Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Rarity, taxonomy and genetics: the chequered history of Grevillea williamsonii (Proteaceae)

Elizabeth James , Gillian Brown , Rebecca Jordan , Daniel Ohlsen


Resolving uncertainty regarding the taxonomic and conservation status of rare plants is of utmost importance to enable effective allocation of the limited resources available for conserving biodiversity. Prioritising threatened taxa that are more appropriately regarded as synonymous with more common species represents wasted resources. Such a scenario may apply to the Australian entity Grevillea williamsonii and consequently its taxonomic status was investigated using chloroplast DNA sequence and nuclear microsatellite data. Haplotype network and genetic structure analyses showed that G. williamsonii was not genetically distinct from and should be synonymised with the variable and morphologically similar but more common species, G. aquifolium. This study highlights the benefit of undertaking genetic analyses where questionable taxonomic status biases conservation prioritisation and management decisions.

PC17050  Accepted 01 April 2018

© CSIRO 2018