Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Competition and land degradation by unmanaged goats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008ada) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Flora Schedules: Recommendations to the Scientific Committee: Final Summary Report December 2002 (Hogbin, P., 2002) [Report].
NSW:Granite Boronia - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005as) [Internet].
NSW:Boronia granitica (a shrub) - endangered species listing - final determination (NSW Scientific Committee (NSW SC), 2002g) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Scientific name Boronia granitica [18598]
Family Rutaceae:Sapindales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Maiden & E.Betche
Infraspecies author  
Reference Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 30: 357 (Dec. 1905).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Boronia granitica

Common name: Granite Boronia

Conventionally accepted as Boronia granitica (CHAH 2010).

Granite Boronia is a shrub with an open branched habit growing between 0.6–2 m tall at maturity. The species has dark green opposite leaves, each containing 9–11 narrow oblong leaflets 2–14 mm long by 1–2.5 mm wide, including a prominent terminal leaflet, and a winged leaf axis 5–18 mm long. Leaves have a pungent smell when crushed. Leaflet margins are rolled downwards. Leaf margins, stems and blades are covered in fine white hairs. Clustered (in groups of 1–3) axillary pale to deep pink 4-petalled flowers up to 25 mm across can be found primarily from July to December. Linear bracts are 1–2 mm long. Petals are 6–10 mm long and sepals 3.5–4.5 mm long; both are covered in fine hairs. The oblong fruits are laterally flattened and 4 mm long (Wang 1995).

Granite Boronia is known from NSW and Queensland. In NSW, the species is restricted to the New England Tablelands between Armidale and Torrington. In Queensland it is known from a number of locations in the Stanthorpe area (Donatiu 2006; NSW SC 2002g).

In NSW, the species is known from: Torrington State Recreation Area (SRA), Kings Plains National Park (NP) and Severn River Nature Reserve (NR), near Torrington (NSW NPWS 2002u); and Howell and Parlour Mountains, near Guyra (NSW NPWS 2002u). In southern Queensland, populations occur in Girraween NP, Sonego Lane NR, Passchendaele State Forest, and on private property in Amiens and The Summit (Donatiu 2006).

Granite Boronia consists of at least 4000 individuals in NSW (NSW SC 2002g) and at least 1450 in Queensland (Donatiu 2006). The following table presents known populations, land tenure and estimated sizes (Donatiu 2006; NSW NPWS 2002u):

Population area State  Land tenure Number of populations Estimated population size
Parlour Mountain, 35 km north-west of Armidale NSW Freehold 1 3
Howell, 20 km south-west of Inverell NSW Leasehold and permissive occupancy Multiple 100s
Kings Plains NSW NP 1 1000s
Severn River and 'The Barbs' near Pindari Dam NSW NR and Water Reserve Multiple 1000s
Torrington NSW SRA Multiple 1000s
Girraween Queensland NP  150
Harslett Road, Amiens Queensland  Freehold  1 <100 
Jolly's Falls, near The Summit Queensland Freehold 1 150
Mt Hutton Road, 6 km south of Amiens Queensland  Freehold  1 <20 
Passchendaele Queensland State Forest 263 Multiple 1000s 
Sonego Lane, near Amiens Queensland  NR  25 

Granite Boronia is known from (NSW NPWS 2002u):

  • Kings Plains NP, NSW
  • Torrington SRA, NSW
  • Severn River NR, NSW
  • Girraween NP, Queensland
  • Passchendaele SF, Queensland.

Granite Boronia grows on granitic soils or screes amongst rock outcrops, often in rock crevices. It has been found in dry sclerophyll forests, woodlands and heathlands on mostly shallow soils (NSW DECCW 2005as). Within the population at Severn River NR, a few plants occur on shallow soil over porphyrite, but most are growing on deep red soil (Hunter n.d. pers. comm. cited in Quinn et al. 1995).

