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Banksia epica

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Banksia epica
Banksia epica 02 gnangarra.jpg
Inflorescence

Priority Two — Poorly Known Taxa (DEC)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Banksia
Species:
B. epica
Binomial name
Banksia epica
B epica dist map gnangarra.png
Distribution of Banksia epica across Australia

Banksia epica is a shrub that grows on the south coast of Western Australia. A spreading bush with wedge-shaped serrated leaves and large creamy-yellow flower spikes, it grows up to 3½ metres (11½ ft) high. It is known only from two isolated populations in the remote southeast of the state, near the western edge of the Great Australian Bight. Both populations occur among coastal heath on cliff-top dunes of siliceous sand.

One of the most recently described Banksia species, it was probably seen by Edward John Eyre in 1841, but was not collected until 1973, and was only recognised as a distinct species in 1988. There has been very little research on the species since then, so knowledge of its ecology and cultivation potential is limited. It is placed in Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis, alongside its close relative, the well-known and widely cultivated B. media (southern plains banksia).

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Shrub

Shrub

A shrub is a small-to-medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs have persistent woody stems above the ground. Shrubs can be either deciduous or evergreen. They are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems and shorter height, less than 6–10 m (20–33 ft) tall. Small shrubs, less than 2 m (6.6 ft) tall are sometimes termed as subshrubs. Many botanical groups have species that are shrubs, and others that are trees and herbaceous plants instead.

Western Australia

Western Australia

Western Australia is a state of Australia occupying the western 33 percent of the land area of Australia excluding external territories. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,527,013 square kilometres (975,685 sq mi). It is the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. As of 2021, the state has 2.76 million inhabitants – 11 percent of the national total. The vast majority live in the south-west corner; 79 percent of the population lives in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

States and territories of Australia

States and territories of Australia

The states and territories are federated administrative divisions in Australia, ruled by regional governments that constitute the second level of governance between the federal government and local governments. States are self-governing polities with incomplete sovereignty and have their own constitutions, legislatures, departments, and certain civil authorities that administer and deliver most public policies and programs. Territories can be autonomous and administer local policies and programs much like the states in practice, but are still constitutionally and financially subordinate to the federal government and thus have no true sovereignty.

Great Australian Bight

Great Australian Bight

The Great Australian Bight is a large oceanic bight, or open bay, off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.

Cliff-top dune

Cliff-top dune

Cliff-top dunes, also known as perched dunes, are dunes that occur on the tops of cliffs. They are uncommon in most parts of the world, because they only develop under unusual geomorphological conditions. Processes by which they may be formed include:a dune advances up a pre-existing slope, which is then eroded to form a cliff; a dune forms during a period of high sea level, then sea level drops, exposing a cliff face.

Silicon dioxide

Silicon dioxide

Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2, most commonly found in nature as quartz and in various living organisms. In many parts of the world, silica is the major constituent of sand. Silica is one of the most complex and most abundant families of materials, existing as a compound of several minerals and as a synthetic product. Notable examples include fused quartz, fumed silica, silica gel, opal and aerogels. It is used in structural materials, microelectronics, and as components in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Banksia

Banksia

Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. These Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes, and fruiting "cones" and heads. Banksias range in size from prostrate woody shrubs to trees up to 30 metres tall. They are found in a wide variety of landscapes: sclerophyll forest, (occasionally) rainforest, shrubland, and some more arid landscapes, though not in Australia's deserts.

Edward John Eyre

Edward John Eyre

Edward John Eyre was an English land explorer of the Australian continent, colonial administrator, and Governor of Jamaica.

Species

Species

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined.

Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis

Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis

Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis is a taxonomic series within the plant genus Banksia. First published at sectional rank by George Bentham in 1870, it was demoted to a series by Alex George in 1981. The name has had three circumscriptions.

Banksia media

Banksia media

Banksia media, the southern plains banksia or golden stalk banksia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Proteaceae. An evergreen shrub, it occurs on the south coast of Western Australia between Albany and Israelite Bay, where it is a common plant. A many-branched bush with wedge-shaped serrated leaves and large golden-yellow flower spikes, known as inflorescences, it grows up to 10 metres (30 ft) high.

