Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions - Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

NSW Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 (Endangered ecological communities) of the Act by inserting the Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions (as described in the determination of the Scientific Committee under Division 5 Part 2) and as a consequence to omit reference to the Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published on pages 7668 to 7672 in the NSW Government Gazette No. 149 dated 24 September 2004. Minor amendments to the Schedules are provided for by Division 5 of Part 2 of the Act.

 

The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the amendment is necessary or desirable to correct minor errors or omissions in the Determination in relation to the Thackway and Cresswell (1995) reference.

 

The Scientific Committee has found that:

 

1. Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions occurred mainly in the Dubbo - Narromine - Parkes - Forbes area. Within this region it is now found principally in the South Western Slopes Bioregion and also occurs in parts of the Darling Riverine Plains Bioregion and Brigalow Belt South Bioregion. Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).

 

Species that are characteristic of the community include:-

 

 

Acacia deanei subsp. deanei

Acacia excelsa

Acacia hakeoides

Acacia implexa

Acacia penninervis var. longiracemosa

Allocasuarina luehmannii

Alternanthera nana

Aristida behriana

Aristida muricata

Aristida ramosa var. ramosa

Arthropodium minus

Atriplex leptocarpa

Atriplex semibaccata

Austrodanthonia setacea

Austrostipa aristiglumis

Austrostipa densiflora

Austrostipa elegantissima

Austrostipa ramosissima

Austrostipa scabra

Austrostipa verticillata

Austrostipa wakoolica

Boerhavia dominii

Bothriochloa decipiens

Bothriochloa macra

Brachychiton populneus subsp. populneus

Bracteantha viscosa

Bulbine bulbosa

Callitris glaucophylla

Calotis cuneifolia

Calotis scapigera

Carex appressa

Carex incomitata

Cassinia aculeata

Casuarina cristata

Centaurea melitensis

Chamaesyce drummondii

Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia

Chenopodium cristatum

Chenopodium desertorum

Chloris truncata

Convolvulus erubescens

Dactyloctenium radulans

Dendrophthoe glabrescens

Dianella longifolia var. longifolia

Dianella revoluta var. revoluta

Dichanthium sericeum

Dichondra repens

Dichopogon fimbriatus

Digitaria brownii

Digitaria divaricatissima

Dodonaea viscosa subsp. cuneata

Einadia hastata

Einadia nutans

Elymus scaber var. scaber

Enneapogon spp.

Enteropogon acicularis

Eragrostis australasica

Eragrostis parviflora

Eremophila debilis

Eriochloa procera

Eucalyptus blakelyi

Eucalyptus conica

Eucalyptus intertexta

Eucalyptus melliodora

Eucalyptus microcarpa

Eucalyptus populnea subsp. bimbil

Geijera parviflora

Glycine clandestina

Glycine latifolia

Hakea leucoptera

Juncus flavidus

Leptochloa digitata

Lomandra multiflora subsp. multiflora

Maireana enchylaenoides

Maireana humillima

Myoporum montanum

Myoporum platycarpum subsp. perbellum

Notelaea microcarpa

Notodanthonia longifolia

Orobanche cernua var. australiana

Oxalis chnoodes

Panicum decompositum

Panicum laevinode

Paspalidium albovillosum

Plantago cunninghamii

Poa labillardieri var. labillardieri

Portulaca oleracea

Ptilotus semilanatus

Rhagodia spinescens

Rostellularia adscendens subsp. adscendens var. pogonanthera

Sclerolaena birchii

Sclerolaena muricata var. muricata

Senna artemisioides sens. lat.

Sida corrugata

Sida petrophila

Solanum esuriale

Stackhousia monogyna

Themeda australis

Vittadina cuneata

Wahlenbergia fluminalis

Wahlenbergia luteola

Wahlenbergia victoriensis

 

2. Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions is a woodland or open forest usually dominated by Fuzzy Box Eucalyptus conica, which often grows with Inland Grey Box Eucalyptus microcarpa, Yellow Box Eucalyptus melliodora or Kurrajong Brachychiton populneus. Buloke Allocasuarina luehmannii is common in places. Shrubs are generally sparse and include Acacia deanei, Dodonaea viscosa, Geijera parviflora, Acacia implexa, Senna artemisioides sens. lat., Myoporum montanum and Cassinia aculeata. Small shrubs include Maireana microphylla and Sclerolaena muricata. The ground cover may be dense after rain but is usually moderately dense. It comprises native forbs, including Calotis cuneifolia, Sida corrugata, Einadia hastata, Dianella revoluta and Bracteantha viscosa, prostrate shrubs such as Eremophila debilis, Maireana enchylaenoides, and native grasses including Austrostipa scabra, Chloris truncata, Elymus scaber, Themeda australis and Austrodanthonia setacea.

 

The species Fuzzy Box Eucalyptus conica is more widely distributed than this community on the western slopes of NSW and may occur in association with other eucalypt species to form other communities. Weeds may be common at disturbed sites under favourable seasonal conditions.

 

3. The total species list of the community is considerably larger than that given above, with many species present in only one or two sites or in very low abundance. The species composition of a site will be influenced by the size of the site, recent rainfall or drought conditions and by its disturbance (including fire) history. At any one time, above ground individuals of some species may be absent, but the species may be represented below ground in the soil seed banks or as dormant structures such as bulbs, corms, rhizomes, rootstocks or lignotubers. The list of species given above is of vascular plant species, the community also includes micro-organisms, fungi, cryptogamic plants and a diverse fauna, both vertebrate and invertebrate. These components of the community are poorly documented.

 

4. Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South bioregions occurs on brown loam or clay, alluvial or colluvial soils on prior streams and abandoned channels or slight depressions on the undulating plains or flats of the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. This community often occurs upslope from River Red Gum communities, just above frequently inundated areas on the floodplain. It also occurs on colluvial soils on lower slopes and on valley flats (King 1998, Murphy and Lawry 1998).

 

5. Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South bioregions includes the ‘Eucalyptus microcarpa-E. conica Association’ and ‘Eucalyptus pilligaensis-E. conica Association’ of Biddiscombe (1963), ‘Group 14 Eucalyptus conica’ of Austin et al. (2000), ‘Community C: Fuzzy Box Woodland’ of Seddon et al. (2002) and the ‘Fuzzy Box / Grey Box open-woodland on levees and alluvial flats’ broad vegetation type described by Kerr and Jowett (2003). Fuzzy Box Woodland is included within ‘Community P4 Box woodlands’ of Sivertsen and Metcalfe (1995), ‘Community P4 Poplar Box Woodlands’ and ‘Community P13 Grey Box Woodlands’ of Metcalfe et al. (2003), and ‘Map unit PNP1, PNP2, PNP3 Bimble Box Woodlands of the Plains and Map unit FLP2 Belah Tall Woodlands’ of DLWC (2002), and belongs to the ‘Floodplain Transition Woodlands’ vegetation class of Keith (2004).

 

6. Less than 5% of Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South bioregions is estimated to remain compared to pre-European times due to past clearing (Austin et al. 2000, Seddon et al. 2002). Fuzzy Box was considered a plentiful tree along the Lachlan River plains west of Forbes at the start of the 20th century (Cambage 1902). While broadscale clearing has now largely ceased in these areas, clearing of isolated paddock trees and further clearing of remnants, including regrowth, remain threats. Other symptoms of degradation prevail, including the senescence of relict plants, lack of regeneration due to grazing, lack of fire and weed invasion. Weeds may be very common at some sites. They include the forb species Plantago lanceolata, Verbena bonariensis and Marrubium vulgare and the grass species Bromus diandrus, Vulpia myuros, Lolium perenne, Paspalum dilatatum and Hyparrhenia hirta. Clearing of native vegetation and Invasion of native plant communities by exotic perennial grasses are listed as Key Threatening Processes under the Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995).

 

7. Only one small stand is currently known from a conservation reserve, at Weddin Mountains National Park near Grenfell.

 

8. In view of the above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Fuzzy Box Woodland on alluvial soils of the South Western Slopes, Darling Riverine Plains and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions is likely to become extinct in nature in New South Wales unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival cease to operate.

 

 

Dr Richard Major

Chairperson

Scientific Committee

 

Proposed Gazettal date: 02/12/11

Exhibition period: 02/12/11 – 03/02/12

 

References:

 

Austin MP, Cawsey EM, Baker BL, Yialeloglou MM, Grice DJ, Briggs SV (2000) Predicted vegetation cover in the central Lachlan region. National Heritage Trust Project AA 1368.97. CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology, Canberra.

 

Bidiscombe EF (1963) A vegetation survey in the Macquarie region, New South Wales. Division of Plant Industry Technical Paper. CSIRO, Australia.

 

Cambage RH (1902) Notes on the botany of the interior of New South Wales – Part V: From Parkes to Marsden. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of NSW 26, 685-699.

 

DLWC (2002) Native vegetation map report. No. 1. Bogan Gate, Boona Mount, Condobolin, Dandaloo, Tottenham and Tullamore 1:100 000 map sheets. NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation, Dubbo.

 

Keith DA (2004) Ocean shores to desert dunes. Department of Environment and Conservation, Sydney.

 

Kerr M, Jowett A (2003). Reconstructed distribution and extent of native vegetation in the Lower Macquarie-Castlereagh Region. Unpublished report. NPWS, Dubbo.

 

King DP (1998) Soil Landscapes of the Forbes 1: 250 000 Sheet. (Condobolin - West Wyalong - Parkes – Grenfell). Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney.

 

Metcalfe L, Sivertsen DP, Tindall D, Ryan KM (2003) Natural vegetation of the New South Wales Wheat-belt (Cobar-Nyngan-Gilgandra-Nymagee-Narromine-Dubbo 1:250 000 vegetation sheet). Cunninghamia 8, 253-284.

 

Murphy BW, Lawrie JW (1998) Soil Landscapes of the Dubbo 1: 250 000 Sheet. (Dubbo, Wellington, Gulgong, Mudgee). Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney.

 

Seddon J, Briggs S, Doyle S (2002) Little River Catchment biodiversity assessment. Report for the TARGET Project by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, c/- CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra.

 

Sivertsen D, Metcalfe L (1995) Natural vegetation of the southern wheat-belt (Forbes and Cargelligo 1:250 000 map sheets). Cunninghamia 4, 103-128.

 

Thackway R, Cresswell ID (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia: a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program. (Version 4.0. Australian Nature Conservation Agency: Canberra.)

Page last updated: 02 December 2011