The preferred habitat of the Granite Boronia is within areas that experience low precipitation and high levels of solar radiation (NSW DECCW 2005as). Rainfall is predominantly in summer. Temperatures range from 26–31 °C in summer to -2–0 °C in winter. The average annual rainfall varies with altitude from 700 millimetres at Severn River to 850 millimetres at Parlour Mountain (NSW NPWS 2002u). The species has an altitudinal range of 800–1270 m above sea level (Hunter & Bruhl 1997b; Steenbeeke 1998).

The following table presents vegetation associations in which Granite Boronia may be found:

State Association Code Note Source
NSW Prostanthera staurophylla-Kunzea bracteolata low shrubland Community 4b Central New England shrubland, Torrington shrubland Hunter and Clarke (1998)
Babingtonia odontocalyx-Brachyloma saxicola shrubland Community 4c Central New England shrubland, Torrington woodland Hunter and Clarke (1998)
Fringe Myrtle (Calytrix tetragona)-Leptospermum novae-angliae shrubland Community 5a Severn shrubland, Kings Plains shrubland Hunter and Clarke (1998)
Fringe Myrtle (Calytrix tetragona)-Kunzea obovata shrubland Community 7e Western New England shrubland and herbfields, Parlour Mountain shrubland Hunter and Clarke (1998)
Babingtonia densifolia-Homoranthus prolixus shrubland Community 9a Howell shrubland Hunter and Clarke (1998)
Orange Gum (Eucalyptus prava)-Black Cypress-pine (Callitris endlicheri) outcrop woodland Vegetation type 7a Torrington SRA, western rocky outcrops Clarke and colleagues (1998)
Orange Gum (E. prava)-Black Cypress-pine (Callitris endlicheri)-New England Blackbutt (Eucalyptus andrewsii) Torrington outcrop heaths Vegetation type 6 Torrington SRA, Mole Tableland rocky outcrops Clarke and colleagues (1998)
New England Blackbutt (E. andrewsii)-E. brunnea-E. williamsiana shrubby forest Vegetation type 3a Torrington SRA Clarke and colleagues (1998)
New England Blackbutt (E. andrewsii)-mixed stringybark Torrington shrubby stringybark forest Vegetation type 3b Torrington SRA Clarke and colleagues (1998)
Queensland New England Blackbutt (E. andrewsii)-Youman's Stringybark (E. youmanii) woodland on igneous rocks 13.12.2   Donatiu (2006)
Wallangarra White Gum (E. scoparia) woodland on igneous rocks 13.12.3   Donatiu (2006) 
Broad-leaved Stringybark (E. caliginosa)-Forest Red Gum (E. tereticornis) open forest on igneous rocks 13.12.4   Donatiu (2006)
Youman's Stringybark (E. youmanii) on igneous rocks 13.12.5   Donatiu (2006)
Shrubland on igneous rocks 13.12.6   Donatiu (2006)

Life History

Granite Boronia is estimated to have a lifespan of approximately 15 years, with a juvenile period of six years (Clarke et al. 2009; NSW NPWS 2002u). This is similar to other restricted outcrop shrubs with similar regenerative strategies to the Granite Boronia (Clarke & Fulloon 1999 cited in NSW NPWS 2002u).

Many Rutaceous species are sensitive to fire and rely on seed to regenerate (Benson 1985a). Clarke and Knox (2002) have recorded the Granite Boronia as an obligate seeder. This is consistent with other studies that found granite domes and pavements dominated by fire sensitive species that regenerate from seed (Clarke 2002; Clarke et al. 2005). NSW NPWS (2003m) suggest that populations may decline with too frequent fire (<5 years) or too infrequent fire (>30 years), based on the average age of shrubs observed in fire prone environments. However, there are large populations in NSW sites (Severn River NR and Kings Plains NP) where fire has not been recorded for 50–70 years, as well as evidence of Granite Boronia recruitment in the absence of fire (Hunter n.d. pers. comm. cited in Donatiu 2006).

Reproduction

Flowering and fruiting times seem to be erratic in the species but is noted from July–December, with the peak being the spring season. Fruits are glabrous, segmented, and surrounded by the corolla throughout flowering and fruiting phases (Duretto 1999b).

