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Australian Plant Census

A collaborative project to develop an agreed national list of Australian plant taxa.

why an australian plant census
Why an Australian Plant Census?
  • Identified need for an ‘agreed’ enumeration of Australian vascular plants by the botanical community
    • Lack of modern census. Existing Census of Australian Vascular Plants (Hnatiuk 1990) now significantly outdated
    • Consistency of data across national projects, especially Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH) project
  • Similar need recognised by land managers and policy makers (i.e. Dept. of Environment and Heritage (DEH))
    • Environmental legislation
    • Land management
    • Policy development and decision making
christmas bush
Christmas Bush

Nuytsia floribunda

Ceratopetalum gummiferum

Bursaria spinosa

Prostanthera lasianthos

changing taxonomic concepts
Changing taxonomic concepts

Different interpretations of species in Subseries Dichromophloiosae of the genus Corymbia

slide5
Brooker 1995; EUCLID 2006

umbonata

dichromophloia

slide6

dichromophloia

dichromophloia

dichromophloia

dichromophloia

rubens

rubens

umbonata

umbonata

drysdalensis

drysdalensis

drysdalensis

capricornia

capricornia

capricornia

capricornia

capricornia

capriconia-drysdalensis

intergrade

  • Hill and Johnson 1995
state concepts
State concepts

dichromophloia

rubens

umbonata

capricornia

drysdalensis

capricornia

  • QLD - capricornia
  • NT – capricornia (including drysdalensis); dichromophloia umbonata
  • WA – drysdalensis; dichromophloia; rubens
what is the apc
What is the APC ?
  • A collaborative project of the Australian botanical community through the Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria (CHAH):
    • to arrive at an agreed national list of Australian plant taxa
    • based on and documented in the Australian Plant Name Index database (APNI)
    • representing a consensus view of Australian vascular flora for the purposes of communication at a national level.
  • The content of the APC is based on the latest published taxonomic accounts, assessed against current regional and taxonomic expert opinion.
australian plant census introduction
Australian Plant CensusIntroduction
  • Proposed enumeration should:
    • Have general acceptance by the Australian botanical community
    • Be a consensus view of the Australian vascular flora at national level for national purposes
    • Have extensive synonymy
    • Cross reference to alternative taxonomic views

A national endorsed taxonomic view of Australian vascular plants, accounting for alternative taxonomies

what is the basis of the apc
What is the basis of the APC?
  • Collaborative and shared product
  • Based on published and/or on-line electronic resources and current state of knowledge
  • Flexible and dynamic, reflecting new taxonomies as published
  • Alternative taxonomies reflected in synonymies & comments
  • Initial focus was on taxa of conservation significance
    • Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act
    • corresponding State / Territory Acts
  • Later phases on families as treated for Flora of Australia
management
Management
  • DEH is the initial primary client for the Australian Plant Census (APC)
  • CHAH is the collective custodian of taxonomic knowledge on which the Australian Plant Census is based, and the overall authority for content and project management
  • ANH/CPBR is custodian of the Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) data set, and manages the project on behalf of CHAH
apc working group
APC Working Group
  • CHAHworking group composed of taxonomic representatives from each herbarium
    • Collaborative
    • Responsive
    • Consult colleagues
  • Project Officer works under direction of APNI team in collaboration with the CHAH Working Group
chah working group
CHAH Working Group
  • Role of CHAH Working Group
    • Act as representative for their respective State/Territory
    • Provide data and information from respective censuses
    • Respond to requests for information or consideration of taxonomic issues requested by the Project Officer
    • Work with Project Officer to develop agreed taxonomy and nomenclature
    • Provide feedback and recommendations to State and Territory authorities
procedural sequence
Procedural sequence

Compilation of data

by Project Officer &

APNI Team

Contributors

Experts, Census compilers,

Working Group members,

Project Officer

Evaluation of data

by Project Officer & Working Group

Agreed taxonomy

Differing taxonomy

Project Officer

informs CHAH there

is no controversy

Project Officer

prepares case for

CHAH to consider in

consultation with WG

CHAH

approves

DEH projects

Other users

Australian Plant Census

In APNI with synonymy,

alternative taxonomy and

relevant commentary

CHAH

decides on a national

taxonomy

agreed taxonomy
Agreed taxonomy
  • Grevillea
    • 583 taxa, 1291 names
    • Treatment largely follows Makinson, Fl. Australia 17A (2000)
    • Accepted by Working Group without amendment, endorsed by CHAH
  • Lythraceae
    • 39 taxa, 106 names
    • Treatment follows Hewson & Beesley, Fl. Australia 18 (1990) and Lepschi, Nuytsia,13 (2000)
    • Accepted by Working Group without amendment, endorsed by CHAH
differing taxonomy
Differing taxonomy
  • Phalaenopsis amabilis subsp. rosenstromii or P. rosenstromii?
    • Differing taxonomies adopted by different herbaria
    • Species rank of Clements, Aust. Orchid Research (1989) vs Subspecific rank of Christenson, Phalaenopsis: A monograph (2001)
    • Cases for adopting either concept prepared by relevant specialists, submitted to Working Group for consideration
    • Working Group votes in favour of species-level rank for this taxon
    • Working Group recommendation considered and endorsed by CHAH
changing circumscription name remains same conservation status may change
Changing circumscription• name remains same; conservation status may change
  • Calectasia cyanea
    • Name widely misapplied to number of species now recognised as distinct
    • Recent research  narrow circumscription
    • Species occurs only in sw WA
    • Populations now assigned to other species
    • Recommendation re EPBC listing: listing of C. cyanea remains appropriate, and conservation status should be reviewed
    • EPBC listing of some taxa formerly included in C. cyanea should also be considered
    • Working Group recommendation considered and endorsed by CHAH
differing taxonomy18
Differing taxonomy
  • Ptychosperma bleeseri
    • Previously treated as a rare species from NT
    • Recent research shows this to be conspecific with widespread P. macarthurii
    • Recommended to DEH that the listing of this species be reviewed and the taxon delisted
    • In fact this palm is considered to be of cultivated origin…..
matching phrase manuscript and misapplied names
Matching phrase, manuscript and misapplied names

Acacia sp. Barklys (J.L.Egan 124) NT Herbarium  sensu  CHAH (2006)

Acacia citriodoraTindale & D.Keith MS

Acacia sp. E

Acacia sp. G

Acacia sp. G Kimberley Flora (C.H.Gittins 1260) NSW Herbarium

Acacia arida auct. non  Benth.:  Pedley, L. 1964, Proc.Roy. Soc. Queensland. 75: 34.

Acacia hilliana auct. non  Maiden:  Pedley, L. 1978, Austrobaileya. 1(2): 134-135.

WA, NT, Qld

sample output
Sample output

Ficus saxophila Blumesensu  Du Puy, D.J. & Telford, I.R.H. (1993).

ChI

Ficus saxophila var. sublanceolata (Miq.) Corner = Ficus virens Aiton

Ficus scabrifolia A.Rich. = Ficus coronata Spin & Colla

Ficus scandens var. australis F.M.Bailey = Ficus pantoniana King var. pantoniana

Ficus scandens var. australis F.M.Bailey = Ficus pantoniana King

Ficus scobina Benth.sensu  CHAH (2005).

Previous records of this species from WA (e.g. Flora of Kimberley) are in error and represent Ficus aculeata var. orbicularis.

NT

Ficus semicostata F.M.Bailey = Ficus racemosa L.

progress to date
Progress to date
  • c.9400 taxa (= c.28,370 names) considered by Working Group and endorsed by CHAH
  • Data for approximately 60% is entered/edited in APNI and available via APC web query
  • Taxa treated to date include:
    • those listed under EPBC legislation
    • taxa of conservation significance listed at the State/Territory level
    • all families published in Flora of Australia, including Casuarinaceae, Combretaceae, Moraceae, Proteaceae, Thymelaeaceae and Urticaceae
future directions and issues
Future directions and issues
  • Continue present taxon-based approach, concentrating on unpublished Flora of Australia volumes, supplemented by DEH priorities
  • Explore means of maintaining APC beyond initial two year DEH funding
  • Foster current levels of enthusiasm and commitment from Working Group members and CHAH
  • Expansion of APC capabilities (e.g. linking to State/Territory censuses, images, additional data sets)
future directions and issues31
Future directions and issues
  • Secure further funding to complete data entry to APNI, e.g. industry, philanthropic trusts
  • Annotated mapping of state censuses and floras to APC and vice versa, so that APC is linked to the AVH
  • Potential support from NCRIS
outcomes
Outcomes
  • Scientifically defensible and appropriate information provided for legislative purposes
  • Close collaboration between CHAH members
  • National agreement to produce national census
  • Agreed methodology, and it’s working
  • APNI development
  • Standardisation of informal (phrase) names
  • Standarisation of taxon names across the country
  • Increased taxonomic knowledge
  • Highlighting resolution of taxonomic problems in flora
  • Encourage publication of many undescribed species
australian plant census
Australian Plant Census

APC output available at:

http://www.chah.gov.au/apc/

APNI available at:

http://www.anbg.gov.au/apni/