Nature conservation

Threatened species

Oceanic Cloud Forests

Vegetation class map

   Loading map...
Estimated percentage landcover for vegetation class


Low closed forests up to 5 m tall dominated by gnarled mesomorphic trees and palms, with a sparse shrub stratum and scattered groundcover of ferns and sedges. The understorey comprises a small but distinctive suite of tree ferns (which sometimes reach the canopy), ground ferns and herbs. The stems of trees and shrubs, and the ground, are draped in mosses, lichens and filmy ferns. Where the summit forests spill over onto sheer cliffs, the vegetation takes on a scrubby appearance with small-leaved shrubs amongst the rainforest trees, punctuated by rocky outcrops and open patches of grasses and sedges.


Lepidorrhachis mooreana (little mountain palm), Negria rhabdothamnoides (pumpkin tree), Pittosporum erioloma, Zygogynum howeanum (hotbark).


Coprosma lanceolaris, Corokia carpodetoides, Dysoxylum pachyphyllum (island apple), Olearia mooneyi (pumpkin bush). Exposed rocky cliffs support Leptospermum polygalifolium subsp. howense (Lord Howe tea tree), Leucopogon parviflorus (coastal bearded-heath), Metrosideros nervulosa (mountain rose), Olearia ballii (mountain daisy), O. elliptica (sticky daisy bush), Westringia viminalis (coastal rosemary).


Elatostema reticulatum, Blechnum species (water ferns), Hymenophyllum howense and H. moorei (filmy ferns), Tmesipteris truncata, Gahnia howense, Machaerina insularis.


Upper slopes and summits of oceanic basalt mountains above 600 m regularly enveloped in cloud.


Restricted to Mts Gower and Lidgbird on Lord Howe Island and covering no more than 300 hectares, making them the most restricted of all the classes of vegetation described for New South Wales.


A highly restricted, unique group of assemblages with very high levels of local endemism, varying with exposure and grading into Oceanic Rainforests below 650 m elevation. Shares very limited floristic affinities with Cool Temperate Rainforests on the mainland, as well as rainforests of New Zealand and New Caledonia.


Pickard (1983); Hutton (1986)

See all threatened species associated with this vegetation class

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