May 2001 environmental impact assessment guidelines syzygium paniculatum Smith

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May 2001


Syzygium paniculatum


The following information is provided to

assist authors of Species Impact

Statements, development and activity

proponents, and determining and consent

authorities, who are required to prepare

or review assessments of likely impacts

on threatened species pursuant to the

provisions of the Environmental

Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

These guidelines should be read in

conjunction with the NPWS Information

Circular No. 2: Threatened Species

Assessment under the EP&A Act: The ‘8

Part Test’ of significance (November

1996) and the species profile.


Syzygium paniculatum is

morphologically similar to the more

common  S. australe and care should be

taken to correctly identify each species.

The leaves of S. australe are generally

more elliptic than S. paniculatum and the

fruit of S. paniculatum are a deeper

magenta colour than the reddish-pink

fruit of S. australe (Harden 1992).

Life cycle of the species

Changes to local catchment hydrologies

are likely to affect the lifecycle of the

species, in terms of the habitat conditions

for existing populations and in relation to

seed dispersal and recruitment. Similarly,

weed invasions will prevent seedlings

from reaching maturity and ultimately

result in a gradual ageing of the

population. Fire is likely to kill S.

paniculatum individuals, and frequent

fires will lead to a decline in recruitment

and ultimately the loss of local


Development that is proposed adjacent to

populations of the species should

consider the lifecycle impacts of altered

hydrology and ability to manage weed

invasions and fire.

Buffer zones to protect the plant and its

habitat should be of sufficient size to

absorb any potential impacts (which will

be site specific) and allow some natural

expansion of the population.

Translocation of the species as a

development ameliorative measure is

generally not recommended given the

uncertainties associated with the ensuring

success of such a program.

Threatening processes

There are two key threatening processes

listed in Schedule 3 of the TSC Act that

are relevant to S. paniculatum. These are:


High frequency fire resulting in the

disruption of life cycle processes in

plants and animals and loss of

vegetation structure and composition



Invasion of Native Plant

Communities by Bitou Bush and


Other threats to populations of S.

paniculatum are likely to include: habitat

loss resulting from development;

vegetation clearing; grazing in close

proximity to creek lines causing root

damage, prevention of seedling

establishment and erosion; and weed

invasion (in particular Lantana). Habitat

fragmentation is likely to impact on the

fecundity of populations of S.

paniculatum, due to reduced population

numbers and opportunities for successful


Viable local population

A ‘local population’ of S. paniculatum

should be defined on a catchment basis.

That is, occurrences of the plant within

each catchment constitute a ‘local

population’. The rationale for this

approach is based on the likely dispersal

of seed being related to the riparian

habitats in which the plant occurs. For

May 2001

those occurrences of the species not

occurring in riparian habitats, a ‘local

population’ should be defined following

Keith  et al. (1997). That is, all

occurrences of the plant within a 1km

radius (where there is opportunity for

exchange of genetic material) should be

defined as constituting a ‘population’.

Following Keith et al. (1997),

occurrences of the species within that

1km radius inclusive are called


It should be assumed that each

population is viable regardless of its size,

until further assessment indicates

otherwise. Assessment of each local

population should include reference to

the number and locations of all

subpopulations. S. paniculatum is a long-

lived species with potentially large seed

dispersal areas, and thus even small

populations may be viable should the

conditions enable successful recruitment.

Significant area of habitat

Given the small size and isolated nature

of  S. paniculatum populations, all areas

of known habitat are considered to be

significant for the species.

Isolation and fragmentation

Vegetation clearing for urban and

agricultural development has fragmented

populations of S. paniculatum across its

range. Populations of the species now

occur in isolated patches of remnant

vegetation, often along riparian corridors

and coastal littoral rainforests.

Management of isolated S. paniculatum

habitats should aim to maintain the

continuity of native vegetation and to

remove threats such as grazing.

Rehabilitation of riparian corridors

through weed removal and buffer

plantings should assist recruitment of the


Regional distribution

Syzygium paniculatum occurs in the

Sydney Basin Bioregion and the lower

reaches of the NSW North Coast

Bioregion. Recent confirmed records of

the species indicate a current distribution

consisting of four broad meta-



Jervis Bay;


Towra Point;


Lower Hunter and Central Coast; and


Upper Hunter (Bulahdelah-Myall


Across this range, the species occupies a

narrow, linear, coastal distribution in

specific, restricted  habitat types that

have been extensively cleared and/or

modified (ie, riparian corridors and

littoral rainforests).

Limit of known distribution

The limits of Syzygium paniculatum’s

distribution are Booti Booti NP (northern

limit) south to Conjola State Forest

(southern limit). There are historical

(1947) but unconfirmed records of the

species west to the Blue Mountains.

Adequacy of representation in

conservation reserves

Syzygium paniculatum is not likely to be

adequately represented in conservation


Critical habitat

Critical habitat cannot be declared for

Syzygium paniculatum as it is not listed

in Schedule 1 of the TSC Act 1995


For Further Information contact

Threatened Species Unit Conservation Programs and Planning Division, Central Directorate NSW NPWS PO

Box 1967, Hurstville NSW 2220 Phone 02 9585 6678.


Harden, G. (ed) (1992) Flora of NSW Vol 2. NSW University Press.

Keith, D.A., Chalson, J.M. and Auld, T.D. (1997) Assessing the status of threatened plants:

a new methodology and an application of the vascular flora of NSW. Final report: Project

number 450. Commonwealth Endangered Species Program. Environmental Australia,

Biodiversity Group. Unpublished Report.


The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the editor expressly disclaim all liability and responsibility to any person,

whether a purchaser or reader of this document or not, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by any person in

reliance upon the contents of this document although every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented in

this document is accurate and up to dat

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