Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008as) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012ap) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Thick-leaf Star-hair - profile (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2013n) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
Scientific name Astrotricha crassifolia [10352]
Family Araliaceae:Apiales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Blakely
Infraspecies author  
Reference Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 50 (15 Dec. 1925) 385.
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Thick-leaf Star-hair is an erect shrub that grows to 2.4 m tall (Carolin & Tindale 1993). Branchlets have a deep and firm covering of dense hairs. Leaves are stiff, broad-linear, 2-6 cm long and 0.25-0.4 cm wide. The leaves have a blunt apex and entire margins that are rolled under so that the leaf is convex, except for the midvein groove on the upper surface. The upper surface is shiny and smooth or occasionally wrinkled. The lower surface is covered densely with brownish hairs and the petiole 1.5-2 mm long. The flowers are small, 5-petalled and white or cream with mauve anthers. Individual inflorescences (group of flowers) are up to about 10 cm long, usually with a few ascending branches, few-flowered, and have a dense hairy covering (Carolin &Tindale 1993; NSW OEH 2013n).

The Thick-leaf Star-hair is locally endemic to two areas in New South Wales (Benson & McDougall 1993): a 'northern metapopulation' near Gosford, north of Sydney, and a 'southern metapopulation' near Sutherland, south of Sydney. The Gosford metapopulation occurs in the Brisbane Water National Park, near Warrah Trig between Pearl Beach and Patonga, in an area known as the 'Waratah Patch'. The southern metapopulation occurs on parts of the Woronora Plateau and in the Royal National Park (Fairly & Moore 1989; Harden 1992; Warman & Beckers 2011). There is also a record from near Glen Davis NSW. A record from Victoria is now believed to be an undescribed species, Astrotricha sp. Suggan Buggan (J.Turner 211) Vic. Herbarium (Ross & Walsh 2003; Walsh & Stajsic 2007).

The total area of occupancy of the Thick-leaf Star-hair in the Gosford metapopulation is 0.38 km²(Warman & Beckers 2011).

Surveys for the Thick-leaf Star-hair were undertaken in the Brisbane Water National Park in 2003-04 and again in 2010. In 2003-04 three subpopulations were surveyed in the Waratah Patch and the number of stems were recorded at around 600. In 2010, 707 stems were recorded for the same subpopulations (Warman & Beckers 2011). A further six subpopulations were found in 2010 (Warman & Beckers 2011) and the total number of stems for the nine subpopulations was 1211 stems (Warman & Beckers 2011). Most subpopulations are characterised by similar-sized plants suggesting widespread population recovery following a common trigger event, probably fires that took place in 2001 and 2002 (Warman & Beckers 2011).

This species has rhizomatous root systems, which can make it difficult to census, therefore stems together with their immediately subtending portion of rhizome, were counted as potential reproductive units and treated as individuals (Warman & Beckers 2011).

The Thick-leaf Star-hair grows on dry ridgetops to 300 m altitude (Benson & McDougall 1993) and is associated with very rich heath, or dry sclerophyll woodland (Harden 1992). Vegetation associations include typical sandstone genera such as Hakea, Banksia and Xylomelum (Benson & McDougall 1993).

The Thick-leaf Star-Hair appears to grow in partial shade (Benson & Mc Dougall 1993), quite densely, in a number of small, isolated patches (Warman & Beckers 2011).

The Thick-leaf Star-hair flowers in spring to summer (September to December), with fruit maturing during November to December (Harden 1992; Carolin & Tindale 1993).

Flowers are insect-visited but pollination details are unknown. Although fruit are produced, there are no reports of the species producing viable seed; there has been no evidence of seed germination or seedling growth in over 20 years of intermittent observations (Makinson pers. comm. 2010 cited in Warman & Beckers 2011). This species resprouts from root suckers or basal stem buds after fire and slashing.

The reproductive capacity of the Thick-leaf Star-hair may be influenced by surrounding vegetation density and light availablilty (Warman & Beckers 2011).

This species has a rhizomatous root systems, which can make it a difficult species to census. Stems together with their immediately subtending portion of rhizome, were counted as potential reproductive units and treated as individuals in previous population counts (Warman & Beckers 2011).

