New South Wales Vegetation classification and Assessment: Part 3, plant communities of the NSW Brigalow Belt South, Nandewar and west New England Bioregions and update of NSW Western Plains and South-western Slopes plant communities, Version 3 of the NSWVCA database

  • This fourth paper in the NSW Vegetation Classification and Assessment series covers the Brigalow Belt South-/1(BBS) and Nandewar (NAN) Bioregions and the western half of the New England Bioregion (NET), an area of 9.3 million hectares being 11.6% of NSW. It completes the NSWVCA coverage for the Border Rivers-Gwydir and Namoi CMA areas and records plant communities in the Central West and Hunter–Central Rivers CMA areas. In total, 585 plant communities are now classified in the NSWVCA covering 11.5 of the 18 Bioregions in NSW (78% of the State). Of these 226 communities are in the NSW Western Plains and 416 are in the NSW Western Slopes. 315 plant communities are classified in the BBS, NAN and west-NET Bioregions including 267 new descriptions since Version 2 was published in 2008. Descriptions of the 315 communities are provided in a 919 page report on the DVD accompanying this paper along with updated reports on other inland NSW bioregions and nine Catchment Management Authority areas fully or partly classified in the NSWVCA to date. A read-only version of Version 3 of the NSWVCA database is on the DVD for use on personal computers. A feature of the BBS and NAN Bioregions is the array of ironbark and bloodwood Eucalyptusdominated shrubby woodlands on sandstone and acid volcanic substrates extending from Dubbo to Queensland. This includes iconic natural areas such as Warrumbungle and Mount Kaputar National Parks and the 500,000 ha Pilliga Scrub forests. Large expanses of basalt-derived soils support grassy box woodland and native grasslands including those on the Liverpool Plains; near Moree; and around Inverell, most of which are cleared and threatened. Wetlands occur on sodic soils near Yetman and in large clay gilgais in the Pilliga region. Sedgelands are rare but occupy impeded creeks. Aeolian lunettes occur at Narran Lake and near Gilgandra. Areas of deep sand contain Allocasuarina, eucalypt mallee and Melaleuca uncinata heath. Tall grassy or ferny open forests occur on mountain ranges above 1000m elevation in the New England Bioregion and on the Liverpool Range while grassy box woodlands occupy lower elevations with lower rainfall and higher temperatures. The vegetation classification and assessment is based on over 100 published and unpublished vegetation surveys and map unit descriptions, expert advice, extra plot sampling and data analysis and over 25 000 km of road traverse with field checking at 805 sites. Key sources of data included floristic analyses produced in western regional forest assessments in the BBS and NAN Bioregions, floristic analyses in over 60 surveys of conservation reserves and analysis of plot data in the western NET Bioregion and covering parts of the Namoi and Border Rivers- Gwydir CMA areas. Approximately 60% of the woody native vegetation in the study area has been cleared resulting in large areas of “derived” native grasslands. As of June 2010, 7% of the area was in 136 protected areas and 127 of the 315 plant communities were assessed to be adequately protected in reserves. Using the NSWVCA database threat criteria, 15 plant communities were assessed as being Critically Endangered, 59 Endangered, 60 Vulnerable, 99 Near Threatened and 82 Least Concern. 61 of these communities are assessed as part of NSW or Commonwealth-listed Threatened Ecological Communities. Current threats include expanding dryland and irrigated cropping on alluvial plains, floodplains and gently undulating topography at lower elevations; over-grazing of steep hills; altered water tables and flooding regimes; localized mining; and the spread of exotic species, notably Coolatai Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta).

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Author:John S. Benson, P. G. Richards, S. Waller, Chris B. Allen
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Publisher:Mount Annan Botanic Garden, The Administration Officer
Place of publication:Mount Annan, NSW
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2010
Year of first Publication:2010
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/04/05
Page Number:123
First Page:457
Last Page:579
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 11, Issue 4 (2010)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht