Mills' Vegetation Classification
Structure This is a closed forest or rainforest community to about 20 metres tall, which is a Simple Notophyll Vine-Fern Forest. The understorey is also dense with many shrubs and ferns.
Geology/Soils:This community occurs in a small sandstone gorge, which is protected from fire incursion and remains quite wet. The ground is very rocky and moist, and there are many epiphytic ferns and mosses. The soils are sandy and moist, with a high organic content.
Description: Rainforest plants dominate this community
2: E. pilularis Tall Open Forest and Open Forest
Structure: This community is a tall open forest to open forest to over 30 metres. A middle canopy, about 15 to 18 metres tall is usually present. The under-storey is about 5 metres tall and is generally dense, with many shrubs species. The ground cover is always well developed and contains many shrubs and herbaceous species.
Geology/Soils: This community is located on the quite deep sandy soils of the slopes and coastal lowlands, mainly in gullies.
2 is an open forest, usually dominated by Blackbutt (Eucalyptus
pilularis) with Red Bloodwood (Eucalyptus gummifera) nearly
always being present and sometimes being co-dominant. The Old Man Banksia (Banksia
serrata) is usually common in the middle canopy and, in
some locations, New
South Wales Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum) is
common. In Duck Gully, Sydney
Peppermint (E. piperita) also
occurs. The community is characterised by the
large specimens of Blackbutt and a dense shrub understorey. The shrub
component is diverse; common species include (Acacia longifolia,
Persoonia mollis, Leptospermum attenuatum, Dodonaea triquetra and
Podocarpus spinulosus. The ground cover is also diverse, with many
shrub and herbaceous species. Most ground cover species are shared with
the woodland of Community 3. Common ground cover species include the fern Pteridium
esculentum,, the shrubs Platylobium formosum
empetrifolia and the grass Themeda
Community 3: E gummifera – E. sclerophyla Woodland and Open Woodland
Structure: This community is quite variable, ranging from open woodland to open forest. The most common form is the woodland. Height is usually no more than 15 metres. The understorey is a heath land or heath land-sedgeland complex and its height and density are dependent upon fire history
Geology/Soils: The woodland is widespread across the plateau and also occurs on the dry ridges of the foothills zone. The soils are generally sandy, rocky and shallow.
Description: This community is dominated
by one or both of the tree species Red Bloodwood (E. gummifera) and Scribbly Gum (E.
sclerophylla. One small area on the coastal lowland to the north of
Hyams Beach is dominated by Yerchuck (E. consideniana). Other tree
species which occur In this community are Sydney Peppermint (E.
piperita), Blackbutt (E. pilularis) and Old Man Banksla (Banksia serrata.
On the edge of the plateau, adjacent to the heathland/sedgeland areas of
Community 8, an open woodland of E. sclerophylla occurs.
A middle canopy containing the
species B. serrata often occurs; on the lower areas near the coast,
it also contains the species E. gummiferum. The understorey is dominated
by a diverse range of shrubs, some of the more common species being Banksia
ericifolia, B. spinulosa, B. paludosa, Leptospermum attenuatum, Acacia
longifolia, A. suaveolens and
Lanbertia Formosa. The ground cover also contains a high diversity
of species and varies according to the moisture regime and fire history of
the site. Shrubs, herbaceous plants and sedges are common in
the ground cover.
Community 4: Casuarina glauca Open Woodland and Sedgeland
Structure: This community is woodland to open woodland, to about 20 metres tall. There is no shrub understorey, but a dense ground cover of only one sedge species.
Geology/Soils: This community is found on the sandy soils of the estuarine section of the stream in Duck Gully and is influenced by the saltwater conditions. The soils are generally water logged for most of the time and are quite peaty.
community is a very simple one, both in terms of its structure
and the number of species present. A rather sparse canopy of Swamp Oak (Casuarina glauca) occurs above a low dense
ground cover of the sedge plant Baumea juncea. Few other plant
species occur in this community, except where it borders other
communities. Other typical estuarine species also occur in this community;
these include Phragmites australia and Jincus kraussii.
Community 5: Melaleuca linariifolia Open Woodland
Structure: Structurally, this is a rather simple community having an open to very open canopy to about 15 metres high, above a dense ground cover of shrubs and sedges.
