Appendix 3:

Vegetation Communities

1. BLUE GUM HIGH FOREST

2. BLUE GUM RIVER-FLAT FOREST

3. GREY BOX WOODLAND

4. GREY BOX-IRONBARK WOODLAND

5. RIVER-FLAT FOREST

6. RIPARIAN COMPLEX

7. ESTUARINE COMPLEX

8. SYDNEY SANDSTONE RIDGE-TOP WOODLAND/OPEN FOREST

9. SYDNEY SANDSTONE SCRUB-HEATH COMPLEX

10. SYDNEY SANDSTONE GULLY FOREST

11. TURPENTINE-IRONBARK WOODLAND

12. SHALE / SANDSTONE TRANSITION FOREST

 

Appendix 3:

Vegetation Communities

1. BLUE GUM HIGH FOREST

 

Map Unit: 6b

Structure: Tall open-forest - open-forest

Geology: Wianamatta Shale, Jurassic Volcanics

Topography: Broad ridges with residual shale soils, also known from a diatreme in Dural.

Rainfall: Higher rainfall areas > 1100 mm p.a.

Notes: Original vegetation of the higher rainfall areas of Wianamatta Shale, particularly in northern districts of Sydney. Most has now been destroyed. Both drier and mesic sites occur depending on local conditions with rare occurrence of a rainforest-type understorey at Brush Farm, Eastwood. Limited natural distribution within western Sydney.

 

Main Canopy Species

Botanical name

        1. Common Name
Eucalyptus pilularis Blackbutt
Eucalyptus saligna Sydney Blue Gum

 

Associated canopy species

Angophora costata Smooth-barked Apple
Angophora floribunda, Rough-barked Apple
Eucalyptus globoidea, White Stringybark
Eucalyptus paniculata, Grey Ironbark
Euvcalyptus piperita, Sydney Peppermint
Syncarpia glomulifera. Turpentine

 

Common Understorey Species

Trees

Acacia implexa Hickory
Allocasuarina torulosa Forest Oak
Elaeocarpus reticulatus Blueberry Ash
Pittosporum revolutum Yellow Pittosporum
Pittosporum undulatum Native Daphne

Shrubs

Breynia oblongifolia Breynia
Clerodendrum tomentosum Hairy Clerodendrum
Dodonaea triquetra Common hop Bush
Leucopogon juniperinus Prickly Beard-heath
Leucopogon. lanceolatus Lance-leaf Beard-heath
Notelaea longifolia Large Mock Olive
Persoonia linearis Narrow-leaf Geebung
Platylobium formosum Handsome Flat-pea
Polyscias sambucifolia Elderberry Panax
Rapanea variabilis Muttonwood
Zieria smithii Sandfly Ziera

Groundcovers

Adiantum aethiopicum Common Maidenhair fern
Billardiera scandens Apple-berry
Blechnum cartilagineum Gristle Fern
Brachycome angustifolia Brachycome
Calochlaena dubia False Bracken Fern
Clematis aristata Traveller’s Joy
Clematis glycinoides Old Man’s Beard
Desmodium rhytidophyllum Rusty Tick-trefoil
Doodia aspera Rasp Fern
Echinopogon caespitosus Tufted Hedgehog Grass
Eustrephus latifolius Wombat Berry
Glycine tabacina Love Creeper
Goodenia heterophylla Variable-leaved Goodenia
Hardenbergia violacea False Sarsparilla
Helichrysum scorpioides Button Everlasting Daisy
Hibbertia aspera Rough Guinea Flower
Hibbertia scandens Golden Guinea-flower
Kennedia rubicunda Running Postman
Lomandra longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Pandorea pandorana Wonga Vine
Poa affinis Tussock Grass
Poranthera microphylla Small Poranthera
Pratia purpurascens White Root
Pseuderanthemum variabile False Eranthemum
Pteridium esculentum Common Bracken Fern
Rubus parvifolius Native Raspberry
Smilax glyciphylla Native Sarsparilla
Themeda australis Kangaroo Grass
Tylophora barbata. Bearded Tylophora

 

 

Significant species

ROTAP species: None recorded.

REGIONAL: None recorded.

VULNERABLE: Includes Eucalyptus saligna, E. pilularis, Maytenus silvestris, Cissus antarctica, C. hypoglauca, Pomaderris discolor, P. intermedia, Leucopogon juniperinus, Platylobium formosum, Doodia aspera.

 

Distribution within western Sydney

Mostly cleared, surviving in a few, small and often depauperate remnants at Rapanea Forest and Coxs Park (Upper Subiaco Creek/Dundas Valley), Mobbs Hill (Carlingford), Lake Parramatta, West Pennant Hills and along Old Northern Road in Castle Hill.

 

Existing NPWS reserves

Western Sydney: None

Sydney district: Dalrymple Hay Nature Reserve and Ludovic Blackwood Memorial Sanctuary (non-NPWS) at Beecroft. Similar association in Dharug N.P.

Elsewhere in state: Eucalyptus saligna-E. pilularis-E. microcorys association is recorded from central and northern coastal areas of the state including five conservation reserves. Floristics are likely to differ.

 

      1. Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Rapanea Forest and Galaringi Park (Dundas Valley), Cumberland S.F. (West Pennant Hills).

Complementary - All smaller remnants in Parramatta and Baulkham Hills districts eg. North Rocks Park.

 

Conservation Status (W. Sydney)

Listed as an endangered ecological community under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

*Unconserved.

 

CAR Assessment

*Rare & endangered (regional)

 

Recommendations:

  1. Appropriate protection of Blue Gum Forest in western Sydney - less than 15% of original distribution remaining (CAR guidelines).
  2. Protection of key conservation areas.
  3. Field surveys of remnants outside of western Sydney to assess floristic uniqueness and a complete CAR analysis at state level.
  4. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

 

2. BLUE GUM RIVER-FLAT FOREST

 

Map unit: Included in 10ag

Structure: Open-forest to tall open-forest.

Geology: Holocene alluvium.

Topography: Alluvial flats in sandstone valleys.

Notes:

As this community occurs on more fertile areas it has been extensively cleared and grazed, however, patches remain in more inaccessible gullies. Adequate conservation of this community will require a combination of primary and secondary strategies with particular focus on representation over the geographical range of the community. Blue Gum Forest should be protected as part of the complex of communities naturally found in the sandstone valleys i.e. including Sandstone Gully Forest and Dry Rainforest. Conservation will link in with flora and fauna corridors within western Sydney.

Similar community (i.e. similar dominant canopy species) is found on the levee banks and in sheltered gullies along the Colo River dominated by Eucalyptus deanei, E. saligna and Eucalyptus elata. These species are also found in river-flat communities along the Nepean River in the Penrith and Camden LGAs. These communities are recognised, however, as distinct types (Benson & Howell 1994, Ryan et. al. 1996) and contrast with the Blue Gum Forest described here occurring along smaller sandstone creek-flats. The Blue Gum Forest of the Maroota district intergrades with Swamp Mahogany Forest, particularly along Little Cattai Creek. Blue Gum Forest, Sandstone Gully Forest and pockets of Dry Rainforest (dominated by Backhousia myrtifolia) are very closely associated with many species common to these communities. In eastern areas within the Parramatta district a distinct form of Blue Gum Forest occurs with Eucalyptus saligna, E. tereticornis and Angophora floribunda close to the Hornsby Plateau and Cumberland Plain interface. The pure form of Eucalyptus saligna is at its southern limit along Toongabbie Creek with populations southward usually hybridising with E. botryoides.

 

Main canopy species

Botanical Names Common Names
Angophora floribunda Rough-barked Apple
Eucalyptus saligna / E. deanei Sydney Blue Gum/Mountain Blue Gum
Eucalyptus piperita Sydney Peppermint
Syncarpia glomulifera Turpentine
Eucalyptus tereticornis (eastern districts). Forest Red Gum

 

Associated canopy species

Angophora costata Smooth-barked Apple
Eucalyptus agglomerate Blue-leaved Stringybark
Eucalyptus pilularis. Blackbutt
Eucalyptus resinifera Red Mahogany

 

 

Associated understorey species

Trees

Acacia decurrens Sydney Green Wattle
Acacia filicifolia Fern-leaf Wattle
Acacia floribunda Sally Wattle
Acacia parramattensis Parramatta Green Wattle
Acacia parvipinnula Silver-stemmed Wattle
Acmena smithii Lilly-pilly
Backhousia myrtifolia Grey Myrtle
Ceratopetalum gummiferum NSW Christmas Bush
Elaeocarpus reticulatus Blueberry Ash
Ficus coronata Sandpaper Fig
Glochidion ferdinandi Cheese Tree
Melaleuca linariifolia Snow-in-summer
Pittosporum revolutum Yellow Pittosporum
Rapanea howittiana Brush Muttonwood
Rapanea. variabilis Muttonwood
Schizomeria ovata Crab-apple
Tristaniopsis laurina River Gum

Shrubs

Astrotricha floccosa Wooly Star-hair
Breynia oblongifolia Breynia
Callicoma serratifolia Blackwattle
Dodonaea triquetra Common hop Bush
Leptospermum polygalifolium Yellow Tea-tree
Leucopogon juniperinus. Prickly Beard-heath
Logania albiflora Logania
Maytenus silvestris  
Notelaea longifolia Large Mock Olive
Notlaea. venosa Smooth Mock Olive
Polyscias sambucifolia Elderberry Panax
Trema aspera Native Peach

Groundcovers

Adiantum aethiopicum Common Maidenhair
Adiatum hispidulum Rough Maidenhair Fern
Blechnum cartilagineum Gristle Fern
Calochlaena dubia False Bracken Fern
Cissus hypoglauca Five-leaf Water Vine
Clematis glycinoides Old Man’s Beard
Cyathea spp. Tree Fern
Doodia aspera Rasp Fern
Doodia caudata Small Rasp Fern
Eustrephus latifolius Wombat Berry
Gahnia spp. Saw-sedge
Hibbertia dentata Guinea Flower
Hypolepis muelleri Harsh Ground-fern
Lomandra longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Opercularia aspera Common stinkweed
Oplismenus aemulus Basket Grass
Pandorea pandorana Wonga Vine
Parsonsia straminea Common Silkpod
Phyllanthus gasstroemii Blunt Spurge
Poa affinis Tussock Grass
Pratia purpurascens White Root
Pteridium esculentum Common Bracken Fern
Tylophora barbata Bearded Tylophora
Viola hederacea Native Violet

.

 

Distribution within western Sydney

Sandstone valleys on Hornsby Plateau and Lower

Blue Mountains. Sites include Lower Grose River, Little Cattai Creek (Maroota), Blue Gum

Creek (Annangrove), O'Haras Creek (Kenthurst), Toongabbie Creek (Parramatta).

 

Significant species:

ROTAP species: None recorded

REGIONAL: Includes: Eucalyptus elata, Tylophora paniculata, Adiantum formosum, Senna odorata, Seringia arborescens, Pultenaea viscosa, Asterolasia correifolia, Pellaea falcata var. nana, Austromyrtus tenuifolia.

VULNERABLE: Includes: Eucalyptus saligna, E. pilularis, Schizomeria ovata, Rapanea howittiana, Notelaea venosa, Maytenus silvestris, Galium binifolium, Opercularia aspera, Doodia caudata, Sarcopetalum harveyanum, Pteris tremula, Stipa verticillata, Omalanthus nutans, Cissus hypoglauca, Duboisia myoporoides, Baeckea virgata, Solanum pungetium, Senecio minimum, Pomaderris ferruginea, Abutilon oxycarpum, Acacia maidenii, Cissus antarctica, Platylobium formosum, Schizomeria ovata, Acacia parvipinnula.

 

Existing NPWS reserves

Western Sydney: None

Sydney district: Conserved in northern Sydney parks and reserves.

Elsewhere in state: Extensive in coastal areas, however, understorey floristics likely to differ significantly.

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - O'Haras Creek, Maroota, Toongabbie Creek.

Complementary - Blue Gum Creek (Annangrove Crown Lands), Subiaco Creek, Vale of Avoca Reserve (along lower Grose River).

 

Conservation Status (W. Sydney)

Unconserved., Only 4% of Sydney Sandstone Gully vegetation is conserved in western Sydney, with no examples of Blue Gum Forest.

 

CAR Assessment

No specific figures available ( part of general 10ag complex). The community can be classified as endangered within western Sydney and the Sydney region based on the fact that 90% of its present area is in small patches which are subject to threatening processes and unlikely to persist in the long-term. It also qualifies as a rare ecosystem with patch sizes of <100 ha. The uniqueness of the western Sydney community needs to be assessed to determine significance at state and national levels.

 

Recommendations:

  1. Protection of key biodiversity areas to provide representation over the geographical range (CAR reserve system).
  2. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).
  3. Investigate the degree of uniqueness of Blue Gum Forest in western Sydney.

 

 

3. GREY BOX WOODLAND

 

Map unit: 1Oc

Structure: Woodland

Geology: Wianamatta Shale

Topography: Flat to undulating

Rainfall: 700-800 mm p.a.

Notes: The Grey Box Woodland of the Cumberland Plain is floristically distinct from other Grey Box communities within the state. The geology, soils, topography and associated species characteristic of this community are unique to western Sydney. Grey Box Woodland was once widely distributed across the Cumberland Plain. Today only small, often isolated remnants survive and these show significant variability in floristics even over short distances. Adequate conservation of this community will require long-term protection for remnants across its geographical range.

Pure form of Grey Box Woodland is uncommon, more often in association with other species, particularly Eucalyptus fibrosa on lateritic shale soils or where influence of sandy soil, Eucalyptus crebra in hilly areas and E. longifolia in wetter sites. In moist areas with soil enrichment a more mesic understorey is found with species such as Acacia implexa, Siegesbeckia orientalis and Oplismenus aemulus. Some 60%-80% of species may be similar between sites with remaining percentage reflecting variation in floristic composition even over short distances. Differences often related to very subtle environmental factors. Herbs and grasses are an important component of these woodlands and many species are visible only seasonally ie. annuals or perennials which die back and resprout when conditions are favourable.

 

Main canopy species

Botanical Names Common Names
Eucalyptus moluccana Grey Box
Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Red Gum

 

Associated canopy species

Angophora floribunda (wetter sites) Rough-barked Apple
Eucalyptus crebra Narrow-leaved Ironbark
Eucalyptus eugenioides Thin-leaved Stringybark
Eucalyptus fibrosa Broad-leaved Ironbark
Eucalyptus longifolia (drier sites) Woolybutt

 

Associated understorey species

Trees

Acacia decurrens Sydney Green Wattle
Acacia falcata Sickle Wattle
Acacia parramattensis Parramatta Green Wattle
Acacia. binervia Two-veined Hickory

Shrubs

Bursaria spinosa Blackthorn
Dillwynia sieberi Parrot-pea
Dodonaea viscosa subsp. cuneata Wedge-leaf Hop Bush
Exocarpos cupressiformis Cherry Ballart
Indigofera australis Native Indigo
Melaleuca decora White Feather Honeymyrtle
Pimelea linifolia Slender Rice Flower

Groundcovers

Aristida vagans Wire Grass
Arthropodium milleflorum Pale Vanila Lily
Brunoniella australis Blue Trumpet
Calotis lappulacea Yellow Burr-daisy
Cheilanthes sieberi Mulga Fern
Commelina cyanea Scurvy weed
Cymbopogon refractus Barbed-wire Grass
Cyperus gracilis Sedge
Danthonia tenuior Wallaby Grass
Desmodium varians Slaender Tick-trefoil
Dianella longifolia Blue Flax Lily
Einada. trigonos Saloop-bush
Einadia hastata Saloop-bush
Eragrostis leptostachya. Love Grass
Euchiton sphaericus  
Glycine spp. Love Creeper
Hibbertia aspera Rough Guinea Flower
Hibbertia. diffusa Guinea Flower
Lomandra filiformis Wattle Mat-rush
Microlaena stipoides Meadow Rice Grass
Ozothamnus diosmifolius Ball Everlasting
Paspalidium distans Paspalidium
Phyllanthus virgatus Spurge
Solenogyne bellioides  
Themeda australis Kangaroo Grass
Vernonia cinerea Vernonia
Vittadinia spp. Fuzzweed
Wahlenbergia gracilis Australian Bluebell

 

Significant species:

ROTAP species: Pimelea spicata, Acacia pubescens

REGIONAL: Includes Hybanthus enneaspermus var. stellarioides, Marsdenia viridiflora, Pultenaea microphylla, Scutellaria humilis, Myoporum montanum, Vittadinia pustulata, V. sulcata, Solanum cinereum, Solenogyne dominii.

