Nature conservation

Threatened species

Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest on Lord Howe Island - profile

Indicative distribution


   Loading map...
Key:
known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest on Lord Howe Island
Conservation status in NSW: Critically Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 28 Oct 2011
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017

Description

Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest on Lord Howe Island is a forest 2-8 m tall, depending on aspect and whether it occurs on ridges or in drainage lines. On the summit plateau of Mt Gower, the dominant species are Zygogynum howeanum and Dracophyllum fitzgeraldii. A vegetation plot on the summit of Mt Lidgbird in Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest has a dominant canopy of Hedyscepe canterburyana, Cryptocarya gregsonii, Dysoxylum pachyphyllum, Negria rabdothamnoides, Pittopsorum erioloma and Cyathea macarthurii. A more detailed list of species that characterise the ecological community can be found in the NSW Scientific Committee Final Determination (NSW Scientific Committee 2011).  Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest on Lord Howe Island is readily distinguished from adjacent communities as it only occurs on summit plateau and ridgetops of the two southern mountains of Lord Howe Island and the adjacent communities lack the extensive development of non-vascular epiphytes and several endemic mountain vascular plant species.

Distribution

Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest on Lord Howe Island is confined to Lord Howe Island in New South Wales. On the island it is restricted to the summit plateau of Mt Gower and in a greatly reduced form and extent on the narrow summit ridge of Mt Lidgbird.

Habitat and ecology

  • Restricted to the summit plateau of Mt Gower (875 m elevation) and in a greatly reduced form and extent on the narrow summit ridge of Mt Lidgbird (777 m elevation).
  • Approximately 86% of the vascular plant species in Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest are endemic to Lord Howe Island. The Little Mountain Palm, which is critically endangered in NSW, is confined to the Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest.
  • Many non-vascular plants in the community are dependent upon cloud cover and the structure provided by the trees and shrubs.
  • The assemblage of terrestrial invertebrates in the Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest exhibits high species richness and high levels of endemism to Lord Howe Island, with many species restricted to the Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest. In particular, four nationally critically endangered snails (Gudeoconcha sophiae magnifica ms, Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi, Mystivagor mastersi and Pseudocharopa whiteleggei) are restricted to the Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest, as is the Lord Howe Island Earthworm, which is endangered in NSW.
  • Gnarled Mossy Cloud Forest forms key core habitat for several threatened vertebrate fauna including Providence Petrel and Lord Howe Woodhen. Burrowing by the Providence Petrel may have a role in plant recruitment in the ecological community.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Pacific Subtropical IslandsLord Howe Island Known Summits of Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower