Vegetation and floristics of Columbey National Park, lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales

  • A vegetation survey was undertaken within Columbey National Park (32° 35’S, 151° 44’E) near Clarence Town in the lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Multivariate cluster analysis and non-metric multi-dimensional scaling were carried out on plot-based data to classify the vegetation into twelve native communities (one plantation), and each compared with a larger regional dataset. A vegetation map was also prepared, based heavily on extensive ground-data supplemented with aerial photographic interpretation. Although small in size, this reserve conserves good examples of the endangered Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest (475 ha) and River-Flat Eucalypt Forest on Coastal Floodplains (124 ha), together with a small parcel of Hunter Lowlands Redgum Forest (3.7 ha). Collectively, these Endangered Ecological Communities occupy approximately 70% of the 870 ha reserve. Small populations of the threatened and previously unreserved orchid, Pterostylis chaetophora are present in the reserve, together with the Endangered Corybas dowlingii and the regionally significant cycad, Macrozamia flexuosa. An historical record of Eucalyptus glaucina could not be substantiated during the current survey, and may have been recorded in error. A total of 349 vascular plant taxa were recorded, including 25 weed species. The vegetation present within Columbey National Park bears strong resemblance to that in the Cessnock region of the Hunter Valley (Bell 2004; DECC 2008), a feature attributed to similar rainfall and soil types. Vegetation communities common between the two areas include Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest, Red Ironbark Scrub-Forest, Paperbark Soak Forest, Floodplain Redgum-Box Forest and Gully Rainforest. Unlike the Cessnock area, however, Columbey has not been subject to illegal rubbish dumping to any great degree.

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Author:Stephen A. J. Bell
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
Date of Publication (online):2013/04/12
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/04/12
Page Number:35
First Page:241
Last Page:275
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 2 (2009)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht