Pre-clearing vegetation of the coastal lowlands of the Wet Tropics Bioregion, North Queensland

  • A pre-clearing vegetation map and digital coverage at approximately 1:50 000 scale for the coastal lowlands (up to about 200 m elevation) of the Wet Tropics Bioregion, North Queensland is presented. The study area covers about 508 000 ha from Cooktown, 420 km south almost to Townsville (latitude 15° 30’–18° 20’ longitude 144° 50’–146° 40’). Data sources included historical aerial photography, early surveyors’ plans, explorers’ journals, previous vegetation maps, and maps of soils and geology. The pre-clearing mapping was built around the remnant vegetation mapping of Stanton & Stanton (2005), and the vegetation classification of this latter work was adopted. Vegetation units were further classified into regional ecosystems compatible with the standard State-wide system used by Queensland government. The digital coverage is part of the current Queensland Herbarium regional ecosystem coverage (Queensland Herbarium and Wet Tropics Management Authority 2005). Coloured maps (1:100 000 scale) of the pre-clearing vegetation of the Herbert, Tully, Innisfail and Macalister/Daintree subregions are on an accompanying CD-ROM. An evaluation of vegetation loss through clearing on the coastal lowlands of the Wet Tropics revealed several nearextinct vegetation communities and regional ecosystems, and many others that are drastically reduced in area. Even ecosystems occurring on poorly drained lands have suffered a surprisingly high level of loss due to the effectiveness of drainage operations. Grassland ecosystems were found to be widespread on the Herbert and Tully floodplains, but are now close to extinction. The lowlands vegetation of the Wet Tropics that remains today continues to be fragmented and degraded despite the introduction of State-wide broad-scale tree-clearing laws in 1999, and the cessation of broadscale tree-clearing in December 2006.

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Author:Jeanette E. Kemp, Rosemary J. Lovatt, Julie C. Bahr, Chris P. Kahler, Chris N. Appelman
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):2013/06/24
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/06/24
Page Number:45
First Page:285
Last Page:329
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 10, Issue 2 (2007)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht