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Opportunistic Collections in South East Queensland

The 2013-2014 target species for collection in the South East Queensland region were severely affected by drought conditions. Poor quality seed production from some species, as well as bushfires, combined to significantly hinder planned seed collections. Fortunately, while out collecting for a different project, the team from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens managed to make opportunistic collections of several important species. For example, they made collections of Eucalyptus virens, a vulnerable ironbark known only from a few isolated communities. Having the flexibility that enables the opportunistic collection of alternative species to the initially chosen target species is essential to a project’s success, particularly when faced with the unpredictable nature of our highly variable climate.

Other important opportunistic collections were made in 2013-14 of two endangered Solanum species from endangered Brigalow vegetation communities – S. elachophyllum and S. adenophorum. Some important target species collected include the endangered Plectranthus torrenticola and Leucopogon recurvisepalus, as well as a vulnerable subspecies of Allocasuarina rigida subsp. exsul. These target species occur in small, genetically isolated populations and although they occur in protected areas, are exposed to a variety of threatening processes. For example, the Allocasuarina only occurs on the summit of one or two peaks and numbers are diminishing due in part to changes in fire regimes. It is anticipated that further collecting of these important target species will be carried out on other known populations in the near future.

Eucalyptus broviniensis, a recent eucalypt collection.

Photo: Jason Halford, BBG

An opportunistic collection of the vulnerable Eucalyptus virens.

Photo:Jason Halford, BBG