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Bigleaf Aster

Eurybia macrophylla (L.) Cass.

Comments

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Eurybia macrophylla, a species of the northeastern deciduous or mixed forest, extends north into the southern boreal forest of Ontario-Quebec, and south along the Blue Ridges into northern Georgia. It becomes rare at the western edge of its range (Manitoba, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri). The plant has been reported from Mississippi but no voucher was seen.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 20: 366, 375, 376, 377 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Description

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Plants 15–110 cm; in extensive, dense clones (with abundant, sterile rosettes); rhizomes branched, herbaceous. Stems 1, erect, simple, straight to ± flexuous, glabrous or sparsely villous, stipitate-glandular, more densely so distally (at least in arrays). Leaves basal and cauline, thick, firm, margins coarsely serrate (proximal) to crenate-serrate or entire (distal), scabrous, teeth mucronate, apices acuminate, sharply mucronate, abaxial faces glabrescent to sparsely strigose, veins stipitate-glandular, adaxial sparsely strigose, ± densely villous on veins, short-stipitate-glandular (more so on distal); basal withering by flowering, petioles (25–)80–170 mm, ± winged, bases sheathing, ciliate, blades broadly ovate, (45–)110–250 × (25–)55–150 mm, bases deeply cordate (sinuses curved), sometimes slightly oblique; cauline petiolate (3–110 mm), gradually more broadly winged and sometimes ± auriculate distally, ± clasping, ciliate, to subpetiolate or sessile, blades broadly ovate to ovate, 22–104 × 9–80 mm, gradually reduced distally, bases cordate to rounded or attenuate to cuneate; distal (arrays) sessile, blades ovate or broadly lanceolate or elliptic to obovate or oblanceolate, 9–38 × 3–13 mm, abruptly reduced distally, bases ± clasping to rounded or cuneate (arrays), margins crenate-serrate or entire. Heads (2–)8–90+ in flat-topped, corymbiform arrays. Peduncles firm, 0–4 cm, densely stipitate-glandular; bracts 0–2, ovate-lanceolate, ± stipitate-glandular. Involucres broadly campanulate to campanulate, (6–)7–11 mm, shorter than pappi. Phyllaries 32–35 in 5–6 series, appressed, often purple-tinged, usually obovate to oblong, seldom ovate (outer) to oblanceolate or linear-lanceolate (inner) (innermost to 7 mm), strongly unequal, bases indurate, keeled or rounded adaxially, dark green zones wide, 1 / 3 – 1 / 2 distal portion (rarely to base in outer) to less pronounced along midveins or none (inner), margins hyaline or reddish, scarious, ± erose, densely villoso-ciliate apically, apices obtuse to rounded or acute (inner), adaxial faces ± villous, ± stipitate-glandular. Ray florets 9–20; corollas ± deep lavender or violet to occasionally white, (7–)11–15 × 1.4–2.4 mm. Disc florets 20–40; corollas cream-color or light yellow, becoming purple, 6–7.5 mm, slightly ampliate, tubes (ca. 4 mm) longer than funnelform throats (ca 1.2 mm), lobes reflexed, lanceolate, 1–1.6 mm. Cypselae brown, fusiform or cylindro-obconic, compressed, 2.6–4.5 mm, ribs 7–12 (golden brown), faces glabrous or sparsely strigillose distally; pappi of tawny to orangish (sometimes clavellate) bristles 5–7.5 mm, slightly longer than disc corollas. 2n = 72.
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cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 20: 366, 375, 376, 377 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
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eFloras

Synonym

provided by eFloras
Aster macrophyllus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. ed. 2, 2: 1232. 1763; A. macrophyllus var. apricensis E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. excelsior E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. ianthinus (E. S. Burgess) Fernald; A. macrophyllus var. pinguifolius E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. sejunctus E. S. Burgess; A. macrophyllus var. velutinus E. S. Burgess; A. multiformis E. S. Burgess; A. riciniatus E. S. Burgess; Biotia latifolia de Candolle; B. macrophylla (Linnaeus) de Candolle; Eurybia jussiei Cassini
license
cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
copyright
Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of North America Vol. 20: 366, 375, 376, 377 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
source
Flora of North America @ eFloras.org
editor
Flora of North America Editorial Committee
project
eFloras.org
original
visit source
partner site
eFloras

Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Bigleaf aster shows fire tolerance [3,50].
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

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More info for the term: forest

Bigleaf aster maintains a low, leafy habit in closed forest. Flowering
increases dramatically after fire that opens the canopy [2,5,76,104]. The ability of bigleaf
aster to flourish on open-canopy sites with charred soils may be attributed to its ability to effectively
control stomatal conductance in open canopy situations (see Physiology)[89].
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Common Names

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
bigleaf aster

large-leaved aster

big-leaved aster
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Conservation Status

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Information on state-level protected status of plants in the United States is available at Plants Database.
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Description

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: forb, fruit, pappus, seed

This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [42,71,82,86,91,103,112,116].

Bigleaf aster is a native perennial forb. It is rhizomatous and colonial, often forming dense patches measuring up to 19 × 16 feet (5.8 × 5 m) [114]. It has basal and cauline leaves. The large basal leaves are borne on short, sterile shoots. They are thick, firm, and have long petioles. The cauline leaves become smaller and stalkless as they ascend the inflorescence. The inflorescence is a corymb that reaches heights of 5 feet (1.5 m). The corymb has sticky, glandular hairs. Flowers have both ray and disc florets. The fruit is a nutlet and is ellipsoid to oblanceolate, ribbed, and pubescent. The seed has a pappus [42,54,57,58,82,85,103].

Physiology: Bigleaf aster can persist in high light environments because of its ability to control stomatal conductance. Increases in evaporative loading, created in high light environments, initiate stomatal closure to prevent excessive water loss [89].

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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Distribution

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Bigleaf aster is found in the east-central and northeastern part of North America. Populations occur from Manitoba east to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia, and as far west as Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. Bigleaf aster is rare in Manitoba, Missouri, and Iowa [55]. Flora of North America provides a distributional map of bigleaf aster.
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cc-publicdomain
bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Fire Ecology

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More info for the terms: fire regime, forest, hardwood, severity, top-kill

Fire adaptations: Bigleaf aster sprouts from rhizomes and root crowns after top-kill by fire. It also establishes after fire by dispersing seeds onto mineral soil from adjacent unburned areas [17,50].

FIRE REGIMES for boreal forest communities, where bigleaf aster occurs most often, are mixed to high severity with fire return intervals ranging from 35 to 200 years. The northern hardwood forests, where bigleaf aster is also known to occur, historically burned infrequently: fire return intervals often greater than 1,000 years. When these forests do burn, fires tend to be low severity because the fuels are relatively wet [15].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where bigleaf aster is important. Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find FIRE REGIMES".

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years) maple-beech Acer-Fagus spp. 684-1,385 [25,113] maple-beech-birch Acer-Fagus-Betula spp. >1,000 silver maple-American elm Acer saccharinum-Ulmus americana <5 to 200 sugar maple Acer saccharum >1,000 sugar maple-basswood Acer saccharum-Tilia americana >1,000 [113] birch Betula spp. 80-230 [105] beech-sugar maple Fagus spp.-Acer saccharum >1,000 black ash Fraxinus nigra 113] green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica <35 to >300 [33,113] tamarack Larix laricina 35-200 [80] yellow-poplar Liriodendron tulipifera <35 [113] Great Lakes spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35 to >200 northeastern spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35-200 black spruce Picea mariana 35-200 conifer bog* Picea mariana-Larix laricina 35-200 red spruce* Picea rubens 35-200 [32] jack pine Pinus banksiana <35 to 200 [25,32] red pine (Great Lakes region) Pinus resinosa 3-18 (x=3-10) [24,40] red-white pine* (Great Lakes region) Pinus resinosa-P. strobus 3-200 [25,49,64] eastern white pine Pinus strobus 35-200 eastern white pine-eastern hemlock Pinus strobus-Tsuga canadensis 35-200 eastern white pine-northern red oak-red maple Pinus strobus-Quercus rubra-Acer rubrum 35-200 [113] aspen-birch Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera 35-200 [32,113] black cherry-sugar maple Prunus serotina-Acer saccharum >1,000 oak-hickory Quercus-Carya spp. <35 northeastern oak-pine Quercus-Pinus spp. 10 to <35 white oak-black oak-northern red oak Quercus alba-Q. velutina-Q. rubra <35 northern pin oak Quercus ellipsoidalis <35 bur oak Quercus macrocarpa <10 chestnut oak Quercus prinus 3-8 northern red oak Quercus rubra 10 to <35 black oak Quercus velutina <35 [113] eastern hemlock-yellow birch Tsuga canadensis-Betula alleghaniensis 100-240 [105,113] eastern hemlock-white pine Tsuga canadensis-Pinus strobus x=47 [25] *fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Fire Management Considerations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: herbaceous, natural, prescribed fire, wildfire

