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 Tecticornia flabelliformis
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National recovery plan for the Bead Glasswort (Tecticornia flabelliformis) (Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE), 2010k) [Recovery Plan] as Tecticornia flabelliformis.
 
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 Halosarcia flabelliformis.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (72) (15/12/2008) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008k) [Legislative Instrument] as Tecticornia flabelliformis.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
SA:Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012 (Pobke, K., 2007) [State Recovery Plan].
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 95-Bead Glasswort Halosarcia flabelliformis (Venn, D.R., 2004) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Vulnerable (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Halosarcia flabelliformis
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list) as Halosarcia flabelliformis
Non-statutory Listing Status
WA: Listed as P1 (Priority Flora and Priority Fauna List (Western Australia): April 2014 list)
Scientific name Tecticornia flabelliformis [82664]
Family Chenopodiaceae:Caryophyllales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (Paul G.Wilson) K.A.Sheph. & Paul G.Wilson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Shepherd, K.A. & Wilson, Paul G. (2007) Australian Systematic Botany 20(4): 326
Other names Halosarcia flabelliformis [3200]
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://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/31834

Scientific name: Tecticornia flabelliformis

Common name: Bead Glasswort

Other names: Fan Samphire

Conventionally accepted as Tecticornia flabelliformis (CHAH 2010). The species was formerly known as Halosarcia flabelliformis (CHAH 2010).

The Bead Glasswort is a small, compact, succulent shrub growing to 30 cm in height and 40 cm in diameter, with ascending branches, (Carter 2010e; Scarlett & Parsons 1993; Wilson 1984). The articles (i.e. segments of jointed stems) of uppermost branches are narrowly egg-shaped to barrel-shaped, 5–10 mm long and 2.5 mm wide, dull or glossy in colour, with blunt lobes that can be almost truncated (shortened or cut off). Margins are entire or minutely and irregularly toothed. Flowers are at the end of branches, and consist of a terminal spike to 5 cm long with opposite bracts free from each other. The margins of bracts are entire or crenulate (tiny notches). The flowers are minute, whitish or pale brown and truncate at the apex so that the flowers seem reduced to stamens or styles protruding from succulent bracts. Seeds are broadly elliptic to squarish, 1.2–1.8 mm long, and fall enclosed in the perianth (outer part of flower). Seeds are mid-brown in colour, generally smooth, with several rows of minute tubercules around the margins (Carter 2010e).

The Bead Glasswort is widespread but scattered in saltmarsh vegetation across southern mainland Australia; the species is recorded in Western Australia in the Coolgardie IBRA bioregion, South Australia in the Flinders Lofty Block and Murray Darling Depression bioregions and Victoria in the Murray Darling Depression bioregion (Carter 2010e; SA DEH 2008e).

In Western Australia, all populations are known from near Kalgoorlie. In South Australia, about 20 sites have been recorded from near Meningie in the south-east to Ceduna in the west. In Victoria, four sites are known: one in the north-west and three near Natimuk in the west (Carter 2010e).

Across the Bead Glasswort's range, approximately 30 populations are known. Total abundance across all known populations may be more than 10 000 plants (SA DEH 2008e). The following table presents population data, where available (Carter 2010e):

State Site Last record  Notes
Western Australia   Widgiemooltha, Unallocated Crown Land 1997 reported as 'locally common'
Lake Baladjie Nature Reserve 1994  
Lake Yindarlgooda, Unallocated Crown Land 1993 reported as 'occasional'
South Australia                   Fowlers Bay Conservation Park 2005  
Sceale Bay Conservation Park 2005  
Snow Lake 2004  
Arno Bay 2003 recorded as locally common, often monospecific within small areas up to 0.5 ha
Venus Bay area 2002  
Lower Light 2001  
Middle Beach 2001  
Port Parham 2001  
Port Prime 2001  
St Kilda 2001  
Thompson's Beach 2001  
Webb Beach 2001  
Salt lake system south of Streaky Bay, near Brine Spring Well 2000  
Innes National Park 1998 three sites
Acraman Creek Conservation Park 1996   
Point Jarrold Flora and Fauna Research Reserve 1993   
Garden Island, Adelaide 1981  
17 km north-east from Meningie, private land 1980  
Flinders Island early 1900s  
Victoria    Murray-Sunset National Park (Raak Plain) 1999 approximately 1000 plants across 6–8 ha in 1981; approximately 100 plants in 1999
Grass Flat Swamp Flora and Fauna Reserve   population 'small, scattered'
Olivers Lake Flora and Fauna Reserve   >2000 plants along 0.5 km of shoreline
Mitre Lake Flora and Fauna Reserve   >4000 plants along 2.5 km of shoreline