Threats to the Thick-leaf Star-hair include (TSSC 2008as; Warman & Beckers 2011; NSW OEH 2013n):

  • Susceptibility to extinction from random natural and human-induced events because of the small size and limited genetic base of its few disjunct populations
  • Inappropriate fire regimes
  • Habitat loss, fragmentation and roadside management activities, including weed control
  • Trampling by vehicles and pedestrians 
  • Competition for space and resources by various grass species, especially on roadsides. 

The following threat abatement actions have been recommended to reduce threats to the Thick-leaf Star-hair (Warman & Beckers 2011):

  • Limit infrastructure management activities alongside Patonga Road and Warrah Trig Road near the Thick-leaf Star-hair subpopulations during the spring flowering and summer fruiting period.
  • Incorporate hygiene practices into roadside management activities.
  • Further identify the geographical limits of the northern metapopulation.
  • Undertake post-fire monitoring of subpopulations to determine fire response, i.e. potential seed viability, germination, seedbank dormacy and longevity.
  • Ascertain the degree of genetic similarity within and among the Thick-leaf Star-hair subpopulations using molecular techniques.

Existing plans and management prescriptions relevant to the Thick-leaf Star Hair:

  • New South Wales Priority Action Statement (NSW OEH 2013n) 
  • Fire management strategy for Brisbane Water National Park (NSW DEC 2006l)
  • Draft Fire Management Plan for the Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garawarra State Recreation Area (NSW NPWS 2003).
  • Identifying and Managing Priority Threatened Flora Sites in the North-West Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment (NSW DECC 2007r).

Other documents relevant to the management of the Thick-leaf Star-hair can be found at the start of this profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008as) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Slashing and herbicide application for weed control Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008as) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008as) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008as) [Conservation Advice].

Benson, D. & L. McDougall (1993). Ecology of Sydney Plant Species Part 1: Ferns, fern-allies, cycads, conifers and dicotyledon families Acanthaceae to Asclepiadaceae. Cunninghamia. 3(2):257-422. Sydney: National Herbarium of NSW.

Carolin, R.C. & M.D. Tindale (1993). Flora of the Sydney region; from the Hunter to the Shoalhaven Rivers & Inland to the Great Divide. Fourth Edition. Chatswood, NSW, Reed Books.

Fairley, A. & P. Moore (1989). Native Plants of the Sydney District, An Identification Guide. Kangaroo Press & Society for Growing Aust. Plants.

Harden, G.J. (Ed.) (1992). Flora of New South Wales Volume 3. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2007r). Identifying and Managing Priority Threatened Flora Sites in the North-west Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Part 1. Technical Report. [Online]. Unpublished report funded by the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority. NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, Dubbo. Available from: http://www.hn.cma.nsw.gov.au/multiversions/4481/FileName/Targeted_Flora_Surveys_NW_HNCMA_Report_FINAL_and_Appendices.pdf.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2006l). Brisbane Water National Park Fire Management Strategy. [Online]. Available from: http://www2.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/PDFs/BWFMP_adopted.pdf. [Accessed: 14-May-2008].

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2003). Fire Management Plan for Royal, Heathcote National Parks and Garawarra State Conservation Area. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/parks/09202RoyalFMSvol01.pdf.

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH) (2013n). Thick-leaf Star-hair - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10074.

Ross, J.H. & N.G. Walsh (2003). A census of the vascular plants of Victoria. 7th Edition. Melbourne, Victoria: Royal Botanic Gardens.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008as). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Astrotricha crassifolia (Thick-leaf Star-hair). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/10352-conservation-advice.pdf.

Walsh, N.G. & V. Stajsic (2007). A census of the vascular plants of Victoria, 8th edition. [Online]. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, South Yarra. Available from: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/viclist/index.htm.

Warman, D. & D. Beckers (2011). Status of the Vulnerable shrub Astrotricha crassifolia (Araliaceae) in Brisbane Water National Park, NSW: an update. Cunninghamia. 12(2):129-136. Sydney: Botanic Gardens Trust.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Astrotricha crassifolia in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Tue, 2 Sep 2014 13:42:02 +1000.