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 Fontainea australis
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Fontainea australis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008po) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010o) [Recovery Plan] as Fontainea australis.
 
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 Fontainea australis.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Southern Fontainea - profile (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2012a) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Fontainea australis
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Fontainea australis
Scientific name Fontainea australis [24037]
Family Euphorbiaceae:Euphorbiales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Jessup & Guymer
Infraspecies author  
Reference Austrobaileya 2(2): 116, fig. 3, map 2 (1985).
Other names Fontainea sp. Tweed Valley [68403]
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: Fontainea australis

Common name: Southern Fontainea

Conventionally accepted as Fontainea australis (CHAH 2010).

The Southern Fontainea is a shrub or small tree growing to 5 m high. Leaves are 6–9 cm long, 2–3.5 cm wide, shiny, elliptic or oblanceolate (wider towards the apex), with a long tip at the apex and a narrow wedge-shaped base. Two raised, smooth glands occur on both sides of the leaf. The leaf stalk (petiole) is jointed at the leaf blade junction and slightly swollen at both ends. The species is monoecious (separate male and female plants). Small, white flowers are borne in small clusters on male plants and either singly or in pairs on female plants. The fruits are egg-shaped, red and fleshy on the outside, with a diameter of 20–23 mm, three apical grooves, woody and three-ridged inside, and they contain one seed (Floyd 1989; Jessup & Guymer 1985; NSW NPWS 2002).

In NSW, Southern Fontainea is known from the Tweed Valley and a few locations in the upper reaches of the Richmond Valley (NSW OEH 2012a). Records have also been made in Nightcap National Park (NP), Numinbah Nature Reserve (NR), Goonengerry State Forest, Limpinwood NR and Mount Warning NP (Floyd 1989; Briggs & Leigh 1996; NSW NPWS 2004a).

In Queensland, Southern Fontainea is known from Springbrook NP, Currumbin and Tallebudgera Valleys Conservation Reserves, Deep Creek and Six Mile Creek (Barry & Thomas 1994; GCCC 2004; Chester & Bushnell 2005).

There is no quantitative population data for the Southern Fontainea, though many records of the species are of single paddock trees (Barry & Thomas 1994; GCCC 2004; Rossetto et al. 2000). The Limpinwood population is considered a novel genotypic combination which constitutes a distinct management unit (Rossetto et al. 2000).

Southern Fontainea mainly occurs in lowland subtropical rainforest and complex notophyll vine forest on basaltic alluvial flats and well drained, bright reddish-brown alluvial clay loam (Barry & Thomas 1994; Floyd 1989; Jessup & Guymer 1985). The species has been recorded in higher altitude habitat in the Nightcap Range (NSW NPWS 2002). Southern Fontainea has been recorded growing in White Booyong (Heritiera trifoliolata) Subtropical Rainforest Alliance (Floyd 1989), and in vine forests with Rose Gum (Eucalyptus grandis) emergents (Barry & Thomas 1994).

Associated species include Corkwood (Caldcluvia paniculosa), Giant Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide excels), Rosewood (Dysoxylum fraserianum), Woolly Pear-fruit (Mischocarpus lachnocarpus), Black Apple (Planchonella australis), Yellow Carabeen (Sloanea woollsii) and Giant Water Gum (Syzygium francisii) at Natural Bridge NP (Barry & Thomas 1994) and White Booyong, Smooth-bark Rose Apple (Syzygium hodgkinsoniae), Hairy Walnut (Endiandra pubens), Shiny-leaved Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide photinophylla), Red Apple (Acmena ingens), Native Tamarind (Diploglottis cunninghamii) and Red-fruited Ebony (Diospyros mabacea) at Oxley River (Queensland Herbarium 2008b).

Southern Fontainea flowers are usually borne between December and January with ripe fruit in July (Barry & Thomas 1994; Floyd 1989). The Southern Fontainea may live for more than 100 years, with a juvenile period of 10 years. Seed viability is short and the main dispersal mode is seed dropping to the ground. Reproductive capacity is limited. Dense crops are produced occasionally but with little seedling regeneration (Qld CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1997).

Southern Fontainea is most closely related to the Coast Fontainea (Fontainea oraria) and differs in having a smooth endocarp (hard inner part of fruit, such as a stone seed), longer floral stalks (7–12 mm long) and more distal basal laminar gland placement (i.e. gland 5–22 mm above base of leaf lamina) (Jessup & Guymer 1985).