Bead Glasswort plants generally occur on the margins of salt lakes, saline flats, evaporation pans and coastal salt marshes over gypsum deposits (SA DEH 2008e; Scarlett & Parsons 1993). It is also reported from directly behind coastal dunes (Coleman & Cook 2009). Habitat preferences of the Bead Glasswort include occurrence on periodically (but not regularly) inundated depressions, with a preference for soils with high clay content rather than peaty or sandy/shell soils. The species also prefers sites with higher pH, and has a strong tolerance of chlorides and water logging (Coleman & Cook 2009). Bead Glasswort is often recorded at ground levels lower than surrounding species, in areas that may be subject to longer inundation periods (Browne 1982).

Bead Glasswort commonly forms monospecific low shrublands or grows in mixed stands with other Samphires species such as Shining Glasswort (Tecticornia nitida), Black-seeded Samphire (T. pergranulata) and Fused Glasswort (T. syncarpa). Other species known from populations or close by include Sclerostegia spp., Sarcocornia spp. and Marsh Saltbush (Atriplex paludosa) (SA DEH 2008e). Two other rare plants, Tricanthodium barracchianum and Small Nut-heads (Haegiela tatei), also occur in these Samphire communities in north-west Victorian sites (Scarlett & Parsons 1993).

Bead Glasswort flowers from January to May (Wilson 1986). There is some evidence that the species enters a dormant period over winter, shedding seed and succulent foliage. New shoots grow from late spring to early summer (IFFA 2010). Populations have exhibited multi-age structures, and active recruitment has been observed (SA DEH 2008e).

Species of Tecticornia are extremely difficult to distinguish in the field without fruiting material to separate them. Individuals of Tecticornia species can vary greatly in size, shape and colour, and the most consistent distinguishing feature are seeds. Within the habitat of the Bead Glasswort, approximately ten species of Tecticornia occur, with numerous species coexisting with the Bead Glasswort at some populations. However the known habitat preference for Bead Glasswort for lower lying depressions, as well as the flowering and fruiting periods for the species, may assist in distinguishing this species in the field (Carter 2010e; IFFA 2010).

Weed invasion

Introduced weeds including Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), Saffron Thistle (Carhamus lanatus) and Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) threaten some Victorian populations of Bead Glasswort (Carter 2010e).

Mining

Salt and gypsum mining have lead to the destruction of Bead Glasswort plants, habitat and potential habitat in Victoria and may be a threat in South Australia (Carter 2010e).

Altered hydrology

Whilst Bead Glasswort is tolerant of seasonal inundation, rising water tables could lead to excessive and prolonged flooding that may be a threat to populations, especially given the apparent narrow ecotonal band occupied by the species. Sea level rise associated with climate change may also pose a threat. Similarly, draining sites or prolonged drought may dry out sites, threatening the species. Water harvesting occurs near some sites in South Australia and may lead to drying of sites. Mining operations have built levee banks to built to divert water away from gypsum deposits thus flooding other areas that would have drained naturally, impacting Bead Glasswort. The use of some salt pans to store water may also lead to destruction of plants due to excessive inundation (Carter 2010e).

Grazing

Victorian (and some South Australian) sites have been historically heavily grazed by sheep for extended periods, although this has now largely ceased. Many sites remain close to farms and are therefore potentially threatened by wandering livestock. Grazing by the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and hares (Lepus spp.) may also threaten some populations (Carter 2010e).