Description

Banksia epica grows as a spreading bushy shrub with many branches to 3 metres (10 ft) tall. It has grey, fissured bark, and dark green, wedge-shaped leaves, 1+12 to 5 centimetres (12–2 in) long and 6 to 15 millimetres (1823 in) wide, with serrated margins.[1]

Inflorescence in early bud
Inflorescence in early bud

Flowers occur in Banksia's characteristic "flower spike", an inflorescence made up of hundreds of pairs of flowers densely packed in a spiral round a woody axis. B. epica's flower spike is yellow or cream-yellow in colour, cylindrical, 9 to 17 centimetres (3+126+12 inches) tall and around 6 centimetres (2+12 inches) in diameter. In bud, it may have green-grey or brownish pollen presenters, not unlike B. robur (swamp banksia).[2] Each flower consists of a tubular perianth made up of four fused tepals, and one long wiry style. Characteristic of its taxonomic section, the styles of B. epica are straight rather than hooked. The style ends are initially trapped inside the upper perianth parts, but break free at anthesis. The fruiting structure is a stout woody "cone" embedded with up to 50 follicles; old withered flower parts persist on the "cones", giving them a hairy appearance.[1] The follicles have an attractive purple hue.

Banksia epica is similar in appearance to its close relative B. media, from which it differs in having slightly shorter leaves and larger flowers. In addition, the persistent flower parts on B. epica's fruiting structures are curled and point upwards, whereas they are straight and point downwards on B. media.[3]

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Inflorescence

Inflorescence

An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Morphologically, it is the modified part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed on the axis of a plant. The modifications can involve the length and the nature of the internodes and the phyllotaxis, as well as variations in the proportions, compressions, swellings, adnations, connations and reduction of main and secondary axes. One can also define an inflorescence as the reproductive portion of a plant that bears a cluster of flowers in a specific pattern.

Helix

Helix

A helix is a shape like a corkscrew or spiral staircase. It is a type of smooth space curve with tangent lines at a constant angle to a fixed axis. Helices are important in biology, as the DNA molecule is formed as two intertwined helices, and many proteins have helical substructures, known as alpha helices. The word helix comes from the Greek word ἕλιξ, "twisted, curved". A "filled-in" helix – for example, a "spiral" (helical) ramp – is a surface called helicoid.

Banksia robur

Banksia robur

Banksia robur, commonly known as swamp banksia, or less commonly broad-leaved banksia, grows in sand or peaty sand in coastal areas from Cooktown in north Queensland to the Illawarra region on the New South Wales south coast. It is often found in areas which are seasonally inundated.

Perianth

Perianth

The perianth is the non-reproductive part of the flower, and structure that forms an envelope surrounding the sexual organs, consisting of the calyx (sepals) and the corolla (petals) or tepals when called a perigone. The term perianth is derived from Greek περί and άνθος, while perigonium is derived from περί and γόνος . In the mosses and liverworts (Marchantiophyta), the perianth is the sterile tubelike tissue that surrounds the female reproductive structure.

Tepal

Tepal

A tepal is one of the outer parts of a flower. The term is used when these parts cannot easily be classified as either sepals or petals. This may be because the parts of the perianth are undifferentiated, as in Magnolia, or because, although it is possible to distinguish an outer whorl of sepals from an inner whorl of petals, the sepals and petals have similar appearance to one another. The term was first proposed by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1827 and was constructed by analogy with the terms "petal" and "sepal".

Anthesis

Anthesis

Anthesis is the period during which a flower is fully open and functional. It may also refer to the onset of that period.

Follicle (fruit)

Follicle (fruit)

In botany, a follicle is a dry unilocular fruit formed from one carpel, containing two or more seeds. It is usually defined as dehiscing by a suture in order to release seeds, for example in Consolida, peony and milkweed (Asclepias).

Taxonomy

Discovery and naming

The first European to see B. epica was probably Edward John Eyre,[4] the first explorer of the area, who recorded "stunted specimens" of Banksia as he was nearing the western edge of the Great Australian Bight on 1 May 1841:

"One circumstance in our route to-day cheered me greatly, and led me shortly to expect some important and decisive change in the character and formation of the country. It was the appearance for the first time of the Banksia, a shrub which I had never before found to the westward of Spencer's Gulf, but which I knew to abound in the vicinity of King George's Sound, and that description of country generally. Those only who have looked out with the eagerness and anxiety of a person in my situation, to note any change in the vegetation or physical appearance of a country, can appreciate the degree of satisfaction with which I recognised and welcomed the first appearance of the Banksia. Isolated as it was amidst the scrub, and insignificant as the stunted specimens were that I first met with, they led to an inference that I could not be mistaken in, and added, in a tenfold degree, to the interest and expectation with which every mile of our route had now become invested."[5]

Eyre is thought to have been passing through the Toolinna Cove sand patch at the time of writing.[6] B. epica and B. media are the only Banksia species that occur at that location, and both have a form and habit that accords with Eyre's description.[1] As he did not collect specimens, it is impossible to determine what species he saw.[4]

