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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Bulbophyllum globuliforme (Miniature Moss-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008jh) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Bulbophyllum globuliforme (Miniature Moss-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012ai) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
 
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
NSW:Hoop Pine Orchid - profile (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2012o) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
QLD: Listed as Rare (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): Near Threatened species: May 2014 list )
Scientific name Bulbophyllum globuliforme [6649]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Nicholls
Infraspecies author  
Reference Orchidologia Zeylanica 5 (Sep. 1838) 124, fig. 1.
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.anos.org.au/ne_nsw_species/2140060.htm

The Miniature Moss-orchid is a tiny, rhizomatous orchid that grows on the bark of trees. It produces green, globular, bulb-like stems that are 1–2 mm in diameter. Leaves are narrow-triangular, 1–2 mm long, 0.2–0.3 mm wide, papery and concave. The inflorescence is 1–1.5 cm long, bearing one flower. The sepals and petals are white to pale yellow (Weston & Hill 1993).

The Miniature Moss-orchid is endemic to eastern Australia. The species is recorded from near Paluma, north-east Queensland and south to the McPherson Range on the Queensland/New South Wales border (Queensland Herbarium 2009; Weston & Hill 1993).

This species is known from four locations, including Puzzle Creek near Paluma (north-east Queensland), Kroombit Tops near Calliope (Central Queensland), Cainbable Creek in Lamington National Park (south-east Queensland) and Levers Plateau (north-east New South Wales) (Jones & Clements 2001; Queensland Herbarium 2009).

The Miniature Moss-orchid may also occur at Maleny, in the Noosa area (in Noosa National Park) (NSW OEH 2012o), and Bunya Mountains in south-east Queensland, though these sites are not vouchered (Briggs & Leigh 1996; Jones 1988; Stanley & Ross 1989).

Three populations occur in National Parks, including Kroombit Tops National Park in Queensland, Lamington National Park, Queensland and Levers Plateau in Borders Range National Park in News South Wales.

The Miniature Moss-orchid grows in mats made up of tiny bulbs (leaves) on the wrinkled bark of Hoop Pines (Araucaria cunninghamii). This unusual growth habit makes it extremely difficult to estimate the number of individuals present as each discrete mat may be one plant or many individuals (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

The Miniature Moss-orchid is a host-specific species, only growing on the Hoop Pine, where it colonises the upper branches of mature trees (Jones 2006). The Hoop Pine occurs in upland (usually 100-900 m above sea level) (Jones 2006) subtropical rainforest communities that have a discontinuous distribution along the Australian east coast (NSW OEH 2012o).

The generation length of the Miniature Moss-orchid is unknown. However, as the plant forms colonies by rhizome growth, each clump may be very long lived.

Flowering occurs in May to November (Nicholls 1969; Weston & Hill 1993). Pollination mechanisms are unknown. Apart from fragmentation of individual plants, no other vegetative reproduction is known.

The Miniature Moss-orchid is similar to the Squat Moss (Bulbophyllum minutissimum), but can be distinguished by its globular pseudobulbs (versus flat, sheild-like pseudobulbs for the Squat Moss), and smaller, cream flowers with a glandular ovary (versus larger-reddish coloured flowers with hairy ovary for the Squat Moss) (Jones 1988). The Squat Moss grows on rock faces or trees such as figs and mangrove species (Barker 1999).

This is a difficult species to survey. The Miniature Moss-orchid is a cryptic species, only occupying the upper branches of Hoop Pine trees and is often only detected on fallen branches. However, even on fallen branches it can be easily overlooked because of its small size and/or mistaken for moss or lichen (NSW OEH 2012o; Queensland Herbarium 2009). This orchid appears to favour the underside of tree limbs (Barker 1999).

It is suspected that Hoop Pines need to be at least 100 years old before they are suitable as habitat for this orchid (Barker 1999).

