Range and Habitat in Illinois
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
States or Provinces
Regional Distribution in the Western United States
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 :
Bigleaf aster is a native perennial forb. It is rhizomatous and colonial, often forming dense patches measuring up to 19 Ã 16 feet (5.8 Ã 5 m) . 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 .
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Bigleaf aster occupies dry to moist, nutrient poor to intermediate nutrient sites on Isle Royale National Park, Michigan .
The following table describes site characteristics for bigleaf aster throughout its distribution.
|Georgia||Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains |
|Illinois||Dry open woods |
|Michigan||Drier sites, less often in swamp forests and river banks |
|Tennessee||Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains|
|Virginia||Woodlands, wooded road banks, and mountains |
|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) |
|Blue Ridge Mountains||Rich woods |
|Isle Royale National Park, Michigan||Dry to moist, nutrient poor to intermediate nutrient sites |
|Nova Scotia||Dry woods, thickets, open barrens, often growing in the shade |
Key Plant Community Associations
Bigleaf aster is recognized as a dominant species in the following vegetation
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 
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) 
Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is a common dominant associate of bigleaf aster in Wisconsin .
Kittredge  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.
Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types
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 :
Habitat: Cover Types
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 :
1 Jack pine
5 Balsam fir
12 Black spruce
13 Black spruce-tamarack
14 Northern pin oak
15 Red pine
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
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
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
Habitat: Plant Associations
This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):
More info for the term: bog
KUCHLER  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
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):
FRES10 White-red-jack pine
Flower-Visiting Insects of Large-Leaved Aster in Illinois
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen, flies & beetles suck nectar or feed on pollen, other insects suck nectar; one observation is from Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise observations are from Graenicher)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus pensylvanica sn, Bombus perplexus sn, Bombus vagans sn, Psithyrus citrinus sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes trinodis sn cp; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Epeoloides pilosula sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys modesta sn, Coelioxys moesta sn, Coelioxys sodalis sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile centuncularis sn cp, Megachile mendica sn, Megachile montivaga sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis pilosifrons sn, Osmia atriventris sn
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella striata sn cp, Halictus sp. sn cp, Halictus confusus sn cp, Halictus rubicunda sn cp, Lasioglossum albipennis sn cp, Lasioglossum cinctipes sn, Lasioglossum coriaceus sn cp, Lasioglossum connexus sn, Lasioglossum cressonii sn cp, Lasioglossum forbesii sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes minor sn; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn, Hylaeus mesillae sn, Hylaeus modestus modestus sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena hirticincta sn cp olg, Andrena peckhami sn cp, Andrena placata (Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn; Melittidae: Macropis nuda sn
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Lestica confluentus; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris nigrescens, Eucerceris fulvipes; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi; Ichneumonidae: Ceratogastra ornata, Pimpla pedalis; Vespidae: Polistes fuscata; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Ancistrocerus adiabatus, Eumenes fraterna, Euodynerus foraminatus, Parancistrocerus vagus, Symmorphus albomarginatus, Symmorphus cristatus
Syrphidae: Epistrophe emarginata, Eristalinus aeneus, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis brousii, Eristalis dimidiatus, Eristalis flavipes, Eristalis tenax, Eristalis transversus, Eupeodes americanus, Helophilus fasciatus, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Conopidae: Thecophora abbreviata, Thecophora occidensis; Tachinidae: Archytas analis, Cylindromyia carolinae, Cylindromyia dosiades, Spallanzania hesperidarum; Sarcophagidae: Sarcophaga sp.; Calliphoridae: Lucilia sp., Lucilia sericata, Pollenia rudis; Muscidae: Graphomya maculata, Neomyia cornicina, Stomoxys calcitrans; Anthomyiidae: Calythea pratincola, Delia platura; Chloropidae: Siphonella oscinina; Tephritidae: Paroxyna albiceps
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus; Lycaenidae: Celastrina argiolus
Arctiidae: Utetheisa bella
Chrysomelidae: Diabrotica undecimpunctata; Cleridae: Trichodes apivorus; Coccinellidae: Coleomegilla maculata; Meloidae: Epicauta pensylvanica; Melyridae: Attalus terminalis; Mordellidae: Hoshihananomia octopunctata
Miridae: Adelphocoris rapidus, Lygus lineolaris; Thyreocoridae: Corimelaena pulicarius
Fire Management Considerations
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  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.
Plant Response to Fire
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  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 . Research reveals, however, that bigleaf aster is capable of vegetative regrowth after low- and high-severity fires.
Smith  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 . 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 . 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/mÂ² and 19 stems/mÂ², respectively . 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% .
Immediate Effect of Fire
POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :
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)
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 .