The first herbarium collection of B. epica was not made until October 1973, when Ernest Charles Nelson visited Toolinna Cove to collect specimens for a taxonomic revision of Adenanthos. Nelson was stimulated to make that revision from an interest in the problem of disjunct plant distributions in southern Australia, and therefore collected specimens of a range of plant species.[6][7] On 22 October, he collected a specimen of B. epica in old flower, but incorrectly identified it as B. media, and later lodged it in the herbarium at Canberra under that name.[4]

In 1985, two volunteer field collectors for The Banksia Atlas project, John and Lalage Falconer of Esperance, became convinced that there were three Banksia species rather than two at Point Culver. Returning to the locality on 9 January 1986, they collected leaves and old flowers of what they thought was an undescribed species. The specimens did indeed suggest that a new species had been discovered, but they were not sufficient for formal publication. Early in May the following year, John Falconer drove over 2000 kilometres on unsealed tracks from Warburton to Point Culver and back again, to collect fresh flowers and fruit of the purported new species.[3] Alex George then began preparing a formal description of the species. During his research, he discovered that Nelson's Toolinna Cove specimen was also referable to the undescribed species. In the absence of any genuine B. media specimens from Toolinna Cove, George inferred that only B. epica occurred there, and that Eyre must have sighted B. epica in 1841. In 1988, he published a formal description of the species, naming it Banksia epica in reference to the two "epic" journeys of Eyre and Falconer.[4] Thus the species' full name is Banksia epica A.S.George.[8] It was later established that both B. epica and B. media occur at Toolinna Cove.[1]

Infrageneric placement

George placed B. epica in B. subg. Banksia, because its inflorescences are typical Banksia flower spikes; B. sect. Banksia because of its straight styles; and B. ser. Cyrtostylis because it has slender flowers. He considered its closest relatives to be B. praemorsa (cut-leaf banksia) and B. media, both of which have shorter flowers and smaller pollen-presenters than B. epica. In addition, B. praemorsa differs in having a hairless perianth, and B. media has larger, more undulate leaves.[4]

In 1996, Kevin Thiele and Pauline Ladiges published the results of a cladistic analysis of morphological characters of Banksia. They retained George's subgenera and many of his series, but discarded his sections. George's B. ser. Cyrtostylis was found to be "widely polyphyletic", as six of the fourteen taxa in that series occurred singly in locations throughout Thiele and Ladiges' cladogram. The remaining eight formed a clade that further resolved into two subclades, with B. epica appeared in one of them:[9]

B. pilostylis

B. media

B. epica

B. praemorsa

B. benthamiana

B. audax

B. laevigata subsp. laevigata

B. laevigata subsp. fuscolutea

Thiele and Ladiges preferred to give series rank to the subclades, rather than the entire clade, so they transferred the taxa of the second clade into B. ser. Ochraceae, retaining only the taxa of the first clade in B. ser. Cyrtostylis. B. epica's placement under Thiele and Ladiges' arrangement may be summarised as follows:[9]

Banksia
B. subg. Isostylis (3 species)
B. elegans (incertae sedis)
B. subg. Banksia
B. ser. Tetragonae (4 species)
B. ser. Lindleyanae (1 species)
B. ser. Banksia (2 subseries, 12 species)
B. baueri (incertae sedis)
B. lullfitzii (incertae sedis)
B. attenuata (incertae sedis)
B. ashbyi (incertae sedis)
B. coccinea (incertae sedis)
B. ser. Prostratae (8 species)
B. ser. Cyrtostylis
B. pilostylis
B. media
B. epica
B. praemorsa
B. ser. Ochraceae (3 species, 2 subspecies)
B. ser. Grandes (2 species)
B. ser. Salicinae (2 series, 11 species, 4 subspecies)
B. ser. Spicigerae (3 series, 7 species, 6 varieties)
B. ser. Quercinae (2 species)
B. ser. Dryandroideae (1 species)
B. ser. Abietinae (4 subseries, 15 species, 8 varieties)

The arrangement of Thiele and Ladiges was not accepted by George, and was discarded in his 1999 revision. Under George's 1999 arrangement, B. epica's placement was as follows:

Closeup of leaves, with inflorescence in early bud
Closeup of leaves, with inflorescence in early bud
Banksia
B. subg. Banksia
B. sect. Banksia
B. ser. Salicinae (11 species, 7 subspecies)
B. ser. Grandes (2 species)
B. ser. Banksia (8 species)
B. ser. Crocinae (4 species)
B. ser. Prostratae (6 species, 3 varieties)
B. ser. Cyrtostylis
B. media
B. praemorsa
B. epica
B. pilostylis
B. attenuata
B. ashbyi
B. benthamiana
B. audax
B. lullfitzii
B. elderiana
B. laevigata (2 subspecies)
B. elegans
B. lindleyana
B. ser. Tetragonae (3 species)
B. ser. Bauerinae (1 species)
B. ser. Quercinae (2 species)
B. sect. Coccinea (1 species)
B. sect. Oncostylis (4 series, 22 species, 4 subspecies, 11 varieties)
B. subg. Isostylis (3 species)

