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 Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [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 Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): July 2012)
Scientific name Allocasuarina emuina [21926]
Family Casuarinaceae:Casuarinales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author L.Johnson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Flora of Australia 3 (24 Apr. 1989) 195, fig. 54I.
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.

Other illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Allocasuarina emuina

Common name: Emu Mountain Sheoak

Difficulties have been encountered in distinguishing between Emu Mountain Sheoak and the closely related species, Allocasuarina thalassoscopica. Characters used for distinguishing these species, such as the distance between branchlet joints and anther length, were found to overlap. More investigations are required to clarify the status of these species (Halford 1993b). Until then, Emu Mountain Sheoak remains the accepted name for this taxon (ANBG 2004a).

Emu Mountain Sheoak is one of 59 Allocasuarina species within the family Casuarinaceae (Barlow 1981).

Allocasuarina species have long needle-like wiry branchlets and their leaves are reduced to whorls of small triangular teeth which occur at regular intervals along the branchlets. There are regions of the branchlets, called articles, which separate the leaf whorls and are characterised by longitudinal ridges separated by furrows. There are consistently as many ridges as teeth. Inflorescences consist of alternating whorls of tooth-like bracts. Within each bract are two lateral scale-like bracteoles and a single unisexual flower. Male inflorescences are short to elongated spikes. Female inflorescences are small globose or ovoid heads on short lateral branchlets. The female inflorescence develops to form a woody cone in which the two enlarged bracteoles of each flower form lateral valves and open to release the fruit (samara). The samara is a winged nut and appears like a seed (Barlow 1981; QLD EPA 2007).

The Emu Mountain Sheoak is a spreading shrub growing 0.5–2.5 m high with smooth bark and with male and female organs on separate plants, similar to A. thalassoscopica. Its leaves are yellow-green, usually with 6–8 teeth; branchlets, up to 12 cm long, go up the branch; sectioned by small, smooth articles (4–8 mm long). Each ridge of the branchlet article has 6–8 teeth erect to slightly spreading and do not overlap. Male flowers are unbranched, without stalks and are approximately 1–3 cm long with 8.5–9.5 whorls per centimetre. The cylindrical cones are 12–28 mm long, 6–15 mm in diameter and have a sterile apex. The stalk is slender and 3–13 mm long. The seeds are black to dark brown and are 4.5–7.5 mm long (Halford 1993b; QLD EPA 2007; Wilson & Johnson 1989).

The Emu Mountain Sheoak has a restricted geographic range between Beerburrum and Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and has a distinct niche preference for heathland environments. The species has a patchy distribution within heathland habitats with the majority of individuals occurring in low-lying areas and on the western and south-eastern slopes of Mt Emu. Of the 11 populations, nine occur on local and state government managed reserves (such as national parks) and two occur on freehold land. The populations of Emu Mountain Sheoak are known over a range of about 35 km (QLD EPA 2007).

In 1993 there were four known population with an estimated total abundance of 12 000, with only 8% of this within conservation reserves (Halford 1993b). Since then, a number of new localities have been recorded, including; Mooloolah River National Park (identified in May 2001), Finland Road (near the airport), Coolum Ridges, Coolum section of Noosa National Park (identified in 2003) and Mt Coolum National Park (north section). The Emu Mountain Sheoak is currently known from 11 populations with an approximate total abundance of 14 000 individuals (QLD EPA 2007). Populations of Emu Mountain Sheoak occur across a restricted area of the Maroochy Shire and Caloundra City, regions which are subject to increasing urban development (QLD EPA 2007).

Summary of all known populations of Emu Mountain Sheoak (modified from QLD EPA 2007):

Site Location Area Land tenure 1993 Population
Estimate
2003 Population
Estimate
1 Currimundi Lake
Conservation Park
40 m² Conservation
park
20 21
2 Beerwah Forest Reserve 2 ha (within a 330 ha block) Forest reserve - 300
3 Mooloolah River National Park 1 ha National park - 300
4 Emu Mountain 5 ha National park/Dept
of Natural
Resources
10 450 10 450
5 Emu Swamp 3 ha National park 900 200
6 Old Emu Mt Road
(Peregian Springs)
3 ha Freehold/Crown
land
816 2000
7 Finland Road (near
airport)
18 ha (within a
120 ha block)
Council/national
park/Main Roads
- 1000
8 Coolum Ridges 1.8 ha Freehold - 100
9 Coolum section of Noosa National Park 1 ha (within a
140 ha block)
National park - 20
10 Mt Coolum National Park - North Within a 197 ha block. National park - 30
11 Forestry Road 300 m² Conservation area - 100+

All populations of Emu Mountain Sheoak are considered important to the survival of the species (QLD EPA 2007).

Emu Mountain Sheoak occurs in Mooloolah River, Noosa and Mt Coolum National Parks, Currimundi Lake Conservation Park and Beerwah Forest Reserve (QLD EPA 2007). Populations in the north Marcoola section of Mt Coolum National Park and the Coolum section of Noosa National Park are considered to be in decline because of inappropriate fire regimes (R. Thomas 2003, pers. comm. cited in QLD EPA 2007).

The Emu Mountain Sheoak grows in open and closed heath on fine-grained rhyolite rocky slopes (Mt Peregian) and in wallum heath on undulating coastal plain. The soils range in texture from sands, sandy loams and light to medium clays, usually with a weak acidic reaction. Emu Mountain Sheoak is found in relatively flat, low-lying coastal areas at elevations of between 5 and 70 m above sea level and on a range of inclinations from flat to slopes of 20 degrees (Halford 1993b; Wilson & Johnson 1989). Dominant species of heathland habitat where Emu Mountain Sheoak occurs include Ptilanthium deustum, Hakea actites and Banksia oblongifolia. Wet heath vegetation grows to 1–1.5 m in height and is dense (QLD EPA 2007).

Plants are dioecious (Wilson & Johnson 1989). Flowers are recorded from late May to mid/late July; cones are thought to take at least six months to mature. Seeds are released from cones only with the death of the parent plant or branch supporting the fruit. The seed has a flat papery wing to assist dispersal by wind. The seeds show no form of germination dormancy once released from the protective fruits. An average of 63% of seeds were found to lack an embryo. Seeds with embryos recorded high levels of viability (94–100%) (Halford 1993b).

Some plants have been observed to regenerate from the rootstock after fire (Halford 1993b).

Allocasuarina species that occur on the Sunshine Coast are very similar morphologically and it can be difficult to distinguish between the species. The Emu Mountain Sheoak can be distinguished from A. thalassoscopica by its shorter articles, longer anther, generally further rounded phyllichnia and less appressed teeth (Halford 1993b; QLD EPA 2007; Wilson & Johnson 1989).

The threats to Emu Mountain Sheoak are related to the alteration or destruction of suitable habitat, including activities such as urbanisation, agriculture, expansion of airport infrastructure, establishment of pine plantations, transportation corridors and associated drainage projects. The main threats that are associated with these activities include altered fire regimes, increased storm water run-off and the establishment of exotic plant species. The species requires appropriately managed fire regimes to ensure seed germination. An increase in storm water run-off changes the hydrology of a site and increases soil nutrients and water availability. This encourages weed growth in heathland habitats, that typically grow on low nutrient soils (QLD EPA 2007). Other potential threats include pollution from adjacent roads and agricultural lands (McKiernan 1997).

The overall objective of the National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (QLD EPA 2007) is to protect known populations of Emu Mountain Sheoak from further decline and maintain and/or enhance wild populations in the long term. Recovery actions outlined in the National Recovery Plan (QLD EPA 2007), include:

  • Secure the protection and management of all known populations.

  • Evaluate and implement measures to secure all populations and potential habitat on reserves and Environmental Protection Agency/Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (EPA/QPWS) estate.

  • Protect and manage existing Emu Mountain Sheoak populations, and populations identified in the future, on freehold land.

  • Minimise the impacts of key threats to Emu Mountain Sheoak, by developing and implementing a strategy for appropriate fire management practices and to minimise storm water run-off into Emu Mountain Sheoak habitat.

  • Implement weed management strategies at all known populations.

  • Design and implement an ongoing monitoring program to assess the effectiveness of management and rehabilitation strategies. Undertake ground surveys to confirm the location and extent of all known populations and map the extent of potential habitat.

  • Investigate the response of Emu Mountain Sheoak to fire.

  • Identify population parameters and aspects of the biology and ecology that affect the conservation status and persistence of Emu Mountain Sheoak.

  • The National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina provides information on the ecology and management for the Emu Mountain Sheoak (QLD EPA 2007).

    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:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [Recovery Plan].
    Agriculture and Aquaculture:Wood and Pulp Plantations:Habitat destruction due to forestry activities National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [Recovery Plan].
    Climate Change and Severe Weather:Sea level rise:Inundation associated with climate change Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
    Climate Change and Severe Weather:Storms and Flooding:flooding National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [Recovery Plan].
    Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Allocasuarina emuina in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006bg) [Internet].
    Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [Recovery Plan].
    Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes in hydrology including habitat drainage National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [Recovery Plan].
    Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina (Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA), 2007) [Recovery Plan].
    Pollution:Pollution:Pollution run-off Allocasuarina emuina in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006bg) [Internet].
    Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Allocasuarina emuina in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006bg) [Internet].
    Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Allocasuarina emuina in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006bg) [Internet].
    Transportation and Service Corridors:Transportation and Service Corridors:Road and rail maintenance works Allocasuarina emuina in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006bg) [Internet].

    Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) (2004a). What's Its Name. [Online]. Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage. Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/fwhat.

    Barlow, B (1981). Casuarinas: A taxonomic and Biogeographic review. Casuarina ecology, management and utilization: proceedings of an international workshop, Canberra, Australia. Melbourne, CSIRO.

    Halford, D. (1993b). Allocasuarina emuina (Casuarinaceae). A Conservation Assessment.

    McKiernan, C. (1997). BRI file No. 900A, The autecology of Allocasuarina emuina (Casuarinaceae): an evaluation of an endangered species.

    Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (QLD EPA) (2007). National recovery plan for the Mt Emu she-oak Allocasuarina emuina. [Online]. Brisbane, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/a-emuina.html.

    Wilson, K.L. & L.A.S.Johnson (1989). Casuarinaceae. In: Flora of Australia. 3:100-174. Canberra: AGPS.

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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). Allocasuarina emuina in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:47:22 +1000.