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 as Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides) (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2012m) [Recovery Plan] as Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides.
 
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 Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
ACT:Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides): Action Plan No. 8 (ACT Government, 1998g) [State Action Plan].
ACT:A Vision Splendid of the Grassy Plains Extended: ACT Lowland Native Grassland Conservation Strategy (ACT Government, 2005a) [State Action Plan].
ACT:Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides): An endangered species (Environment ACT, 2006a) [Information Sheet].
NSW:NSW threatened species - Button Wrinklewort - profile (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2005ae) [Internet].
VIC:Flora & Fauna Action Statement #28 - Button Wrinklewort - Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Humphries, R.K. & A. Webster, 2003) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
ACT: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1980 (Australian Capital Territory): 2013 list) as Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list) as Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides
Scientific name Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides [7384]
Family Asteraceae:Asterales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author F.Muell.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 5 (Feb. 1866) 148.
Other names Rutidosis leptorhynchoides [67251]
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
http://www.anbg.gov.au/people/young1.html

Scientific name: Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides

Common name: Button Wrinklewort

The Button Wrinklewort is a perennial, multi-stemmed semi-shrub, with upright, linear, lanceolate basal leaves and leafy ascending flower stems to 35 cm tall. Basal leaves are to 3.5 cm long and 1.5 mm wide. Flower heads occur in summer and are terminal in the upper branches with a cup of broad, overlapping, smooth bracts with light papery edges. Florets are orange-yellow, tubular and bisexual (NSW DECC 2005ae; Humphries & Webster 2003).

The Button Wrinklewort occurs in three geographically disjunct areas in south-east Australia (Morgan 1997; Scarlett & Parsons 1990): the Southern Tablelands of NSW and ACT, the Gippsland Plains in eastern Victoria and the volcanic plains of western Victoria (Morgan 1999).

There are approximately eight sites in the ACT and eight NSW, with populations occurring at Michelago, Queanbeyan, Canberra and Goulburn (Briggs et al. 1998; NSW DECC 2005ae). In Victoria, at least 18 locations have been recorded, seven of which are now extinct. Locations include the western suburbs of Melbourne, Lara, Bannockburn, Rokewood, Wickliffe and between Beaufort and Ararat (Humphries & Webster 2003).

Although it is unlikely that the species was previously common, herbarium records indicate a marked reduction in both the number and size of its populations since 1874, as well as some contraction of its geographic range (Young et al. 1999). This species was previously widespread across the grasslands and grassy woodlands south of the Great Dividing Range, Victoria, and south-east NSW (Humphries & Webster 2003). The most western record occurred at Casterton near the South Australia-Victoria border (Humphries & Webster 2003).

In the mid-1990s, the Button Wrinklewort had an estimated 231 200 plants (based on counts in 1994–98) Of the total population, approximately 50% occur in NSW, 46% occur in the ACT and 4% in Victoria (Briggs et al. 1998). Subpopulation sizes range from 5 to 100 000 flowering plants, with most containing fewer than 200 individuals (Environment ACT 2006a; Young et al. 1999). There are estimated to be 2000+ plants in Victoria (Humphries & Webster 2003).

Known, large populations include (Briggs et al. 1998; GAGIN 2006; Young et al. 1999):

  • Queanbeyan Nature Reserve (NSW), 10 000 plants
  • The Poplars (NSW), 8000 plants
  • Gundaring Travelling Stock Reserve (NSW), 95 000 plants
  • Stirling Ridge (ACT), 70 000 plant
  • Majura Field Firing Range (ACT), 27 000 plants
  • Truganina Cemetery (Victoria), 600 plants
  • Dobies Bridge (Victoria), 2600 plants
  • Rokewood Cemetery (Victoria), 5400 plants.

In the mid-1990s, 96% of the total known population occurred on publicly owned and managed land, with about 41% occurring on Commonwealth owned land and over 55% on State or Territory government administered land (Briggs et al. 1998). In the ACT, the populations on Red Hill and Stirling Ridge occur within the Canberra Nature Park (Briggs et al. 1998). In NSW, populations occur in Queanbeyan Nature Reserve and Gundaring Travelling Stock Reserve. In Victoria, the species is not known to occur naturally in any formal conservation reserve (Humphries & Webster 2003), although there have been some plantings in grassland reserves. Six of the Victorian sites occur on railway easements, two are on publicly owned cemeteries and one is on a road verge (Briggs et al. 1998).

In the ACT and NSW, Button Wrinklewort occurs in box-gum woodland, secondary grassland derived from box-gum woodland or in natural temperate grassland; and often in the ecotone between the two communities (NSW DECC 2005ae). In the ACT and NSW, topography is undulating, 570–780 m above sea level and soils are red-brown clays to clay loams, shallow and stony (NSW DECC 2005ae; Humphries & Webster 2003). In Victoria, populations occur in grasslands on fertile volcanic plains at altitudes of 10–80 m above sea level (Briggs et al. 1998; Humphries & Webster 2003). It is unclear why the altitudinal difference is so great between ACT/NSW and Victoria.

