Riverine Plain Grasslands

Vegetation class map


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

Structure

Short, open tussock grassland with an abundance of herbs and occasional emergent shrubs.

Trees

None

Shrubs

Scattered Atriplex leptocarpa (slender-fruit saltbush), Maireana aphylla (cotton bush), M. excavata (bottle fissure-weed) and M. pentagona (hairy bluebush), with occasional remnant individuals or regeneration of Acacia pendula (myall).

Forbs

Asperula conferta (common woodruff), Calocephalus sonderi (pale beauty-heads), Calotis scabiosifolia var. scabiosifolia (rough burr-daisy), Chamaesyce drummondii (caustic weed), Crassula colorata var. acuminata, C. decumbens var. decumbens, Chrysocephalum apiculatum (common everlasting), Daucus glochidiatus form G (native carrot), Goodenia fascicularis (silky goodenia), G. pusilliflora (small-flowered goodenia), Hyalosperma glutinosum subsp. glutinosum, Isoetopsis graminifolia (grass cushion), Leptorhynchos panaetioides (woolly buttons), Myriocephalus rhizocephalus (woolly-heads), Oxalis perennans, Ptilotus exaltatus var. exaltatus (showy fox-tail), Rhodanthe corymbiflora (small white sunray), Sida corrugata (corrugated sida), Swainsona murrayana (slender Darling pea), Triptilodiscus pygmaeus, Wurmbea dioica subsp. dioica (early Nancy), Austrodanthonia caespitosa (ringed wallaby grass), A. eriantha, Austrostipa nodosa, Chloris truncata (windmill grass), Enteropogon ramosus (curly windmill grass), Homopholis proluta, Sporobolus caroli (fairy grass).

Habitat

Extensive, flat, riverine plains with grey-brown clays and clay loams receiving 350-420 mm mean annual rainfall. Composition varies with drainage and rainfall. Well-drained soils in eastern and south-eastern parts of the area with higher rainfall are dominated by Austrodanthonia, Chloris and Austrostipa, while Enteropogon replaces Chloris where rainfall is lower in the west. Locally damp sites are dominated by daisies, and species of Agrostis and Austrodanthonia.

Distribution

East and south-east of the Hay Plain, Jerilderie-Deniliquin-Hay-Narrandera-Lockhart, an overgrazed, degraded facies of Riverine Plains Woodlands and Riverine Chenopod Shrublands. Examples occur in Oolambeyan national park.

Notes

The riverine grasslands were apparently derived from Riverine Plains Woodlands, which were eliminated by heavy grazing. They are not shown on the reconstructed projection of native vegetation. They also share species with Riverine Chenopod Shrublands.

Sources

Benson et al. (1997); Porteners (1993); Beadle (1948)

See all threatened species associated with this vegetation class

See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Riverine Plain Grasslands vegetation class.