Central Australian Cabbage Palm  |  

Livistona mariae subsp. mariae

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

Red Cabbage Palm

The central Australian cabbage palm is of significant cultural importance to central Australian Indigenous groups, being a food resource and cultural symbol. The species is almost wholly contained within Finke Gorge National Park in the West MacDonnell Ranges. It is separated from other Livistona palm species by over 1000 kilometres.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Livistona mariae subsp. mariae

    Changed hydrology through climate change (future) Potential threats in the future unknown to whole population Climate change represents a future threat given its potential to disrupt reproductive output and germination and to decrease adult vigour and survival.

    Additionally; climate change in Central Australia may cause more sporadic and heavier rainfall events.

    Other potential threats include grazing and damage by large feral herbivores (horses and cattle); site degradation associated with tourism; inbreeding depression; reduced ground water flow should a more intensive water extraction program eventuate; and possible severe flooding from extreme rain events under climate change (Nano et al 2012).

    Maintain or increase habitat quality and extent Understand critical biological attributes including the fire response; life history characteristics; flowering and fruiting phenology; and population dynamics Implement exsitu conservation measures that ensure the long term reservation of representative samples of this species genetic diversity Understand connectivity and mode of seed dispersal to guide seed collection protocols Indigenous people are actively engaged in the recovery planning process Inform and involve the community and stakeholders in the recovery plan process Determine the optimum fire regime for the species long term survival Examine the role of climate (rainfall; drought; and temperature) on fecundity Tag and track seedling emergence and survival to determine the influence of microhabitat constraints and other factors affecting recruitment Determine the extent to which Buffel Grass and Couch Grass limit seedling establishment and survival and Determine the extent and impacts of altered hydrology associated with the development of erosional channels.

    Buffel Grass is present at the northern off park sites. (current and future) Livistona mariae subsp. mariae (Central Australian Cabbage Palm) listing evidence 2017 Increased fire risk as a result of the invasion of Buffel Grass and Current threat to entire Medium High Couch Grass into its core habitat areas.

    Both of these invasive population. species produce large amounts of plant biomass which; when dried; represents a significant increase in site fuel load.

    This shift may increase the frequency and intensity of fire regimes beyond threshold levels for palm persistence. (current and future) Feral horses and cattle are causing habitat degradation at Running Varying level of threat across Low Medium Waters.

    The increase in fuel load associated with these invasive grasses may shift the frequency and intensity of fire regimes beyond threshold levels for palm persistence (Nano et al 2012).

    Severe flooding from these events poses a potential threat to L. mariae subsp. mariae given that this species is unlikely be able to withstand the full force of flood waters.