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 as Amphibromus fluitans
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Amphibromus fluitans (River Swamp Wallaby-grass) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008agr) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Amphibromus fluitans (River Swamp Wallaby-grass) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012ax) [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] as Amphibromus fluitans.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Flora Schedules: Recommendations to the Scientific Committee: Final Summary Report December 2002 (Hogbin, P., 2002) [Report].
NSW:New South Wales Murray Biodiversity Management Plan (Murray Catchment Management Authority (Murray CMA), 2012) [State Action Plan].
NSW:River Swamp Wallaby-grass - profile (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2013h) [Internet].
TAS:Amphibromus fluitans (floating swampgrass): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2013) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013) as Amphibromus fluitans
Scientific name Amphibromus fluitans [19215]
Family Poaceae:Cyperales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Kirk
Infraspecies author  
Reference Kirk, T. (1884) Notice of the Discovery of Amphibromus in New Zealand, with Description of a new Species. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 16: 374, pl. xxviii. [tax. nov.]
Other names Amphibromus gracilis [23096]
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

Scientific name: Amphibromus fluitans

Common name: River Swamp Wallaby-grass

River Swamp Wallaby-grass is an aquatic perennial with 1 m long decumbent culms (aerial stems growing horizontally with tips turned up at the end) and often only the inflorescence is above water. The individual florets have a slender curved bristle and are massed into 5–12 flowered spikelets. The plant grows to 120 cm high overall. The leaf blade is 2–4.5 mm wide, rough to touch and deeply ribbed. The structure that breaks away from the flower-stalk (and contains the seed) is two-toothed, with a straight bristle arising about half way up its back (Jacobs & Lapinpuro 1986; Walsh 1994). The species is stoloniforous (horizontal roots), and sometimes rhizomatic (PlantNet 2012).

River Swamp Wallaby-grass occurs in southern NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Some populations cover several hectares and site abundance has been recorded as 'occasional' to 'common' (NSW OEH 2013h).

In NSW, there are many historic collections from the Albury area including Howlong Road and Waterworks Reserve. Along the Murray River, it has been collected from Cooks Lagoon (Shire of Greater Hume), Mungabarina Reserve, East Albury, Ettamogah, Thurgoona (Charles Sturt University campus) and also further west along the Murray River near Mathoura and the Barmah-Millewa Forest (Hogbin 2002; NSW OEH 2013h). Along the Murrumbidgee River, it has been recorded from Narranderra (including Green Valley), and along the Lachlan River it has been recorded near Crookwell at Laggan and the headwaters of the Wollondilly River (Hogbin 2002; NSW OEH 2013h).

In Victoria, it occurs predominantly in the north-central area along the Murray River between Wodonga and Echuca including: Yarrawonga, Tocumwal, Cobram, Echuca, Broken River between Kerang and Tallangatta, west of Tallangatta East-Yabba Road near the Mitta Mitta River, Ovens River Flora Reserve, Barmah State Park (including Row's Swamp and Top Island Reference Area), Kanyapella Wildlife Reserve, south of Wangaratta, Tragowel Swamp near the Grampians, towards the Yarra at Kew and near Bright (Jacobs & Lapinpuro 1986; MEL undated). In southern Victoria, it is known from several localities in south Gippsland, including a rail corridor southwest of Rosedale, Moe, Yarram, Meeniyan and Wonthaggi areas, Cresswick, Clunes, as well as in the Lysterfield Lake Park in Melbourne, Ballarat, and the Portland-Casterton areas.

Its distribution extends just into South Australia near Mt Gambier (MEL undated; Walsh 1994). The species has also been reported at Cranbourne (Nelson et al. 2006).

In Tasmania, it is known from a single population at Lake Crescent in the central highlands area at approximately 800 m above sea level (Jacobs & Lapinpuro 1986), although there is some doubt as to whether it is a natural or introduced occurrence at this location.

River Swamp Wallaby-grass is also found in New Zealand, where it is known as Water Brome. It is listed as endangered under New Zealand environmental law (NZPCN 2010; Weiller et al. 2009).

River Swamp Wallaby-grass grows mostly in permanent swamps (NSW OEH 2013h) and also lagoons, billabongs, dams and roadside ditches (Carr 2000 pers. comm.; NSW NPWS 2000 pers. comm.; Flora & Fauna Guarantee SAC 1997d; Walsh 1994). The species requires moderately fertile soils with some bare ground; conditions that are caused by seasonally-fluctuating water levels (NSW OEH 2013h). The species has some resistance to salinisation of habitat in experimental tests (James et al. 2009).

Habitats in south-western New South Wales include swamp margins in mud, dam and tank beds in hard clay and in semi-dry mud of lagoons with Potamogeton spp. and Chamaeraphis spp. (NSW OEH 2013h).

