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 Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
 
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
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 12 - Stiff Groundsel Senecio behrianus (Schoknecht, N. & P. Foreman, 2003) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Extinct (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Endangered (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Senecio behrianus [14030]
Family Asteraceae:Asterales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Sonder
Infraspecies author  
Reference Linnaea 25: 527 (Apr. 1853).
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
http://www.viridans.com/plpics/htm/3101AJE1.HTM

The Stiff Groundsel is an erect, short, woolly perennial forb or small shrub that can grow up to 1 m in height, but more typically growing to between 15-25 cm. Plants form extensive rhizomatous clumps. Leaves are grey-green, alternate, linear and 25 mm long, leaf margins are entirely or irregularly denticulate and slightly rolled under. Flower heads are small and yellow, with 6-8 mm long petals and a yellow centre, and occur in loose clusters at the ends of stems. Seeds are dark brown, flattened, 1-2 mm in length, hairless or downy and crowned with a tuft of numerous feathery bristles. Flowering occurs from January to May (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a; Schoknecht & Foreman 2003; Walsh 1999b).

Current distribution

The Stiff Groundsel is endemic to Victoria. The species' is known from four populations near Corup (south-west of Kyabram), one near Ballarat (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a) and possibly one near Gunbower (ALA 2013). All wild populations occupy <0.25 ha in extent (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). At Corup there are at least 18 000 stems, however, because of the species rhizomatous habit, it is not possible to estimate numbers of genetically distinct plants (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). Two translocated populations persist near Corup (Two Tree Swamp and Wallenjoe Swamp), but two other planted populations near Corup (Mansfield Swamp and Greens Lake) have failed (Alexander 2000a; Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). Extant populations referred to by Nevill and Camilleri (2010a) are:

Location Tenure Population status
Miners Rest, Ballarat wetland reserve Wild
Gilmore Road, Corop roadside/private Wild; population spreads from road reserve 30 m into private land
Grinter Road, Corop roadside/private Wild; mostly on road reserve, spreads onto private land by only 1 m
Wallenjoe Road, Corop private Wild
McGilvray Road, Corop roadside Wild
Two Tree Swamp, Corop wildlife reserve Planted; comprising two plantings, in 2003 and 2005, of 100 plants
Wallenjoe Swamp, Corop wildlife reserve Planted, 50 plants; very few remain alive; planting largely failed

Historic distribution

The Stiff Groundsel was presumed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1991 on a road reserve near Corop in northern Victoria. Historically it occurred in south-west New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and south-east South Australia (SA). It is presumed extinct in NSW and SA (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). In the 1800s, three SA records were made along the Murray River (State Herbarium of South Australia 2007a) and NSW records were made along the Darling River (Harden 1992). The Atlas of Living Australia (2013) includes a 1994 collection from Adelaide and a 1980 collection from Wanganella in NSW, although these may be erroneous. Collections from Victoria from the early 1900s are predominantly from the north-west (Swan Hill, Koondrook, Myall and Lake Charm), but also the south-west (Casterton), central (the You Yangs) and Gippsland areas (ALA 2013; Alexander 2000a; Schoknecht & Foreman 1992). A wild population on private land adjacent to the Murrabit-Benjaroop Road (Murrabit West) is recently extinct (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a).

Little is known of the habitat of historic Stiff Groundsel sites (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). The species was once widespread on the floodplains of the Murray-Darling river system. Information with herbarium records indicates plants were growing in 'swampy soil' and 'sandy clay' in seasonally inundated areas on flats or banks close to rivers (Alexander 2000a).

Extant current populations grow on poorly-drained sedimentary grey clays or sandy clays, on or close to floodplains, and on basalt-derived grey cracking clays, in periodically flooded depressions (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). A common feature seems to be that habitats are seasonally inundated, and hydrological regime is probably an important aspect of habitat, although the optimal timing and extent of flooding are unknown (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). Plant growth appears to be more prolific in areas that are flooded to a depth of 30 cm or more, perhaps due to lack of competition (Alexander 2000a). Populations at Corop tend to grow on slightly raised areas such as drainage channel banks and natural mounds, rather than in the bottom of depressions (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a).

