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 Philotheca sporadica
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Philotheca sporadica (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008p) [Conservation 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 Eriostemon sporadica.
 
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 Philotheca sporadica.
 
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: correction of list of threatened species (28/03/2001) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2001j) [Legislative Instrument] as Eriostemon sporadica.
 
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Philotheca sporadica
Scientific name Philotheca sporadica [64944]
Family Rutaceae:Sapindales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (Bayly) Paul G.Wilson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Wilson, Paul G. (1998) A taxonomic review of the genera Eriostemon and Philotheca (Rutaceae: Boronieae). Nuytsia 12(2): 255 [tax. nov.]
Other names Eriostemon sporadicus [64572]
Eriostemon sporadica [66714]
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: Philotheca sporadica

In 1998 the species name changed from Eriostemon sporadicus to Philotheca sporadica (Wilson 1998a). Philotheca sporadica also includes the Queensland populations previously known as Eriostemon angustfolius P.G. Wilson subsp. angustifolius (Bayly 1994).

Philotheca sporadica is an open to compact shrub that grows to 150 cm high and has numerous branches (Halford 1995p). Along its length, each branch has many small (1–4 mm long) hairless, club-shaped leaves. The white flowers are 6–10 mm in diameter, solitary and occur on short stalks (up to 0.7 mm long) at the end of branchlets (Halford 1995p).

Philotheca sporadica is known from south-east Queensland just north of Tara to approximately 12 km east of Kogan in the Darling Downs Pastoral District (Halford 1995p). In 1995, Queensland Herbarium had recorded 11 populations (Halford 1995p) and at least four have been subsequently reported (e.g. Powerlink Queensland 2005). Nine populations were comprehensively assessed by Halford (1995p).

Of the known populations the following land tenures of sites include: seven on road verges (six of which extend onto freehold land); one within Braemar State Forest (State Forest 4); one in State Forest 155; one exclusively on freehold land; and three on and near the grounds of the Braemar Power Station (Halford 1995p; Schell 2007 pers. comm.). P. sporadica was encountered from east of Kogan Creek to west of the Braemar Power Station during surveys in 2004 in the Darling Downs region (Powerlink Queensland 2005).

Nine days of foot and vehicle surveys for Philotheca sporadica were undertaken in 1994–1995 based on data collated from herbarium records and relevant literature. Searches were extended to nearby locations with habitat similar to known sites (Halford 1995p). P. sporadica surveys in the Darling Downs area (southern Queensland) are summarised in Powerlink Queensland (2005).

Halford (1995p) estimated the total population to be 58 150 individuals: a site 5 km east of Kogan supported 30% of the total population; a second site supported 54%. Halford (1995p) emphasised that this figure was likely to be an underestimate of the true population size.

Powerlink Queensland (2005) undertook field surveys in August 2004 and assessed known populations which occurred under a proposed transmission line. An estimated 6000 individuals were observed near the proposed line that were additional to assessment made by Halford (1995p), however, these extra individuals were not considered to be new populations (Powerlink Queensland 2005). Based on these findings, Philotheca sproadica was estimated to have an excess of 64 000 individuals in the wild (HLA-Envirosciences Pty Limited 2005; Powerlink Queensland 2005). Additional plants are likely to be found in unsurveyed duricrust (hard soil crust) areas near known populations (Powerlink Queensland 2005).

Populations often occur in small, discrete clusters (15–50 m in diameter) in open areas, including road verges (Powerlink Queensland 2005).

The population within Braemar State Forest is small (two individuals) (Halford 1995p).

Landscape character

Philotheca sporadica occurs within the Condamine River catchment on soils derived from low fertility laterised Cretaceous sandstones (Kumbarilla Beds). Soils are shallow uniform sandy loams to clay loams or shallow texture contrast soils with loamy surfaces and medium clay subsoils. Ironstone gravel is usually present within the soil column. Topography of these areas is undulating to flat with low dissected flat top or rounded hills (Dawson 1972; Halford 1995p). Some sites have duricrust surfaces (Powerlink Queensland 2005).

Climate

The Darling Downs area, in which this species occurs, has a sub-humid and subtropical climate, with warm to hot, moist summers and cool to cold, dry winters (Halford 1995p). The average annual rainfall in the region ranges from 607–676 mm. December, January and February are the wettest months of the year, receiving about 40% of the annual rainfall, and August and September are the driest (Halford 1995p). Thunderstorms are prevalent throughout late spring and summer; evaporation rates are high during summer (Halford 1995p).

The closest weather station to P. sporadica is Dalby (Halford 1995p). The average maximum temperature for summer is 31.4 °C and the average minimum is 18.4 °C (Halford 1995p). The average maximum temperature for winter is 19.5 °C with an average minimum of 5.2 °C (Halford 1995p).

Vegetation

Vegetation associated with P. sporadica has been described as open shrubland to closed shrubland to closed woodland (HLA-Envirosciences Pty Ltd 2005). Native flora identified in association with P. sporadica, according to Kanowski (2005) and Halford (1995p), include:

Trees: Stringybark Sheoak (Allocasuarina inophloia), Apple (Angophora leiocarpa), Black Cypress (Callistris endlicheri), White Cypress (Callistris glaucophylla), Narrow-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra), Yellow Jacket (Corymbia watsoniana), Queensland Peppermint (Eucalyptus exserta), Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa), Blue-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa subsp. nubila) and Tom Russell Mahogany (Lysicarpus angustifolius).

Shrubs: Burrow's Wattle (Acacia burrowii), Crowded-leaf Wattle (A. conferta), A. crassa, A. debilis, A. loroloba, Umbrella Wattle (A. oswaldii), A. semilunata, Babingtonia jucunda, Daviesa spp., Hop Bush (Dodonaea triangularis) and Sticky Hop Bush (Dodonaea viscosa).

Grasses: Three awn (Aristilda spp.), Wire Grass (Cleistochloa subjuncea), Barbwire Grass (Cymbopogon refractus), Sword Grass (Gahnia sieberiana) and Lomandra (Lomandra longifolia).

Other species: Galavanised Burr (Bassia birchii), Bipinnate Boronia (Boronia bipinnate), Cryptandra armata, Queensland Black Orchid (Cymbidium canaliculatum), Homalocalyx polyandrus and Grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea johnsonii).

Philotheca sporadica is a perennial shrub (Halford 1995p). The longevity of individual plants is unknown. It is estimated that individual shrubs can live for 20 years (Halford 1995p).

Flowering has been recorded from August to October. Mature fruits have been observed in late November (Halford 1995p). Flower petals are white and open during the day and nectar is produced from glands at the base of the ovary. Pollinators are unknown (Halford 1995p). Flowers are borne in clusters at the ends of branchlets. These flowers have an ovary comprised of five carpels each with two ovules, usually only one seed develops per carpel. Seeds are sub-reniform, about 3 mm long and are forcibly ejected from the mature fruit (Halford 1995p). Dry conditions may reduce the viability of seeds (Halford 1995p).

Although little is known of the germination and viability of P. sporadica seeds, other Philotheca are difficult to germinate but do respond positively to smoke water treatement (ANPSA 2009) and seed coat scouring (Halford 1995p): some related species have been propogated from cuttings (Halford 1995p). No seedlings had been observed at a recently burnt site and a stable number of individuals had been maintained at a site where fire was excluded for approximately 60 years (Halford 1995p).

Philotheca sporadica can be confused with P. difformis but can be distinguished by the lack of hairs on the outer petal surface, its pattern of bark development and its club-shaped leaves (Halford 1995p).

Habitat loss

Philotheca sporadica is threatened by loss of habitat. There is no quantitative data to indicate a declining population, however, one collection site could not be re-located and there is anecdotal evidence of population size reduction at seven sites due to habitat loss caused by road works, public utility infrastructure (gas pipeline and electricity line) or quarrying. The lack of secure land tenure was identified as a threat to the long-term viability of this species (Halford 1995p).

