CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Pityopsis ruthii

Photographer:
Rob Gardner

Heading for profile page
CPC Home Join now
About CPC
CPC National Collection
Conservation Directory Resources
Invasive Plant Species Plant News
Plant Links Participating Institutions
Contribute
Search CPC
Search    Alphabetical List    Reference Finder    CPC Home


CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Pityopsis ruthii


Family: 
Asteraceae  
Common Name: 
Ruth's golden-aster
Author: 
(Small) Small
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
3492

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


Profile Links
 ITIS
 Tropicos
 PLANTS
 Fish & WildLife
 Forest Service

Pityopsis ruthiienlarge
Photographer: Rob Gardner
Image Owner: North Carolina Botanical Garden

Pityopsis ruthiienlarge
Photographer: Tennessee Valley Authority
Image Owner: Tennessee Valley Authority


Pityopsis ruthii is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Pityopsis ruthii


Ruth's Golden-aster is an herbaceous tufted perennial that has slender stoloniferous rhizomes. Its leaves are numerous, cauline, linear, and silvered with long apressed hairs. The inflorescence is comprised of one to several heads of yellow composite flowers in a cyme. This southeastern Tennessee endemic has only two known populations. Ruth’s golden-aster grows in the crevices of boulders in the natural flood zone of the Hiwassee and Ocoee Rivers, where upstream activities have significantly altered the riparian habitat. Threats include disruption of natural flooding cycles by dam construction, degradation of water quality by mining activity, toxic chemical spills, and trampling by recreational boaters. Ruth’s golden-aster populations have historically been maintained on these riverbanks due to periodic high water flows that remove competing vegetation. On the Hiwassee River, the prevention of flooding has caused increased competition and invasion by shade-tolerant species. On the Ocoee River, the increased frequency and decreased magnitude of flooding events (water releases for hydropower and recreational activities) has prevented recruitment of new plants. The protection and recovery of Pityopsis ruthii is currently overseen jointly by a number of organizations.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Tennessee
State Range of  Pityopsis ruthii
Habitat
  Found in soil-filled cracks of phyllite or graywacke boulders in riparian areas/rocky river shoals which experience periodic flooding and scouring. (USFWS 1992)

Distribution
  Polk County, Tennessee (USFWS 1992)

Number Left
  Known from 2 populations in Polk Co., TN: Ocoee River with exactly 593 individuals, and Hiwassee with ca. 10,000-15,000 individuals (USFWS 1992)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
1/1/1996
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
6/11/1992

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Tennessee S1 E 8/11/1986  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  • Strongly associated with Liatris microcephala (USFWS 1992).
• White (1977) has suggested that since Pityopsis requires at least 50 percent of full sunlight, it is often unable to compete with its taller, more vigorous associates (e.g., Aster dumosus and Solidago arguta ssp. caroliniana)
• Although the current habitat is restricted to cracks in phyllite boulders, analyses have not indicated that the presence of any particular nutrients, minerals or chemicals found in soil or surrounding rock is required for survival of Pityopsis ruthii. The crucial factor appears to be exposure to sunlight (USFWS 1992).
• Rocky river shoals which experience periodic flooding and scouring are required to remove competing vegetation, since the species is shade intolerant.

Threats
  • Succession/competition (Hiwassee population)
• Construction and repair of highways
• Competition from woody and herbaceous plants
• Water quality degradation
• Alterations in water levels and flow regimes
• Toxic chemical spills
• Trampling (due to recreational boating activities)
(USFWS 1985)

Current Research Summary
  • M.B. Cruzan at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville studied the long-term demographic trends in Pityopsis ruthii. (Cruzan 1996)

Current Management Summary
  None known.

Research Management Needs
  • Surveys for additional occurrences on other rivers in TN and in southwestern NC
• Re-introduction research
• Continuing protection of populations from trampling
• Plans for mitigating effects of dams and mining activities
• Pollination studies
• Fruit dispersal and recruitment of seedlings

Ex Situ Needs
  • Further seed collection from Ocoee River population.

