A new classification of savanna plant communities on the igneous rock lowlands and Tertiary sandy plain landscapes of Cape York Peninsula bioregion

  • Classifying and mapping landscapes are tools to simplify complex systems into the discreet subsets widely used in landscape management. In 1999, the Queensland Government adopted a Regional Ecosystems approach as a state-wide landscape classification scheme. For the Cape York Peninsula bioregion in north-eastern Australia, Regional Ecosystems (RE) were initially recognised based on a pre-existing vegetation map and classification for the bioregion. The classification had been developed using expert-techniques based on extensive field plot data. Here, we use numerical analyses to classify the field plot data and identify savanna plant communities associated with two widespread landform groups in the bioregion (the old loamy and sandy plains (land zone 5) and the hills and lowlands on igneous rocks (land zone 12). Communities were identified at the plant association level, using species importance values calculated from foliage cover and vegetation height at each plot. We developed a descriptive-framework for each community using statistically based characterising species and biophysical attributes. We recognise 57 communities compared with 110 that had been previously identified using expert-techniques. This classification is used to recommend refined Regional Ecosystems under the government’s regulations. The descriptive-framework supported consistent descriptions of communities and assignment of new sites to the classification. We conclude that incorporating quantitative methods in classifying and describing plant communities will improve the robustness and defensibility of Regional Ecosystems and their use in landscape management across Queensland.

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Author:Eda Addicott, Mark Newton, Susan Laurance, John Neldner, Melinda Laidlaw, Don Butler
ISSN:0727- 9620
ISSN:2200 - 405X
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/18
Page Number:44
First Page:29
Last Page:72
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 18 (2018)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht