Australasian Plant Conservation (APC) – the quarterly bulletin of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) – is a forum for information exchange for all those involved in plant conservation, whether in research, management, or on-ground practice, and where they can share their work with others. Each issue contains a range of articles on plant conservation issues, usually on a particular theme, which reflect the interests of the range of ANPC’s membership. However, off-theme articles are welcome at any time. Regular features include lists of the latest relevant publications, membership profiles, Australian Seed Bank Partnership news, book reviews, Plant Cuttings (plant conservation news from around Australia) and the latest ANPC news including reports on our conferences and workshops.
An index of past issues of APC can be found here.
APC publishes articles from the breath of fields that inform plant conservation in Australasia, including, but not limited to, ecology, botany, conservation biology, aquatic botany, bryology, mycology, restoration, horticulture, social science (e.g.,community environmental management), natural resource management and environmental policy.
The role of APC is to provide a common forum accessible to scientific researchers, land and natural resource managers and ecological consultants, and community practitioners. APC is a great way for scientists to communicate their findings to practitioners, and conversely for practitioners to report their work and practical issues in a scientific forum; an important part of APC’s role is to provide an avenue for practitioners with limited or no scope for publication in their field. Student and trainee papers are encouraged, as are papers from our Australasian neighbours (e.g., New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia). To the extent possible, and with the exception of policy articles, we prefer material which includes at least indicative results and some attempt to identify generalisable results (not simply ‘we did this’, but ‘here’s what it means in our situation’).
APC is not a ‘peer-reviewed’ journal, but it is edited to a high scientific and technical standard, in liaison with authors as necessary. We seek to operate at the interface of the science and management of plant conservation, publishing information which can be applied to improve plant conservation.
We ask authors to keep our broad readership in mind – we seek articles that are as far as possible ‘plain-English’, without being dumbed down. Please take space in your draft to briefly explain (rather than assume) technical terms or concepts, or local situations, that may be unfamiliar to other sections of the readership. Please discuss with the editor if in doubt.
APC is published quarterly, and is provided free to ANPC members within Australia and worldwide as part of their subscription.
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Share your plant conservation work with others!
Announcement: General call for articles on plants and fire
Following the bushfires affecting large parts of Australia in 2019 and 2020, APC is seeking articles describing plant and ecological communities responses to fire (e.g., fire-triggered seed germination, re-sprouting, structural and floristic community changes) and, where applicable, the impact of multiple fires and differing fire intensities, frequencies or seasons on plants and ecological communities. This call for fire-related articles is open for all four APC issues in 2020 and 2021. Due dates for individual issues are detailed in the table below.
|Issue||Date||Theme(s)||Call for papers||Deadline for articles|
|29(4)||March – May 2021||General||December 2020||Closed|
|30(1)||June – August 2021||General; Plants and fire||March 2021||1 May 2021|
|30(2)||September – November 2021||General; Plants and fire; Orchids*||June 2021||1 August 2021|
|30(3)||December 2021- February 2022||ANPC 30th Anniversary Edition**||September 2021||1 November 2021|
In 2021, APC is inviting articles on any and all aspects of plant conservation be submitted to any issue. Hence, the theme for issues in 2021 is ‘General’.
*In collaboration with the Orchid Conservation Symposium being held in June 2021 ;** We are still accepting regular articles (including on issues relevant to plant conservation, and plant responses to fire) for the Anniversary Edition.
APC Instructions for authors
Please download the APC instructions for authors document which provides guidelines on the APC style and scope, including how to quote references.
If you would like to discuss your ideas for an article before submission please email the Editor Heidi Zimmer.
We also welcome:
- reviews of books.
- titles of interesting recent publications or resources, and where they can be found.
- conference, workshop, course and fieldwork announcements.
- details of relevant publications, information resources and websites.
Please download and apply your text to the regular article template provided.
Regular articles generally should not exceed 1200 words (500 words for reviews and short communications) and authors are encouraged to submit two or three images to illustrate their article, at as high a resolution as possible (but at least 300 dpi), and as separate jpeg, tif or gif files – not embedded in the text.
For translocation-themed issues of APC, we also provide a translocation case study template.
Correspondence (new to APC in 2020)
- Purpose: for readers to submit short comments on topical issues, anecdotal material and reactions to material published in APC.
- Author guidelines: correspondence should be no longer than 400 words (and ideally should aim for 300 words), and include no more than three references. We suggest that authors try to make one or two clear points, and include relevant context to ensure their correspondence is ‘durable’ (time to publication may be up to 3 months). Tables and figures are not usually included in correspondence. Please include authors names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. We will not accept any material which is plagiarised, endorses commercial products, obtained without the correct permits, or which could be considered libellous.
- Guidelines for the Editor: Selection of correspondence for publication in APC will be based first on relevance and interest to the readership of APC, and according to the principles of balance and fairness where necessary (e.g. right of reply). While authors are encouraged to express their opinion, the Editor will be on the look out for factual errors
- Publication of correspondence will be at the discretion of the Editor, in consultation with the President of ANPC (where necessary), and will be reviewed by members of the ANPC committee. Correspondence may be edited for publication (the author will be advised).
Images and attachments
All images, graphs, charts and/or illustrations must be provided separately;
Please do not embed your images within your article, these must be provided as a separate file;
Please ensure your article contains the reference details (text only) to the image file name i.e. .
Advertise in APC
Promote your organisation or business to ANPC members. Full colour advertising is available throughout APC! Please see our advertising rates for 2021. All fees received help contribute towards the costs of printing and distributing APC.
Australasian Plant Conservation is sent to ANPC members four times a year. When you have become a member, you will receive the previous two issues of APC for the calendar year you join.
See the list of APC bulletins here from the present back to 1995, with a limited number of articles available to display. You can download a copy of all articles from APC Volume 13 Issue 1 to the present from Informit at a cost of $4.00 per article.
APC Editor – Dr Heidi Zimmer
Heidi Zimmer is a Research Scientist at the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (a joint venture between CSIRO and the Australian National Herbarium). She has worked with universities and government, at the interface of science and management of ecosystems including grasslands, woodlands and rainforests. She has conducted research into ecology of native gymnosperms (particularly Callitris spp. and the Wollemi pine), vegetation recovery after the Black Saturday Bushfire and dendrochronological studies of forests in Papua New Guinea and Thailand. Her research is currently focussed on orchids, with a particular focus on improving conservation of threatened orchids.
APC Associate Editor – Dr Nathan Emery
Nathan Emery is a Restoration Biology Officer at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. Nathan’s experiences are a combination of plant ecology, seed biology and restoration. He has worked with difficult to propagate species, such as Actinotus and threatened Persoonia species, and has helped manage several threatened plant translocation projects. Nathan is also working in threatened ecological communities in the NSW North West Slopes region.
In the Nick of Time – Post-drought recovery of two threatened Zieria species in central-western New South Wales. By Darren Shelly et al. (Australasian Plant Conservation 30(1): 13-16).
Granite Zieria (Zieria obcordata) is Endangered under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW BC Act) and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The perennial shrub grows to 100 cm and only occurs on granite outcrops in the Wellington and Bathurst districts in NSW. Monitoring has occurred since 2008, however most conservation management has happened since the start of the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species (SOS) program in 2016. The greatest threat to the species is continuous grazing. In native forest, wallabies target plants at certain times, removing branches and reducing reproductive potential…. [Full-text PDF]
How the severe fires of 2019-2020 promoted regeneration of the rare Bendethera Shrublands. By Mark Tozer et al. (Australasian Plant Conservation 29(4): 12-15).
The Bendethera Shrublands are a unique and fascinating ecological community restricted to less than 100 hectares on a series of steep limestone outcrops in the Deua River valley. The community is characterised by a dense shrub layer to around 7.5 metres height and dominated by Acacia covenyi, a locally endemic species, whose blue foliage forms a striking contrast with adjacent Eucalyptus forests (Figure 1a). Scattered eucalypts and kurrajongs emerge above the shrub thicket in places, the latter, according to conventional wisdom, indicating the location of dolines (a shallow, funnel-shaped depression of the ground surface, typically found in karst/limestone regions) in the underlying bedrock. The shrublands were located within the epicentre of some of the most severely burnt areas of the south coast. The fires were preceded by prolonged drought and followed by intense rainfall. We evaluated the impacts of these factors when we returned to our established monitoring sites in November 2020 … [Full-text PDF].
Ex situ conservation of a critically endangered fern. By Caroline Chong et al. (Australasian Plant Conservation 29(3): 16-19).
Pneumatopteris truncata is listed as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Australian population occurs only on Christmas Island where fewer than 50 mature individuals are known and population size fluctuates significantly across years. Ex situ conservation was prioritised as a critical response to insure against loss of the wild population. Spore from wild subpopulations was collected and germination and propagation techniques were trialled. This work has established ex situ spore and plant collections (more than 100 plants), developed protocols for germination and propagation of this species and identified priority future research for threatened fern species. … [Full-text PDF].
It’s not all about the birds and the bees – Challenges and triumphs of Conservation Seed Orchards at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. By Lorraine Perrins (Australasian Plant Conservation 29(2): 12-14).
One goal of the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre, based at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG), is to have all of Tasmania’s rare and threatened species and communities secured as long-term collections. Some major challenges in achieving this are:
- 20% of Tasmania is remote Wilderness World Heritage with limited accessibility on foot, by air or sea.
