Long thought to be extinct, Nitella partita is a macroscopic green alga (charophyte) that was rediscovered in freshwater temporary wetlands of the Paroo River. Plant communities in these temporary wetlands undergo considerable changes during erratic filling and drying cycles. During these cycles, aquatic plants, sedges, annual grasses, herbs and forbs become abundant during and after inundation, before declining again. During prolonged dry periods, ground cover may be virtually absent and many species remain hidden below the surface as propagules in seed banks or underground storage organs.
Nitella partita is difficult to map and quantify because of the ephemeral nature of its habitat. It’s listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is providing funding through the “Saving our Species” program for a research project to be undertaken.
The project: “Ecology & Conservation of Nitella Partita : an Endangered Aquatic Plant of Arid Temporary Wetlands” will cover the following:
In this project, you’ll gain the following skills:
The project is supported by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, which will provide funds to cover costs of fieldwork.