Flora and fauna guarantee scientific advisory committee preliminary recommendation on a nomination for listing




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Nomination no. 849

VBA ID 0052

FLORA AND FAUNA GUARANTEE - SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATION ON A NOMINATION FOR LISTING

Acacia loderi Maiden – Nealie


Date of consideration: 29 January, 30 April 2014 File No.: FF/54/3529
Validity: The nomination is for a valid item.
Prescribed Information: The prescribed information was provided.
Name of the Nominator is adequately provided.
Name of the Item is adequately provided.

The nominated taxon is accepted by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) as a valid taxon because it has been formally described and it is accepted as a valid taxon by the National Herbarium of Victoria.


Nealie is an erect or spreading tree, 3 – 15 m in height with greyish smooth or finely fissured bark.
The species occurs as shrubs or trees, 3-15 m high, often suckering; branchlets terete with several ribs, with appressed, minute hairs, glabrescent. Phyllodes linear, 5-11 cm long, 1-2(-3.5) mm wide, straight to slightly curved, compressed to sub-terete, semi-rigid, tips sometimes curved, acuminate, innocuous, with appressed, minute hairs or glabrous; veins numerous, closely parallel, obscure. Racemes 2-6 headed, rachis minute, with appressed, minute hairs, or peduncles in axillary clusters; peduncles 4-7 mm long, with appressed, minute hairs and red resin-hairs intermixed; heads globular, 4-5 mm diam., 25-35-flowered, golden; bracteoles spathulate, not ciliate. Flowers 5-merous; sepals free; petals two-thirds united. Pods submoniliform, to 10 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, straight to slightly curved, chartaceous, smooth, sometimes with appressed, minute hairs; seeds longitudal, elliptic, c. 4-5 mm long, glossy brown-black, fleshy funicle expanded at seed in small aril (R.S. Cowan in Walsh and Entwisle 1996).
The species has been recorded on solonised brown and red soils, in low woodland and tall shrubland, sometimes in association with chenopods. The community within which this species has been recorded (Acacia loderi shrubland community) has a naturally open structure of individual shrubs to small trees with a low, diverse understorey dominated by chenopod subshrubs, herbs and grasses. The community is often interspersed by woodlands of Casuarina pauper (Belah) (NSW Scientific Committee 2000, Orchard and Wilson 2001).
Eligibility for listing as a taxon under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee

The nominated item satisfies at least one criterion of the set of criteria prepared and maintained under Section 11 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, and stated in Schedule 1 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Regulations 2011.


Evidence that criteria are satisfied:

Sub-criterion 1.2.1 The taxon is very rare in terms of abundance or distribution.

Evidence:

In NSW A. loderi is part of a listed community which has experienced a range of threats including lack of recruitment due to introduced herbivore grazing (NSW Scientific Committee 2000). The community that the species has been recorded from in Victoria has experienced similar considerable decline in range and abundance across the landscape due to historical clearance and the impacts of European rabbits. The Victorian Nealie population is severely fragmented and restricted to tiny remnant stands of few individuals on or near freehold land. Its total Victorian population size has been estimated to be 50–250 mature individuals with a total area of occupancy of less than 10 ha.


Sub-criterion 1.2.2 The threat is currently operating and is expected to operate at a level in the future which is likely to result in the extinction of the taxon.

Evidence:

This species is considered to be subject to continuing decline in its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, area, extent and quality of habitat, number of subpopulations, and number of mature individuals based on the following evidence. A study of this taxon in NSW suggested that, based on the size classes present, recruitment was limited or had been eliminated (Auld 1995). In that study too few seedlings were available for study; however study of a closely related species (A. ligulata) within the same habitat indicated that lack of recruitment was a result of browsing by introduced herbivores. Auld (1995) concluded that this level of recruitment would result in continued decline. Other threats to A. loderi include a lack of recruitment due to insect attack and galling. The highly fragmented nature and small size of the extant populations poses a threat to its ongoing survival in Victoria.
Sub-criterion 1.2.3 The reproduction or recruitment of the taxon has seriously declined or is not occurring.

Evidence:

Victorian populations of A.loderi are largely composed of mature individuals. Although these populations have been observed to flower and successfully set seed, very little plant recruitment has been observed in recent decades (Ian Sluiter pers. comm. to David Cameron). Limited recruitment has been observed is some of the small scattered populations near Merbein. However, other populations such as the ‘Glider Field’ stand south-west of Mildura has been prevented from setting seed by insect galls over a number of seasons. The maturity of individuals in populations, lack or limited recruitment and impact of insect galling all suggest marked decline in recruitment and lack of reproduction in some populations.

Documentation
The published information cited has been assessed. Based on the evidence available to it, the SAC believes that the data presented are not the subject of scientific dispute and the inferences drawn are reasonable and well supported.

Preliminary Recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Committee
The Scientific Advisory Committee concludes that on the evidence available the nominated item is eligible for listing in accordance with Section 11(1) of the Act because sub-criteria 1.2.1, 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Regulations 2011 have been satisfied. The SAC therefore makes a preliminary recommendation that the nominated item be supported for listing under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

Selected references:

Auld, T.D. (1995) The impact of herbivores on regeneration in four trees from arid Australia. The Rangeland Journal 17: 213-227.



NSW Scientific Committee (2000) Acacia loderi shrublands – endangered ecological community listing. NSW Scientific Committee Final Determination. NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Sydney.
Orchard, A.E. & Wilson, A.J.G. (Eds.) (2001) ‘Mimosaceae, Acacia Part 2’. Flora of Australia. Vol. 11B. ABRS/CSIRO, Canberra.
R.S. Cowan In Walsh, N.G & Entwisle, T.J. (Eds) (1996) Flora of Victoria. Volume 3: Dicotyledons: Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. pp: 613, 615. Inkata Press.

Endorsement by the Convenor of the Scientific Advisory Committee Date
27 May 2014
SIGNED BY

____________________________
Assoc. Prof David Morgan

Convenor




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