There are a number threats to the Miniature Moss-orchid including:

  • Destruction of habitat by clearing of Hoop Pine host-trees
  • Disturbance of habitat by timber harvesting and road works
  • Inappropriate fire regimes
  • Disturbance of habitat by weeds
  • Damage and collection by orchid enthusiasts (Barker 1999; NSW OEH 2012o).

Nine priority actions have been identfied for the protection and recovery of the Miniature Moss-orchid (NSW OEH 2012o):

  • Survey sites to confirm records and ensure Atlas grid references are accurate.
  • Assess sites for population condition, habitat quality and threats.
  • Ensure that managers are aware of populations, habitat and threats and that Plans of Management, fire plans and pest management plans take account of requirements for the recovery of the orchid.
  • Ensure an appropriate level of confidentiality is applied to information about locations of the orchid to guard against illegal collection.
  • Avoid damage to, including logging of Hoop Pines within the habitat and range of the orchid.
  • Develop and implement site plans where they do not already exist.
  • Investigate and apply methods for estimating populations, for example, by extrapolating from observations of easily observed plants on fallen trees.
  • Ensure the orchid is considered in other relevant statutory plans throughout the distribution of the orchid.
  • Map Hoop Pine distribution within the altitudinal and geographical range of the orchid.

The following protective measures have been recommended for the Miniature Moss-orchid for operations conducted under the Forestry Act 1959 (Queensland).

  • Where this species occurs, establish a protective buffer that excludes clearing and harvesting of mature Hoop Pine. Minimum area to be 2500 m² (0.25 ha) with all Miniature Moss-orchid at least 20 m inside the protective buffer.
  • In native forest timber harvesting operations for Hoop Pine, all mature Hoop Pine should be surveyed for Miniature Moss-orchid before harvesting.
  • Determine if fire encroaches upon this species' habitat. If fire is a threat then protect the populations from fire. If periodic hazard reduction burning from the rainforest edge into more fire prone vegetation is undertaken, ensure that this process does not increase weed, especially Lantana (Lantana Camara), infestations.
  • Control or eradicate weeds on sites whether the Miniature Moss-orchid occurs (Barker 1999).

Existing plans that are relevant to the Miniature Moss-orchid include:

  • Parks and Reserves of the Tweed Caldera Management Plan (NSW NPWS 2004a)
  • Noosa National Park Management Plan (QLD PWS 1999).

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
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Illegal collection Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Bulbophyllum globuliforme (Miniature Moss-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008jh) [Conservation Advice].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Bulbophyllum globuliforme (Miniature Moss-orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008jh) [Conservation Advice].
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].
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 by weeds 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 and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species 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 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:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Habitat dieback associated with bell miners Manorina melanophrys (Bell Miner) Border Ranges Rainforest Biodiversity Management Plan - NSW & Queensland (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010n) [State Recovery Plan].

Barker, M. (1999). Bulbophyllum globuliforme. Species Management Profile, Species Managment Manual. Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.

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

Harden, G.J. (ed) (1993). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Four. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Jones, D.L. (1988). Native Orchids of Australia. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Reed.

Jones, D.L. & Clements, M.A. (2001). Oncophyllum, a new genus of Orchidaceae from Australia. The Orchadian. 13 (9):421-424.

Nicholls, W.H. (1969). Orchids of Australia. Melbourne, Nelson.

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) (2012o). Hoop Pine Orchid - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10112.

Queensland Herbarium (2009). Specimen label information.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QLD PWS) (1999). Noosa National Park Management Plan. [Online]. Brisbane, Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Available from: http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/managing/plans-strategies/pdf/noosa-national-park-1999.pdf.

Stanley, T.D. & E.M.Ross (1989). Flora of south-eastern Queensland. Volume Three. Brisbane: Qld Department of Primary Industries.

Weston, P.H. & K.D. Hill (1993). Bulbophyllum. In: Harden, G.J., ed. Flora of New South Wales, Volume Four . 4. Kensington, New South Wales: University of NSW Press.

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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). Bulbophyllum globuliforme in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:00:19 +1000.