- Many threatened species occur in remote or inaccessible areas, meaning monitoring for seed harvest can be difficult and very expensive.
- Some species occur in very small populations and/or occur sporadically across large areas making locating and harvesting difficult.
Developing ‘Conservation Seed Orchards’ often referred to as ‘Field Genebanks’ can provide a way to overcome some of these obstacles by providing ready access to genetically diverse collections. These are not without their own difficulties however, which can differ for individual sites and species, and need to be recognised and managed accordingly… [Full-text PDF]
Late summer and autumn rains spark new hope for three Endangered Midge Orchids in South-east NSW. By Laura Canackle et al. (Australasian Plant Conservation 29(1): 15-20).
Midge Orchids (genus Genoplesium) are a group of small terrestrial orchids typically producing a short, single flowering stem between 10–30 cm high, bearing clusters of small flowers in a moderately dense spike. When not in flower, only a single, thin, green leaf is present above ground that is indistinguishable from other midge orchids. In recent times, officers from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPIE) Ecosystems and Threatened Species team with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), have become increasingly concerned about the low numbers of individuals of three threatened midge orchids being monitored as part of the NSW Saving our Species (SoS) program. Declines in populations appear related to unfavourable weather conditions associated with reduced summer rainfall, with uncertainty as to whether populations could ultimately survive under prolonged drought. Late summer and autumn rains in south-east NSW have contributed to a relatively large increase in the flowering populations of these orchids, bringing renewed hope that they will persist for a little longer. The stories of these midge orchids are outlined in this article… [Full-text PDF]
Plant conservation and fire. By Tony Auld et al. (Australasian Plant Conservation 28(4): 3-5).
We have just experienced the most extensive fires ever recorded in eastern Australia. It is timely to consider how fire influences our approaches to plant conservation, and the challenges that a changing climate brings. How fire affects the persistence of plant species and vegetation communities: Fire plays a role in the development and structure of most Australian vegetation communities. Most vegetation communities are burnt at some time and, within these communities, fire affects the survival of plants and animals. The components of a fire can be thought of as a fire regime – this is fire frequency, severity, season, type (e.g., surface, peat fire), extent and patchiness. These components interact to affect plant species survival at a site. So, in a very real sense, the impact of a fire on a plant at a particular site (including the current fires) depends on both the past fire history at that site and the characteristics of the current fire (severity, season, patchiness). Fires do not destroy bushland, as both plants and animals have strategies to survive fires and recover after the fire has passed. However, depending on the fire regime (e.g., fire severity, frequency, type), some species may decline …[Full-text PDF]
Fire is an important driver shaping the composition of plant communities in Australia. Fire ephemerals are a unique element of the fire-vegetation relationship, emerging in the first few months after fire and persisting only for one to several years. These species have a strong dependence on fire to germinate and, as ephemerals only live a short time in their plant phase, spend the majority of their life cycle as seeds in the soil. Consequently, it is likely that they have developed relatively complex and specific requirements to overcome dormancy and promote germination … [Full-text PDF]
New discoveries for the endangered Illawarra Socketwood (Daphnandra johnsonii, Atherospermataceae). By Jedda Lemmon (Australasian Plant Conservation 28(2):13-15).
The New South Wales Government’s Saving our Species program (SoS) aims to secure threatened flora in the wild through targeted conservation projects. Monitoring and conservation efforts for the Illawarra Socketwood (Daphnandra johnsonii), listed as Endangered on boththe NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, has resulted in multiple gains in our knowledge of this species. The Illawarra Socketwood Recovery Plan (DEC 2005) highlighted that limited seed development and factors responsible for the production of ‘pseudo fruit’ are essential aspects of the species’ biology requiring investigation. We are pleased to report that we are now able to explain the cause of deformed fruit in this species. Increased field survey and monitoring has also led to the discovery of many new populations, and we have commenced genetic work to better understand the extent of clonality in this species…. [Full-text PDF]
Posidonia australis meadows occur in six NSW estuaries (Port Hacking, Botany Bay, Sydney Harbour, Pittwater, Brisbane Waters and Lake Macquarie) have experienced large reductions in distribution since the mid-1900s. It is at risk of becoming locally extinct in some estuaries due to ongoing impacts. One of the ongoing impacts for loss of P. australis in NSW estuaries is traditional swing moorings (Glasby and West 2018). These moorings are composed of a large concrete block connected to a heavy chain that drags along the seafloor as the boat swings on its axis due to shifting wind and tides, directly removing seagrass shoots (Demers et al. 2013). Swing moorings create bare patches or scars that destabilise the sediment and change hydrodynamic conditions, resulting in fragmented meadows (Figure 1) … [Full text PDF]
Fire is the key to survival of Avenue Cassinia. By Bryan Haywood (Australasian Plant Conservation 27(4): 21-23).
