Lepidosperma fimbriatum

Aim: Conservation Genomics
Project initiation: Aug 2020
Project lead: Russell Barrett | National Herbarium of New South Wales

Project description:

More than 70 spp. of Lepidosperma have been named. The L. fimbriatum sens. lat. complex. is widespread in south-western Australia, with a particular concentration of diversity in the Ravensthorpe Ranges, an area subject to numerous mineral extraction projects. Despite intense field study, L. fimbriatum remains an unresolved complex including at least seven informal putative species. The status of these putative species and therefore their conservation status remain uncertain, unclear and unresolved.

We plan to obtain additional population samples from limited additional, highly targeted fieldwork conducted by consultants on our behalf (given we are unable to travel to WA) to maximise coverage of fine-scale variation across environmental gradients, and to complement available samples. We will also explore taxonomically useful morphological characters from the associated herbarium vouchers.

We aim to resolve taxonomic boundaries within the L. fimbriatum sens. lat. complex, leading to the recircumscription of L. fimbriatum sens. str., and clarification of the limits of L. sp. Archer Drive, L. sp. Halleys, L. sp. Shoemaker Levy and L. sp. Tall Fimbriate. Any newly justified species will be published, and the conservation status assessment of each species will be undertaken with recommendations sent to Commonwealth and relevant State agencies.