Since 1998, Austin Mast has been publishing results of ongoing cladistic analyses of DNA sequence data for the subtribe Banksiinae. His analyses suggest a phylogeny that is rather different from previous taxonomic arrangements. With respect to B. epica, however, Mast's results accord closely with the arrangement of Thiele and Ladiges, placing it in a polytomous clade corresponding exactly with Thiele and Ladiges' B. ser. Cyrtostylis.[10][11][12]

Early in 2007 Mast and Thiele initiated a rearrangement by transferring Dryandra to Banksia, and publishing B. subg. Spathulatae for the species having spoon-shaped cotyledons; in this way they also redefined the autonym B. subg. Banksia. They foreshadowed publishing a full arrangement once DNA sampling of Dryandra was complete; in the meantime, if Mast and Thiele's nomenclatural changes are taken as an interim arrangement, then B. epica is placed in B. subg. Banksia.[13]

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Edward John Eyre

Edward John Eyre

Edward John Eyre was an English land explorer of the Australian continent, colonial administrator, and Governor of Jamaica.

Herbarium

Herbarium

A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens and associated data used for scientific study.

Ernest Charles Nelson

Ernest Charles Nelson

(Ernest) Charles Nelson is a botanist who specialises in the heather family, Ericaceae, especially Erica, and whose past research interests included the Proteaceae especially Adenanthos. He is the author or editor of over 24 books and more than 150 research papers. He was honorary editor of Archives of Natural History between 1999 and 2012 and remains closely linked with the journal as one of the Associate Editors, and was honorary editor of Heathers for 23 years until 2017.

Adenanthos

Adenanthos

Adenanthos is a genus of Australian native shrubs in the flowering plant family Proteaceae. Variable in habit and leaf shape, it is the only genus in the family where solitary flowers are the norm. It was discovered in 1791, and formally published by Jacques Labillardière in 1805. The type species is Adenanthos cuneatus, and 33 species are recognised. The genus is placed in subfamily Proteoideae, and is held to be most closely related to several South African genera.

Canberra

Canberra

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory at the northern tip of the Australian Alps, the country's highest mountain range. As of June 2021, Canberra's estimated population was 453,558.

Esperance, Western Australia

Esperance, Western Australia

Esperance is a town in the Goldfields–Esperance region of Western Australia, on the Southern Ocean coastline approximately 720 kilometres (450 mi) east-southeast of the state capital, Perth. The urban population of Esperance was 12,145 at June 2018. Its major industries are tourism, agriculture, and fishing.

Point Culver

Point Culver

Point Culver is a headland on the south coast of Western Australia. It is located at 32° 54' S 124° 41' E, near the western end of the Great Australian Bight.

Alex George (botanist)

Alex George (botanist)

Alexander Segger George is a Western Australian botanist. He is the authority on the plant genera Banksia and Dryandra. The "bizarre" Restionaceae genus Alexgeorgea was named in his honour in 1976.

Species description

Species description

A species description is a formal description of a newly discovered species, usually in the form of a scientific paper. Its purpose is to give a clear description of a new species of organism and explain how it differs from species that have been described previously or are related. In order for species to be validly described, they need to follow guidelines established over time. Zoological naming requires adherence to the ICZN code, plants, the ICN, viruses ICTV, and so on. The species description often contains photographs or other illustrations of type material along with a note on where they are deposited. The publication in which the species is described gives the new species a formal scientific name. Some 1.9 million species have been identified and described, out of some 8.7 million that may actually exist. Millions more have become extinct throughout the existence of life on Earth.

Banksia subg. Banksia

Banksia subg. Banksia

Banksia subg. Banksia is a valid botanic name for a subgenus of Banksia. As an autonym, it necessarily contains the type species of Banksia, B. serrata. Within this constraint, however, there have been various circumscriptions.

Banksia sect. Banksia

Banksia sect. Banksia

Banksia sect. Banksia is one of four sections of Banksia subgenus Banksia. It contains those species of subgenus Banksia with straight or sometimes curved but not hooked styles. These species all have cylindrical inflorescences and usually exhibit a bottom-up sequence of flower anthesis. It is a widely distributed section, with taxa occurring in both the south west and east coastal distributions of the genus.

Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis

Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis

Banksia ser. Cyrtostylis is a taxonomic series within the plant genus Banksia. First published at sectional rank by George Bentham in 1870, it was demoted to a series by Alex George in 1981. The name has had three circumscriptions.

Distribution and habitat

Banksia epica is known only from two populations in eastern parts of the Esperance Plains region of the South West Botanical Province, near the western edge of the Great Australian Bight. The main population occurs about 30 kilometres (20 mi) west of Point Culver; there were over 2000 plants there when surveyed in June 1989. A smaller population occurs about 70 kilometres (45 mi) further east at Toolinna Cove; when surveyed in August 1991, this locality had around 350 plants.[3] This latter population represents the easternmost limit of the western Banksia species;[4] east of Toolinna Cove no Banksia species occurs for over 900 kilometres (550 mi).

In both localities, B. epica occurs among heath on cliff-top dunes of deep, white siliceous sand over limestone. It co-occurs with B. media in both localities, and B. praemorsa is also present at Point Culver. Toolinna Cove sand is somewhat alkaline, making B. epica and B. media the only Banksia species that grow in alkaline soil.[14]

These two localities are unusual in having cliff-top dunes of siliceous sand: cliff-top dunes are an unusual topographic formation, and nearly all soil in the area is calcareous. As Banksia species are intolerant of calcareous soils, and are not adapted to long range seed dispersal, the two populations of B. epica appear to be reproductively isolated. Nelson has suggested that there was once a continuous strip of siliceous sand along the coast, providing an extensive and unfragmented habitat for B. epica; rises in the sea level had submerged this strip, leaving only the cliff-top dunes as suitable habitat. The fact that the resultant isolated populations have not perceptibly speciated since then suggests that the species has been fragmented for only a short time, perhaps only since the Last Glacial Maximum.[6]

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Esperance Plains

Esperance Plains

Esperance Plains, also known as Eyre Botanical District, is a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia on the south coast between the Avon Wheatbelt and Hampton bioregions, and bordered to the north by the Mallee region. It is a plain punctuated by granite and quartz outcrops and ranges, with a semi-arid Mediterranean climate and vegetation consisting mostly of mallee-heath and proteaceous scrub. About half of the region has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Recognised as a bioregion under the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), it was first defined by John Stanley Beard in 1980.

Cliff-top dune

Cliff-top dune

Cliff-top dunes, also known as perched dunes, are dunes that occur on the tops of cliffs. They are uncommon in most parts of the world, because they only develop under unusual geomorphological conditions. Processes by which they may be formed include:a dune advances up a pre-existing slope, which is then eroded to form a cliff; a dune forms during a period of high sea level, then sea level drops, exposing a cliff face.

Sand

Sand

Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided mineral particles. Sand has various compositions but is defined by its grain size. Sand grains are smaller than gravel and coarser than silt. Sand can also refer to a textural class of soil or soil type; i.e., a soil containing more than 85 percent sand-sized particles by mass.

Limestone

Limestone

Limestone is a type of carbonate sedimentary rock which is the main source of the material lime. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of CaCO3. Limestone forms when these minerals precipitate out of water containing dissolved calcium. This can take place through both biological and nonbiological processes, though biological processes, such as the accumulation of corals and shells in the sea, have likely been more important for the last 540 million years. Limestone often contains fossils which provide scientists with information on ancient environments and on the evolution of life.

Topography

Topography

Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area may refer to the land forms and features themselves, or a description or depiction in maps.

Calcareous

Calcareous

Calcareous is an adjective meaning "mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate", in other words, containing lime or being chalky. The term is used in a wide variety of scientific disciplines.

Biological dispersal

Biological dispersal

Biological dispersal refers to both the movement of individuals from their birth site to their breeding site, as well as the movement from one breeding site to another . Dispersal is also used to describe the movement of propagules such as seeds and spores. Technically, dispersal is defined as any movement that has the potential to lead to gene flow. The act of dispersal involves three phases: departure, transfer, settlement and there are different fitness costs and benefits associated with each of these phases. Through simply moving from one habitat patch to another, the dispersal of an individual has consequences not only for individual fitness, but also for population dynamics, population genetics, and species distribution. Understanding dispersal and the consequences both for evolutionary strategies at a species level, and for processes at an ecosystem level, requires understanding on the type of dispersal, the dispersal range of a given species, and the dispersal mechanisms involved.

Sea level rise

Sea level rise

Between 1901 and 2018, the globally averaged sea level rose by 15–25 cm (6–10 in), or 1–2 mm per year on average. This rate is accelerating, and the sea levels are now rising by 3.7 mm per year. This is caused by human-induced climate change, as it continually heats the ocean and melts land-based ice sheets and glaciers. Over the period between 1993 and 2018, the thermal expansion of water contributed 42% to sea level rise ; melting of temperate glaciers, 21%; Greenland, 15%; and Antarctica, 8%. Because sea level rise lags changes in Earth temperature, it will continue to accelerate between now and 2050 purely in response to warming which has already occurred: whether it continues to accelerate after that is dependent on the human greenhouse gas emissions. Even if sea level rise does not accelerate, it will continue for a very long time: over the next 2000 years, it is projected to amount to 2–3 m (7–10 ft) if global warming is limited to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), to 2–6 m (7–20 ft) if it peaks at 2 °C (3.6 °F) and to 19–22 metres (62–72 ft) if it peaks at 5 °C (9.0 °F).

Sea level

Sea level

Mean sea level is an average surface level of one or more among Earth's coastal bodies of water from which heights such as elevation may be measured. The global MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is instead the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.

Speciation

Speciation

Speciation is the evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species. The biologist Orator F. Cook coined the term in 1906 for cladogenesis, the splitting of lineages, as opposed to anagenesis, phyletic evolution within lineages. Charles Darwin was the first to describe the role of natural selection in speciation in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species. He also identified sexual selection as a likely mechanism, but found it problematic.

Last Glacial Maximum

Last Glacial Maximum

The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), also referred to as the Late Glacial Maximum, was the most recent time during the Last Glacial Period that ice sheets were at their greatest extent. Ice sheets covered much of Northern North America, Northern Europe, and Asia and profoundly affected Earth's climate by causing drought, desertification, and a large drop in sea levels. Based on changes in position of ice sheet margins dated via terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides and radiocarbon dating, growth of ice sheets commenced 33,000 years ago and maximum coverage was between 26,500 years and 19–20,000 years ago, when deglaciation commenced in the Northern Hemisphere, causing an abrupt rise in sea level. Decline of the West Antarctica ice sheet occurred between 14,000 and 15,000 years ago, consistent with evidence for another abrupt rise in the sea level about 14,500 years ago. Glacier fluctuations around the Strait of Magellan suggest the peak in glacial surface area was constrained to between 25,200 and 23,100 years ago. Continental ice sheets never reached their isostatic equilibrium during the LGM, as evidenced by high variability in ice volume over short spans of time.

Ecology

Old cone with purple follicles
Old cone with purple follicles

Pollinators of B. epica include Phylidonyris novaehollandiae (New Holland honeyeater) and Acanthiza chrysorrhoa (yellow-rumped thornbill).[15] No other pollinators have been recorded, but the species is poorly surveyed, and studies of other Banksia species have consistently indicated a wide range of invertebrate and vertebrate pollinators. For example, a survey of the closely related and co-occurring B. media found that "honeyeater birds and marsupial nectarivores were abundant in the study area and most carried the pollen of Banksia media while it flowered.… Self-pollination and pollination by insects clearly also play major roles in seed production."[16]

Like most other Proteaceae, B. epica has proteoid roots, roots with dense clusters of short lateral rootlets that form a mat in the soil just below the leaf litter. These enhance solubilisation of nutrients, allowing nutrient uptake in low-nutrient soils such as the phosphorus-deficient native soils of Australia. The species lacks a lignotuber, so is thought to be killed by fire. Like most Banksia species, however, it is adapted to release its aerial seed bank following a bushfire, so populations regenerate rapidly. It is highly susceptible to Phytophthora cinnamomi dieback.[17]

Because so few populations are known, B. epica has been listed on the Department of Environment and Conservation's Declared Rare and Priority Flora List as "Priority Two – Poorly Known Taxa""; and as 2RC under the ROTAP system (rare but not currently endangered or vulnerable, and having a range less than 100 km). It is not considered to be under threat, however, because both known populations occur within the Nuytsland Nature Reserve, and are undisturbed and healthy.[15] Furthermore, the area in which it occurs is poorly surveyed, so it is possible that other populations exist.[3]

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Ecology of Banksia

Ecology of Banksia

The ecology of Banksia is the relationships and interactions among the plant genus Banksia and its environment. Banksia has a number of adaptations that have so far enabled the genus to survive despite dry, nutrient-poor soil, low rates of seed set, high rates of seed predation and low rates of seedling survival. These adaptations include proteoid roots and lignotubers; specialised floral structures that attract nectariferous animals and ensure effective pollen transfer; and the release of seed in response to bushfire.

Pollinator

Pollinator

A pollinator is an animal that moves pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower. This helps to bring about fertilization of the ovules in the flower by the male gametes from the pollen grains.

