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 Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
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
WA:Threatened flora of the Western Central Wheatbelt (Collins, J., 2009) [State Species Management Plan].
WA:Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2 (Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Eleocharis keigheryi [64893]
Family Cyperaceae:Cyperales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author K.L.Wilson
Infraspecies author  
Reference Nuytsia 11(2): 273 (1997).
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: Eleocharis keigheryi

Common name: Keighery's Eleocharis

Other names: Keighery's Spikerush

Conventionally accepted as Eleocharis keigheryi (CHAH 2010). Formerly known as Eleocharis sp. Kenwick (Wilson 1997).

Keighery's Eleocharis is a rhizomatous, tufted/clumped perennial herb, reaching a maximum diameter of 40 cm. It has erect, smooth, green stems that are 20–40 cm tall and hollow, supporting cross bars that are 2 mm in diameter. When this species grows in water, there are numerous hair-like sterile stems at the base of the main stems. The leaves are reduced to a straw-coloured sheath at the base. Inflorescences (flowerheads) are 4–6 mm long and 1–2 mm wide, colourless or very pale green and occur at the end of the branches. The narrow, cylindrical flower-spike is slightly broader than the stems with spirally arranged, oblong to narrow ovate bracts. Flowers consist of three stamens and a feathery stigma that divides into three (Brown et al. 1998; WA DEC 2008; Wilson 1997).

Keighery's Eleocharis is endemic to Western Australia and is known from north of Eneabba (278 km north of Perth) to south-east of Qualeup (134 km west of Bunbury) (WA DEC 2008). Scattered occurrences are known in the areas of Eneabba, Dandaragan, Bindoon, Toodyay, Beverley, Capel and Boyup Brook (Collins undated).

The extent of occurrence is approximately 26 600 km2 (WA DEC 2008).

Keighery's Eleocharis is known from fifteen populations, the number of mature plants is estimated to be 13 800 (WA DEC 2008). Large clumps may only constitute one to two mature plants due to the rhizomatous nature of the species (Kelly et al. 1993). Five populations occur in nature reserves, one in National Park, three on road verges, two on private property, two on shire reserve, two on rail reserve and one on airport land (WA DEC 2008).

Keighery's Eleocharis is reserved in Drummond Nature Reserve, Mogumber Nature Reserve, Ellen Brook Tortoise Reserve and in Lesueur National Park (WA DEC 2008). An 8 ha of bushland at Wanaping Road in Kenwick has also been purchased for reservation as part of the Western Australian Government's 'Bush Forever' program (WA DEC 2010t).

Keighery's Eleocharis grows in small clumps in a substrate of clay or sandy loam. This species is emergent in freshwater creeks, and transient waterbodies such as drainage lines and claypans in water to approximately 15 cm deep. Fringing woodland species and associated species include Swamp Sheoak (Casuarina obesa), Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus rudis), Red Robin Bush (Melaleuca lateritia), Swamp Paperbark (M. rhaphiophylla), Common Spike-sedge (Eleocharis acuta), Aponogeton hexatepalus, Veined Swamp Wallaby Grass (Amphibromus nervosus) and herbs such as Wurmbea, Tribonanthes and Leptocarpus spp. (Brown et al. 1998; Collins undated; Kelly et al. 1993; WA DEC 2008; Williams et al. 2001; Wilson 1997).

Keighery's Eleocharis flowers are recorded from August to November, but may extend into December under favourable conditions (Brown et al. 1998; Williams et al. 2001). Fruiting is from September to November (Wilson 1997). The species has been observed growing in areas that have recently been burnt (Wilson et al. 2010).

Closely related to the Common Spike-sedge (Eleocharis acuta), with which it often grows, Keighery's Eleocharis differs by having pale brown rather than very dark brown bracts (Brown et al. 1998; Kelly et al. 1993).

The main identified threats to Keighery's Eleocharis are invasive weed species; firebreak, road and rail maintenance, including slashing or mowing; development; rubbish dumping; off-road-vehicle use; and livestock damage and grazing (TSSC 2008ne).

The main potential threats to Keighery's Eleocharis include altered hydrology, salinity and land clearing. Altered hydrology, salinity and drought are potential threats as this species occurs in winter-wet claypans and requires freshwater to thrive (TSSC 2008ne).

Management documents relevant to Keighery's Eleocharis are at the start of the profile. Other relevant documents include:

  • Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Metro Area (Kelly et al. 1993).
  • Guidelines for Ecological Burning Regimes for the Gnangara Groundwater System (Wilson et al. 2010a).

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:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Salinity Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of railway tracks Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008ne) [Conservation Advice].

Brown, A., C. Thomson-Dans & N. Marchant, eds. (1998). Western Australia's Threatened Flora. Como, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

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/.

Kelly, A.E., A. Taylor, M.A. Langley, A. Spooner & D.J. Coates (1993). Declared Rare Flora and Other Plants in Need of Special Protection in the Metro Area. Como, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Managment.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008ne). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Eleocharis keigheryi. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/64893-conservation-advice.pdf.

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC) (2008). Records held in DEC's Declared Flora Database and rare flora files. Perth, Western Australia: WA DEC.

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC) (2010t). The Albany Regional Vegetation Survey. Whatsnu - Species and Communities Branch newsletter for species and ecological communities conservation. 16(2). [Online]. Species and Communities Branch, Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia. www.dec.wa.gov.au/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,4879/Itemid,/.

Williams, K., A. Horan, S. Wood & A. Webb (2001). Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Central Forest Region. Part 2. [Online]. Western Australian Wildlife Management Program No. 33. Department of Conservation and Land Management. Available from: http://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species-and-communities/threatened-plants.

Wilson, B., J. Kuehs & L.E. Valentine (2010a). Guidelines for Ecological Burning Regimes for the Gnangara Groundwater System. [Online]. Report for the Gnangara Sustainability Strategy and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Available from: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/8179/1/ecological_burning_regimes.pdf.

Wilson, B., L. Valentine, J. Kuehs, M. Swinburn & K. Bleby (2010). Impact of fire on Biodiversity of the Gnangara Groundwater System. [Online]. Report for the Gnangara Sustainability Strategy and the Department of Environment and Conservation. Available from: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/8177/1/impact_of_fire_on_biodiversity.pdf.

Wilson, K.L. (1997). New species of Cyperaceae in Western Australia. Nuytsia. 11(2):269-282.

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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). Eleocharis keigheryi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:55:28 +1000.