Bigleaf aster's fire-adaptive traits suggest that the use of prescribed fire that opens the canopy is beneficial for the species.

Bigleaf aster may aid in preventing wildfire ignition and slowing fire spread. Hogenbirk and Sarrazin-Delay [51] assessed the possibility of planting less-flammable vegetation including bigleaf aster in fire-prone areas, around property, or in fire-sensitive natural areas to reduce the spread of human-caused fires in herbaceous communities of northern Ontario. Bigleaf aster was 1 of 3 species that had the lowest potential ignitability.
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

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More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, hemicryptophyte

RAUNKIAER [83] LIFE FORM:
Hemicryptophyte
Geophyte
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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Habitat characteristics

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More info for the term: swamp

Bigleaf aster occupies dry to moist, nutrient poor to intermediate nutrient sites on Isle Royale National Park, Michigan [46].

The following table describes site characteristics for bigleaf aster throughout its distribution.

State/Region/Province Site Characteristics Georgia Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains [82] Illinois Dry open woods [71] Michigan Drier sites, less often in swamp forests and river banks [112] Tennessee Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains Virginia Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains [82] West Virginia Dry to open woods and mountains [82,103] Adirondack Mountains, New York Shaded, well-drained sites, 100 to 3,400 feet (30-1,000 m) [61] Blue Ridge Mountains Rich woods [116] Isle Royale National Park, Michigan Dry to moist, nutrient poor to intermediate nutrient sites [46] Nova Scotia Dry woods, thickets, open barrens, often growing in the shade [86]
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [35]:




1 Jack pine

5 Balsam fir

12 Black spruce

13 Black spruce-tamarack

14 Northern pin oak

15 Red pine

16 Aspen

17 Pin cherry

18 Paper birch

19 Gray birch-red maple

20 White pine-northern red oak-red maple

21 Eastern white pine

22 White pine-hemlock

23 Eastern hemlock

24 Hemlock-yellow birch

25 Sugar maple-beech-yellow birch

26 Sugar maple-basswood

27 Sugar maple

28 Black cherry-maple

30 Red spruce-yellow birch

31 Red spruce-sugar maple-beech

32 Red spruce

33 Red spruce-balsam fir

34 Red spruce-Fraser fir

35 Paper birch-red spruce-balsam fir

37 Northern white-cedar

38 Tamarack

39 Black ash-American elm-red maple

42 Bur oak

44 Chestnut oak

51 White pine-chestnut oak

52 White oak-black oak-northern red oak

53 White oak

55 Northern red oak

57 Yellow-poplar

58 Yellow-poplar-eastern hemlock

59 Yellow-poplar-white oak-northern red oak

60 Beech-sugar maple

107 White spruce

108 Red maple

110 Black oak

253 Black spruce-white spruce
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [41]:




FRES10 White-red-jack pine

FRES11 Spruce-fir

FRES15 Oak-hickory

FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood

FRES18 Maple-beech-birch

FRES19 Aspen-birch
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the terms: bog, forest