Geology/Soils: The soils below this community are mainly derived from marine sand, and the community occurs only around the hind dune swamp in the south-eastern section of the study area. The soils are very wet and quite peaty, and are often under standing water.
is a woodland community dominated by the tree species Melaleuca
linariifolia. The understorey is varied and its composition changes
from one location to another. Overall, the community is only found in
small patches around the major swampland (Community 9) in the south of the
study area. Typical swampland and heathland plants are found in the
Community 6: Banksia serrata Low Woodland and Heathland
Structure: This community is a low woodland or mallee to about 5 metres tall, with a heathland understorey. The community is only about one metre tall on the exposed seaward side.
Geology/Soils: Community 6 occurs on sand dunes and, in one case, on a headland along the coastal section of the study area. It mainly occurs on top of the large sand dunes in the south-eastern part of the study area.
community is a low woodland and heathland, containing many of the typical
heathland plants, which occur in the other communities of the study area.
The main trees are Red Bloodwood (E. gummifera) and Old Man Banksia
(Banksia serrata). Other trees which occur are Banga1ay (E.
botryoides), Sydney Peppermint (E. piperita), Coast Banksia (Banksia
integrifolia), Coastal Tea-tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) and
the mallee (E. obtusifolia. The
community is characterised by the presence of typical coastal plant
species such as Montoca elliptica, Allocasuarina verticallata, Myoporum
insulare, L. laevigatum and B. integrifolia.
Community 7: Eucalyptus gummifera –Banksia serrata Woodland
Structure: This community is a low woodland to woodland community, to about 15 metres tall. The understorey is typical of the heathland occurring on the deeper sands of the area
woodland occurs on deep sand close to a headland, where it is exposed to
the effects of coastal winds.
community is similar to some forms of Community 3 and Community 6. It is
distinctive because of its occurrence on a high site close to the coast,
where it is exposed to severe coastal winds, which have resulted in the
growth of a rather low and dense canopy. The common trees in the community
are Red Bloodwood (E: gummierfa) and Old Man Banksia (Banksia
serrata) The understorey is similar to the E.
pilularis. Open Forest (Community 2), which is adjacent to this
Community 8: Closed-Open Heathland and Sedgeland
Structure: This community varies in its structure and species composition, depending upon fire history and topographic location. The community is really a complex of community types, including shrub land, heathland and sedgeland; these are mostly less than 2 metres tall and are never more than about 4 metres tall.
Geology/Soils: This community occurs on broad areas of the sandstone plateau1 where it is very common (see Figure 3:7 ). The soils vary from skeletal sands on rock outcrops to rather deep and peaty alluvial deposits.
a finer scale, this community is a complex of communities ranging from
dense shrub land, which has remained unburnt for some time, to a sparse
heathland on rocky outcrops. The vegetation is species-rich, representing
some of the most diverse native vegetation In the region. The survey data
… shows the variety of plant species occurring in this community type.
The shrub species are particularly diverse, with many species
belonging to the families Myrtaceae, Epacridaceae and Proteaceae. The
families Cyperaceae and Restionaceae are well represented in the areas of
Community 9: Wet Closed-Open Sedgeland and Heathland
Structure: This is a closed to open heathland and sedgeland to about two metres
tall, but mostly less than one metre.
Geology/Soils: The sand is of a marine origin, which has been depositing along the old shoreline. Soils are very wet and are high in organic matter.
is a rather variable sedgeland or heathland community. The depth of the
water table determines the distribution of the species of the community.
The very wet areas, which are located at the centre of the swamp and are
obvious on the aerial photograph, are dominated by sedges and shrubby
specimens of Melaleuca linariifolia. Other common swamp species are
Leptospermum juperinum, Gymnoschoenus spheerocephalus, Viminara juncea,
Sprenglia incarnata, Restio complanetus and Empodisma minus. On the
drier, higher ground shrubs become very common, particularly Banksia
ericifolia and Hakea teretifolia.
Community 10: Spinifex hirsutus Open Grassland
Structure: This is a rather sparse grassland community with few plant species other than the dominant grasses.
Geology/Soils: This community occurs on the active frontal dunes, behind the beaches of the area. It is mainly found along Hyams Beach (Seamans Beach?).
Description: This grassland community is dominated by the grass Spinifex (Spinifex hirsutus). Few other plant species are present1 except to the rear of the dune where some protection is afforded from the coastal winds and where sand movement is less. The unstable nature of the dunes and the extremely exposed location mean that few plant species can survive in the area. The plants found in this community, some of which are exotic species, are typical of the sand dunes along the South Coast.