Northern Gorge Dry Sclerophyll Forests

Vegetation class map


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

Structure

Open eucalypt forest to 20 m tall, with an open subcanopy of sheoaks and wattles. The understorey includes a usually sparse mixed layer of sclerophyllous and mesophyllous shrubs stratum and continuous grassy groundcover.

Trees

On gorge slopes Angophora subvelutina (broad-leaved apple), Corymbia intermedia (pink bloodwood), Eucalyptus biturbinata (grey gum), E. caliginosa (broad-leaved stringybark), E. eugenioides (narrow-leaved stringybark), E. microcorys (tallowwood) and Eucalyptus propinqua (grey gum) are common. On the lower slopes and valley floors E. moluccana (grey box) and E. tereticornis (forest red gum) become more prominent. An open small tree layer, sometimes as tall as the eucalypts, may be formed by Acacia implexa (hickory wattle), Allocasuarina littoralis (black sheoak) and A. torulosa (forest oak).

Shrubs

Acacia implexa (hickory wattle), Allocasuarina littoralis (black sheoak), A. torulosa (forest oak), Exocarpos cupressiformis (native cherry), Hibbertia obtusifolia, Jacksonia scoparia (dogwood), Maytenus silvestris, Rapanea variabilis (muttonwood), Rubus parvifolius (native raspberry), Sigesbeckia orientalis subsp. orientalis (Indian weed), Xanthorrhoea johnsonii (grass tree).

Scramblers

Glycine clandestina, Hardenbergia violacea (false sarsaparilla).

Forbs

Chrysocephalum apiculatum (common everlasting), Desmodium brachypodum (large tick-trefoil), D. varians (slender tick-trefoil), Dianella caerulea (blue flax lily), Dichondra repens (kidney weed), Lespedeza juncea, Lotus australis (Australia trefoil), Poranthera microphylla, Pratia purpurascens (white root), Vernonia cinerea, Viola betonicifolia (mountain violet), Cheilanthes sieberi (poison rock fern), Pteridium esculentum (bracken), Cymbopogon refractus (barbed wire grass), Dichelachne micrantha, Imperata cylindrica var. major (blady grass), Lomandra confertifolia, L. filiformis (wattle mat-rush), L. longifolia (spiny-headed mat-rush), Microlaena stipoides, Poa sieberiana, Sorghum leiocladum (wild sorghum), Themeda australis (kangaroo grass).

Habitat

Rugged, hot, dry  gorges and escarpment slopes in rainshadow areas of the north coast hinterland. Soils are relatively fertile loams, usually derived from metasediments or, in some places, granites.

Distribution

Gorges and escarpment slopes from Timbarra to the upper Manning river, with major occurrences in the Oxley-Macleay and Guy Fawkes gorge systems. Apparently unique to New South Wales, though there may be minor occurrences in southern Queensland.

Notes

A group of assemblages with relatively consistent composition throughout their range, grading into Coastal Valley Grassy Woodlands and various Hinterland Dry Sclerophyll Forests in lower flatter reaches of gorges. Extensive areas have developed a simplified grassy understorey in response to grazing and frequent burning.

Sources

NPWS (1999); Kitchin (2001)

See all threatened species associated with this vegetation class

See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Northern Gorge Dry Sclerophyll Forests vegetation class.