VULNERABLE: Includes Daviesia genistifolia, Cymbonotus lawsonianus, Elymus scaber, Glossogyne tannensis, Mentha satureioides, Plantago varia, Sorghum leiocladum, Zornia dyctiocarpa, Phyllanthus virgatus, Dodonaea viscosa subsp. cuneata, Vittadinia cuneata., V. muelleri, Calotis lappulacea, Bothriochloa macra, B. decipiens, Mentha diemenica, Scaevola albida, Atriplex semibaccata, Einadia trigonos, E. nutans subsp. linifolia, E. polygonoides, Hypericum japonicum, Chamaesyce drummondii, C dallachyana, Leucopogon juniperinus, Arthropodium milleflorum, A. minus, Chloris ventricosa, Danthonia linkii, D. racemosa, Sporobolus creber, Eriochloa pseudoacrotricha, Senecio hispidulus, S. quadridentatus, Euchiton sphaericus, Solenogyne bellioides, Polymeria calycina, Oxalis pennant Plantago debilis, P. gaudichaudii, Eremophila debilis, Ranunculus lappaceus, Glycine microphylla, Cyperus trinervis.

 

Distribution within western Sydney

Surviving in small, mostly isolated remnants throughout the region.

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: None except for a very small area in Windsor Downs Nature Reserve. Not considered conserved on this basis.

Sydney district: None

Elsewhere in state: Eucalyptus moluccana dominated woodland occurs in several parks and reserves within NSW, including Goulburn River National Park. The geology, soils and associated species, however, differ significantly.

 

Key Biodiversity areas

Core - Kemps Creek, Prospect Reservoir, Shanes Park, RAAF (Orchard Hills), ADI site, Hawkesbury Reserve, Lansdowne Park, Boral-Lower Canal (Prospect), Australia's Wonderland (Eastern Creek).

Complementary - Representative areas in all LGAs particularly in core areas ie. Blacktown, Holroyd and Denham court-Varroville-Rosemeadow (Liverpool and Campbelltown). See specific remnant recommendations in relevant LGA reports.

 

Conservation Status (W. Sydney)

Listed as an endangered ecological community under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

*Unconserved.

CAR Assessment

*Endangered (national, state & regional)

 

Recommendations

  1. Appropriate protection of intact remnants of Grey Box Woodland- less than 15% of original distribution remaining (CAR guidelines).
  2. Review by Scientific Committee for listing as an endangered ecological community under the TSC Act (1995)
  3. Urgent protection of key conservation areas.
  4. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

 

4. GREY BOX-IRONBARK WOODLAND

Map unit: 10d

Structure: Woodland

Geology: Wianamatta Shale

Topography: Hilly

Rainfall: 700-800 mm p.a.

Notes: Similar to and intergrades with Grey Box Woodland. Eucalyptus fibrosa frequently replaces E. crebra particularly in central and southern parts of the region - see earlier discussion.

 

Main canopy species:

Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Red Gum
Eucalyptus moluccana Grey Box
Eucalyptus crebra Narrow-leaved Ironbark

 

Associated canopy species:

Eucalyptus fibrosa Broad-leaved Ironbark

 

Associated understorey species

Similar to Grey Box Woodland.

 

Significant species:

ROTAP species: Pimelea spicata

REGIONAL: Pimelea curviflora var. subglabrata

Otherwise as for Grey Box Woodland

 

Distribution within western Sydney

Surviving in small, mostly isolated remnants in hilly country around the edge of the Cumberland Plain, particularly towards Camden and Picton, Kurrajong to Glossodia and Cattai.

 

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: Scheyville N.P., Mulgoa N.R., Cattai N.P.

Sydney district: None

Elsewhere in state: None

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - remnants south of Mulgoa N.R., small area in Prospect Reservoir, larger area in Australia's Wonderland (Eastern Creek)

Complementary - Remnants in Mt. Druitt - Schofields, Kurrajong - Glossodia and Camden / Campbelltown districts.

 

Conservation Status (W. Sydney)

Listed as an endangered ecological community under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Inadequately Conserved

CAR assessment

Endangered (national, state & regional)

Notes: Although represented in three reserves, these areas only cover a small part of its total geographical range in western Sydney. Remnants north-west of the Hawkesbury River and in the southern and eastern parts of the region, in particular, require protection.

 

Recommendations

  1. No further clearing of intact remnants- less than 15% of remaining distribution (CAR guidelines)
  2. Further review for possible listing as an endangered ecological community under the TSC Act.
  3. Urgent protection of key biodiversity areas.
  4. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

 

5. RIVER-FLAT FOREST

and associated riparian/wetland communities

 

Map unit: Included in 9f

Structure: Low open-forest.

Geology: Holocene alluvium.

Topography: Alluvial floodplains.

Notes: The Swamp Oak, Red Gum and riparian/wetland communities have been described together to reflect the natural intergradation of these communities along the creek systems. Away from the creek on higher land the mesic communities intergrade with Cumberland Plain Woodlands. The Casuarina forest comprises a narrow zone fringing the creek line. Stands are often dense, particularly where the watercourse is sluggish or intermittent. Clumping of trees are the result of root-suckering. This species is typically associated with saline estuarine situations; its distribution on the Cumberland Plain is therefore unusual and probably related to the presence of saline groundwater found below the Wianamatta Shale.

The Red Gum-Cabbage Gum-Broad-leaved Apple community was once common on alluvial flats along the Nepean-Hawkesbury River, but has been extensively cleared. Various forms of this association are found extensively along the smaller floodplains of the Cumberland Plain where it commonly intergrades with Swamp Oak Forest. Angophora subvelutina is commonly found in more western districts close to the Nepean and is often replaced as a dominant by Angophora floribunda further east. A hybrid between the two species appears to be fairly common. Chiefly in southern districts, along the Georges River system (e.g. Bankstown, Holroyd, Fairfield and Liverpool LGAs), Blue Box Eucalyptus baueriana becomes a dominant species with Angophora floribunda, Eucalyptus tereticornis and E. amplifolia.

The understorey of these forest communities is typically open and grassy. Shrubs are sparse except for sites which have been invaded by exotic species such as privet. Grasses and herbs are the dominant component with many wetland and riparian species occurring on the creek banks, in the creeks, in poorly drained and frequently inundated sites and small ponds. A significant proportion of these herbs and grasses are considered to be regionally vulnerable. The understorey is frequently overgrown with exotic species including Wandering Jew and Blackberry.

 

Main canopy species:

(1)

Botanical Name Common Name
Casuarina glauca Swamp Oak

(2)

Angophora subvelutina Broad-leaved Apple
Casuarina glauca Swamp Oak
Eucalyptus amplifolia Cabbage gum
Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Red Gum

 

 

Associated canopy species:

(1) May intergrade with (2)

(2)

Angophora floribunda Rough-barked Apple
Casuarina cunninghamiana (close to Hawkesbury-Nepean River) River Oak
Eucalyptus bauerana Blue Box
Eucalyptus deanei. Mountain Blue Gum
Eucalyptus robusta Swamp Mahogany
Melaleuca linariifolia Snow-in-summer
Melaleuca styphelioides Prickly-leaved Paperbark

 

Associated understorey species

Trees

Acacia parramattensis Parramatta Green Wattle
Backhousia myrtifolia Grey Myrtle
Callistemon salignus Willow Bottlebrush
Melaleuca decora White-feather Honey-myrtle

Shrubs

Atriplex australasica Saltbush
Atriplex semibaccata Half-berried Saltbush
Bursaria spinosa Blackthorn
Leptospermum polygalifolium Yellow Tea-tree
Notelaea longifolia Large Mock Olive
Rapanea howittiana Brush Muttonwood

Groundcovers

Adiantum aethiopicum Common Maidenhair
Agrostis avenacea Blown Grass
Alternanthera denticulata Lesser Joyweed
Calystegia marginata Bindweed
Carex appressa Tall Sedge
Carex longebrachiata Drooping Sedge
Centella asiatica Swamp Pennywort
Centipeda minima Spreading Sneezeweed
Cyperus gracilis Sedge
Dianella revoluta Blue Flax Lily
Doodia caudata Small Rasp Fern
Eclipta platyglossa Yellow Twin-heads
Einadia hastata Saloop
Einadia trigonos Saloop
Einadia. nutans Native Sea-berry
Entolasia marginata Panic
Geranium homeanum Northern Cranesbill
Glycine microphylla Love Creeper
Hydrocotyle peduncularis Pennywort
Juncus usitatus Common Rush
Lomandra longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Microlaena stipoides Meadow Rice Grass
Oplismenus spp. Basket Grass
Phragmites australis Common Reed
Phyllanthus similis Spurge
Pratia concolor Pratia
Pratia purpurascens White Root
Scutellaria humilis Dwarf Skullcap
Typha orientalis Bulrush
Veronica plebeia Creeping Speedwell

 

Wetter sites

Alisma plantago-aquatica Water Plantain
Bulboschoenus caldwellii Bulboschoenus
Cyperus sanguinolentus Flat-sedge
Eleocharis acuta Common spike-rush
Eleocharis cylindrostachys Spike-rush
Eleocharis sphacelata Tall Spike-rush
Gratiola pedunculata Brooklime
Haloragis heterophylla Variable Raspwort
Isotoma fluviatilis Swamp Isotoma
Myriophyllum simulans Water-millfoil
Panicum obseptum Panic
Paspalum distichum Saltwater Couch
Persicaria spp. Knotweed
Potamogeton tricarinatus Floating Pondweed
Schoenoplectus mucronatus Club-rush
Schoenoplectus validus River Club-rush
Triglochin procerum Water Ribbons

.

Distribution within western Sydney

Widespread across the Cumberland Plain along creeks systems within the Hawkesbury-Nepean, Georges River and Parramatta River catchments.

 

Significant species

ROTAP species: Hypsela sessiliflora (presumed extinct)

REGIONAL: Includes: Eucalyptus baueriana, Persicaria prostrata, Scutellaria humilis,

Pratia concolor, Panicum obseptum, Glyceria australis, Myriophyllum simulans,

Echinochloa colona

VULNERABLE: Includes: Eleocharis cylindrostachys, E. acuta, Gratiola pedunculata, Haloragis heterophylla, Triglochin striata, Isotoma fluviatilis, Phyllanthus similis, Cyperus sanguinolentus, Schoenoplectus mucronatus,
S. validus, Bulboschoenus caldwellii, Persicaria subsessilis, Alisma plantago-aquatica, Carex longebrachiata, Einadia trigonos, E. nutans, Eclipta platyglossa, Calystegia marginata, Doodia caudata, Glycine microphylla, Digitaria diffusa, Cyperus gunni.

 

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: Small area of Red Gum Forest occurs in Cattai N.P. (Mitchell Park and Cattai N.P.) and small area of Swamp Oak Woodland in Mitchell Park but atypical.

Sydney district: None. (restricted to western Sydney).

Elsewhere in state: (1) Usually associated with coastal communities. (2) No equivalent communities recognised (Specht et al 1995). The close association between these communities and those of the Cumberland Plain, imparts a floristic uniqueness.

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Kemps Creek and southern extension, Blaxland Creek (RAAF land), Nurragingy Reserve (Doonside), Deepwater Park and Voyagers Point-Pleasure Point (Georges River).

Complementary - Riparian protection corridors along creek systems of Cumberland Plain (all LGAs).

 

Conservation Status (W. Sydney)

Inadequately-conserved.

CAR Assessment

<10 % of original areal extent remains (as part of River-flat Forest complex). On this basis the community can be classified as endangered. These communities are subject to ongoing threatening processes and are unlikely to persist in the long-term. They also qualify as a rare ecosystem with patch sizes of < 100 ha. In view of the floristic uniqueness of this community (as part of the Cumberland Plain flora) this assessment is valid at national, state and regional levels.

Notes: All River-flat Forests, riparian habitats and wetlands urgently require protection. Adequate conservation of this community will require a combination of primary and complementary conservation strategies with particular focus on representation over the geographical range of the community. Conservation will link in with flora and fauna corridors within western Sydney.

 

Recommendations

  1. Further assessment by NPWS for possible review by Scientific Committee for listing as an endangered community under the TSC Act (1995).
  2. Protection of key biodiversity areas to provide representation over the geographical range of the communities (CAR reserve system).
  3. The complementary conservation system to be based on the establishment of a protected riparian zone (to a minimum of 40 m wide on each side) along all creek systems in western Sydney.
  4. Rehabilitation of degraded sites.
  5. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

 

6. RIPARIAN COMPLEX

Distribution Along all natural creeks

Structure: Herbaceous aquatic and terrestrial plants

Geology: Quaternary alluvium

Topography: Alluvial floodplain

 

Species

Alisma plantago-aquatica Water Plantain
Alphitonia excelsa  
Bothriochloa macra  
Bulboshoenus caldwellii Club Rush
Calystegia marginata  
Carex breviculmis Native Sedge
Carex longibrachiata Drooping Sedge
Chenopodium pumilio  
Christella dentata  
Cotula australis Creeping Daisy
Cyathea cooperi Scaly Tree Fern
Cyperus difformis Dirty Dora Rice Sedge
Cyperus imbecillus Flat-sedge
Cyperus laevis Flat-sedge
Eclipta platyglossa Yellow Eclipta
Eleocharis spp. Spikerushes
Epilobium billarderianum ssp.cinereum Wetland Willowherb
Eriochloa cylindrostachys  
Glycine microphylla Glycine
Juncus sarophorus Native Rush
Juncus subsecundus Native Rush
Juncus usitatus Tussock Rush
Leucopogon juniperinus Prickly Beard-heath
Lythrum hyssopifolia Hyssop Loosestrife
Myoporum boninense ssp. australe Boobialla
Omalanthus nutans  
Oxalis perennans  
Paspalum distichum Water Couch
Persicaria spp Knotweed
Persicaria subsessile Hairy Knotweed
Pomaderris discolor Pomaderris
Pomaderris oleracea Pomaderris
Potamogeton crispus Curly Pondweed
Potamogeton pectinatus Sago Pondweed
Rumex brownii Native Dock
Schoenoplectus validus Club Rush
Schoenus maschalinus Bog-rush
Triglochin microtuberosum Water Ribbon
Typha domingensis Narrowleaf Cumbungi
Typha orientalis Broadleaf Cumbungi
Typha spp Cumbungi
Vallisneria gigantea Ribbonweed

 

 

7. ESTUARINE COMPLEX

(not described separately - dealt with under Wetlands)

Notes: The distribution of Estuarine wetlands is naturally restricted within western Sydney due to distance from the coast. Estuarine vegetation is confined to saline and brackish waters of the Georges River (below Chipping Norton) and the Parramatta River (below Parramatta). Approximately 64 ha of estuarine wetlands occur along the Georges River within the Liverpool 1:25 000 map sheet (Adam & Stricker 1989).

The estuarine complex (4a) of Benson & Howell (1990, 1994) and Benson (1992) includes mangrove open-scrub, herbland (saltmarsh), rushland/reedland, low open forest of Casuarina glauca (Swamp Oak) and open-scrub of Melaleuca species. The different communities relate to the degree of flooding and the levels of salinity. Mangroves (Avicennia marina and Aegiceras corniculatum) are restricted to the intertidal zone and fringe parts of the Georges and Parramatta Rivers, extending into tributary creeks such as Deadmans Creek at Sandy Point, Williams Creek at Voyager Point and Lower Duck River at Granville. The distribution of mangroves within these areas appears to be generally increasing, often at the expense of herbland communities, due to increased silt deposits since European settlement (Benson 1992).

 

Estuarine species

Saltmarsh is a low growing herbland characterised by mats of succulent-stemmed plants of the family Chenopodiaceae, including:

Samolus repens Creeping Brookweed
Sarcocornia quinqueflora Samphire
Suaeda australis Seablite

Saltmarsh areas are flooded less frequently than their mangrove margins. Occasionally flooded sites have grassland, sedgeland or rushland communities with:

Juncus krausii Sea Rush
Phragmites australis Common Reed
Sporobolus virginicus Salt-grass
Zoysia macrantha Coast Couch

Beyond the normal tidal influence Swamp Oak woodland occurs intergrading into Melaleuca scrub (Melaleuca ericifolia, M linariifolia) with a ground flora of Baumea juncea and Juncus krausii. Swamp Mahogany Forest with Eucalyptus robusta may occur on alluvium at the landward end of the zonation (e.g. in Georges River National Park.)

 

Regionally significant species

Regionally significant (REG) species include:

Cladium procerum, Leafy Twig-rush
Gahnia filum Saw-sedge
Halosarcia pergranulata  
Juncus kraussii Sea Rush
Leptinella longipes  
Ruppia maritima Sea Tassels
Samolus repens Creeping Brookweed
Schoenoplectus subulatus River Club-rush
Suaeda australis. Seablite
Wilsonia backhousei Narrow-leaved Wilsonia

The small shrub Halosarcia pergranulata, for example, is typically a species of saline habitats in the western division of the state with two disjunct populations occurring in western Sydney at Homebush Bay and near Parramatta. Although estuarine wetlands are naturally restricted in western Sydney, conservation of these remnants is considered to be important in view of their relative rarity in the Sydney district generally. Larger sites of particular significance within western Sydney include Homebush Bay (Auburn), Chipping Norton Lakes (Fairfield/Liverpool), Voyagers Point-Pleasure Point (Liverpool) and Saltpan Creek and Deepwater Park (Bankstown).

 

 

8. SYDNEY SANDSTONE RIDGE-TOP WOODLAND/OPEN FOREST

 

Map unit: Included in 10ar.

Geology: Hawkesbury Sandstone with minor to moderate clay influence.

Topography: Ridge-tops and dry, upper or exposed slopes.

Structure: Woodland.

Notes: Soils are shallow, well-drained skeletal sands, sandy loams or sandy clays. Considerable variation is seen in structure and floristics. Woodland may intergrade with open-forest and scrub-heath communities. Floristics related primarily to rainfall, degree of clay influence and drainage conditions. Some tree species can tolerate a wide range of conditions e.g. Angophora costata, Corymbia gummifera, Eucalyptus sparsifolia. Other species indicate particular conditions e.g. Syncarpia glomulifera and Eucalyptus punctata indicate clay soil influence, Angophora bakeri and Corymbia eximia, low rainfall well-drained sites and Eucalyptus sclerophylla, damp shallow soils (Benson 1992). The understorey is typically sclerophyllous and species-rich with good representation of the families Proteaceae, Fabaceae, Myrtaceae and Epacridaceae.

Although there is a general uniformity of vegetation across the three sandstone plateaus, there is also considerable floristic variation. For example: Eucalyptus sieberi is common on the Woronora Plateau and in the Blue Mountains but is uncommon on the Hornsby Plateau and Grevillea speciosa, Acacia hispidula and A. gordonii are more typical of woodland communities on the Hornsby Plateau. Similarly a large number of ROTAP and regionally significant species are associated with the Hornsby Plateau including Darwinia biflora, Lasiopetalum joyceae, Olearia cordata, Acacia bynoeana, Pimelea curviflora, Platysace clelandii and Tetratheca glandulosa The occurrence of many of these significant species may be related to a higher clay content of the soil, often associated with the Shale/Sandstone interface and the Lucas Heights soil landscape. The floristic relationships between the typical sandstone communities and those of shale/sandstone transition areas and the Maroota Sand Mass require further study.

An open-forest community dominated by Eucalyptus piperita and Angophora bakeri occurs along ridges and upper slopes with clay influence in the Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury LGAs. A small area is protected within Cattai N.P. (Mitchell Park). Other key areas include along Cattai Creek at Kellyville and Roberts Creek, east Kurrajong.

 

Canopy species:

Botanical Name Common Name
Angphora. bakeri Narrow-leaved Apple
Angophora costata Smooth-barked apple
Corymbia eximia Yellow Bloodwood
Corymbia gummifera Red Bloodwood
Eucalyptus haemastoma Scribbly Gum
E. sclerophylla Scribbly Gum
E. racemosa Scribbly Gum
Eucalyptus piperita. Sydney Peppermint
Eucalyptus squamosa Scaly Bark

 

Associated canopy species:

Eucalyptus sparsifolia/Eucalyptus oblonga Narrow-leaved Stringybark/ Common Sandstone Stringybark
Eucalyptus. multicaulis (Holsworthy) Whip-stick Ash
Angophora hispida. Dwarf Apple
Eucalyptus punctata Grey Gum
Eucalyptus. sieberi Silvertop Ash
Eucalyptus. consideniana (Holsworthy) Yertchuk

 

Associated understorey species:

Trees

Acacia hispidula  
Acacia myrtifolia Myrtle Wattle
Acacia suaveolens Sweet-scented Wattle
Acacia terminalis Sunshine Wattle
Allocasuarina littoralis Black She-oak

Shrubs

Banksia ericifolia Heath Banksia
Banksia marginata Silver Banksia
Banksia serrata Old Man Banksia
Banksia spinulosa Hairpin Banksia
Boronia ledifolia Sydney Boronia
Bossiaea lenticularis Bossiaea
Bossiaea rhombifolia Bossiaea
Conospermum longifolium Long-leaf Coneseeds
Dillwynia retorta Eggs and Bacon
Gompholobium grandiflorum Wedge-pea
Grevilea speciosa Red Spider flower
Grevillea buxifolia Grey Spider flower
Hakea sericea Needle-bush
Hovea linearis Narrow-leafed Hovea
Isopogon anemonifolius Broad-leaf Drumsticks
Kunzea capitata Pink Kunzea
Lambertia formosa Mountain Devil
Lasiopetalum rufum Red Rusty-petals
Leptospermum trinervium Tea-tree
Leucopogon muticus Beard Heath
Lomatia silaifolia Crinkle Bush
Mirbelia speciosa Purple Mirbelia
Monotoca elliptica Tree Broom-heath
Persoonia levis Broad-leaf Geebung
Persoonia linearis Narrow-leaf Geebung
Petrophile pedunculata Stalked Conesticks
Petrophile sessilis Prickly Conesticks
Phebalium squamulosum Scaly Phebalium
Phyllanthus hirtellus Thyme Spurge
Ptilanthelium deustum. Spurge

Groundcovers

Actinotus heliathi Flannel Flower
Cyathochaeta diandra Sedge
Dianelia revoluta Spreading Flax Lily
Entolasia stricta Wiry Panic
Lepyrodia scariosa Scale-rush
Lomandra glauca Pale mat-rush
Lomandra. obliqua Twisted mat-rush
Patersonia sericea Silky Purple-flag

Distribution within western Sydney

Chiefly in the greater Cattai district with smaller areas in the Lower Blue Mountains, at Holsworthy and along the Georges River in the south.

 

Significant species

ROTAP species: Darwinia biflora, Platysace clelandii, Tetratheca glandulosa, T neglecta, Leucopogon fletcheri ssp. fletcheri, Lasiopetalum joyceae, Melaleuca deanei, Acacia gordonii, A. bynoeana, Olearia cordata, Lomandra brevis, Hibbertia nitida, Lissanthe sapida, Gonocarpus longifolius.

REGIONAL: Includes: Pimelea curviflora var. curviflora, Eucalyptus squamosa, E. luehmanniana, E. consideniana,
E. racemosa, Tetratheca rupicola, Daviesia umbellata, Mirbelia pungens, Prostanthera howeIliae,, Acrotriche aggregate, Lasiopetalum rufum, Dodonaea falcata, D. camfieldii, Pultenaea polifolia, Acacia trinervata, Dodonaea boroniifolia, Pomaderris ledifolia, Entolasia stricta var. hirsuta, Entolasia whiteana, Mirbelia speciosa, Astrotricha ledifolia, Isopogon dawsonii.

VULNERABLE: Includes: Eucalyptus squamosa, E. resinifera x E. notabilis, E. haemastoma, Boronia anemonifolia, Acacia hispidula, Hibbertia circumdans, Hibbertia aff. riparia, Pultenaea retusa, Styphelia tubiflora, Bossiaea lenticularis, Acacia lunata, Eriostemon hispidulus, Cassinia aureonitens, C. uncata.

 

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: Gulguer N.R. (small area), Mitchell Park -Cattai N.P (small area), Georges River N.P.

Sydney district: Similar communities exist further east on Hornsby Plateau in northern district parks and reserves and also in Yengo, Wollemi, Blue Mountains, Royal, and Heathcote National Parks and Wedderburn Nature Reserve, however, the floristics may differ significantly between these areas. Elsewhere in state: Similar communities well conserved in state but floristically may differ.

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Cornelia Crown Lands, Maroota, Annangrove Crown Lands, Holsworthy Training Area, Vale of Avoca Reserve, Crescent Reach Crown Lands, Roseberry/Green Roads (Kellyville), O'Haras Creek., Nortons Basin.

Complementary - Heath Road (Annangrove), Annangrove Crown Lands, Wisemans Ferry Historic Site, East Kurrajong.

 

Conservation Status & CAR Assessment

Although large areas of Sydney Sandstone Ridge-top Woodland remain in western Sydney, and is well conserved generally in the Sydney district, it is inadequately conserved within western Sydney. Less than 4% of ridge-top (including plateaus and higher, exposed slopes) communities are protected within NPWS reserves within the region, well below the recommended 15% protection level recommended by the CAR system.

Notes: The sandstone woodland communities within western Sydney are diverse, species-rich and contain a high proportion of ROTAP and other significant species taxa. Many of these significant species have their core distribution within western Sydney, particularly in western parts of the Hornsby Plateau.

 

 

Recommendations:

  1. Protection of key biodiversity areas as determined by CAR criteria (comprehensiveness, adequacy, representativeness).
  2. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

 

 

9. SYDNEY SANDSTONE SCRUB-HEATH COMPLEX

including wet heath and hanging swamp

 

Map unit: Included in 10ar

Structure. Scrub with occasional emergents and heath.

Geology: Wianamatta Shale/Sandstone interface and Hawkesbury Sandstone with a substantial clay influence in subsoil and with ironstone pebbles.

Topography: Poorly drained plateaus, ridge-tops and upper slopes including rock platforms, sandstone benchesand hanging valleys.

Soils landscape: Lucas Heights, Faulconbridge, Oxford Falls, Lambert, Sydney town, Somersby

Notes. Medium to large shrubs dominate the scrub communities with occasional emergents. Structure is variable according to soil depth and drainage, and to a lesser extent fire history. Pockets of heath occur within the scrub community along rock platforms and in areas of high exposure and/or poor drainage (Douglas 1996). Inherently diverse communities with high levels of endemic and significant plant species. Several distinct geographical forms can be recognised.

Scrub-heath communities are particularly typical of the greater Cattai region (Baulkham Hills LGA) where they differ from the more typical sandstone scrub-heath in having a stronger clay influence in the soil and are often floristically distinct with the occurrence of several indicator species of high conservation significance. These species include Eucalyptus resinifera x E notabilis, Darwinia biflora, Epacris purpurascens var. purpurascens and Hibbertia incana. It would appear that most of the ridgetops in the Cattai district have a significant clay influence (Douglas 1996). This complex often intergrades with Shale/Sandstone Transition Woodland. At Green Road, Kellyville a wet heath community occurs along and adjacent to a small creek dominated by Banksia ericifolia, Calytrix tetragona, Micromyrtus ciliata and Caustis recurvata. A small hanging swamp has developed on suspended alluvium with Leptospermum polygalifolium, Epacris purpurascens, Gahnia spp., and Baeckea Viola.

In western parts of the Hornsby Plateau in the Maroota district, another distinct floristic form is found typified by the ROTAP species Kunzea rupestris, Micromyrtus blakelyi, Acacia bynoeana and Tetratheca glandulosa, which grow together on rock platforms along with other significant species including Prostanthera howelliae, Eucalyptus squamosa and Mirbelia speciosa.

In southern and eastern parts of the region (e.g. along the Georges River and at Holsworthy) Coastal Sandstone Heath (21g) communities occur with Banksia oblongifolia, B. ericifolia, Hakea teretifolia, Angophora hispida and rarely the ROTAP species Darwinia diminuta (Holsworthy).

 

Main Species

Emergents

Eucalyptus resinifera x E. notabilis Red Mahogany x Blue Mountain Mahogany
Eucalyptus haemastoma Scribbly Gum
Eucalyptus sparsifolia. Narrow-leaved Stringybark
Eucalyptus sclerophylla Hard-leaved Scribbly Gum
Eucalyptus racemosa Scribbly Gum
Eucalyptus squamosa Scaly Bark

Scrub dominants

Allocasuarina littoralis (may occur as a monocultural stand) Black She-oak
Angophora hispida Dwarf Apple
Banksia oblongifolia Banksia
Banksia ericifolia Heath Banksia
Hakea sericea Needle Bush
Kunzea ambigua. Pink Kunzea
Leptospermum polygalifolium (wetter sites) Yellow Tea-tree
Leptospermum trinervium Tea-tree
Petrophile pulchella Conesticks

 

Associated species:

Shrubs

Baeckea diosmifolia Heath Myrtle
Banksia spinulosa Hairpin Banksia
Calytrix tetragona Fringe Myrtle
Darwinia biflora Darwinia
Epacris pulchella NSW Coral Heath
Gompholobium spp. Wedge-pea
Grevillea speciosa Red Spider Flower
Grevillea. buxifolia Grey Spider Flower
Hakea dactyloides Broad-leaved Hakea
Hovea linearis Narrow-leafed Hovea
Kunzea rupestris Tick-bush
Lambertia formosa Mountain Devil
Lasiopetalum parviflorum Small Rusty-petals
Leptospermum arachnoides Spidery Tea-tree
Leptospermum parvifolium Small-leaved Tea-tree
Leucopogon microphyllus Small-leaved White-beard
Melichrus procumbens Jam Tarts
Micromyrtus blakelyi Heath-myrtle
Mirbelia rubiifolia Mirbelia
Monotoca scoparia Prickly Broom-heath
Olax stricta Olax

Groundcovers

Lepyrodia scariosa Scale-rush
Lomandra spp. Mat-rush
Persoonia lanceolata Narrow-leaved Geebung

 

Associated species on wetter sites:

Shrubs

Banksia oblongifolia Banksia
Baeckea linifolia Swamp Baeckea
Epacris purpurascens Coral Heath
Gompholobium pinnatum. Wedge-pea
Micromyrtus ciliata Fringed Heath-myrtle

Groundcovers

Drosera peltata Pale Sundew
Caustis recurvata Caustis
Caustis flexuosa Old Man’s Beard
Gahnia spp. Saw-sedge
Schoenus villosus Hairy Bog-rush

 

Distribution within western Sydney

Widely distributed but uncommon in the Greater Cattai district, particularly at interface between Wianamatta Shales of the Cumberland Plain and Hornsby sandstone plateau. Particularly around Annangrove and Maroota (Benson 1992) but also patches from Kellyville (Heath Road) and Castle Hill (e.g. Ridgecrop Drive), north to Wisemans Ferry. Uncommon on the Lower Blue Mountains (within western Sydney study area) e.g. Vale of Avoca Reserve and on the Woronora Plateau along the Georges River in the Bankstown LGA.

