New journal articles: Mar. 2019

Today, the State Herbarium of South Australia published two article in the online version of Swainsona.

Utricularia dichotoma. Photo: J.G.Conran.

(1) J.G. Conran, Weird and wonderful plants of South Australia (2.3mb PDF)

This article is published in Vol. 30 of the journal, which contains the Proceedings of the Botany SymposiumBotany 2016 — Past, present and future“, held at the 2016 NRM Science Conference, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the State Herbarium.

John Conran‘s contribution to the Conference was an overview of interesting plants in the State. He discusses tiny Trithuria plants, carnivorous sundews, triggerplants with spring-loaded pollination mechanisms, parasitic plants like mistletoes, quandongs and snotty gobbles, and many others.

(2) P.S. Catcheside & D.E.A. Catcheside, CORRIGENDUM to: A new species of small black disc fungi, Smardaea australis (Pezizales, Pyronemataceae), is described from Australia (430kb PDF)

This articles corrects an error in the description of a fungus species that was published in Vol. 31 in June 2017. The original article is available here (1.8mb PDF).

To access content of all volumes of Swainsona and the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens since Vol. 1 (1976), please visit the journal’s web-site at flora.sa.gov.au/swainsona.

High ranking output

Two scientists from the State Herbarium of South Australia have recently collaborated with colleagues to produce research papers that were published in well-known Nature Research journals during the last week.

(1) T. Varga, et al., Megaphylogeny resolves global patterns of mushroom evolutionNature Ecology & Evolution (16 Mar. 2019), DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0834-1.

Hon. Research Associate Pam Catcheside is among 62 authors, collaborating in this global effort to produce a phylogeny of 5,284 species of Agaricomycetes. These mushroom-forming fungi have the greatest morphological diversity and complexity of any group of fungi. They have radiated into most niches and fulfill diverse roles in the ecosystem, including wood decomposers, pathogens or mycorrhizal mutualists. This ground-breaking, first comprehensive phylogeny of mushroom-forming fungi reveals large-scale patterns of their evolutionary history.

Phylogenetic relationships and diversification across 5,284 mushroom-forming fungi. A maximum-likelyhood analysis of nrLSU, rpb2, ef1-a sequences.

(2) J.M. Kalwij, et al., Vagrant birds as a dispersal vector in transoceanic range expansion of vascular plantsScientific Reports (15 Mar. 2019), DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-41081-9.

Some years ago, State Herbarium botanist Jürgen Kellermann was contacted by Jesse Kalwij (now working in Germany) to identify an unknown shrub that was discovered about 25 years ago on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, one of the two Prince Edward Islands (South Africa). This evolved into a study examining the pathways that lead to the establishment of the plant, which turned out to be Ochetophila trinervis, a shrub in the family Rhamnaceae (see also this article). The species is native to southern South America, the closest population being over 7,500 km away. Dr Kalwij involved colleagues from South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Germany in this research, identifying the barn swallow as the most likely vector dispersing seeds of the plant to this sub-Antarctic island.

Ochetophila trinervis on Marion Island. (a) The single shrub, c. 25 years after establishment. (b) Close-up of branch of the plant. Photos: J.M. Kalwij.

Eyre Peninsula plants book

A new book on the plants of southern Eyre Peninsula has just been published:

Saunders, Brian (2018). Flowering plants of lower Eyre Peninsula: An illustrated tour of the native flora, 200 pp. Camden Park: Lane Print & Post.

The book is a photographic identification guide to the more common plants of the area, with brief notes on their distribution and biology. The southern half of Eyre Peninsula is home to many remarkable plants, including some which are endemic to the region. A list of all EP native plants can be found through the eFloraSA website.

State Herbarium of South Australia botanist Peter Lang was heavily involved in the book project, advising Brian on the correct names of plants and checking text and images.

The publication is available in shops in Coffin Bay, Port Lincoln and Adelaide at $25.

Other well-known identification guides by the author include:

 

Mind the Gap in Brisbane

This week, the annual conference of the Australasian Systematic Botany Society (ASBS) is held in Brisbane. The theme of the conference is Mind the Gap and aims to highlight gaps in the field of systematics (be they biogeographic, taxonomic, data, funding, etc.). It is organised by the Queensland Herbarium and held at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Toowong. About 110 delegates from Australia, New Zealand and overseas are meeting to hear 55 presentations. From the State Herbarium of South Australia, Bill Barker and Francis Nge are giving talks on the genus Lindernia and the diversification of Australia’s temperate flora, respectively.

Queensland Herbarium.

The Proceedings of the Conference with abstracts of all presentations are available for download [1.73mb PDF] from the website. Before the Conference, a workshop was held on on how to referee taxonomic manuscripts. A field trip to Springbrook and to the precipice of the remains of the Mt Warning caldera is organised for Friday.

Information on previous meetings can be found on the ASBS website. The last Conference was held in Adelaide and the 2016 meeting took place in Alice Springs. Proceedings of both meetings were published as Swainsona Supplements and can be downloaded from our journal website.

Collecting on Eyre Peninsula

Stenanthemum leucophractum, photograph of herbarium collection JK743. Photo: J. Kellermann.

State Herbarium of South Australia botanist Jürgen Kellermann and PhD-student Francis Nge recently spent a week on Eyre Peninsula to collect plants, in particular Rhamnaceae (Cryptandra, Pomaderris, Spyridium, Stenanthemum ¹) and Myrtaceae (Calytrix ¹).

Cryptandra sp. Hiltaba, collected north of Cowell. Photo: J. Kellermann.

The State Herbarium is host-institution of a project revising the plant family Rhamnaceae for the Flora of Australia, with Dr Kellermann as the lead investigator. Rhamnaceae is one of the 20 largest plant families in Australia and a well-known component of Australia’s temperate and semi-arid flora: 25 genera and over 250 species occur in Australia (see ABRS 2016 Conference abstract; 1 mb PDF). However, the only Australia-wide treatment available to date is by George Bentham (Flora Australiensis, 1863). Together with interstate colleagues, the family will be examined using molecular and morphological methods. The 3-year project is funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study.

Francis Nge is using Rhamnaceae and Calytrix as case-studies for his PhD thesis on the evolutionary history of the Australian temperate flora. He is based at The University of Adelaide and the State Herbarium.

Calytrix tetragona at Warrow Road. Photo: F. Nge.

Francis & Jürgen traveled mainly in middle and northern Eyre Peninsula, especially the area around Kimba, Pinkawillinie Conservation Park, Cleve, Cowell and Hincks Conservation Park, with a short trip to Wanilla Settlement Reserve. During the field-trip, they collected 168 specimens, many with duplicates, as well as leaves in silica gel for DNA analyses and flowers preserved in 70% ethanol. Almost all collections were documented with close-up photos, habit and habitat shots.

Camping at Wharminda Soaks, near Hincks Conservation Park. Photo: J. Kellermann.

¹ The links provided are to VicFlora genus factsheets, as there are no current South Australian or Australia-wide treatments.

Contributed by botanist Jürgen Kellermann.