Laguna Mountains Aster [Machaeranthera asterioides Greene var. lagunensis (Keck) Turner]

Laguna Mountains Aster [Machaeranthera asterioides Greene var. lagunensis (Keck) Turner]

Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-3-1

State/Federal. Status -- CR/C2 ASTERACEAE Jul.-Aug.

Global Rank G5T2T3 State Rank S1.1

Distribution: San Diego County

Habitat: Lower Montane Coniferous Forest is the available habitat utilized on Mount Laguna. The coniferous forest here is relatively open providing occasional shade during portions of the daylight hours, interspersed with periods of exposure to direct sunshine. Jeffrey Pine is the dominant tree growing on these Crouch coarse sandy loams. The montane meadows of this region are often heavily grazed, and such activities may have historically limited this herbaceous perennial to peripheral meadowlands.

Known Sites: Laguna Mountains Aster is common, but very local near the community of Mount Laguna and Wooded Hill. A 1989 fire may have promoted an expanded population. General boundaries of this population appear to be east of Wooded Hill, south of Mount Laguna School, west of Desert View Ranch Road, and north of Morris Ranch and Horse Meadows. An old biological report notes a site in Crouch Meadow. CNPS reports of this plant in Baja California cannot be verified.

Status: The Laguna Mountains Aster within its limited range is stable but precarious; it is threatened by horse and cattle grazing, increased recreational activities, and construction of mountain cabins. All substantial populations should be protected, and it is recommended that significant portions of all smaller colonies be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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