Invertebrate

Invertebrate

Invertebrates are a paraphyletic group of animals that neither possess nor develop a vertebral column, derived from the notochord. This is a grouping including all animals apart from the chordate subphylum Vertebrata. Familiar examples of invertebrates include arthropods, mollusks, annelids, echinoderms and cnidarians.

Proteaceae

Proteaceae

The Proteaceae form a family of flowering plants predominantly distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The family comprises 83 genera with about 1,660 known species. Australia and South Africa have the greatest concentrations of diversity. Together with the Platanaceae and Nelumbonaceae, they make up the order Proteales. Well-known genera include Protea, Banksia, Embothrium, Grevillea, Hakea and Macadamia. Species such as the New South Wales waratah, king protea, and various species of Banksia, Grevillea, and Leucadendron are popular cut flowers. The nuts of Macadamia integrifolia are widely grown commercially and consumed, as are those of Gevuina avellana on a smaller scale.

Nutrient

Nutrient

A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. The requirement for dietary nutrient intake applies to animals, plants, fungi, and protists. Nutrients can be incorporated into cells for metabolic purposes or excreted by cells to create non-cellular structures, such as hair, scales, feathers, or exoskeletons. Some nutrients can be metabolically converted to smaller molecules in the process of releasing energy, such as for carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and fermentation products, leading to end-products of water and carbon dioxide. All organisms require water. Essential nutrients for animals are the energy sources, some of the amino acids that are combined to create proteins, a subset of fatty acids, vitamins and certain minerals. Plants require more diverse minerals absorbed through roots, plus carbon dioxide and oxygen absorbed through leaves. Fungi live on dead or living organic matter and meet nutrient needs from their host.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a chemical element with the symbol P and atomic number 15. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms, white phosphorus and red phosphorus, but because it is highly reactive, phosphorus is never found as a free element on Earth. It has a concentration in the Earth's crust of about one gram per kilogram. In minerals, phosphorus generally occurs as phosphate.

Australia

Australia

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), Australia is the largest country by area in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country. Australia is the oldest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils. It is a megadiverse country, and its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes and climates, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, and mountain ranges in the south-east.

Lignotuber

Lignotuber

A lignotuber is a woody swelling of the root crown possessed by some plants as a protection against destruction of the plant stem, such as by fire. Other woody plants may develop basal burls as a similar survival strategy, often as a response to coppicing or other environmental stressors. However, lignotubers are specifically part of the normal course of development of the plants that possess them, and often develop early on in growth. The crown contains buds from which new stems may sprout, as well as stores of starch that can support a period of growth in the absence of photosynthesis. The term "lignotuber" was coined in 1924 by Australian botanist Leslie R. Kerr.

Phytophthora cinnamomi

Phytophthora cinnamomi

Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil-borne water mould that produces an infection which causes a condition in plants variously called "root rot", "dieback", or, "ink disease". The plant pathogen is one of the world's most invasive species and is present in over 70 countries around the world.

Department of Environment and Conservation (Western Australia)

Department of Environment and Conservation (Western Australia)

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was a department of the Government of Western Australia that was responsible for implementing the state's conservation and environment legislation and regulations. It was formed on 1 July 2006 by the amalgamation of the Department of Environment and the Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Declared Rare and Priority Flora List

Declared Rare and Priority Flora List

The Declared Rare and Priority Flora List is the system by which Western Australia's conservation flora are given a priority. Developed by the Government of Western Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation, it was used extensively within the department, including the Western Australian Herbarium. The herbarium's journal, Nuytsia, which has published over a quarter of the state's conservation taxa, requires a conservation status to be included in all publications of new Western Australian taxa that appear to be rare or endangered.

Nuytsland Nature Reserve

Nuytsland Nature Reserve

Nuytsland Nature Reserve is a protected area of Western Australia in the south-eastern part of the state, on the south coast.

Cultivation

B. epica is fairly new to cultivation. Kevin Collins of the Banksia Farm in Albany, Western Australia is said to have pioneered its cultivation, growing it in loamy clay or sandy gravel. It showed good tolerance for alkaline soils in those conditions, and has also succeeded in sandy, alkaline soil near the coast between Mandurah and Kwinana.[2] The Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra has also had some success in cultivating the species. Seeds were sown in February 1996, and planted out in November 1997; seedlings planted into sections without good drainage died, but two seedlings that were planted into a section with excellent drainage were about a metre tall by 2002, and flowering prolifically.[18][19]

Propagation is by seed or cuttings.[18] Seeds do not require any treatment, and take 14 to 49 days to germinate.[20] In the absence of further information specific to B. epica, George recommends that cultivated plants be treated as for B. media and B. praemorsa, both of which require a sunny position in well-drained soil, and tolerate only light pruning not below the green foliage.[21]

Discover more about Cultivation related topics

Source: "Banksia epica", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksia_epica.

