Vegetation communities found in western Sydney
The plant communities of the Cumberland Plain are dominated by eucalypts. The 1995-96 Western Sydney Urban Bushland Survey found:
- Tall open forests occur in areas where there is higher rainfall and more fertile soils, while the dominant vegetation, the woodlands, are in drier areas.
- Scrub and heath occur in more infertile and exposed areas at Annangrove, Maroota and Kellyville.
- Freshwater wetlands and estuarine habitats occur along the floodplains of the Hawkesbury-Nepean rivers and on the Georges and Parramatta rivers.
- Pockets of rainforest co-exist with schlerophyll forest at Kurrajong, Cobbity and Cattai.
The range of community types reflects the variation in geology, soils and drainage of particular sites. Transitional areas where there are changes in soil or geological landscapes, for example where Wianamatta shale meets Sydney sandstone, are particularly rich in the variety of plant species.
Plant community profile: the Cumberland Plain woodlands
These woodlands occur on the Cumberland Plain, stretching south to Campbelltown and Camden, north to Glossodia and Ebenezer, east to Parramatta and west to the Nepean-Hawkesbury rivers. This is the driest part of Sydney with average annual rainfall of less than 800 millimetres.
These woodlands of grey box and grey box-ironbark communities are dominated by the grey box (Eucalyptus moluccana) and forest red gum (E. tereticornis). There is spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) forest limited to small pockets at Hoxton Park, Prospect Reservoir, Fairfield and Appin-Werombi district.
Approximately 93 per cent of the original area covered by Cumberland Plain woodland in western Sydney has been cleared. With only seven per cent of the original Cumberland Plain woodlands remaining, it is vital that we conserve what remains of this vegetation type in remnant communities.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011