the South Puget Sound Prairie Landscape

Table of Contents