Short-rayed alkali aster is an annual late summer flowering species reported in British Columbia from lakeshores and pond margins in the Okanagan Valley. There it is found in eight extant populations on the shoreline of four lakes - Osoyoos, Vaseux, Skaha, and Max. Additionally, two ephemeral records for the species have been identified in the lower Fraser Valley, but as they are only single plants, further surveys are required to determine if populations will persist in the area. These occurrences are not considered in this recovery strategy.
Suitable habitat for short-rayed alkali aster includes the narrow shoreline of lakes and ponds on the moist sandy/muddy beaches. These areas are influenced by seasonal water variation and wave action, and in very proximal, drier, narrow upper beach areas that may periodically be subject to flooding. Short-rayed alkali aster is a seed banking species, and recruitment in some years is seed bank dependent. As a shoreline species, the plants and the seed bank are tied to lake dynamics, including wave action that removes organic build up and disperses seeds, high water levels that control encroachment by woody and other species, and summer draw down that allows germination from the seed bank.
At three of the five populations on Osoyoos Lake, and the populations at Vaseux Lake and Skaha Lake, this species is threatened by recreational beach use and development, and associated beach management activities.
Short-rayed Alkali Aster Recovery Team. 2009. Recovery Strategy for the short-rayed alkali aster (Symphyotrichum frondosum) in British Columbia. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Plan
Topic: Recovery Planning
Keywords: sara, cosewic, species at risk, recovery planning, bc, symphyotrichum frondosum
Scientific Name: Aster frondosus
English Name: Short-rayed Aster
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