Deane's Melaleuca  |  

Melaleuca deanei

Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list

Deane’s Paperbark has a shrub habit and grows to 3 m high. It has fibrous, flaky bark and white flowers borne in terminal or upper axillary spikes to 8 cm long. New stems are furry and white, though the mature stems are hairless. The smooth leaves are not paired, they are narrow, to 25 mm long and 6 mm wide, with pointed tips. The many white flowers form spikes to 6 cm long, on a furry stem. The five petals are less than 5 mm long; each is paired with a bundle of 17-28 stamens. The woody fruits are barrel-shaped, to 7 mm in diameter.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Melaleuca deanei

    Table 3 Threats impacting Deane s Melaleuca Threat Status and severity a Evidence Fire and climate change Increased severity and Timing current Juveniles of Deane s Melaleuca have a slow growth rate frequency of bushfire Confidence inferred and therefore take a longer time to become fire resistant.

    Climate change projections show that southern Australia is likely to experience harsher fire weather (CSIRO 2015).

    This type of event is increasingly likely to occur as a result of climate change.

    Changes to Timing future Climate change projections show that Australia s precipitation and Confidence inferred climate will get hotter and drier; with time in drought increasing predicted to increase over southern Australia (CSIRO temperatures Consequence major 2015).

    Such changes in climate are likely to cause forest Trend increasing decline; with drought stress leading to plant mortality; Extent across the entire particularly if bushfire has preceded drought (Burgman range and Lamont 1992; Choat et al. 2012).

    Likely impacts of climate change; including identification of long term viable sites for conservation prioritisation.

    Bushfire intensity and severity varied across the bushfire extent; with many patches burning at extreme intensity and severity while others remained unburnt (DPIE 2020).

    The life history traits and limited distribution predisposes Deane s Melaleuca to risk of subpopulation decline or extinction; resulting from interactive effects of fire and drought; fire disease interactions; high fire severity and post fire erosion (DAWE 2020).

    So; while too frequent fire may be detrimental to Deane s Melaleuca; lack of fire which is an important environmental factor contributing to both sexual reproduction and clonal growth; is also a significant threat to the species (Bremner Goeth 2010 Hewitt et al. 2019; Hewitt 2020).

  • Australian Government, Listing Advices, Melaleuca deanei

    Processes that may threaten the species existence at these locations include clearing for urban development and altered fire regimes.

    The low number of mature individuals and highly fragmented nature of the species populations; in combination with threatening processes such as clearing for urban development; inappropriate fire regimes and weed encroachment; place the long term survival of the species at risk.

    Conclusion In view of the small and fragmented population of M. deanei and the continuing presence of threatening processes (clearing for urban development; altered fire regimes; weed encroachment); under the criteria for national listing; M. deanei is eligible for listing as vulnerable under the EPBC Act.

    Key threats to Deane’s Melaleuca include habitat disturbance; clearing; altered fire regimes; trail maintenance and weed encroachment.