KUCHLER [60] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:




K093 Great Lakes spruce-fir forest

K094 Conifer bog

K095 Great Lakes pine forest

K096 Northeastern spruce-fir forest

K099 Maple-basswood forest

K100 Oak-hickory forest

K101 Elm-ash forest

K102 Beech-maple forest

K103 Mixed mesophytic forest

K104 Appalachian oak forest

K106 Northern hardwoods

K107 Northern hardwoods-fir forest

K108 Northern hardwoods-spruce forest

K109 Transition between K104 and K106
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

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More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the term: cover

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [93]:




None
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Immediate Effect of Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
Bigleaf aster is likely top-killed by fire. Established plants are probably resistant to fire-induced mortality because of soil-protected rhizomes.
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

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More info for the terms: cover, forest

White-tailed deer commonly graze bigleaf aster [10,22,52]. Bigleaf aster is also a component of the summer diet of moose on Isle Royale National Park [72].

Palatability/nutritional value: No information is available on this topic.

Cover value: Bigleaf aster may be an important habitat component for ruffed grouse. It is an important ground cover species in upland forest types of northern Minnesota, where ruffed grouse are common [67].

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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Key Plant Community Associations

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More info for the term: fern

Bigleaf aster is recognized as a dominant species in the following vegetation
classifications:

Adirondack Mountains, New York

wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)/bigleaf aster type

beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta var. cornuta)/bigleaf aster type

bigleaf aster-whorled woody aster (Oclemena acuminata)-wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) type [48]


Boreal forests of North America

black spruce (Picea mariana)/red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)/bigleaf aster/red baneberry (Actaea rubra)

white spruce-fir (Picea glauca-Abies spp.)/beaked hazel/bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)/bigleaf aster-wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) [34]


Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is a common dominant associate of bigleaf aster in Wisconsin [28].



Kittredge [56] states that bigleaf aster is so ubiquitous among aspen (Populus spp.)
communities of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin that it has almost no value
as an indicator for habitat differences.
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Life Form

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More info for the term: forb

Forb
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Management considerations

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: cover, forest, formation, hardwood, phase, radicle, tree

The literature reviewed below indicates positive and negative aspects of bigleaf aster
to considered when deciding how to manage bigleaf aster populations.

Disturbance:
Bigleaf aster responds favorably to other disturbances besides fire. Logging,
windthrow, and road construction have all had positive effects on bigleaf aster
populations [27,45,68,78,79,96,112]. When light, nutrients, and mineral soil become more
abundant, as is the case following tree canopy removal, bigleaf aster enters a
phase of "release" growth, increasing rapidly by vegetative
reproduction and seeds [16,17]. Powell and Brooks [81] report, however, that
bigleaf aster exhibited "significantly greater cover" (p<0.01) in the remaining standing forest
than in the disturbed areas 2 years after tornado blowdown on a mixed conifer/northern hardwood
forest in northern Minnesota.


Interference:
Bigleaf aster is a major competitor for light, water,
nutrients, and rooting space
[17,63,95]. The dense, mat-like underground
roots and rhizomes often exclude other species including conifer germinants
[17,39,63]. Bigleaf aster may be allelopathic for some plant species [17,29]. The leachates of bigleaf aster
foliage inhibited germination and early growth of white and black spruce [36]. In laboratory
studies bigleaf aster reduced height growth, dry weight of roots and shoots, and the formation of
secondary needles of red pine seedlings. It also reduced radicle elongation and
slightly hindered the germination of red pine seeds [74]. Allelopathic agents of
the Eurybia genus negatively affect black cherry and sugar maple [36].


Disease:
Bigleaf aster is an alternate host of jack pine needle rust (Coleosporeum
asterum) [8]. Its development may be slowed by jack pine needle rust infection,
reducing bigleaf aster cover [11,95].



Control:
Hexazinone can reduce bigleaf aster populations. When applied in June on sites in Ontario, it
controlled bigleaf aster for 2 years. An increase
in bigleaf aster abundance followed applications of glyphosate [17].
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Phenology

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The following table provides flowering dates for bigleaf aster throughout its distribution.

State/Region/Province Anthesis Period Georgia Late July to September [82] Illinois August to October [107] Tennessee Late July to September Virginia Late July to September [82] West Virginia Late July to September [82,103] Adirondack Mountains, New York August [61] Blue Ridge Mountains August to October [116] New England Late July to September [91] Nova Scotia July 15 to August [86] Ontario Late summer [54]
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Plant Response to Fire

provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
More info for the terms: alvar, cover, crown fire, density, fire intensity, forest, frequency, herb, high-severity fire, prescribed fire, surface fire, wildfire

Bigleaf aster responds favorably to fire, regenerating vegetatively from rhizomes and root crowns soon afterwards [3,17,18,19,20,65]. It often increases in abundance and produces more flowers after fire [2,70,99,104,106,112]. It is a dominant herb after wildland and prescribed fires, is present before and after burning, and is found on burned and unburned areas [1,2,4,9,59,70]. Sidhu [96] stated that the postfire response of bigleaf aster is affected more by fire intensity than by the time of burning. The greater the fire intensity, the greater the negative effect on bigleaf aster [96]. Research reveals, however, that bigleaf aster is capable of vegetative regrowth after low- and high-severity fires.

Smith [100] stated that the greatest abundance of bigleaf aster occurred after low-severity surface fires. "Vigorous" growth was observed the 1st growing season following a spring low-severity prescribed fire on eastern white pine forests in New Hampshire and for 3 postfire growing seasons after a spring wildfire in mature red and eastern white pine stands in northeastern Minnesota [6,19,20]. Bigleaf aster density increased immediately following a spring wildfire in a jack pine forest in northeastern Minnesota, making it 1 of the most common herbs on the site. The fire had varied intensities, including areas with intense crown fire and low-severity surface fire. The forest floor was still moist, with the fire occurring in May, so areas that did experience high-severity fire had only the upper portion of the forest floor burned [14,52,75,76].

Bigleaf aster sprouts were recorded within weeks and months after high-severity wildfires on alvar woodlands (white spruce, quaking aspen, northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea)) and on old-growth red and eastern white pine forests in Ontario [18,65,97].

Bigleaf aster can be reduced by fire [45]. The percent cover of bigleaf aster declined after both low- and high-severity prescribed burns on jack pine forests in northern Ontario, but bigleaf aster maintained at least 10% cover in the 10 years monitored after the fire. The percent cover decline was greater on the high-severity burns than on the low-severity burns [66]. Postfire density of bigleaf aster was recorded the 1st growing season after a spring (low-severity) and a summer (high-severity) fire in northern Minnesota. Bigleaf aster responded less vigorously after the summer wildfire compared to the spring wildfire, with densities averaging 10 stems/m² and 19 stems/m², respectively [77]. On bracken fern-grasslands in Wisconsin, bigleaf aster decreased after fire. However, the change in the percent frequency from before (23.3%) and after fire (17.7%) was only 5.6% [111].

Bigleaf aster also persists after fire by dispersing seeds onto mineral soil from adjacent undisturbed areas [17,50].

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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Post-fire Regeneration

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More info for the terms: geophyte, herb, rhizome, root crown, secondary colonizer, seed

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [102]:
Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil
Caudex/herbaceous root crown, growing points in soil
Geophyte, growing points deep in soil
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Regeneration Processes

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More info for the terms: dichogamous, gynomonoecious, natural, root crown, seed, wildland fire

Bigleaf aster regenerates by seed and vegetative means. Regeneration is largely by vegetative means from rhizomes and root crown sprouts [2,17,78,118].

Pollination: Plants in the genus Eurybia are insect pollinated [13].

Breeding system: Plants in the genus Eurybia are gynomonoecious and dichogamous [13]. Natural hybridization is common in the genus Eurybia [87].

The annual clonal expansion of bigleaf aster can be up to a horizontal distance equivalent to the mother plant's height [69,98].