An annual seeder, beetles are suggested as a primary pollinator of the Granite Boronia. Introduced honey bees may act as important pollinators at sites with a high level of apiarist activities such as Torrington SRA. Ants are considered important seed dispersers for many shrubland flora, including Boronia species, even though they have limited distance capabilities, often only ten to twenty metres from the parent plant. It is thought that ant dispersed seed of Boronia species (Berg 1975) provides protection from fire and predation, but (depending on burial depth) may affect dormancy periods, germination and subsequent emergence of seedlings (NSW NPWS 2002u). Movement of seed by rainfall is another important dispersal method (NSW NPWS 2002u).

Weston and colleagues (1984) describes all Boronia section Valvatae as self-incompatible, suggesting a breeding system based on outcrossing. Normally when population size is reduced, genetic integrity and population viability may be compromised (NSW NPWS 2002u). However, rock pavement species such as the Granite Boronia are thought to cope well with low population sizes and associated hazards of inbreeding, and in fact may be threatened at times from outcrossing (Hunter n.d. pers. comm. cited in Donatiu 2006). Notwithstanding these considerations, small populations are vulnerable to a single disturbance event that can destroy a whole population and reduce chances of recovery from external areas (Donatiu 2006).

Granite Boronia is closely related to the Repand Boronia (Boronia repanda) and the Bolivia Hill Boronia (B. boliviensis ms. formerly Boronia sp. J.). The latter is a very rare species that is restricted to granite outcrops around Bolivia Hill, south of Tenterfield, north-eastern NSW in similar habitat to B. granitica (NSW NPWS 2002u). Repand Boronia has simple leaves rather than compound foliage with several leaflets (9–11 leaflets) of Granite Boronia (Hunter & Bell 2006).

The following threats have been identified for the Granite Boronia (NSW DECCW 2005as):

  • risk of local extinction due to small, scattered populations
  • overgrazing by feral goats and domestic stock
  • inappropriate fire regimes, with an increased risk of population decline with fire intervals of less than 5 years or greater than 30 years
  • clearing of habitat for agriculture, quarrying or mining
  • destruction and disturbance of habitat by bushrock collection
  • trampling of plants by bushwalkers
  • illegal collection of flowers or seeds by wildflower and horticultural enthusiasts.

National recovery plan

A national recovery plan for the Granite Boronia (NSW NPWS 2002u) has been adopted and includes the following objectives:

  • improve the long-term viability of reserved populations
  • improve the viability of known non-reserved populations
  • determine if further populations exist on granite outcrops elsewhere on the New England Tablelands
  • increase our understanding of the ecology of the species
  • identify and ameliorate threatening processes.

Stanthorpe Plateau recovery plan

The Stanthorpe Plateau Threatened Flora Recovery Plan (Donatiu 2006) includes the following recovery objectives that are relevant to the Granite Boronia:

  • Protect and enhance the viability of known threatened flora populations and their habitat from further decline by developing management strategies for land managers
  • Determine whether additional populations of threatened species occur within the Stanthorpe Plateau
  • Reduce and manage the major threatening processes affecting threatened flora found on the Stanthorpe Plateau
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of the nominated species and their ecology to effect their conservation and management
  • Improve community awareness and understanding of threatened Granite Belt flora, especially the management requirements of these species
  • Manage, monitor and evaluate the Stanthorpe Plateau Threatened Flora Recovery Plan

NSW priority action statement

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW DECCW 2005as) have identified 19 priority actions to help recover the Granite Boronia, including:

  • Disseminate information leaflet on the species to local councils, landholders and leaseholders.
  • Refine and implement an adaptive fire management strategy.
  • Educate staff on the significance and location of the species, and ensure that Park works, infrastructure and maintenance do not encroach on the species.
  • Continue to monitor population viability every 2 years across selected sites (including seedling recruitment) and conduct population viability analysis.
  • Review planning instruments in the mining process to ensure adequate consideration of Boronia granitica.
  • Conduct further surveys of suitable habitat to confirm the presence of other populations.

Management documents relevant to the Granite Boronia include:

  • Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW NPWS 2002u)
  • Stanthorpe Plateau Threatened Flora Recovery Plan (Donatiu 2006)
  • Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Unmanaged Goats (DEWHA 2008ada).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Gathering natural materials:Removal of bush rocks Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia) (NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2002u) [Recovery Plan].

Benson, D.H. (1985a). Maturation periods for fire-sensitive shrub species in Hawkesbury sandstone vegetation. Cunninghamia. 1:339-349.

Berg, R.Y. (1975). Myrmecochorous plants in Australia and their dispersal by ants. Australian Journal of Botany. 23:475-508.

Briggs, J.D. & J.H. Leigh (1996). Rare or Threatened Australian Plants - Revised Edition. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.

Clarke, P.J. (2002). Habitat islands in fire-prone vegetation: Do landscape features influence community composition. Journal of Biogeography. 29:677-684.

Clarke, P.J. & J.E. Knox (2002). Post-fire response of shrubs in the tablelands of eastern Australia: Do existing models explain habitat differences?. Australian Journal of Botany. 50:53-62.

Clarke, P.J., K.J.E. Knox, K.E. Wills & M. Campbell (2005). Landscape patterns of woody plant response to crown fire: Disturbance and productivity influence sprouting ability. Journal of Ecology. 93:544-555.

Clarke, P.J., K.J.E. Knox, M.L. Campbell & L.M. Copeland (2009). Post-fire recovery of woody plants in the New England Tableland Bioregion. Cunninghamia. 11(2):221-239. [Online]. Available from: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/103122/Cun112221Cla.pdf.

Clarke, P.J., L.M. Copeland, J.T. Hunter, C.E. Nano, J.B. Williams & K.E. Wills (1998). The Vegetation and Plant Species of Torrington State Recreation Area. Univeristy of New England. Armidale, Division of Botany.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2010). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008ada). Competition and land degradation by unmanaged goats. [Online]. Canberra: DEWHA. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/goats08.html.

Donatiu, P. (2006). Stanthorpe Plateau Threatened Flora Recovery Plan 2007-2011. Report to Department of Environment and Heritage, Canberra. Toowoomba: Queensland Murray-Darling Committee.

Duretto, M.F. (1999b). Systematics of Boronia section Valvatae sensu lato (Rutaceae). Muelleria. 12(1):1-132.

Hunter, J.T. & Clarke, P.J. (1998). The vegetation of granitic outcrop communities of the New England Batholith of eastern Australia. Cunninghamia. 5:547-618. National Herbarium of NSW, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

Hunter, J.T. & D. Bell (2006). Field baseline surveys of the threatened flora species Boronia repanda and Acacia atrox. Unpublished report to the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation (currently the Department of Environment and Climate Change).

Hunter, J.T. & J.J.Bruhl (1997b). Significant range extensions for 10 species of vascular plants in northern NSW. Austrobaileya. 4(4):691-694.

NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2005as). Granite Boronia - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10098.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2002u). Recovery Plan for Boronia granitica (Granite Boronia). [Online]. Hurstville: NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/b-granitica/index.html.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2003m). Threatened Species of the New England Tablelands and North West Slopes of New South Wales. Page(s) 163 pp. Coffs Harbour: NSW NPWS & Armidale: University of New England.

NSW Scientific Committee (NSW SC) (2002g). Boronia granitica (a shrub) - endangered species listing - final determination. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/determinations/BoroniaGraniticaVulSpListing.htm.

Quinn, F., J.B. Williams, C.L. Gross & J. Bruhl (1995). Report on rare and threatened plants of north-eastern New South Wales. Armidale: University of New England.

Steenbeeke, G. (1998). Clarence Rare Plant Species Information. [Online]. Available from: http://www.nor.com.au/environment/clarencecatchment/vegetation/rares/rarein.htm.

Wang, J. (1995). Boronia granitica. Brisbane: Queensland Department of Natural Resources.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Boronia granitica in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:40:25 +1000.