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 Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Huperzia prolifera (Square Tassel-fern) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013dt) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice for Huperzia prolifera (square tassel-fern) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013dw) [Listing 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 Huperzia prolifera.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (154) (17/06/2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013t) [Legislative Instrument] as Huperzia tetrastichoides.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (156) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013y) [Legislative Instrument] as Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
QLD:Wet Tropics Management Plan 1998 (Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA), 1998) [Report].
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides
Scientific name Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides [86555]
Family Lycopodiaceae:Lycopodiales:Lycopodopiatae:Lycopodiophyta:Plantae
Species author (A.R.Field & Bostock) A.R.Field & Bostock
Infraspecies author  
Reference Field, A.R. & Bostock, P.D., (2013) New and existing combinations in Palaeotropical Phlegmariurus (Lycopodiaceae) and typification of the type species Phlegmariurus phlegmaria (L.) T.Sen & U.Sen. Phytokeys 20: 48 [comb. nov.]
Other names Lycopodium proliferum [5484]
Huperzia prolifera [56635]
Huperzia tetrastichoides [84861]
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: Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides

Common name: Square Tassel-fern

This species was previously known as Huperzia prolifera, which now only applies to non-Australian occurrences (Field & Bostock 2008). 

Following taxonomic revision, the name of this species has changed and is listed under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as at 25 September 2013, as Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides.

The Square Tassel-fern is an epiphytic fern ally with attractive hanging 'tassels'. The branches are tufted, pendulous, branched pairs, often not longer than 40 cm. The leaves are arranged in four rows, thin but firm, angled 20-50°, entire keeled, 5-12 mm long by 2-6 mm wide and deep green. The spore-bearing leaves are triangular, keeled, on 4-sided branches and 4-6 mm long by about 3 mm wide at their base (Field & Bostock 2008).

The Square Tassel-fern is endemic to north-east Queensland and occurs from Mount Finnigan south to the Clarke Range, west of Mackay. It is most prevalent on the Evelyn, Atherton and Mount Carbine Tablelands but extends to lower altitudes along the North Johnstone River and Mossman Gorge (Field & Bostock 2008).

This species has an extent of occurrence of 19 200 km2 (Queensland Herbarium 2009d). This species' area of occupancy is difficult to determine as, although the species occurs along watercourses over a wide area, it is likely to be very sporadic in its occurrence. The vulnerablility of the plants to cyclonic disturbance means the distribution is likely to be very patchy as a result of the often random nature of cyclonic damage (Bostock 2009 pers. comm.).

The distribution of this species overlaps with the "Mabi Forest (Complex Notophyll Vine Forest 5b)" EPBC listed threatened ecological community.

This species occurs in a number of reserves including Cedar Bay National Park, Mount Windsor National Park, Mount Lewis Forest Reserve, Kuranda National Park, Mowbray National Park, Wooroonooran National Park, Malbon Thompson Forest Reserve, Koombaloomba Forest Reserve, Tully Gorge National Park, Paluma Range National Park, Eungella National Park and Crediton State Forest (Field & Bostock 2008; Queensland Herbarium 2009d). None of these locations are actively managed for the species.

The Square Tassel-fern is known from six metapopulations (Queensland Herbarium 2009e). Population sizes are not known (Bostock 2009 pers. comm.).

The Square Tassel-fern occurs in upland notophyll vineforest (Field & Bostock 2008; Queensland Herbarium 2009d). It is an epiphyte on rainforest trees, occurring in north-eastern Queensland, from the Daintree, south to Hinchinbrook Island, and west of Mackay, from sea level to 1100 m altitude (Queensland Herbarium 2009d).

Known threats to the Square Tassel-fern include illegal collection and habitat damage caused by cyclones (Queensland Herbarium 2009e).

Existing Plans/Management documents that are relevant to the Square Tassel-fern:

  • Cape York Back on Track Biodiversity Action Plan (Queensland EPA 2008a)
  • Wet Tropics Management Plan 1998 (WTMA 1998)
  • Wet Tropics Conservation Strategy (WTMA 2004).

Other documents relevant to the management of the Square Tassel-fern can be found at the start of this profile.

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 Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Huperzia prolifera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abv) [Conservation Advice].
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Commercial harvest Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Huperzia prolifera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abv) [Conservation Advice].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Huperzia prolifera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lw) [Internet].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Storms and Flooding:Natural events such as storms and cyclones leading to habitat destruction and flora/fauna mortality Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Huperzia prolifera (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008abv) [Conservation Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Huperzia prolifera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lw) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment Huperzia prolifera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lw) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Huperzia prolifera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006lw) [Internet].

Bostock, P.D. (2009). Personal Communication.

Field, A.R. & P.D. Bostock (2008). Huperzia tetrastichoides A.R. Field & Bostock (Lycopodiaceae) a newly recognised species of tasselfern from the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia. Austrobaileya. 7 (4):711-713. Queensland Herbarium.

Queensland Herbarium (2009d). Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides. Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium, Environment Protection Agency.

Queensland Herbarium (2009e). Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides. Threatened flora of Queensland database. Queensland Herbarium, Environment Protection Agency.

Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) (1998). Wet Tropics Management Plan 1998. [Online]. Cairns: Wet Tropics Management Authority. Available from: http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/W/WetTropMgmtP98.pdf.

Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) (2004). Wet Tropics Conservation Strategy: the conservation, rehabilitation and transmission to future generations of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. [Online]. Cairns: Wet Tropics Management Authority. Available from: http://www.wettropics.gov.au/mwha/mwha_pdf/Strategies/wtmaConservationStrategy.pdf.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

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). Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 1 Oct 2014 21:19:30 +1000.