The smooth davidsonia is a small to medium bushy tree with a restricted and highly fragmented distribution. This species is known from the Tallebudgera and Numinbah Valleys in Queensland to Tintenbar in coastal NSW. In 2016, 27 isolated populations were estimated to exist, showing a slight increase in populations since 2004. The majority of the known smooth davidsonia populations are found in wet sclerophyll forests with a smaller number known from subtropical rainforest and in vegetation ecotones in between sclerophyll and rainforest ecological communities. This species is clonal and habitually occurs in clumps consisting of numerous root suckers. Reproduction is only known to occur through root suckering and where there has been soil disturbance this is particularly prolific. Habitat loss and fragmentation through land clearing for property infrastructure and agricultural development are widespread and ongoing threats to the smooth davidsonia.
Smooth Davidson's Plum |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Davidsonia johnsonii
The low number of individuals clumps populations and; therefore; low genetic diversity in the entire species; in conjunction with the virtual (contemporary) inability of the species to sexually reproduce and to colonise new areas; means that the species has greatly reduced biological fitness and ability to respond to alterations in its environment; including climate change.
Moreover; there is a small but fundamental risk that occasionally formed seed produced by an individual of the species could be destroyed; thereby destroying an individual clump population that is capable of sexual reproduction and a potential; vital contributor to the survival and recovery of the species (Eliott et al.; 2016 Eliott pers. comm. 2016).Other consequences of land clearing and diminishing habitat patch sizes are edge effects and the alteration of the fire ecology of the species forest habitats (DEC 2004).
Fire Moderate to potential As with most rainforest and wet sclerophyll species; the high intensity current smooth davidsonia is likely to be sensitive to fire.
Fire is wild fires and probably the biggest risk to those sites within a larger remnant ecological community where there is a potential for hazard the development of a substantial fuel load.