Button Wrinklewort is often more common at sites with recently disturbed substrate or where grass cover is more sparse. Grass cover is more open in areas where soils are less fertile and conditions more harsh, such as the top of ridges. Fire regimes also affect grass cover, and where fire frequency is low, grass cover can be thicker which reduces the likelihood of sites having Button Wrinklewort. An intermittent fire frequency is most appropriate, maintaining floristic diversity and stimulating recruitment events (Humphries & Webster 2003).

The Button Wrinklewort tends to occupy areas where there is less competition from other plants and less shading from woodland trees (Briggs et al. 1998). It grows best where the grass and herb cover is relatively low, these sites usually occur on low rises with shallow soil and low moisture status (Leigh et al. 1984). Associated eucalypts at NSW and ACT sites include Blakely's Red Gum (Eucalyptus blakelyi), Long-leaved Box (E. goniocalyx), Yellow Box (E. melliodora), Red Box (E. polyanthemos) and Apple Box (E. bridgesiana). Many sites are associated with Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) (Briggs et al. 1998).


The Button Wrinklewort is likely to occur in association with the 'Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains' (Critically Endangered), the 'Natural Temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the ACT' (Endangered) and the 'White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland' (Critically Endangered), which are ecological communities listed under the EPBC Act.

The Button Wrinklewort has an unknown longevity but probably lives for 10–15 years (Morgan 1999). This species prefers areas where there is less competition from other plants (either due to shallow soils or the shading effect of woodland trees) (NSW DECC 2005ae). This species also has the ability to colonise disturbed areas (e.g. vehicle tracks, bulldozer scrapings, following fire and areas of soil erosion) (NSW DECC 2005ae).

Button Wrinklewort plants have regenerative buds at the surface of the soil but not below, so plants do not have the ability to resprout from underground structures. The stems usually die back in late summer or autumn and new basal leaves are evident by early winter (NSW DECC 2005ae). In 2012, one study showed there was no short-term impact of fire on Button Wrinklewort abundance, although fire did impact the extent of bare ground, weed cover and native grass cover, which may indirectly benefit the species (Ross & Macris 2012).


Reproduction

The Button Wrinklewort flowers in October–March, peaking in November–December (Morgan 1999; NSW DECC 2005ae). Flowering does not occur until the second year (Briggs et al. 1998). The species does not self-pollinate (Morgan 1999). Scarab beetles, flies and moths visit flowers and seed set (by pollinators) may be limited where populations are sparse or large (Morgan 1995a).

Seed is dispersed close to the parent plant (Morgan 1995a) and appears to remain viable for at least 12 years (Scarlett & Parsons 1990). Small populations (< 30 plants) produce significantly fewer seeds per head than large populations (500+ plants), however seed germinability does not appear to differ with population size (Morgan 1999). Recruitment may be limited in sites with cold microclimates or by deep shading in dense, unburnt grasslands (Morgan 1995b).

The reproductive potential of small populations is limited by inbreeding and inbreeding depression. Research using genetic markers to characterise the mating patterns of Button Wrinklewort shows evidence of increased potential for inbreeding in populations of less than 200 plants, especially when these are isolated by more than 5 km from other populations (NSW DECC 2005ae).

The major threats to Button Wrinklewort have been identified as habitat loss due to urban development, infrastructure and agricultural expansion; competition with weeds; reduced fire frequency and lack of disturbance; fire protection activity; intensive and/or persistent grazing; the application of superphosphate; mowing and ploughing; and stochastic events causing localised extinction (Briggs et al. 1998; Leigh et al. 1984; NSW DECC 2005ae).

Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands have been highly degraded. It is estimated that 95% of Victoria's native lowland grasslands have been substantially altered since European settlement (Humphries & Webster 2003). Alterations include clearing, fertilisation, introduced pasture species and the introduction of persistent grazing regimes.

This species is palatable to stock (Humphries & Webster 2003). Grazing has been identified as a threatening process, with isolated populations occurring on non-grazed roadsides, rail reserves and other non-grazed or lightly grazed sites (NSW DECC 2005ae). Intensification of grazing is a particular threat and intensive grazing at adjacent sites limits the expansion or establishment of further populations (NSW DECC 2005ae). At sites where grazing has ceased, significant recruitment has been observed (Humphries & Webster 2003).

Threatening weeds include grasses: Phalaris spp., Paspalum spp., Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), African Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), Chilean Needlegrass (Nassella neesiana) and Serrated Tussock (N. trichotoma), and some woody weeds: Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa) and Firethorn (Pyracantha crenulata) (Briggs et al. 1998; Leigh et al. 1984). Weed invasion reduces inter-tussock spaces, thus limiting recruitment potential (NSW DECC 2005ae). Reduced fire frequency allows for native and exotic grasses to dominate a site, thus limiting Button Wrinklewort recruitment (NSW DECC 2005ae).

As this species occurs on road and rail reserves, there are potential adverse impacts from infrastructure maintenance (NSW DECC 2005ae).

