Gaultheria sp. point
Removal of poorly recorded species leaves 4002 records in ANHAT for 13 species
than 30 records was 308, with a mean of 65% of records in the NRS.
Eleven species of Ericaceae had 45% or greater of individual site records located
within PAs (Table 325). Of those 11 species, none are classified as threatened. Two
species have more than 90% of their records within PAs.
No species had less than 10% of ANHAT records located within PAs.
No Ericaceae species had records in more than 100 separate reserves.
No Ericaceae species had records in five or fewer PAs or records in five or fewer PAs
greater than 1000 hectares.
The ANHAT database has 3316 records for 18 species and subspecies of Asteliaceae.
No species of Asteliaceae are considered extinct.
Three species account for approximately 50% of the total species records in ANHAT
Table 326). These species have over 350 records each.
Table 326 Asteliaceae species that account for approximately 50% of the total
species records in ANHAT.
few species to reasonably attempt to determine any patterns in this category.
Exclusion of these poorly recorded species eliminates 75 records.
Table 327 Asteliaceae species with 30 or fewer individual site records in the
Removal of the poorly recorded species leaves 3241 records in ANHAT for 15
species (and subspecies). The mean number of records per species for species with
greater than 30 records was 216, with a mean 61% of records in the NRS. This is a
high level of reservation compared to most other families.
Ten species of Asteliaceae had 45% or greater of individual site records located
within PAs (
Table 328). This is two-thirds of the species with more than 30 records in the
database. Of those 10 species, no species are classified as threatened. These species
generally are located in eastern Australia, including Tasmania. One species has all of
its record sites located within the NRS.
Table 328 Asteliaceae species with >45% of site records within PAs.
No Asteliaceae species had less than 10% of ANHAT records located within PAs.
No Asteliaceae species had records in more than 100 separate reserves.
Four species had records in five or fewer PAs and four species had records in five or
fewer PAs greater than 1000 hectares (
Table 329). One species is classified as vulnerable. The majority of species in this
list had fewer than 100 individual site records and no species had more than 140 site
records. All species in this category have records in at least one PA, including at least
one PA larger than 1000 ha.
The 50 most speciose families of Australian vascular plants contain a very large
number of species, particularly in comparison with the vertebrates and invertebrates
analysed in Part A. As was typical of the invertebrates, nearly all of the families of
vascular plants included in this report had substantial numbers of species that had very
few records (considered to be 30 records or fewer) available for them. These species
could not realistically be assessed in terms of their true distributions or status in the
NRS. Typically, 25-40% of species within a family fell within this category, although
there were exceptions, with the Stylidiaceae having over 50% of species with few
records and the Mimosaceae only around 10%. Inland species appear to be more
likely to fall into the category of fewer than 30 records. Hence, they do not appear
often on the lists of well or under-reserved species. Inland species need more work to
obtain records on which to base assessments of distribution, relative abundance and
vegetation/habitat associations. Poorly recorded species require further study or
survey so that their ranges can be accurately assessed and, where deemed necessary,
this can then lead to better targeting of available PAs to determine more accurately
their current reservation status.
The number of species within families with relatively high levels of reservation (more
than 45% of records within PAs), varied much more greatly. Relatively few species
had 100% of their records within PAs, although most families had some species with
at least 90% of their records in PAs. Any species with such levels of records in a PA
presumably have reasonable protection against threats such as land clearance, but still
may be under threat from fires or feral animals that do not recognise the boundaries of
a PA. It is hard to recognise any patterns in such a broad category, but there may be a
trend for species found in eastern Australia to be more likely to fall into this category.
Typically, species with 10% or less of records within reserves constitute around one-
third of all species within a family. There are species in most families that have no
records within a PA in the ANHAT database. These species may still be known from
a PA, but any records that exist are either not in ANHAT or do not have an accuracy
that allows them to be included in the analyses. All of these species would benefit
from further work to determine the PAs in which they may occur, or from which they
are reported without verification, which can then be followed up by surveys to clarify
the understanding of their reservation in the NRS.