The main identified threats to Southern Fontainea include clearing and fragmentation of habitat, low genetic diversity and infestation of habitat by weeds such as Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera), Mistflower (Ageratina riparia) and Lantana (Lantana camara) (Barry & Thomas 1994; Floyd 1990; Rossetto et al. 2000; Sheringham & Westaway 1995). The main potential threats to Southern Fontainea include limited opportunities for natural regeneration and therefore the risk of local extinction because populations are small (NSW OEH 2012a).

White Booyong Subtropical Rainforest Alliance was extensively cleared for agriculture, with the exception of small patches occurring in flood-prone, stony or poorly drained soils (Floyd 1990).

Monitoring occurs in Queensland in Springbrook NP and, in NSW, in Nightcap NP, Limpinwood NR and Numinbah NR (Chester & Bushnell 2005).

Priority recovery actions include:

  • Support local Landcare groups and bush regeneration teams.
  • Control introduced weeds in rainforest areas.
  • Protect areas of habitat from clearing or development.
  • Expand and connect remaining patches of habitat.
  • Report new occurrences of Southern Fontainea, particularly in the Richmond Valley, to the NSW Government.
  • Undertake further genetic research and monitoring.

Management documents relevant to Southern Fontainea are at the start of the profile. Other relevant documents include: 

  • Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW DECCW 2010n).
  • NSW Threat Abatement Plan - Invasion of native plant communities by Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bitou Bush and Boneseed) (NSW DECC 2006).
  • Springbrook Conservation Areas: Conservation Values and Management Recommendations (GCCC 2006a)
  • Parks and Reserves of the Tweed Caldera Plan of Management (NSW NPWS 2004a).

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
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Fontainea australis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006jr) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ageratina riparia (Mistflower, Mist Flower, Creeping Croftonweed, River Eupatorium, Spreading Mistflower) Fontainea australis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006jr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Lantana camara (Lantana, Common Lantana, Kamara Lantana, Large-leaf Lantana, Pink Flowered Lantana, Red Flowered Lantana, Red-Flowered Sage, White Sage, Wild Sage) Fontainea australis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006jr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bitou Bush, Boneseed) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Fontainea australis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008po) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Fontainea australis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006jr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Residential and Commercial Development:Habitat modification (clearance and degradation) due to urban development Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Fontainea australis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008po) [Conservation Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Fontainea australis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008po) [Conservation Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Fontainea australis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006jr) [Internet].

Barry, S.J. & G.T. Thomas (1994). Threatened Vascular Rainforest Plants of South-east Queensland: A Conservation Review. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Chester S. & G. Bushnell (2005). Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves of Australia - a monitoring strategy. Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2010). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Floyd, A.G. (1989). Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Floyd, A.G. (1990). Australian rainforests in New South Wales. Sydney: Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) (2004). Our Living City Report. City of Gold Coast.

Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) (2006a). Springbrook Conservation Areas: Conservation Values and Management Recommendations. [Online]. Available from: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/attachment/environment/springbrook_conservation_report.pdf.

Jessup, L.W. & G.P. Guymer (1985). A Revision of Fontainea Heckel (Euphorbiaceae-Cluytieae). Austrobaileya. 2(2):112-125.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2006). NSW Threat Abatement Plan - Invasion of native plant communities by Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bitou Bush and Boneseed). Hurstville, NSW: NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change.

NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2010n). Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland. [Online]. Sydney South, New South Wales: Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/border-ranges/pubs/brrb-management-plan.pdf.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2002). Threatened Species of the Upper North Coast of NSW: Flora. Coffs Harbour, NSW: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2004a). Parks & Reserves of the Tweed Caldera, Plan of Management. [Online]. NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/parkmanagement/MountWarningNPMgmtplan.htm. [Accessed: 19-Jun-2008].

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH) (2012a). Southern Fontainea - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10333.

Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee (1997). Forest taxa at risk, threats, conservation needs and recovery planning in south-east Queensland. Queensland Government & Commonwealth of Australia.

Queensland Herbarium (2008b). Unpublished data.

Rossetto, M., J. McNally, R.J. Henry, J. Hunter & M. Matthes (2000). Conservation genetics of an endangered rainforest tree (Fontainea oraria - Euphorbiaceae) and implications for closely related species.:217-229.

Sheringham, P. & J. Westaway (1995). Significant Vascular Plants of Upper North East NSW: A report by the NSW NPWS for the Natural Resources Audit Council. NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008po). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Fontainea australis. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/24037-conservation-advice.pdf.

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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). Fontainea australis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:25:00 +1000.