Coastal Swamp Forests

Vegetation class map


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Key:
<1%
1-10%
10-50%
>50%
Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class

Structure

Low dense mixed forest of eucalypts and paperbarks typically 1520 m tall. with minimal shrub cover and dense graminoid groundcover. Development of a sclerophyllous shrub understorey depends on density of the tree canopy. The boggy ground is heavily clothed in leaf litter, interspersed with patches of sedges and ferns, temporary pools of water and bare ground.

Trees

Callistemon salignus (sweet willow bottlebrush), Eucalyptus robusta (swamp mahogany), Melaleuca quinquenervia (broad-leaved paperbark), and occasionally Casuarina glauca (swamp oak).

Shrubs

Banksia oblongifolia, Callistemon linearis (narrow-leaved bottlebrush), Leptospermum juniperinum (prickly teatree), Melaleuca nodosa, M. sieberi, Xanthorrhoea fulva.

Forbs

Gonocarpus micranthus (creeping raspwort), Blechnum camfieldii, B. cartilagineum (gristle fern), B. indicum (swamp water fern), Hypolepis muelleri (harsh ground fern), Baloskion tetraphyllus subsp. meiostachyus (tassell rush), Baumea arthrophylla, B. rubiginosa (soft twig-rush), Chorizandra sphaerocephala, Empodisma minus (spreading rope-rush), Gahnia clarkei (tall saw-sedge), Hemarthria uncinata, Schoenus brevifolius (zig-zag bog-rush).

Habitat

Dune swales and flats with waterlogged soils on coastal sand plains and floodplains, rarely above 50 m elevation. The soils are deep, sandy and stained black with humus.

Distribution

Scattered along coastal lowlands from Port Stephens north to the Morton Bay district of south-east Queensland. Southern outliers at Jervis Bay, between Berry and Nowra, and east Sydney where few small fragments persist. Examples occur around Broadwater in Myall Lakes National Park as well as sandy parts of Hat Head, Crowdy Bay, Bundjalung and Yuraygir national parks.

Notes

An extensively distributed but locally restricted group of assemblages sharing floristic affinties with Coastal Swamp Heaths and Coastal Floodplain Wetlands. Extensively depleted by clearing in floodplain habitats and threatened by coastal development elsewhere. However examples on sandplains are represented in reserves. Nectar-bearing flowers of the dominant trees are an important food source for flying-foxes, arboreal marsupials and birds.

Sources

Myerscough & Carolin (1985); Griffith et al. (2000)

See all threatened species associated with this vegetation class

See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Coastal Swamp Forests vegetation class.