River Swamp Wallaby-grass flowering and fruiting occurs mainly between November and March (Jacobs & Lapinpuro 1986; Walsh 1994), with flowers observed in Tasmania in January and February (TSS 2013). The species appears to fruit later than the other grasses with which it grows. The flower heads remain almost hidden by the leaf sheaths until the seeds are nearly mature and, even then, elongation of the stems is barely sufficient to expose the heads completely (NSW OEH 2013h). The species requires periodic flooding of habitat to maintain wet conditions (NSW OEH 2013h).

Mature flowers are required for identification (TSS 2013).

The main identified threats to the River Swamp Wallaby-grass are pastoral development, changing water regimes and invasion of remnant habitat by exotic grasses and weeds (NSW OEH 2013h). Amphibromus spp. are very palatable to stock, and grazing and trampling has greater impact late in summer as water sources dry and become more accessible (TSSC 2008agr).

Water regimes have been altered by redirecting water from nearby farmland into wetlands, reducing the period of shore exposure and raising the fertility of water, producing more vigorous growth from competitive exotic grasses (NSW OEH 2013h). Historically, many lowland swamps were drained and converted to agricultural lands, resulting in the loss of habitat and populations of River Swamp Wallaby-grass. In addition, some seasonal wetlands inhabited by the species were converted to deep, permanent dams, which are unsuitable for continued habitation by this species (TSSC 2008agr).

The NSW Government identifies the following activities to assist the River Swamp Wallaby-grass (NSW OEH 2013h):

  • retain and reintroduce ecologically sustainable water flows to wetland habitat
  • erect signs beside roadside populations to alert road maintenance staff of populations
  • fence off habitat to protect from stock
  • monitoring and mapping of the species distribution.

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 Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Amphibromus fluitans (River Swamp Wallaby-grass) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008agr) [Conservation Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat alteration (vegetation, soil, hydrology) due to trampling and grazing by livestock Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Amphibromus fluitans (River Swamp Wallaby-grass) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008agr) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Amphibromus fluitans (River Swamp Wallaby-grass) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008agr) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Amphibromus fluitans in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006br) [Internet].
Pollution:Agricultural Effluents:Environmental impacts due to application of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides Amphibromus fluitans in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006br) [Internet].
Pollution:Agricultural Effluents:Pesticide application Amphibromus fluitans in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006br) [Internet].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:unspecified Amphibromus fluitans in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006br) [Internet].

Carr, G.W. (2000). Personal Communication. Melbourne: Vic NRE.

Flora & Fauna Guarantee - Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) (1997d). Final recommendation on a nomination for listing: Amphibromus fluitans Kirk - River Swamp Wallaby-grass (nomination no. 413). Dept. of Conservation and Environment, Victoria.

Hogbin, P. (2002). Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Flora Schedules: Recommendations to the Scientific Committee: Final Summary Report December 2002. [Online]. NSW: NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC). Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/PlantReviewFinalSummary.pdf.

Jacobs, S.W.L. & L.Lapinpuro (1986). The Australian Species of Amphibromus (Poaceae). Telopea. 2(6):715-729.

James, K.R., B.T. Hart, P.C.E. Bailey & D.W. Blinn (2009). Impact of secondary salinisation on freshwater ecosystems: effect of experimentally increased salinity on an intermittent floodplain wetland. Marine and Freshwater Research. 60(3):246-258.

MEL (undated). National Herbarium of Victoria Specimens. [Online]. Available from: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/research_and_conservation/herbarium.

Nelson, K., Koehler, S. and O'Brien, N. (2006). Flora, fauna and habitat quality assessment of 220-280 Berwick-Cranbourne Road, Cranbourne, Victoria: Final Report. Biotext Research Pty. Ltd. Melbourne.

New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN) (2010). Amphibromus fluitans. [Online]. Available from: http://nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp?ID=47.. [Accessed: 25-Apr-2010].

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000). Personal communication. Sydney: NSW NPWS.

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH) (2013h). River Swamp Wallaby-grass - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspecies/.

PlantNET (2012). The Plant Information Network System. [Online]. Sydney, Australia: The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. Available from: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008agr). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Amphibromus fluitans (River Swamp Wallaby-grass). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/19215-conservation-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Section (TSS) (2013). Amphibromus fluitans (floating swampgrass): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. [Online]. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecieslink.tas.gov.au/amphibromus-fluitans.

Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G. & Entwisle, T.J., eds. Flora of Victoria. 2:356-627. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

Weiller, C.M., S.W.L. Jacobs & I.R. Thompson (2009). Amphibromus, Holcus, Hierochloe, Anthoxanthum. In: Wilson, A.J.G., ed. Flora of Australia. 44A:132-133.

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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). Amphibromus fluitans in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:08:28 +1000.