Research Paper: Potential distribution of Leptospermum species (Myrtaceae) in Australia for bioactive honey production purposes

A new research paper by Abraão Almeida Santos, Tate Jason James Hancox, Marcelo Coutinho Picanço, Kate Delaporte & Katja Hogendoorn. This research, published in the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, helps to identify hotspots for various Leptospermum species.

Abstract

The genus Leptospermum (Myrtaceae) is widespread in Australia and contains several species that are of increasing interest to produce bioactive honey. Here, we used the Maxent algorithm to investigate bioclimatic, climatic, and soil variables as predictors for potential distributions of seven Leptospermum species that have been identified as useful for bioactive honey production in Australia (L. lanigerumL. liversidgeiL. nitensL. polygalifoliumL. scopariumL. speciosum, and L. whitei). Bioclimatic and climatic variables, mainly those related to moist conditions, were the best predictors for the distribution of the species. Leptospermum lanigerum and L. scoparium were suitable species in areas in southwestern Australia and Tasmania, while L. polygalifolium was suitable for eastern Australia. For L. nitens, appropriate areas were found only in western and southern regions, whereas only border ranges in Queensland and New South Wales were considered suitable for L. liversidgeiL. speciosum, and L. whitei. Notably, the latter areas were identified as a potential ‘hotspot’ for Leptospermum species. Our study can assist the incipient Leptospermum honey industry in Australia in identifying suitable local species and the local maintenance requirements for the species chosen.

Abraão Almeida Santos, Tate Jason James Hancox, Marcelo Coutinho Picanço, Kate Delaporte & Katja Hogendoorn (2021): Potential distribution of Leptospermum species (Myrtaceae) in Australia for bioactive honey production purposes, New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, DOI: 10.1080/01140671.2021.1951306

Image: Abraão Almeida Santos