The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where bigleaf aster is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.
|Community or Ecosystem||Dominant Species||Fire Return Interval Range (years)|
|maple-beech||Acer-Fagus spp.||684-1,385 [25,113]|
|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 |
|birch||Betula spp.||80-230 |
|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 |
|yellow-poplar||Liriodendron tulipifera||<35 |
|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 |
|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 |
|aspen-birch||Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera||35-200 [32,113]|
|black cherry-sugar maple||Prunus serotina-Acer saccharum||>1,000|
|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 |
|eastern hemlock-yellow birch||Tsuga canadensis-Betula alleghaniensis||100-240 [105,113]|
|eastern hemlock-white pine||Tsuga canadensis-Pinus strobus||x=47 |
More info for the terms: cover, hardwood, 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 . 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 . 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 . It was a pioneer species during the herbaceous stage of succession on "highland hardwood" burned areas in northern Minnesota . 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 . 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].
Pollination: Plants in the genus Eurybia are insect pollinated .
Seed production: Buse and Bell  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 banking is poorly documented for this species. Ahlgren  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  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 .
Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)
More info for the terms: geophyte, hemicryptophyte
RAUNKIAER  LIFE FORM:
Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire
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).
Life History and Behavior
The following table provides flowering dates for bigleaf aster throughout its distribution.
|Georgia||Late July to September |
|Illinois||August to October |
|Tennessee||Late July to September|
|Virginia||Late July to September |
|West Virginia||Late July to September [82,103]|
|Adirondack Mountains, New York||August |
|Blue Ridge Mountains||August to October |
|New England||Late July to September |
|Nova Scotia||July 15 to August |
|Ontario||Late summer |
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Eurybia macrophylla
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Eurybia macrophylla
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
The literature reviewed below indicates positive and negative aspects of bigleaf aster
to considered when deciding how to manage bigleaf aster populations.
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  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.
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 . 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 . Allelopathic agents of
the Eurybia genus negatively affect black cherry and sugar maple .
Bigleaf aster is an alternate host of jack pine needle rust (Coleosporeum
asterum) . Its development may be slowed by jack pine needle rust infection,
reducing bigleaf aster cover [11,95].
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 .
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Importance to Livestock and Wildlife
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 .
Eurybia macrophylla, commonly known as the Bigleaf Aster, Largeleaf Aster or Largeleaf or Bigleaf Wood Aster, is an herbaceous perennial in the composite family that was formerly treated in the genus Aster. It is native to eastern North America where it stretches from the south of the boreal forests of Canada through the northeastern deciduous and mixed forests of New England and south along the Blue Ridge Mountain through the United States. The flowers appear in the late summer to early fall and show ray florets that are usually either a deep lavender or violet, but sometimes white, and disc florets that are cream-coloured or light yellow, becoming purple as they mature. It is one of the parent species of the hybrid Eurybia × herveyi.
Distribution and habitat
E. macrophylla is native to the eastern United States and Canada. In the latter country it can be found in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. In the United States it can be found in all states east of and including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee, but excluding states south of North Carolina. It may also be present in Mississippi. The plant has also been introduced outside of its native range into northern Europe. It is most often encountered at 0 to 1300 metre elevations in moist to dry soils in association with hemlock-northern hardwood, beech-maple or pine forests, Appalachian spruce-fir forests, as well as with aspen, pine or open spruce woodlands. It can also be found in thickets, clearings or along shaded roadsides.
The Iroquois use the root as a blood medicine, and they also use a compound decoction of the roots to loosen the bowels to treat venereal disease. The Ojibwa bathe their heads with an infusion of this plant to treat headaches. They also smoke it as hunting charm to attract deer. They also consume the young leaves of the plant as both food and medicine, and they also use the roots to make soup.
- NatureServe (2006), "Eurybia macrophylla", NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life, Version 6.1., Arlington, Virginia, retrieved 2007-06-13
- Brouillet, Luc (2006), "Eurybia macrophylla", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+, Flora of North America 20, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 375
- Thieret, John W. (2001), National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, New York: Random House, p. 369, ISBN 0-375-40232-2
- Black, Meredith Jean 1980 Algonquin Ethnobotany: An Interpretation of Aboriginal Adaptation in South Western Quebec. Ottawa. National Museums of Canada. Mercury Series Number 65 (p. 108)
- Herrick, James William 1977 Iroquois Medical Botany. State University of New York, Albany, PhD Thesis (p. 462)
- Smith, Huron H. 1932 Ethnobotany of the Ojibwe Indians. Bulletin of the Public Museum of Milwaukee 4:327-525 (p. 363)
- Smith, p.429
- Smith, p.398
Names and Taxonomy
Hervey's aster (E. ÃÂ 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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