The Christmas Island spleenwort is a small, rock dwelling fern. Rhizomes are short, creeping, stout and scaly. Scales are narrowly ovate (3-6 mm long), latticed, dark brown, and glossy. Fronds are found in a crown, pinnate, erect and short (3.5-9 cm long). There are 8 to 18 ovate pinnae (8-18 mm long) with several lobes divided to near mid-vein, unequalled-sided, incised and toothed. Pinnae gradually reduce towards the apex. The cuneate at the base is more or less glabrous and coriaceeous with a stalk 0.3 mm long. Lateral veins are forked and free. Sori are linear along lateral veins and the indusium is linear.
Christmas Island Spleenwort |
Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Asplenium listeri
Threat factor Threat Evidence base type and status Climate change Altered potential Altered seasonality (e.g. extended dry season) and severe seasonality stochastic events (e.g. cyclones and wildfire) associated with severe climate change threaten the continued survival of the stochastic Christmas Island spleenwort due to its small population; events. restricted distribution and exposed habitat.
Australian Government, Listing Advices, Asplenium listeri
Stochastic disturbance events such as cyclonic weather and severe dry seasons may have had significant adverse impacts that contributed to the decline of the species at another location on the island.
Stochastic disturbance events such as cyclonic weather and severe dry seasons may have significant adverse impacts on the survival of the species; particularly as it is now restricted to a single population at one site.