Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Lists as made
This instrument amends the List of Threatened Ecological Communities (16/07/2000) to include the Broad leaf tea-tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) woodlands in high rainfall coastal north Queensland in the endangered category.
Administered by: Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Made 11 May 2012
Registered 18 May 2012
Tabled HR 21 May 2012
Tabled Senate 18 Jun 2012
Date of repeal 19 Mar 2014
Repealed by Environment (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2014

 

 

Commonwealth of Australia

 

Inclusion of ecological communities in the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EC 122)

 

 

I, TONY BURKE, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, pursuant to paragraph 184(1)(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, hereby amend the list referred to in section 181 of that Act by:

 

including in the list in the endangered category

Broad leaf tea-tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) woodlands in high rainfall coastal north Queensland

as described in the Schedule to this instrument.

                                              

 

 

 

 

Dated this…......11................................day of…..........May.....................................2012…..

 

 

 

Signed

 

Tony Burke

 

 

TONY BURKE

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities


 

SCHEDULE

 

Broad leaf tea-tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) woodlands in high rainfall coastal north Queensland

 

The Broad leaf tea-tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) woodlands in high rainfall coastal north Queensland ecological community represents occurrences of woodland where M. viridiflora is dominant in the canopy and a diversity of grasses, sedges and forbs occupy the ground layer. The ecological community is restricted to the Wet Tropics and Central Mackay Coast bioregions in Queensland (as defined in version 6.1 of the Interim Biogeographical Regionalisation of Australia). It is typically a woodland but can have a forest structure in some areas. It generally consists of two clear structural layers: a canopy of broad leaf tea-tree and a diverse ground layer of grasses, sedges and forbs. Epiphytes are often conspicuous in the canopy trees. The ecological community is seasonally inundated for short periods during the wet season, which brings on a proliferation of ephemeral ground-layer species.

 

Broad leaf tea-tree is dominant in the canopy. Other species that may be present in the canopy include M. nervosa (paperbark), Acacia spp. (wattles), Pandanus spp. (screw pine), Allocasuarina luehmannii (buloke) and Allocasuarina littoralis (black sheoak) on sandier soils. Emergents of Eucalyptus spp., Corymbia spp., Lophostemon suaveolens (swamp mahogany) and Acacia spp. may also be present in the canopy but broad leaf tea-tree remains dominant. Epiphytes are common in the canopy layer, including Dendrobium canaliculatum (tea-tree orchid).

 

Shrubs are typically absent in the ecological community. When they are present they are sparse, generally made up of juvenile canopy trees along with Acacia spp., Planchonia careya (cocky apple) and Petalostigma pubescens (quinine bush). Some sites have a conspicuous layer of Xanthorrhoea spp. (grass trees), for instance X. johnsonii can be a prominent species on sandier soils which are not inundated for long periods.

 

The ground layer of this ecological community supports the majority of plant species diversity, with species composition varying due to differences in soil type and duration, timing and degree of inundation during the wet season. Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass) or Eremochloa bimaculata (poverty grass) are usually dominant on slightly elevated or drier sites. Wetter sites are often dominated by Ischaemum spp. including Ischaemum australe (large bluegrass) and I. fragile, or they may be dominated by sedges and rushes such as Schoenus spp., Restio spp., Fimbristylis spp. and Rhynchospora sppSites typically have an average of about 8 species of perennial grasses including Eremochloa bimaculata (poverty grass), Chrysopogon fallax (ribbon grass), Eragrostis brownii (Brown’s lovegrass), Alloteropsis semialata (cockatoo grass), Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass), Imperata cylindrica (blady grass), Aristida superpendens, Heteropogon contortus (black speargrass), Eriachne triseta and H. triticeus (giant speargrass). Perennial herbs in the ground layer include sedges such as Fimbristylis cinnamometorum, F. dichotoma (common fringe-sedge), Abildgaardia spp. and Schoenus sparteus, and legumes such as Flemingia parviflora, Desmodium trichostachyum, and D. pullenii. Perennial herbs with tubers are common, such as Murdannia graminea (grass lily), M. gigantea, Curculigo ensifolia, Brunoniella acaulis (blue trumpet), Chlorophytum laxum and other herbs such as Lomandra spp., Dianella spp., Phyllanthus virgatus, Goodenia purpurascens and Stylidium spp. (trigger plant) are often present. Carnivorous plants, including Drosera spp. (sundew), Byblis spp. and Utricularia spp. (bladderworts) may also be common.

 

During the wet season, species composition may substantially change to a high proportion and richness of ephemeral species, some of which may only live for a few weeks. Short-lived annual herbs such as Stylidium tenerum (swamp trigger plant), Byblis liniflora, Phyllanthus sulcatus, Mitrasacme spp., Rotala spp. and Lindernia spp. are almost always present in the wet season. Annual grasses and sedges which may be abundant in the wet season include Schizachyrium spp., Fuirena spp., Eleocharis spp., Dimeria spp., Pseudopogonatherum contortum and Mnesithea formosa.

 

The key diagnostic characteristics for the Broad leaf tea-tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) woodlands in high rainfall coastal north Queensland are:

  • It occurs in the Wet Tropics and Central Mackay Coast bioregions in landscapes characterised by high rainfall and near coastal or floodplain locations;
  • Sites are seasonally inundated during the wet season but are not permanently waterlogged;
  • The tree canopy is clearly dominated (i.e. more than 50% of canopy cover) by Melaleuca viridiflora;
  • A shrub layer is typically absent or sparse (juvenile canopy species and/or a conspicuous layer of Xanthorrhoea (grass tree) may sometimes be present); and
  • There is a diverse ground-layer of grasses, sedges and forbs.