References

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Conference Proceedings

Estill, J.; Cruzan, M.B. Phylogeography of Pityopsis ruthii. Poster 366. St. Louis, Missouri; August 1-7, 1999; XVI International Botanical Congress. 1999.

Electronic Sources

USFWS. (1990). Endangered and Threatened Species Accounts. [Web page] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species. http://ecos.fws.gov/servlet/TESSSpeciesQuery. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

1985. Endangered Species. AABGA Newsletter. pp. 5.

Bowers, F.D. 1972. The existence of Heterotheca ruthii (Compositae). Castanea. 37: 130-132.

Farmer, R.E., Jr. 1977. Seed propagation of Heterotheca ruthii. Castanea. 42: 146-148.

Semple, J.C.; Blok, V.; Heiman, P. 1980. Morphological, anatomical, habit and habitat differences among the goldenaster genera Chrysopsis, Heterotheca and Pityopsis(Compositae-Astereae). Canadian Journal of Botany. 58: 147-163.

Semple, J.C.; Bowers, F.D. 1985. A revision of the goldenaster genus Pityopsis Nutt. (Compositae: Astereae). University of Waterloo, Biological Series. 28: 1-34.

Semple, J.C.; Bowers, F.D. 1987. Cytogeography of Pityopsis Nutt., the grass-leaved goldenasters (Compositae: Astereae). Rhodora. 89: 381-389.

USFWS. 1984. Seven Plants in Southern U.S. Proposed for Listing. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 9, 12: 1.

USFWS. 1985. Determination of endangered status for Pityopsis ruthii (Ruth's golden aster). Federal Register. 50, 138: 29341-29345.

USFWS. 1985. Final Listings: Five Rockland Plants. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 10, 8: 1, 5-6.

White, A.J. 1978. Range extensions of the proposed endangered plant, Heterotheca ruthii (Compositae). Castanea. 43: 263.

Reports

1995. 1995 Annual report on taxa in the national collection for North Carolina Botanical Garden. Annual report to the Center for Plant Conservation. p.1.

Cruzan, M.B. 1996. Long-Term Demographic Trends in Ruth's Golden Aster (Pityopsis ruthii): Analysis of Ten Years of Survey Data (1986 - 1995). University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Botany.

Jordan, J.R. 1989. Fiscal year 1988 status survey report for Pityopsis ruthii (Ruth's Golden Aster). Wildlife and Natural Heritage Resources, in cooperation with Tennessee Department of Conservation. p.15. status survey report.

Kral, R. 1983. A report on some rare, threatened, of endangered forest-related vascular plants of the south. Atlanta, GA: USDA Forest Service, Southeast Region. Technical Publication R8-TP2.

USFWS. 1986. Status report on Pityopsis ruthii (Small) Small. U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Endangered Species.

USFWS. 1992. Ruth's Golden Aster Recovery Plan. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. p.33.

Woffard, B.E.; Smith, D.K. 1980. Status report on Heterotheca ruthii (Small) Harms. Knoxville, TN: Report to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 4. Department of Botany, University of Tennessee.

Theses

Sloan, Steven A. 1994. Allozyme variation within and between populations of Ruth's Golden Aster, Pityopsis ruthii (small) small. [M.S. Thesis]: University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 47p.

White, A.J. 1977. An autoecological study of endangered species, Heterotheca ruthii (Small) Harms. [M.S. Thesis]: University of Tennessee. Knoxville, TN.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
California
Oregon
Washington
Idaho
Nevada
Arizona
Utah
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Minnesota
Iowa
Missouri
Arkansas
Louisiana
Wisconsin
Illinois
Michigan
Michigan
Indiana
Ohio
Kentucky
Tennessee
Mississippi
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
South Carolina
North Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Maryland
New Jersey
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
Vermont
New Hampshire
Maine
New York
New York
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii