The natural distribution and ecology of a Blue Mountains shrub, Epacris browniae (Ericaceae)

  • The recently described shrub Epacris browniae (family Ericaceae) an endemic Blue Mountains species, occurs on treeless, dry, rocky, Sydney Montane Heath, on Narrabeen and Hawkesbury Sandstone in the upper Blue Mountains, 100 km west of Sydney, New South Wales, (c. 33° 40' S; 150° 22' E) at altitudes above 800 m, and within the 1300 mm Average Annual Rainfall isohyet. Based on our surveys in the Blue Mountains (incorporating 46 locations), the Area of Occurrence of the species is estimated at 525 square km, within which the Area of Occupation is 25 hectares. The northern limit is Mt Wilson, southern limit, Mt Solitary, western limit appears to lie between Clarence and Narrow Neck (Katoomba) and eastern limit is Lawson Ridge. The species grows either on flat terrain or on gentle southern or western slopes, sometimes blending into escarpment complex, on soils of moderate acidity (pH 6.5–6.8) and good drainage, associated most commonly with Banksia ericifolia and, in descending order of abundance, with Leptospermum trinervium, Allocasuarina distyla, Kunzea capitata, Allocasuarina nana and Hakea dactyloides. Epacris browniae flowers in November and seeds ripen in March. Seeds are shiny, brown, minutely warty, about 0.6 mm long, and weigh 0.038 mg. Epacris browniae does not resprout after fire. Average stem diameters at three sites with known single fire histories correlate strongly with likely maximum age and confirm that the species is a facultative reseeder with a potential lifespan of up to 50 years. Despite its relatively narrow habitat and area of occupancy Epacris browniae is well conserved within National Parks in the Blue Mountains but its susceptibility to Phytophthora, an exotic pathogen in the Blue Mountains is unknown.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:David Coleby
DOI: 10.7751/cunninghamia.2016.16.005
ISSN:0727- 9620
ISSN:2200 - 405X
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2016
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/23
Page Number:10
First Page:35
Last Page:44
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 16 (2016)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht