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 as Lachnagrostis adamsonii
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan] as Lachnagrostis adamsonii.
 
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] as Agrostis adamsonii.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (11/04/2007) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007f) [Legislative Instrument] as Lachnagrostis adamsonii.
 
State Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014) as Agrostis adamsonii
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Lachnagrostis adamsonii [76211]
Family Poaceae:Cyperales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (J.W.Vickery) S.W.L.Jacobs
Infraspecies author  
Reference Jacobs, S.W.L., (2001) The genus Lachnagrostis (Gramineae) in Australia. Telopea 9(3): 445 [comb. nov.]
Other names Agrostis adamsonii [19708]
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: Lachnagrostis adamsonii

Common name: Adamson's Blown-grass

Other names: Adamson's Bent

Conventionally accepted as Lachnagrostis adamsonii and previously known as Agrostis adamsonii (CHAH 2010).

Adamson's Blown-grass is a tufted grass growing up to 70 cm in height (Murphy 2010; Vic. DPI 2011; Walsh 1994). Leaves, often folded or in-rolled, grow 25 cm (Murphy 2010) to 30 cm long (Vic. DPI 2011) and 2 mm (Murphy 2010) to 3.5 mm wide (Vic. DPI 2011). The inflorescences are delicate, open, up to 25 cm in length and remain partly enclosed by the upper leaf sheath until late maturity, often drying to a pale golden colour. Panicles (the separate branched cluster of flowers that form the flowerhead) detach from the plant when mature and are blown away by wind. The light green, or occasionally purple-tinged, spikelets (small spikes that form the 'flower') are 2.5 mm (Vic DPI 2011) to 4 mm in length (Murphy 2010), with the upper glume (modified leaf or scale at base of a grass spikelet) longer than the lower glume. Lemmas (outer or lower modified leaves or scales) have fine, straight, or gently curved, awns (bristle-like appendages found on the spikelets) that are 1.5–3 mm in length and are attached towards the top, being only just visible beyond the tip of the spikelet (Murphy 2010; Vic. DPI 2011).

Environmental conditions and site characteristics determine the species' habit, with plants at drier sites generally smaller and with fewer inflorescences than those at moister sites. In ephemeral (not lasting) habitat, the species is an annual (dies off each year), whilst in continuous moist sites the species is perennial (lasting for many years) (Murphy 2010).

Adamson's Blown-grass is endemic to south-west Victoria, from Clifton Springs near Geelong to near Coleraine (350 km west of Melbourne) (Walsh 1994). The northernmost populations are at Gatum (20 km north-west of Cavendish), near Maroona (20 km north-east of Willaura), Lake Goldsmith (15 km south of Beaufort) and just south of Chepstowe. Southernmost populations are at Caramut, just north of Derrinallum and Lismore, and near Barunah (15 km west of Shelford) (Vic. DSE 2004a).

Adamson's Blown-grass was previously known from 68 locations, but has declined or been lost from many locations since 1990 (Murphy 2010). Over 90% of the species' locations occur on the Volcanic Plains in the south-west of Victoria. Highest concentrations of populations lie to the north-west of Cavendish, to the south of Glenthompson and Wickliffe, and in the Willaura/Maroona area (BIRD 2012).

The extent of occurrence is approximately 15 000 km2 (Walsh 1994).

The total number of plants is not known, but is estimated to be less than 50 000. All populations occupy small areas, often under one hectare (Murphy 2010), and the majority are on private land or roadsides (BIRD 2012; Vic. DSE 2004a). Locations where populations of Adamson's Blown-grass occur are listed in BIRD 2012 and Murphy 2010.

Adamson's Blown-grass occurs in Lake Goldsmith Wildlife Reserve (Vic. DSE 2004a).

Adamson's Blown-grass is confined to slow moving creeks, swamps, flats, depressions or drainage lines (such as along roadsides) that are seasonally inundated or waterlogged and usually moderately to highly saline (Murphy 2010; Vic. DPI 2011; Walsh 1994). Soils are black, cracking clays or duplex soils with poorly permeable subsoils ranging from acidic (pH 4.6) to alkaline (pH 9.1) (Brown 1997 cited in Murphy 2010). Plants appear to favour sites that have some shelter from the wind, often provided by other species such as Canary-grass (Phalaris aquatica), Juncus spp. or Gahnia spp. (Vic. DSE 2004a). This preference for protected sites may explain why plants are rarely found around larger, more open, exposed saline lakes. The species will also tolerate some waterlogging, but will not survive in relatively deep water for any length of time (Vic. DSE 2004a).

Associated species include Streaked Arrowgrass (Triglochin striata), Plains Saltmarsh-grass (Puccinellia stricta var. perlaxa), Australian Salt-grass (Distichlis distichophylla), Common Blown-grass (Lachnagrostis filiformis), Beaded Glasswort (Sarcocornia quinqueflora), Creeping Monkey-flower (Mimulus repens), Salt Pratia (Pratia platycalyx), Creeping Brookweed (Samolus repens), Selleria (Selleria radicans) and Round-leaf Wilsonia (Wilsonia rotundifolia) (Murphy 2010).

Exotic plant species recorded with Adamson's Blown-grass include Water Buttons (Cotula coronopifolia), Buck's-horn Plantain (Plantago coronopus), Annual Beard-grass (Polypogon monspeliensis), Sea Barley-grass (Hordeum marinum), Canary-grass (Phalaris aquatica), Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea), Tall Wheat-grass (Lophopyrum ponticum) and Yorkshire Fog Grass (Holcus lanatus) (Murphy 2010).

Adamson's Blown-grass flowers from November (Walsh 1994) to December (Vic. DSE 2004a), and produces copious seeds that are wind dispersed. Germination occurs throughout winter and spring (Vic. DSE 2004a).

Provided there is suitable habitat and conditions, such as flat/low lying topography, moderate to high salinity, low levels of grazing and little competition from introduced plants, Adamson's Blown-grass appears to have the capacity to colonise and expand into surrounding areas, like paddocks adjacent to roadsides, and to persist at sites for up to ten years (BIRD 2012; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Adamson's Blown-grass has been found to crossbreed with Common Blown-grass (Lachnagrostis avenacea). Intermediates between the species are recorded from near Merri Creek in the Craigieburn Grasslands, north of Melbourne (Walsh 1994).

Habitat fragmentation

Whilst Adamson's Blown-grass has a wide distribution across the volcanic plains of Victoria, it only has approximately 68 sites, many of which are small and impacted by continuing threats. The habitat requirements of the species may mean that it naturally fluctuated over time, depending on wet or dry weather. However, fragmentation associated with agriculture may reduce the ability for the species to recover when weather conditions improve (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Altered hydrology/Climate change

Many wetlands in which Adamson's Blown-grass occurs have experienced a large decrease in water availability due to drought (between the mid 1990s and mid 2000s), the widespread establishment of Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations and the revegetation of saline sites using trees, shrubs and introduced grass species, such as Tall Wheat-grass (Lophopyrum ponticum), to combat dryland salinity. The draw-down effect on the water table has led to a decrease in soil salinity levels at many sites and the conversion of saline environments to freshwater. As Adamson's Blown-grass does not appear to compete well with freshwater species, the original habitat of many populations has been significantly depleted or lost. Tree planting and subsequent alteration of hydrology is a threat at the Lake Bolac site (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Weed invasion/competition

Several invasive weed species and other exotic flora impact on sites with Adamson's Blown-grass by competing for nutrients and space. Salt tolerant species such as Tall Fescue, Tall Wheat-grass, Spiny Sharp Rush (Juncus acutus subsp. acutus) and Common Reed (Phragmites australis) are more likely to pose a threat than other less tolerant species, as they are able to out-compete Adamson's Blown-grass in saline conditions. In particular, Tall Wheat-grass has proven to be highly competitive, and the continuing invasion by this species is likely to lead to the extinction of Adamson's Blown-grass at a large number of sites (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Changes in environmental conditions, such as long term drying out of wet areas, appears to have a negative impact on the plant and favours invasion by introduced pasture species such as Fog grass (Holcus lanatus). Soil disturbance on roadsides also increases the spread of Phalaris and other competitive weeds (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Disturbance/destruction of plants and habitat

Many populations on roadsides are subject to road works, utilities maintenance works, burning or mowing. Populations on private land are at risk from changed land use such as grazing to cropping, and also at risk from stock movement and soil pugging (churning of soft soils into mud by hoofed stock) (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Although grazing is not a threat at most sites, heavy grazing has seen the loss of plants or populations at some sites. The species may tolerate light grazing, especially where that grazing may assist in weed control of exotic species that compete with Adamson's Blown-grass (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

Overgrazing and scalding by salinity can cause erosion and associated vegetation loss and increased stream sedimentation that affects the species. However, it is in these environments, devoid of competing vegetation and where salinity levels remain high, that Adamson's Blown-grass has managed to thrive. This illustrates the potential uses of this species in soil remediation works rather than introducing non-indigenous species that may pose possible additional ecological problems (BIRD 2012; Murphy 2010; Vic. DSE 2004a).

The National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy 2010) notes the following actions undertaken for the species:

  • Survey potential habitat during the 1990s to determine distribution and abundance.
  • Establishment of long-term monitoring transects at three sites.
  • Ballarat University research projects on the effect of trimming and varying salt concentrations on growth and germination of Adamson's Blown-grass.
  • Publication of a pamphlet on conservation of the species for community groups and land managers.
  • Morphometric and genetic analysis of six populations.
  • Fencing of the Van Renens Road (Glenthompson) site to prevent grazing by stock.
  • Signposting at some roadside sites.

Specific objectives for the recovery of Adamson's Blown-grass in this recovery plan include (Murphy 2010):

  • Determine taxonomy, distribution, abundance and population structure.
  • Determine habitat requirements.
  • Identify and manage threats to populations.
  • Identify key biological functions.
  • Determine growth rates and viability of populations.
  • Establish a seed bank.
  • Build community and government support for conservation.

Management documents relevant to Adamson's Blown-grass are at the start of the profile.

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 Lachnagrostis adamsoniiin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006oe) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Mixed farms:Habitat modification and destruction due to cropping National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat changes caused by climate change National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Reduced rainfall caused by climate change National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Drought National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Droughts:Natural and artifically induced reductions to surface water availability National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification with associated erosion National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification, destruction and alteration due to changes in land use patterns National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Juncus acutus (Spiny Rush) National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Holcus lanatus (Yorkshire Fog) National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes including flooding Lachnagrostis adamsoniiin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006oe) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Stress caused by water table reduction National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Lachnagrostis adamsoniiin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006oe) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Changes in hydrology leading to rising water tables and dryland salinity National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Other Ecosystem Modifications:Loss of genetic heterogeneity National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development of roads and railroads National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Transportation and Service Corridors:Road and rail maintenance works Lachnagrostis adamsoniiin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006oe) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Habitat modification due to maintenance of water pipeline easement National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Powerline easement maintenance and construction; mortality due to collision with powerlines National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii (Murphy, A., 2010) [Recovery Plan].

Biodiversity Information, Resources and Data (BIRD) (2012). Adamson's Blown-grass. [Online]. Available from: http://bird.net.au/bird/index.php?title=Adamsons_Blown-grass.

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/.

Murphy, A. (2010). National Recovery Plan for Adamson's Blown-grass Lachnagrostis adamsonii. [Online]. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne Victoria. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/lachnagrostis-adamsonii.html.

Victoria Department of Primary Industries (Vic. DPI) (2011). Victorian Resources online - Adamson's Blown-grass. [Online]. Available from: http://vro.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/water_sss_adamsons_blown_grass.

Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE) (2004a). Action Statement 101 - Adamson's Blown Grass Agrostis adamsonii. [Online]. Available from: http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/103236/101_adamsons_blown_grass_2000.pdf.

Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G. & Entwisle, T.J., eds. Flora of Victoria. 2:356-627. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

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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). Lachnagrostis adamsonii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:29:06 +1000.