Lepidosperma laterale

Aim: Conservation Genomics
Project initiation: Aug 2020
Project lead: Jeremy Bruhl | University of New England

Project description:

More than 70 spp. of Lepidosperma have been named. The L. laterale sens. lat. complex. is widespread in eastern Australia. Despite intense study, L. laterale remains an unresolved complex including at least three recognised varieties and > 10 informal putative species. The status of these varieties, putative species and the limits between L. laterale and other species such as L. elatius, L. ensiforme, L. gunnii and L. lineare, remain uncertain, unclear and unresolved.

We plan limited additional, highly targeted fieldwork 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 relationships within the L. laterale sens. lat. complex and broader assemblage, leading to the recircumscription of L. laterale sens. str., clarification of the limits of L. laterale, L. gunnii, L. lineare, L. elatius, L. sp. Whian Whian. 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.