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Species profile—Aristida annua

Classification

Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → Poaceae (grass) → Aristida annua

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Species details

Kingdom
Plantae (plants)
Class
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Family
Poaceae (grass)
Scientific name
Aristida annua B.K.Simon
WildNet taxon ID
10006
Alternate name(s)
annual wiregrass
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Vulnerable
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Vulnerable
Back on Track (BoT) status
Data deficient
Conservation significant
Yes
Confidential
No
Endemicity
Native
Pest status
Nil
Short Notes
BRI 011772, status annotated by author
Description
Aristida annua is a loosely tufted annual grass growing to 50 cm tall. It has smooth culms which are glabrous, branched and terete. The leaf sheaths are smooth and glabrous. The ligule has a fringe of hairs to 1 mm long. The leaf blades are flat and wavy to involute, growing to 15 cm long and 1.5 mm wide; the lower leaf surface is smooth and glabrous and the upper surface is thinly pubescent. The inflorescences occur as an open panicle with spikelets loosely clustered at the branch apices, growing 10 to 20 cm long and 5 to 12 cm wide. The glumes are scaberulous, mauve, 1-nerved, terminating in an awn 1 to 1.5 mm long. The lower glume is persistent, 6.5 to 7.5 mm long, the upper glume is 7 to 8.5 mm long. The lemma is 5.5 to 6.5 mm long, shorter than both glumes, rolled with convolute margins, scabrous at the apex, pallid to light mauve, and sometimes speckled with mauve patches. The column is absent. The awns are subequal, 8 to 12 mm long, scaberulous, and very slender. The caryopsis is terete and 10.5 mm long (Simon, 1982; Simon, 1992; Simon, 2005).
Aristida annua is distinctive in that it is an annual species with a lemma which is rolled with convolute margins and an open panicle. It has larger spikelets than A. cumingiana (Simon, 2005).
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Distribution
Aristida annua is restricted to a small area in central Queensland. The northern distribution of the species occurs on the eastern slopes of Lord's Table Mountain, north of Yungaba. Other locations include Gindie Downs via Springsure; 50 km south of Comet Downs; 8-30 km south of Springsure (Simon, 1984; Simon, 1993; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-22.6567705, 148.0227771
-24.9150839, 151.0844026
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Habitat
Aristida annua grows on black earth, basalt and sandy, red loamy soils. The species occurs in eucalypt woodland with Eucalyptus orgadophila. The species also occurs in disturbed sites such as roadsides with pasture grass (Simon, 1984; Simon, 1992; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Reproduction
Aristida annua flowers and fruits in March, and May-June (Simon, 2005; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
Aristida annua is threatened by loss of grassland habitat due to clearing for agriculture and overgrazing (Fletcher 2001). Persistent heavy grazing has been identified as a threat to natural grasslands that the species occurs in. In addition conversion of natural grassland to exotic pasture and the fodder tree Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) has occurred to varying degrees throughout the range of Aristida annua which has had a major impact on the species. Mining also poses a threat to A. annua, particularly in the Bowen Basin (Qld DERM, 2011).
Status notes
Aristida annua is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
There are no known Aristida annua populations within the reserve system. However, Albinia Downs National Park conserves 5300 ha of the natural grasslands of the Queensland Central Highlands and the northern Fitzroy Basin ecological community and Aristida annua is associated with this community (Qld DERM 2011). This park is adjacent to the Rolleston Coal Mine, which has also been identified as potential habitat for the species (EPBC Referral 2002) (DSEWPC, 2012).
Management documents
Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (Qld DERM) (2011). Draft Recovery plan for the Natural grasslands of the Queensland Central Highlands and the northern Fitzroy Basin ecological community. Unpublished draft. Brisbane, Queensland: DERM.
Management recommendations
The Draft Recovery plan for the Natural grasslands of the Queensland Central Highlands and the northern Fitzroy Basin ecological community (Qld DERM 2011) outlines a number of high priority recovery objectives for the community that would benefit Aristida annua. These include: identify and evaluate the condition and environmental values of mapped remnants; improve the conservation status of the ecological community and EPBC Act and state listed species; encourage 'best practice' management of the natural grassland ecological community; enhance the ability of government and non-government organisations at the national, regional and local levels to recognise and incorporate natural grassland conservation issues into planning processes; and increase knowledge of cultural values and biota of the natural grassland ecological community (DSEWPC, 2012).
Notes
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral district: Leichhardt (Bostock and Holland, 2010).
References
Bostock, P.D. and Holland, A.E. (eds) (2010). Census of the Queensland Flora 2010. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Aristida annua in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 17/01/2012. http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat.
Fletcher, M. (2001). Rare and Threatened plants of the Central Highlands. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Emerald.
Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) (2011). Draft Recovery plan for the Natural grasslands of the Queensland Central Highlands and the northern Fitzroy Basin ecological community. Unpublished draft. Brisbane, Queensland: DERM.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 16/01/2012.
Simon, B.K. (1984). New taxa of and nomenclatural changes in Aristida L. (Poaceae) in Australia. Austrobaileya 2 (1): 87.
Simon, B.K. (1992). A revision of the genus Aristida (Poaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 5 (2): 210.
Simon, B.K. in Mallett, K. (Ed) (2005). Flora of Australia 44B: 114.
Profile author
Lynise Wearne (17/01/2012)

Other resources

Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT)
The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH)
Atlas of Living Australia

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0
https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/species/?op=getspeciesbyid&taxonid=10006

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
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