Inappropriate fire regimes threaten the Button Wrinklewort as infrequent fire limits the ability for recruitment events and too frequent fire may deplete the soil seed bank and lead to localised extinction (Humphries & Webster 2003).

Based on genetic analysis, Young and colleagues (1999) recommend that the greatest genetic diversity can be preserved by protecting the five largest populations. Representative populations from outlying locations may also be valuable to the maintenance of genetic diversity. Large populations include (Briggs et al. 1998; Young et al. 1999):

  • Queanbeyan Nature Reserve (NSW)
  • The Poplars (NSW)
  • Gundaring Travelling Stock Reserve (NSW)
  • Stirling Ridge (ACT)
  • Majura Field Firing Range (ACT)
  • Truganina Cemetery (Victoria)
  • Dobies Bridge (Victoria)
  • Rokewood Cemetery (Victoria).

Recovery actions identified by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (2005ae) and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (Humphries & Webster 2003) include:

  • Protect known sites from land use change and secure suitable grassland habitat.
  • Protect and enhance wild and reestablished populations.
  • Do not undertake road works, pasture modifications or other changes to land use that may affect populations.
  • Limit grazing or, if necessary, lightly graze known sites after the peak flowering period.
  • Limit the intensification of grazing at known sites.
  • Undertake weed control at known and adjacent sites.
  • Undertake burning trails and implement appropriate fire regimes.
  • Incorporate population locations into maps used for planning (e.g. road works, residential and infrastructure developments, remnant protection and rehabilitation).
  • Search for new sites in potential habitat.
  • Maintain genetic variation by collecting and propagating seed from known populations and future reintroductions.
  • Implement site specific threat abatement identified by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (2005ae).

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 Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Eragrostis curvula (African Lovegrass, Weeping Lovegrass, Weeping Love Grass, Boer Lovegrass, Weeping Grass) Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Phalaris aquatica (Phalaris) Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Rosa rubiginosa (Sweet Briar, Briar Rose, Sweet Briar Rose, Eglantine) Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Nassella trichotoma (Serrated Tussock, Yass River Tussock, Yass Tussock, Nassella Tussock (NZ)) Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Paspalum dilatatum (Paspalum) Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Nassella neesiana (Chilean Needle grass) Weeds of National Significance Chilean Needle-grass (Nassella neesiana) Strategic Plan (Agriculture & Resources Management Council of Australia & New Zealand, Australian & New Zealand Environment & Conservation Council and Forestry Ministers, 2001i) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
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 Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Pollution:Pollution:Habitat degradation and loss of water quality due to salinity, siltaton, nutrification and/or pollution Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006xa) [Internet].

Briggs, J.D., V.T. Corrigan & W.J.S. Smith (1998). Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Button Wrinklewort) revised national recovery plan, 3rd ed. NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Environment ACT (2006a). Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides): An endangered species. [Online]. Threatened species and communities of the ACT. Canberra, ACT: Arts, Heritage and Environment. Available from: http://www.environment.act.gov.au/cpr/conservation_and_ecological_communities/information_on_action_plans.

Greybox and Grasslands Indigenous Nursery & Ecological Consulting (GAGIN) (2006). Truganina Cemetery VROT Species Monitoring & Census, Year 1 - Setup & Initial Count.

Humphries, R.K. & A. Webster (2003). Flora & Fauna Action Statement #28 - Button Wrinklewort - Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides. [Online]. Melbourne, Victoria: Department of Sustainability and Environment. Available from: http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/plants-and-animals/flora-and-fauna-guarantee-act-action-statements-index-of-approved-action-statements.

Leigh, J., R. Boden & J. Briggs (1984). Extinct and Endangered Plants of Australia. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

Morgan, J.W. (1995a). Ecological studies of the endangered Rutidosis leptorrynchoides. I. Seed production, soil seed bank dynamics, population density and their effect on recruitment. Australian Journal of Botany. 43.

Morgan, J.W. (1995b). Ecological studies of the endangered Rutidosis leptorrynchoides. II. Patterns of seedling emergence and survival in a native grassland. Australian Journal of Botany. 43:13-24.

Morgan, J.W. (1997). The effect of grassland gap size on the establishment, growth and flowering of the endangered Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae). Journal of Applied Ecology. 34:566-576.

Morgan, J.W. (1999). Effects of population size on seed production and germinability in an endangered, fragmented grassland plant. Conservation Biology. 13(2):266-273.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2005ae). NSW threatened species - Button Wrinklewort - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10739.

Ross, C. & A. Macris (2012). Monitoring the effects of fire on the Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides). Australasian Plant Conservation. 20(4).

Scarlett, N.H. & R.F. Parsons (1990). Conservation biology of the southern Australian daisy Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides. Clark, T.W. & J.H. Seebeck, eds. Management and Conservation of Small Populations. Page(s) 195-205. Chicago, United States of America: Chicago Zoological Society.

Young, A.G., A.H.D. Brown & F.A. Zich (1999). Genetic structure of fragmented populations of the endangered daisy Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides. Conservation Biology. 13:256-265.

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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). Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:27:37 +1000.