Native plants that grow in association with Stiff Groundsel at Corop include Cumbungi (Typha spp.), Lignum (Meuhlenbeckia florulenta), Common Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii), Grey Gernander (Teucrium racemosum), Star-fruit (Damasonium minus), Bindweed (Convolvulus spp.) and Blue Devil (Eryngium ovinum) (Alexander 2000a; Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). At the Ballarat site, other native species include Cotton Fireweed (Senecio quadridentatutus), Common Blown-grass (Arostis avenaceae) and Prickfoot (Eryngium vesiculosum) (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a).

The Stiff Groundsel can resprout after disturbance such as fire or grading (Alexander 2000a). Seed germination is high under favorable experimental conditions (Lindner pers. comm. cited in Nevill & Camilleri 2010a), although recruitment from seed has not been observed in the field (Nevil pers. comm. cited in Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). Many of the plants in a population are connected by woody rhizomes (Walsh 1999b), so the number of genetically distinct plants may be quite low. The pollination mechanism is unknown. It is possible that periodic inundation may assist recruitment (Alexander 2000a).

Major threats to the Stiff Groundsel are: 

  • weed invasion by exotic perennial grasses and woody weeds (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a)
  • road, channel and farm maintenance (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a), including infrastructure widening, spraying and fencing (Alexander 2000a)
  • altered hydrology, particularly wetland drying (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a) and salinisation (Alexander 2000a)
  • grazing and trampling by stock, the Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the Brown Hare (Lepus capensis) (Stiff Groundsel is highly palatable) (Alexander 2000a; Nevill & Camilleri 2010a)
  • inappropriate fire regimes (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a)
  • risk of localised extinction due to small population size (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a)
  • limited natural regeneration (Alexander 2000a)
  • inadequate knowledge of the species may limit the management options of land managers (Alexander 2000a).

A number of conservation measures have been implemented for the Stiff Groundsel, including fencing of wild roadside and private property populations, signposting, identifying the species in local government overlays, weed management through burning and herbicide application, and the establishment of ex situ and translocated populations (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a). Recovery actions identified in the species national recovery plan include further surveys, identification of ecology and habitat requirements, threat and habitat management, and further translocation activities (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a).

The national recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel identifies the following managment prescriptions for the Stiff Groundsel (Nevill & Camilleri 2010a):

  • Maintenance and improvement of hydrological regimes to facilitate population survival and enable regeneration.
  • Control of pest plants and animals.
  • Identification and protection of populations in instruments such as public land management plans and planning overlays under local government procedures.
  • Investigation of the biology and ecology of the species to enable better targeted conservation management actions.
  • Maintenance of ex situ populations.
  • Establishment of new populations at protected sites.

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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004 (Alexander, J.K., 2000a) [State Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat alteration (vegetation, soil, hydrology) due to trampling and grazing by livestock National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Inappropriate disturbance regimes National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Phalaris aquatica (Phalaris) National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Trifolium fragiferum (Strawberry Clover) National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Avena fatua (Wild Oats) National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Romulea rosea var. communis (Common Onion-grass) National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Rubus fruticosus aggregate (Blackberry, European Blackberry) National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation caused by exotic pasture species National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation caused by marine invertebrates Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004 (Alexander, J.K., 2000a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004 (Alexander, J.K., 2000a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004 (Alexander, J.K., 2000a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes to hydrology including construction of dams/barriers National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Habitat degradation caused by channel maintenance National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Impacts associated with reductions in flooding frequency National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Salinity Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004 (Alexander, J.K., 2000a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004 (Alexander, J.K., 2000a) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Poor recruitment (regeneration) and declining population numbers National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) (Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].

Alexander, J.K. (2000a). Recovery Plan for Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus) - 2000-2004. [Online]. VIC DNRE. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/s-behrianus/index.html.

Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) (2013). Atlas of Living Australia. [Online]. Available from: http://www.ala.org.au/.

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

Nevill, G.R. & M. Camilleri (2010a). National recovery plan for the Stiff Groundsel (Senecio behrianus). [Online]. East Melbourne, Victoria: Department of Sustainability and Environment. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/senecio-behrianus.html.

Schoknecht, N. & P. Foreman (2003). Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 12 - Stiff Groundsel Senecio behrianus. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/plants-and-animals/flora-and-fauna-guarantee-act-action-statements-index-of-approved-action-statements.

State Herbarium of South Australia (2007a). Census of South Australian vascular plants, algae and fungi. [Online]. Available from: http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/census.html.

Walsh, N.G. (1999b). Senecio. In: Walsh, N.G. & Entwisle, T.J., eds. Flora of Victoria. 4:941-965. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

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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). Senecio behrianus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:25:39 +1000.