Disturbance

Many sites where the Bead Glasswort grows are accessible by vehicles, and Samphire shrublands are particularly susceptible to physical damage from vehicle movement, especially during wet conditions. Vehicle movement has damaged stands in Victoria and at Fowlers Bay in South Australia. Other sites have been damaged by, or are susceptible to, rubbish dumping or other disturbance that can cause significant damage to vegetation and lead to erosion, often as the areas are perceived as having little environmental value. Coastal development (residential, military use and marinas) and trampling by stock or people are other forms of disturbance that may threaten populations of Bead Glasswort (Carter 2010e).

The draft national recovery plan (Carter 2010e) for the Bead Glasswort identifies the following recovery objectives for the species:

  • determine taxonomy, distribution, abundance and population structure
  • determine habitat requirements
  • ensure that key populations and their habitat are protected and managed
  • manage threats to populations
  • identify key biological functions
  • determine growth rates and viability of populations
  • establish a seedbank
  • build community support for conservation.

Several recovery actions have already been undertaken for the Bead Glasswort including (Carter 2010e):

  • Having the species included in the recovery plan for 25 threatened plant taxa on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
  • Fencing of saltmarsh containing Bead Glasswort and cancellation of grazing and salt extraction licenses for sites at Mitre Lake and Olivers Lake, Victoria.
  • Reservation of Mitre Lake and Olivers Lake, Victoria along with Sceale Bay, Acraman Creek and Fowlers Bay in South Australia for conservation purposes.
  • Protection of the private land portion of the Grass Flat Swamp site in Victoria by a conservation covenant through the Trust for Nature (Victoria).

Management documents relevant to the Bead Glasswort can be found at the start of the profile. The species is also included in the Recovery Plan for 23 Threatened Flora Taxa on Eyre Peninsula 2007–2012 (SA DEH 2007a) and the Regional Recovery Plan for threatened species and ecological communities of Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia 2009–2014 (SA DEH 2008e).

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 Halosarcia flabelliformis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lh) [Internet].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
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 Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Sea level rise:Inundation associated with climate change Inundation study (Environmental Resources Information Network, 2007) [Database].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Halosarcia flabelliformis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lh) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Halosarcia flabelliformis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lh) [Internet].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Salinity Halosarcia flabelliformis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lh) [Internet].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Transportation and Service Corridors:Road and rail maintenance works Halosarcia flabelliformis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lh) [Internet].

Browne, J.H. (1982). Notes on Inland Sampires of Victoria. The Victorian Naturalist. 99:186.

Carter, O. (2010e). Draft for Public Comment - National Recovery Plan for the Bead Glasswort Tecticornia flabelliformis. Melbourne: Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Coleman, P.S.J. & F.S. Cook (2009). Habitat Preferences of the Australian Endangered Samphire Tecticornia flabelliformis. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. 133(2):300-306(7).

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/.

Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association (IFFA) (2010). Tecticornia flabelliformis. [Online]. Available from: http://www.iffa.org.au/tecticornia-flabelliformis.

Pobke, K. (2007). Draft recovery plan for 23 threatened flora taxa on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia 2007-2012. [Online]. South Australia: Department for Environment and Heritage. Available from: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/west_bcp/pdfs/draft_recovery_plan_for23.pdf..

Scarlett, N.H. & R.F. Parsons (1993). Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria. In: Foreman, D.B. & N.G. Walsh, eds. Flora of Victoria. 1:227-255. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

South Australia Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH) (2008e). Tecticornia flabelliformis. Willson, A. & J. Bignall, eds. Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species and Ecological Communities of Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia. Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Threatened Species Profile. Adelaide, SA: DEH.

Venn, D.R. (2004). Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 95-Bead Glasswort Halosarcia flabelliformis. [Online]. Victorian 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.

Wilson, P.G. (1984). Chenopodiaceae. In: Flora of Australia. 4:81-316. Canberra: AGPS.

Wilson, P.G. (1986). Halosarcia. In: Jessop, J.P. & H.R. Toelken, eds. Flora of South Australia Part 1:Lycopodiaceae-Rosaceae. Adelaide: South Australian Government Printing Division.

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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). Tecticornia flabelliformis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 11 Jul 2014 18:15:00 +1000.