Road works

In the past, sites have been used as dumps for road gravel and the Beelbee Road site has been used as a source of ironstone gravel (Halford 1995p). Populations on roadsides are at risk from general road maintenance and inappropriate use of sites (Halford 1995p).

State forests

Populations within state forests face habitat disturbance due to forestry practices and recreational use (such as cross-country motorcycle riding) (Halford 1995p).

Weeds

The Warra Road site was the only site known to have introduced weeds. There were a few Mother of Millions (Bryophyllum sp.) plants growing along the verge (Halford 1995p). This is an invasive species which multiplies rapidly and could cause problems in the future.

Grazing

During a conservation project in the Darling Downs region, evidence of chewing on trunks of P. sporadica by Swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) was reported (Kanowski 2005).

Seven of the populations extend onto freehold land which has been grazed intermittently (Halford 1995p). There is no evidence to indicate that P. sporadica is intolerant to grazing by domestic animals. It has been observed to persist in areas where sheep have grazed for many years. However, at one site a population is restricted to a road verge and there is a distinct vegetation boundary along the fence with very little ground cover in the grazed paddock. It is suggested that grazing by domestic animals may have excluded the species from the paddock (Halford 1995p).

Fire

There is no quantitative data on the response of adult P. sporadica to fire. Following fire, Halford (1995p) observed plants that had sprouted from the stem base, however, no seedlings were observed in burnt areas. This species has been able to maintain a stable number of individuals at a site where fire had been excluded for 60 years (Halford 1995p).

Powerlink Queensland, in association with Brigalow Jimbour Floodplain Group, obtained a permit to collect seed and vegetative material of Philotheca sporadica to conduct research and propagation trials for future projects (Kanowski 2005). The permit allows the collection of 100 seeds and up to 1 kg of cuttings for propagation (Kanowski 2005).

Major studies have been published by Bayly (1994), Halford (1995p) and Wilson (1970, 1998a).

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 Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat disturbance due to foresty activities Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Bryophyllum tubiflorum (Mother-of-millions) Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Protected status:Protected status:Lack of secure conservation land tenure Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Habitat modification due to construction and maintenance of gas pipeline easement Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Powerline easement maintenance and construction; mortality due to collision with powerlines Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006rd) [Internet].

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) (ANPSA) (2009). Propogation from Seed. [Online]. Available from: http://asgap.org.au/seed.html.

Bayly, M. (1994). Variation within Eriostemon angustifolius (Rutaceae) and the recognition of a new species E. sporadicus. Australian Systematic Botany. 7:275-280.

Dawson, N.M. (1972). Land inventory and technical guide: Miles area, Queensland. Part 1. Land classification and land use. Division of Land Utilisation, Technical Bulletin. 5. Brisbane, Queensland: Department of Primary Industries.

Halford, D. (1995p). Eriostemon sporadicus Bayley (Rutaceae) A Conservation Statement. A report submitted to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency Endangered Species Program Project No. 482. Canberra: Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

HLA-Envirosciences Pty Limited (2005). Ecological Assessment report Braemar Peaking Plant Site Near Dalby. Brisbane: HLA-Envirosciences Pty Limited.

Kanowski, D. (2005). Philotheca sporadica - A Conservation Project. Urimbirra. 10:4-5.

Powerlink Queensland (2005). Kogan Creek Power Station Braemar 275 kv Transmission Line, Environmental Impact Statement Review. Quensland: Environmental Resources Management Australia.

Wilson, P.G. (1970). A Taxonomic Revision of the genera Crowea, Eriostemon and Phebalium (Rutaceae). Nuytsia. 1:1-155.

Wilson, P.G. (1998a). A taxonomic review of the genera Eriostemon and Philotheca (Rutaceae: Boronieae). Nuytsia. 12(2):239-265.

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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). Philotheca sporadica in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 1 Aug 2014 16:33:33 +1000.