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References
  1. ^ a b c d George, Alex S. (1999). "Banksia" (PDF). In Wilson, Annette (ed.). Flora of Australia. Vol. 17B. CSIRO Publishing / Australian Biological Resources Study. pp. 175–251 [215]. ISBN 0-643-06454-0.
  2. ^ a b Collins, Kevin (2002). "Banksia in horticulture". Australian Plants. ASGAP. 21 (173): 379–383.
  3. ^ a b c d Taylor, Anne; Hopper, Stephen (1988). The Banksia Atlas (Australian Flora and Fauna Series Number 8). Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. ISBN 0-644-07124-9.
  4. ^ a b c d e f George, Alex S. (1988). "New taxa and notes on Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)". Nuytsia. 6 (3): 309–317.
  5. ^ Eyre, Edward John (1845). Journals of Expeditions of Discovery into Central Australia. London: T. and W. Boone. ISBN 1-4069-3551-4.
  6. ^ a b c Nelson, E. Charles (1974). "Disjunct plant distributions on the south-western Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia". Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 57 (4): 105–117.
  7. ^ Nelson, Ernest Charles (1978). "A taxonomic revision of the genus Adenanthos Proteaceae". Brunonia. 1 (3): 315. doi:10.1071/BRU9780303. This revision resulted from a proposal to investigate the problem of disjunct species distribution.... However before that proposal could be tackled reasonably, the taxonomy of the genus had to be revised.
  8. ^ "Banksia epica A.S.George". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  9. ^ a b Thiele, Kevin; Ladiges, Pauline Y. (1996). "A cladistic analysis of Banksia (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany. 9 (5): 661–733. doi:10.1071/SB9960661.
  10. ^ Mast, Austin R. (1998). "Molecular systematics of subtribe Banksiinae (Banksia and Dryandra; Proteaceae) based on cpDNA and nrDNA sequence data: implications for taxonomy and biogeography". Australian Systematic Botany. 11 (4): 321–342. doi:10.1071/SB97026.
  11. ^ Mast, Austin R.; Givnish, Thomas J. (2002). "Historical biogeography and the origin of stomatal distributions in Banksia and Dryandra (Proteaceae) based on Their cpDNA phylogeny". American Journal of Botany. 89 (8): 1311–1323. doi:10.3732/ajb.89.8.1311. PMID 21665734.
  12. ^ Mast, Austin R.; Jones, Eric H.; Havery, Shawn P. (2005). "An assessment of old and new DNA sequence evidence for the paraphyly of Banksia with respect to Dryandra (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany. 18 (1): 75–88. doi:10.1071/SB04015.
  13. ^ Mast, Austin R.; Thiele, Kevin (2007). "The transfer of Dryandra R.Br. to Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany. 20 (1): 63–71. doi:10.1071/SB06016.
  14. ^ Lamont, Byron B.; Connell, S. W. (1996). "Biogeography of Banksia in southwestern Australia". Journal of Biogeography. 23 (3): 295–309. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2699.1996.00027.x.
  15. ^ a b Craig, Gillian F.; Coates, David J. (2001). "B. Priority 2 Taxa" (PDF). Declared Rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Esperance District. Western Australian Wildlife Management Program. Bentley, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management. ISSN 0816-9713. Retrieved 21 February 2007.
  16. ^ Wooller, S. J.; Wooller, R. D. (2002). "Mixed mating in Banksia media". Australian Journal of Botany. 50 (5): 627–631. doi:10.1071/BT01075.
  17. ^ "Part 2, Appendix 4: The responses of native Australian plant species to Phytophthora cinnamomi" (PDF). Management of Phytophthora cinnamomi for Biodiversity Conservation in Australia. Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  18. ^ a b "Banksia epica". Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP). Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
  19. ^ Liber, C. (2002). "Banksia epica, media & praemorsa in ANBG, Canberra" (PDF). Banksia Study Group Newsletter. ASGAP. 4 (1): 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2006.
  20. ^ Sweedman, Luke; Merritt, David, eds. (2006). Australian seeds: a guide to their collection, identification and biology. CSIRO Publishing. p. 203. ISBN 0-643-09298-6.
  21. ^ George, Alex S. (1987). The Banksia Book (Second Edition). Kenthurst, New South Wales: Kangaroo Press (in association with the Society for Growing Australian Plants). ISBN 0-86417-006-8.
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