Avenue Cassinia (Cassinia tegulata) is a nationally threatened species occurring in south-eastern Australia. The species has a limited range, in the South East region of South Australia to western Victoria. With a preference for interdunal wetland habitats, Avenue Cassinia has undergone significant reductions in both area of occupancy and population size as a direct result of extensive drainage and land clearance (Thompson and Haywood 2017). Other major threats to the species’ long-term survival include climate change, population isolation (limiting recruitment and decreasing genetic diversity), herbivore pressure, environmental weeds, loss of Indigenous use of fire as a land management tool and overall lack of species knowledge…. [Full text PDF]
Threatened plant translocation case study: Grevillea scapigera (Corrigin Grevillea), Proteaceae. By Bob Dixon and Siegy Krauss (Australasian Plant Conservation 27(3): 22-25).
The Corrigin Grevillea was first collected in 1954, and has been known from only 13 small, mainly degraded roadside populations restricted to a 50 km radius area around the Wheatbelt town of Corrigin in Western Australia. The Wheatbelt region has been extensively used for agricultural purposes and over 94% of its 14 million hectares has been cleared. In 1986 the Corrigin Grevillea was presumed extinct. In 1989 a single grafted plant was identified in Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and was brought to Kings Park in Perth where it was initiated successfully into in vitro culture. The following year, naturally occurring plants were discovered near Corrigin, and at the time, up to 35 living specimens were known in the wild. Due to its rarity, the destruction of its habitat, the extreme vulnerability of degraded and isolated roadside remnant populations and the low ability of the species to regenerate on its own, translocation was determined to be critical for the survival of the species in situ…. [Full text PDF].
The responsibilities of ecological consultants in disseminating outcomes from threatened species surveys: a call to arms. By Stephen Bell (Australasian Plant Conservation 27(2): 3-6).
Ecological consultants are often in the enviable position of being paid to botanically explore and seek out threatened plants. Yes, there are attractive jobs in remote or pristine locations where few botanists have trod before, but there are also less desirable projects in weed-infested remnants across highly fragmented landscapes or in heavily urbanised environments. Both offer the potential to uncover important information on threatened plants. But are we, as consultants, fulfilling our responsibilities for the cause of conservation by disseminating the outcomes of threatened species surveys and monitoring? …. [Full text PDF]
Threatened plant translocation case study: Involvement in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria’s Orchid Conservation Program by volunteers from the Australasian Native Orchid Society Victoria Group. By Noushka Reiter and Richard Thomson (Australasian Plant Conservation 27(1): 19-22).
Orchids are one of the most charismatic and diverse plant families with over 26,000 species worldwide (WSPF 2018). Australia is home to more than 1800 (Backhouseet al., 2016) species and subspecies of orchid, with the majority being terrestrial species found predominately in the temperate south. Victoria has in excess of 400 species of native orchids with many occurring nowhere else on Earth. Orchid habitat in Victoria varies from alpine peaks to semi-arid mallee, swamps, native grasslands, heath lands, and eucalypt forests of all types. The majority of our native orchids emerge from an underground tuber in autumn, flower in late winter-spring and set seed before the summer, when they retreat back to their underground tuber. All orchids are reliant on one or more species of mycorrhizal partner (Rasmussen 1995) to germinate in the wild, and are often pollinated by only one or a few species of insect (Tremblay et al. 2005). Successful conservation translocations (supplementations, reintroductions and introductions) of these plants typically require a thorough understanding of their ecology including pollinators and mycorrhizal fungi (Reiter et al. 2016). …[Full text PDF]
Threatened plant translocation case study: Ricinocarpos brevis, Euphorbiaceae. By Carole Elliott, Kylie Wilkonson and Shane Turner (Australasian Plant Conservation 26(4): 12-15).
Approximately 1200 wild plants were estimated to occur in the Monarto and Mount Monster populations in 2010 (Pound et al. 2010). The species is listed as Endangered under the Australian Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and Critically Endangered under IUCN criteria. Translocation trials were conducted at both population centers with the aim of enhancing natural populations while at the same time testing various techniques and management options (Jusaitis 2010). This case study focusses on a trial originally designed to examine the influence of herbivory on translocant establishment, but long-term monitoring additionally revealed an intriguing interaction of climate with herbivory (Jusaitis 2012). ….[Full text PDF]
Recent book reviews
Allure of Fungi by Alison Pouliot. Review by Michele Kohout. [PDF]
Australian Forest Woods by Morris Lake. Review by Jugo Ilic. [PDF]
A Guide to Native Bees of Australia by Terry Houston. Review by Paul Kucera. [PDF]
Restoring Farm Woodlands for Wildlife by David Lindemayer et al. Review by David Cheal. [PDF]