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A survey of Sphagnum moss in South Australia


Whinam, J and Copley, P, A survey of Sphagnum moss in South Australia, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 135, (1) pp. 55-61. ISSN 0372-1426 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Royal Society of South Australia

DOI: doi:10.1080/03721426.2011.10887150


There is little information published on the distribution of Sphagnum moss in South Australia. Data on the known distribution of Sphagnum moss were compiled from South Australian Herbarium records, previous publications and information from field officers. A list of sites where Sphagnum moss was known to occur or might occur was prepared and as many of these sites were surveyed as possible during October 2006. Sphagnum was found not to form Sphagnum peatlands, as it does in other parts of eastern Australia and overseas, but tends to occur as a minor component in other peatland and/or heath vegetation communities. Sphagnum was most commonly found in conjunction with Melaleuca/Leptospermum heaths or Restionaceous sedge communities. Many of the sites surveyed showed signs of drying, including the desiccation of Sphagnum moss, the germination of Acacia melanoxylon seedlings and the presence of several weed species. 'Big Swamp' described as a Sphagnum peatland in 1939 (Crocker & Eardley) was found to contain only two minute patches of drying Sphagnum novo-zelandicum. Many sites were surrounded by weeds, with the hydrology of many catchments with Sphagnum moss affected by eucalypt and/or pine plantations. The small populations of Sphagnum novo-zelandicum and the threats posed by lower moisture availability indicate that this species should be listed as threatened in South Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change, heathlands, peatlands, South Australia, Sphagnum, survey, threatened species, Acacia melanoxylon, bryophyta, Sphagnum, Sphagnum novo-zelandicum
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Terrestrial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Whinam, J (Dr Jennie Whinam)
ID Code:118458
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-07-12
Last Modified:2017-08-17

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