The numbers of species that did not have a record currently recorded within a PA did
not appear to be great with most families, being represented, as already noted, by no
more than one or two species. It would appear likely that most of these species have
PAs within their known or expected ranges and may occur in a PA. Whether this will
greatly decrease the threat to the survival of any given species in the near future will
depend on the species. It was notable that, in nearly all cases where a species has
been recorded from at least one PA, the PA is more than 1000 hectares in size. These
larger reserves will potentially hold populations that are more robust to disturbance
and also will have greater genetic diversity and so be better able to adapt to any
changes in the PA. This is an encouraging result, but there is clearly room for
Where a family of vascular plants was represented by fewer than 70 species with
records in ANHAT, we did not attempt to determine patterns of distribution or
vegetation types within the various reservation tables. There were often very few
species in a table, making it unclear if a pattern would exist if several more species
with information were added. Furthermore, data usually was not available on the
distribution and vegetation associations of up to half the species. It was not clear
whether the species without information would have followed the same pattern and so
it was considered unwise to make any judgements. Also, smaller families often are
relatively localised in Australia.
We consider that a thorough review of the vascular plants in Australia would be of
great benefit, along the lines of reviews undertaken or proposed for the vertebrates
(e.g. the global amphibian assessment). Such a review is highly likely to lead to a
very large number of species being listed in the Data Deficient category of the IUCN,
but this would greatly assist in providing an accurate representation of vascular plants
in Australia as the review would include experts and authorities on each family of
vascular plants. The limitations of the project meant that floristic specialists could not
be used to supplement published or online information.
Any such review would be assisted or could otherwise lead to the development of
some form of consolidated information base for each family. Such a resource would
greatly assist in the continued development of our understanding of many of these
families of vascular plants. A few families have available either books or websites
that summarise the known information and/or profile many, most or all species within
a family, but this was a rarity. For most families, no books exist that provide even a
basic summary of up-to-date knowledge on the families and searches on the internet
produced mixed results relating mainly to scientific papers covering few species. The
information on most families was time consuming to obtain (if available) and often
involved going to several websites for each species. This is a very direct contrast to
the Australian vertebrate fauna, which are covered by either field guides or websites
with extensive information on families and the species within them. A provision of
online resources on all families of Australian vascular (and non-vascular) plants
would be of great benefit in future decision-making processes in regards to plant
We thank Cameron Slatyer and Amy Jarrott for their insistence in pursuing this
project. We also thank Brooke Glasser for help in getting the project up and running
and Karl Newport for providing the data and assistance in untangling it. We thank our
various departments and organisations for allowing us the time and resources to
undertake this work.
The ANHAT data used for this report comes from authoritative sources, but these
sources are not perfect. All species names have been confirmed as valid species
names, but it is not possible to confirm all species locations. The summary
summarises the input data, so errors found in the original data would also be reflected
in this report.
The scientific names and taxonomic concepts used in this report reflect an ANHAT
view of the data and not necessarily that found in government censuses, databases or
other authoritative lists.
Thank you to the following organisations and individuals for providing species
location data used in the Australian Natural Heritage Assessment Tool (ANHAT) to
generate Parts A and B of this biodiversity summary:
ANHAT acknowledges the Council of Heads of Australian Fauna Collections
(CHAFC) for supply of data from the following CHAFC member institutions:
· Australian Museum
· CSIRO Australian National Insect Collection
· Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
· Museum Victoria
· Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Launceston)
· Queensland Museum
· South Australian Museum
· Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (Hobart)
· Western Australian Museum
The taxonomic concepts used in this report reflect an ANHAT view of the data and
not necessarily that of the CHAFC parent fauna collections.
ANHAT acknowledges the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria Inc. (CHAH
Inc.) and partners in Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH) for the supply of data from
the AVH. The AVH is a collaborative project of Australian State, Territory and
Commonwealth herbaria through CHAH Inc. and includes:
· Australian National Herbarium (CANB)
National Herbarium of New South Wales (NSW) Botanic Gardens Trust
Herbarium of the Northern Territory (DNA, NT)
Queensland Herbarium (BRI)
State Herbarium of South Australia (AD)
Tasmanian Herbarium (HO)
National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL) Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Western Australian Herbarium (PERTH).
not necessarily that of the AVH parent herbaria.
Commonwealth Department of Defence
Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
New South Wales - Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water
New South Wales - Department of Industry and Investment (Forests NSW)
· Northern Territory - Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and
· South Australia - Department for Environment and Heritage (Biological Survey of
South Australia Database)
· Tasmania - Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
(Natural Values Atlas)
· Victoria - Department of Sustainability and Environment
· Western Australia - Department of Environment and Conservation
· Birds Australia
· Mr David Crosby - Lepidoptera of Victoria
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