Seed production: Buse and Bell [17] state that bigleaf aster produces large seed crops annually. Bigleaf aster thrives in high light, requiring a moderate amount of light for flowering and subsequent seed production [23,43]. It is frequently found in the vegetative state in densely shaded areas, and the flowering stems are typically not present [43,57,58]. Seed production in these habitats is probably not dependable unless disturbance opens the canopy, allowing increased light.

Seed dispersal: Seeds of bigleaf aster are widely dispersed by small mammals and wind [2,17,50,98].

Seed banking is poorly documented for this species. Ahlgren [7] stated that there were no bigleaf aster seeds found in soil taken from burned and unburned sites in Minnesota.

Germination: No information is available on this topic.

Seedling establishment/growth: A greenhouse study was done on intact soil blocks taken from an unburned site and adjacent burned site, 3 years after a spring wildland fire in old-growth red pine (Pinus resinosa) in northeastern Minnesota. Bigleaf aster seedlings did not emerge on the soil taken from the burned site. Ahlgren [7] attributes this to the numerous bigleaf aster sprouts in the area, which had not recovered sufficiently to produce seed. Bigleaf aster seedlings were found on soil samples taken from the unburned site, possibly from windblown seed of older plants that flowered nearby [7].

Asexual regeneration: Bigleaf aster reproduces by rhizomes or by sprouting from the root crown [17,78,118].

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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [12]:




None
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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

States or Provinces

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(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES CT DE GA IL IN IA KY ME MD MA MI MN MO NH NJ NY NC OH PA RI SC TN VT VA WV WI DC
CANADA MB NB NS ON PE PQ
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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Successional Status

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More info for the terms: cover, hardwood, herbaceous, presence, succession

Bigleaf aster is ubiquitous throughout all seral stages. On Isle Royale National Park it is the most abundant ground cover species in all age groups of postfire succession. It is present in young and old quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in northwestern Ontario [53,119]. Bigleaf aster was persistent throughout all stages of succession on boreal forests of southern Quebec [31]. These examples suggest that bigleaf aster does not follow a successional trend.

The underground organs of bigleaf aster can aid in the early phases of site recovery after harvesting and fire. The dense, clonal structure of bigleaf aster was an important storage sink for nutrients after whole-tree harvesting on red maple (Acer rubrum) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra) dominated forests of the Upper Michigan Peninsula [27]. On quaking aspen communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin and boreal forests of northern Ontario, the presence of bigleaf aster in the 1st year following fire suggests that it can be a pioneer species [56,92]. Bigleaf aster was abundant in the early postfire (26- and 46-year-old stands) successional stage of boreal forests in southern Quebec [31]. It was a pioneer species during the herbaceous stage of succession on "highland hardwood" burned areas in northern Minnesota [44]. Bigleaf aster is considered a dominant, "competitive" species of early successional boreal forests of Ontario [11,95].

Bigleaf aster is moderately to very shade tolerant [47,94]. The shade tolerance of bigleaf aster allows it to dominate the understory in mid- and late-seral stages [30,94]. After canopy closure bigleaf aster can proliferate for many years by vegetative growth in the understory and by utilizing canopy gaps [30]. Understory vegetation surveys of mid- to late-seral northern hardwood and boreal forests of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and southern Quebec reveal the presence and often abundance of bigleaf aster [6,26,37,88,101,108,110].

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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Synonyms

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Aster macrophyllus L. [42,71,82,86,91,103,112,116]
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Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html

Taxonomy

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The scientific name of bigleaf aster is Eurybia macrophylla (L.) Cass. (Asteraceae) [38,55,73].
Hervey's aster (E. × herveyi (Gray) Nesom) is a hybrid between
bigleaf aster and eastern showy aster (E. spectabilis (Ait.) Nesom) [62,90].
When information specific to bigleaf aster is not available, information
on the genus Eurybia is given.
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bibliographic citation
Reeves, Sonja L. 2006. Eurybia macrophylla. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eurmac/all.html