Scarp Darwinia  |  

Darwinia apiculata

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

Darwinia apiculata is a densely branched, rounded shrub 40-50 cm tall with red, slender young branchlets. Leaves are linear, scattered with erect petioles with prominent, decurrent leaf bases; 3-5 mm long on young stems, 5-6.5 mm long on mature stems with apiculate apices. The flowers are pale green with involucral bracts narrowly ovate; green, yellow-green or yellow and red. The floral tube is slightly enlarged, hardened, palecoloured; lower part brown and upper part yellow-green. The calyx lobes broadly ovate to broadly obovate, 1 mm long by 1 mm wide, entire, and obtuse with ten filaments and a red style, 6-9 mm long. One or two tiny seeds 0.6-0.8 mm diameter are produced.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Darwinia apiculata

    Threats The Scarp Darwinia is threatened by climate change; disease; habitat loss; disturbance and modifications and invasive species (Table 2).

    Scarp Darwinia is threatened by several fire related threats; including high frequency fire; fire drought interactions and fire promoted weed invasion.

    Table 2 Threats impacting the Scarp Darwinia Threat Status and severity a Evidence Disease Dieback caused by Timing current Phytophthora cinnamomi is an introduced soil borne Phytophthora Confidence known pathogen; which infects a large range of plant species and cinnamomi may contribute to plant death; when other stresses are Consequence moderate present; such as waterlogging; drought and bushfire Trend increasing (DOEE 2018).

    Habitat loss; disturbance and modifications Vegetation clearing Timing current Subpopulations of Scarp Darwinia on private property are Confidence known threatened by clearing; particularly for the construction of buildings; and clearing to reduce the perceived fire risk Consequence major of native vegetation.

    Increasing frequency of prescribed burning Trend static is a threat particularly to subpopulations 1a and 1b Extent across all of its (DBCA 2021). range Inappropriate season of fire is also a threat.

    Weeds may also exacerbate Extent across part of its grazing pressure and increase the fire hazard due to the range creation of higher than normal fuel loads and potentially reduce the interval between burns (DEC 2009).

    As an obligate seeder; Consequence major high frequency fire regimes may impact the Scarp Trend increasing Darwinia if fires occur before plants reach reproductive Extent across the entire maturity and have had a chance to replenish the soil range stored seedbank (DEC 2009).

    The major threat from fire is likely to be the impacts of multiple fires occurring in short timeframes; which could kill immature plants before they replenish the soil stored seed bank (DEC 2009).

    The time of year in which dangerous fire conditions occur is also increasing (CSIRO Bureau of Meteorology (2015).

    Dry conditions post fire can substantially impact seedling survival of Scarp Darwinia; with significant mortality of seedling recruits observed during very dry post fire conditions in the early 2000s (DEC 2009).

    Scarp Darwinia is threatened by several fire related threats; including high frequency fire; fire drought interactions and fire promoted weed invasion.

    Increased severity and Timing current In the twentieth century; south western Western frequency of drought Confidence inferred Australia has experienced a significant decrease in autumn and early winter rainfall and an increase in mean Consequence major ambient temperatures (CSIRO Bureau of Meteorology Trend increasing 2015).