Western Vine Thickets

Vegetation class map


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

Structure

Closed scrub or low closed forest with a tree canopy only 4-10 m tall, often with emergent trees of Eucalyptus, Callitris (cypress pines) or Casuarina (she-oaks). Several of the canopy trees are at least partly deciduous. Vines are often prominent components of the community. Palms are absent, and ferns and herbs are conspicuously scarce in vine thickets. Instead, the understorey is characterised by a diversity of shrubs and a surprising range of grasses in the many canopy gaps.

Trees

The main canopy may consist of Alectryon oleifolius (western rosewood), Alphitonia excelsa (red ash), A. subdentatus (holly-leaved birds eye), Alstonia constricta (quinine bush), Atalaya hemiglauca (whitewood), Cadellia pentastylis (ooline), Canthium oleifolium (wild lemon), Capparis mitchellii (wild orange), Cassine australis var. angustifolia (red olive plum), Ehretia membranifolia (peach bush), Eremophila mitchellii (budda), Geijera parviflora (wilga), Notelaea microcarpa (native olive), Pittosporum angustifolium, Ventilago viminalis (supple jack). At some sites there may be numerous emergent Callitris glaucophylla (white cypress pine), Casuarina cristata (belah) Eucalyptus albens (white box) or E. melanophloia (silver ironbark).

Shrubs

Abutilon oxycarpum (flannel weed), A. tubulosum, Acacia decora (western golden wattle), Acalypha capillipes, Beyeria viscosa (sticky wallaby-bush), Breynia oblongifolia (coffee bush), Capparis lasiantha (nepine), Carissa ovata (currant bush), Cassinia laevis (cough bush), Croton phebalioides, Dodonaea viscosa (hop bush), Hovea longipes, Indigofera adesmiifolia, I. brevidens (desert indigo), Maytenus cunninghamii (yellow-berry bush), Myoporum montanum (western boobialla), Olearia elliptica (sticky daisy bush), Pimelea neo-anglica (poison pimelea), Senna coronilloides, Spartothamnella juncea.

Scramblers

Cayratia clematidea (slender grape), Clematis microphylla (small-leaved clematis), Jasminum lineare (desert jasmine), Marsdenia pleiadenia, Pandorea pandorana (wonga wonga vine), Parsonsia eucalyptophylla (gargaloo), P. lanceolata.

Forbs

Brunoniella australis (blue trumpet), Calotis lappulacea (yellow burr-daisy), Einadia hastata (berry saltbush), E. nutans (climbing saltbush), Wahlenbergia luteola, Zygophyllum apiculatum (gallweed). Aristida gracilipes, A. ramosa (purple wiregrass), Austrodanthonia bipartita (bandicoot grass), A. fulva, Austrostipa aristiglumis (plains grass), A. ramosissima (stout bamboo grass), A. scabra (rough speargrass), A. verticillata (slender bamboo grass), Bothriochloa decipiens (red grass), Carex inversa (knob sedge), Chloris ventricosa (tall chloris), Cyperus gracilis, Dichanthium sericeum (Queensland bluegrass), Elymus scaber (wheatgrass), Enteropogon acicularis (curly windmill grass), E. ramosus (curly windmill grass), Eragrostis megalosperma, Leptochloa ciliolata (fine canegrass), L. peacockii, Paspalidium gracile (slender panic).

Habitat

Hilly or flat terrain with fertile soils derived from basalt or, more rarely, mineral-rich sandstones where rainfall averages only 600-800 mm per annum.

Distribution

North-western slopes extending north from Gunnedah into southern-central Queensland. Examples occur at Planchonella nature Reserve near Yallaroi, Derra Derra ridge near Bingara, and Porcupine reserve near Gunnedah. Patches dominated by Cadellia pentastylis (ooline) occur in Gamilaroi nature reserve and Deriah state forest near Terry Hie Hie

Notes

Western Vine Thickets have been extensively fragmented by clearing. They share species with the Dry Rainforests found further east and the Brigalow Clay Plain Woodlands to the west.

Sources

Benson et al. (1986); DLWC (2002a)

See all threatened species associated with this vegetation class

See a list of species, populations and ecological communities associated with the Western Vine Thickets vegetation class.