 

Significant species

ROTAP species. Darwinia biflora, Leucopogon fletcheri subsp.)7etcheri, Persoonia hirsuta, Tetratheca glandulosa, Acacia bynoeana, Epacris purpurascens var. purpurascens, Lomandra brevis, Kunzea rupestris, Micromyrtus blakelyi, Platysace clelandii, Darwinia diminuta

REGIONAL: Includes: Eucalyptus squamosa, Hibbertia incana, Prostanthera howelliae, Pimelea curviflora, Dodonaea camfieldii, Darwinia fascicularis subsp. oligantha, Mirbelia speciosa, Boronia ruppii, Boronia rigens, Grevillea speciosa.

VULNERABLE: Includes: Eucalyptus resinifera x E. notabilis, Hibbertia riparia, Banksia marginata, Zieria laevigata, Leucopogon appressus, L. juniperinus, Melichrus procumbens, Gompholobium pinnatum, Leptospermum arachnoides, Aotus ericoides, Acacia hispidula, Bossiaea scolopendria.

Notes: The scrub communities within the woodland-scrub-heath complex contain the highest number and diversity of ROTAP species (Douglas 1996) of any plant community in western Sydney. Although several reserve proposals exist, only small areas occur in most. The range of communities identified need to be represented within a conservation reserve system. It is particularly important that the eastern remnants within the shale/sandstone transition areas (e.g. in the Kellyville - Castle Hill district) are included as they are unique to the local area and threatened by development. The Crescent Reach / South Maroota district is also of particular significance with Shale/Sandstone Transition Ridge-top scrub and heath communities and an outstanding concentration of ROTAP and significant plant species, many restricted to these western parts.

 

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: Wisemans Ferry Historic Site (very small area and not a conservation reserve), Georges River N.P. (Coastal Heath 21 g).

Sydney district: Similar communities conserved in northern districts but floristically different and not supporting the range of ROTAP and regionally significant species listed above.

Elsewhere in state: As for Sydney district.

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Green/Roseberry Road (Kellyville), Maroota (small area), Cornelia Crown Lands (small area), O'Haras Creek (small area), Crescent Reach Crown Lands, Holsworthy Military Area.

Complementary - Heath Road (Annangrove), Annangrove Crown Lands, Samuel Gilbert P.S. (Castle Hill).

 

Conservation Status and CAR Assessment

Pre- 1750 figures not available specifically for scrub/heath communities as previously included within Sydney Sandstone Ridgetop Complex (10ar). As part of this complex, however, the scrub-heath vegetation is inadequately conserved within western Sydney, with less than 4% of ridge-top (including plateaus and higher, exposed slopes) communities protected within NPWS reserves, well below the recommended 15% protection level. The scrub-heath communities also qualify as a rare ecosystem under the CAR system with patch sizes of <100 ha. The shale/sandstone transition forms, in particular, are considered rare and endangered.

 

Recommendations:

  1. Further assessment by NPWS for possible review by Scientific Committee for listing of the shale/sandstone transition forms under the TSC Act (1995).
  2. Protection of key biodiversity areas as determined by CAR criteria (comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness).
  3. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).
  4. Investigate further the distinctiveness of the communities occurring at the shale/sandstone interface and relationship with intergrading transition woodland communities.

 

 

10. SYDNEY SANDSTONE GULLY FOREST

 

Map unit: 10ag.

Structure: Open-forest/woodland and tall open-forest

Geology: Hawkesbury Sandstone with some clay influence

Topography: Sheltered hillsides and gullies.

Notes: Open-forest/woodland occurs in gullies on sheltered slopes. At the top of the slope it may intergrade with Sydney Sandstone Ridge-top Woodland (on sandstone), mesic Blue-Gum Forest (on shale caps) or Shale/Sandstone Transition Forest. Along the creek line the forest may intergrade with tall open-forest (shale enrichment of lower slopes), closed forest or River-flat Forest where there is a distinct flood-plain. On the Hornsby Plateau (western districts) and in the Lower Blue Mountains, the gully forest commonly intergrades with rainforest pockets e.g. along Cabbage Tree Creek and Little Cattai Creek (both Hawkesbury). Although there are clearly similarities in the floristics of sandstone gully communities within western Sydney (ie. many widespread species), there is also considerable variability both between and within major plateau areas.

 

Canopy species

Open-forest/woodland:

Botanical name Common name
Angophora costata Smooth-barked Apple
Corymbia gummifera Red Bloodwood
Eucalyptus piperita Sydney Peppermint
Eucalyptus. pilularis Blackbutt
Syncarpia glomulifera Turpentine

Tall open-forest:

Eucalyptus pilularis Blackbutt
Eucalyptus saligna Sydney Blue Gum
Syncarpia glomulifera Turpentine
+/- Eucalyptus agglomerata, E. deanei Blue-leaved Stringybark/Mountain Blue Gum

Closed-forest:

Ceratopetalum apetalum NSW Christmas Bush
Tristaniopsis laurina River Gum

 

Associated canopy species:

Allocasuarina littoralis/torulosa Black She Oak/Forest Oak
Angophora floribunda Rough-barked Apple
Ceratopetalum gummiferum. NSW Christmas Bush
Eucalyptus punctata Grey Gum

 

Associated understorey species:

Trees

Acacia floribunda Sally Wattle
Acacia loggia  
Backhousia myrtifolia Grey Myrtle
Ceratopetalum gummiferum NSW Christmas Bush
Elaeocarpus reticulatus Blueberry Ash
Glochidion ferdinandi Cheese Tree
Pittosporum revolutum Yellow Pittosporum
Pittosporum undulatum Native Daphne
Stenocarpus salignus Scrub Beefwood

Shrubs

Acacia terminalis Sunshine Wattle
Banksia serrata Old Man Banksia
Bossiaea lenticularis Bossiaea
Callicoma serratifolia Blackwattle
Clerodendrum tomentosum Hairy Clerodendrum
Dodonaea triquetra Common Hop Bush
Leptospermum polygalifolium Yellow Tea-tree
Leucopogon juniperinus Prickly Beard-heath
Leucopogon lanceolatus Lance-leaf Beard-heath
Logania albiflora Longania
Maytenus silvestris  
Notelaea longifolia Large Mock Olive
Omalanthus nutans Bleeding heart
Persoonia linearis Narrow-leaved Geebung
Phebalium dentatum Phebalium
Platysace linearifolia Narrow-leaf Platysace
Polyscias sambucifolia Elderberry Panax
Pomaderris elliptica Smooth Pomaderris
Pomaderris ferruginea Rusty pomaderris
Pultenaea daphnoides Bush Pea
Pultenaea flexilis Graceful Bush-pea
Zieria smith Sandfly Zieria

Groundcovers

Adiantum aethiopicum Common Maidenhair
Blechnum cartilagineum Gristle Fern
Cissus spp. Native Grape, Water Vine
Dianelia caerulea Paroo Lily
Doodia caudata Small Rasp Fern
Entolasia marginata Panic
Hibbertia dentata Guinea Flower
Hymenophyllum cupressiforme Common filmy-fern
Kennedia rubicunda Running Postman
Liparis reflexa Yellow Rock Orchid
Lomandra longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Pteridium esculentum Common Bracken Fern
Pyrrosia rupestris Rock Felt-fern
Schoenus melanostachys Black Bog-rush
Siegesbeckia orientalis Indian Weed

 

 

Distribution within western Sydney

Widely distributed along creeks systems of the sandstone plateaus.

Western districts: Expansive areas of sandstone plateaus incised by deep creek systems. Typical species include Eucalyptus saligna / E. deanei, E. agglomerate, Syncarpia glomulifera, Angophora floribunda, A. costata, Ceratopetalum apetalum, C gummiferum, Backhousia myrtifolia, Duboisia myoporoides, Acacia parvipinnula, Logania albiflora, Stenocarpus salignus, Lomatia myricoides, Rapanea variabilis, Bossiaea lenticularis, Podocarpus spinulosus, Astrotricha spp., Elaeocarpus reticulatus, Boronia ruppii, Asterolasia elegans,
A. correifolia, Zieria involucrata, Callistemon shiressii, Eustrephus latifolius, Tylophora barbata, Senecio minimum, Poa affinis, Cyathea austral, Davallia pyxidata, Blechnum spp., Psilotum nudum, Liparis reflexa.

Sites include Blue Gum Creek (Annangrove), O'Haras Creek, Cattai Creek, Little Cattai Creek, creeks within the Cornelia Crown lands and Roberts Creek (East Kurrajong).

Eastern districts: Remnant bushland is largely confined to slopes of major creek systems with gully forest communities well represented. Floristics reflect the clay influence from Wianamatta Shale of the ridge-tops and higher rainfall, not well represented in the parks of the upper Hornsby Plateau and Woronora Plateau, but similar to gully forest of Lane Cove N.P. Characteristic species - Eucalyptus pilularis, E. saligna, Eucalyptus punctata, Syncarpia glomulifera, Angophora costata, Pittosporum undulatum, Bursaria spinosa, Elaeocarpus reticulatus, Glochidion ferdinandi, Polyscias sambucifolia, Allocasuarina torulosa, Ozothamnus diosmifolius, Acacia maidenii, Opercularia aspera, Leucopogon juniperinus, Pultenaea flexilis, Breynia oblongifolia, Pultenaea viscosa, Platylobium formosum, Acacia longifolia, Backhousia myrtifolia, Hakea salicifolia, Pomaderris ferruginea, Epacris purpurascens, Doodia caudata, D. aspera. Sites include Lake Parramatta, Toongabbie Creek, Dundas Valley, Darling Mills Creek.

 

Significant species

ROTAP species: Zieria involucrata, Epacris purpurascens var. purpurascens, Asterolasia elegans, Grevillea longifolia, Callistemon shiressii, Lomandra fluviatilis, Hibbertia nitida, Keraudrenia corollata var. denticulata, Boronia fraseri, Hibbertia hermannifolia, Leucopogon exolasius.

REGIONAL: Includes: Doryanthes excelsa, Senna odorata, Tylophora paniculata, Carex maculata, Asterolasia correifolia, Lasiopetalum macrophyllum, Aphanopetalum resinosum, Abrophyllum ornans, Acrotriche aggregata, Cassinia quinquefaria, C. laevis, Adiantum formosum, Boronia ruppii, B. mollis, Phebalium squameum, Prostanthera incisa, Cephalaria cephalobotrys, Dendrobium stratum Gymnostachys anceps, Hedycarya angustifolia, Hymenosporum flavum, Bertya pomaderroides, Dodonaea truncatiales, Galium liratum, Grevillea oleoides, Austrocynoglossum latifolium, Nicotiana suaveolens.

VULNERABLE: Includes: Pomaderris elliptica, P. ferruginea, Maytenus silvestris, Senecio linearifolius, Hibbertia dentata, Acacia parvipinnula, Brachychiton populneus, Acacia binervata, Stenocarpus salignus, Astrotricha latifolia, Commersonia fraseri, Cymbidium suave, Duboisia myoporoides, Eucalyptus pilularis, E. saligna, Omalanthus nutans, Podocarpus spinulosus, Pomaderris ferruginea, P. elliptica, P. discolor, P. lanigera, Schizomeria ovata, Acacia maidenii, Abutilon oxycarpum, Eupomatia laurina, Hibbertia dentata, Hibiscus heterophyllus, Marsdenia suaveolens, Prostanthera prunellioides, P. violacea, P. linearis, Rapanea howittiana, Rubus hillii, Senecio minimus var. minimus.

 

Existing Conservation Reserves

Western Sydney: Blue Mountain N.P. (Mulgoa), Georges River N.P.

Sydney district: The Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest complex is distributed widely in all sandstone areas in the Sydney district and is generally well conserved in the existing parks and reserves, however, are not representative of western Sydney forms.

Elsewhere in state: Similar communities are well conserved in state but differ floristically.

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Cornelia Crown Lands, Maroota, O'Haras Creek, West Pennant Hills/Cumberland S.F., Vale of Avoca Reserve (Cabbage Tree Creek and Burralow Creek), Morans Rock (Hawkesbury River), Annangrove Crown Lands (Blue Gum Creek and Cattai Creek), Georges River corridor (e.g. Ingleburn, Kentlyn), Nortons Basin.

Complementary - Lake Parramatta, Darling Mills Creek, Dundas Valley-Subiaco Creek, Roberts Creek (East Kurrajong), Annangrove Crown Lands.

 

Conservation Status and CAR Assessment

Although extensive areas of Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest still remains in western Sydney, and is generally well conserved in the Sydney district, less than 4% is protected within NPWS reserves. Based on CAR criteria Sydney Sandstone Forest is currently inadequately conserved within western Sydney, with well below the recommended 15%-protection level.

Notes: The Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest unit is a very general vegetation grouping which includes a highly variable complex of floristic associations. This floristic diversity reflects considerable variability in geology and soils, rainfall, aspect and hydrology across a wide geographical range. Adequate representation of such diversity is essential to a reserve system based on CAR criteria. High proportion of significant species at national, state and regional levels. Several ROTAPs not conserved in region.

 

Recommendations

  1. Protection of key biodiversity areas as determined by CAR criteria (comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness).
  2. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

11. TURPENTINE-IRONBARK WOODLAND

 

Map Unit: 9o

Structure: Open-forest

Geology: Wianamatta Shale, often near junction with sandstone.

Topography: On the Cumberland Plain or on shale-capped ridges of sandstone plateaus.

Notes: Originally common in higher rainfall areas of eastern Sydney, however, now largely cleared with few remnants surviving in northern districts (e.g. Ryde, Galston), along the Cooks River at Campsie and more eastern parts of western Sydney, where often intergrades with Cumberland Plain Woodland. One of the most western outliers is a small patch at Gum Tree Reserve, Guildford. Often occurs on remnants of shale overlying Hawkesbury Sandstone on the Hornsby Plateau and in the transitional zone between the two geologies. The vegetation of these transitional areas differs from that on the deeper shale by including sandstone species (Benson & Howell 1994).

 

Main canopy species

Eucalyptus paniculata Grey Ironbark
Syncarpia glomulifera Turpentine

 

Associated canopy species

Eucalyptus fibrosa Broad-leaved Ironbark
Eucalyptus globoidea

White Stringybark

Eucalyptus resinifera Red mahogany
Eucalyptus acmenoides White Mahogany
Eucalyptus eugenioides Thin-leaved Stringybark
Eucalyptus moluccana Grey Box
Eucalyptus longifolia. Woolybutt

 

Where there is a sandstone influence e.g. Silverwater, associated species also include

Eucalyptus punctata Grey Gum
Corymbia gummifera. Red Bloodwood
Eucalyptus haemastoma Scribbly Gum

 

Associated understorey species:

Trees

Acacia parramattensis Parramatta Green Wattle
Acacia falcata Sickle Wattle
Allocasuarina torulosa Forest Oak
Melaleuca decora White Feather Honey-myrtle
Pittosporum revolutum Yellow Pittosporum

Shrubs

Acacia longifolia Sydney Golden Wattle
Acacia myrtifolia Myrtle Wattle
Breynia oblongifolia Breynia
Bursaria spinosa Blackthorn
Daviesia ulicifolia Gorse Bitter-pea
Dodonaea triquetra Common Hop Bush
Exocarpos cupressiformis Cherry Ballart
Kunzea ambigua Tick Bush
Maytenus silvestris Maytenus
Notelaea longifolia Large Mock Olive
Polyscias sambucifolia Elderberry Panax
Rapanea variabilis Muttonwood

Groundcovers

Aristida spp. Speargrass
Arthropodium milleflorum Pale Vanilla Lily
Billardiera scandens Dumplings, Apple Berry
Bothriochloa decipiens Bothriochloa
Brunoniella australis Blue Trumpet, Blue Yam
Carex inversa Carex
Centella asiatica Swamp Pennywort
Cheilanthes sieberi Poison Rock Fern, Mulga Fern
Clematis glycinoides Old Man’s Beard
Cyperus gracilis Sedge
Danthonia linkii Wallaby Grass
Danthonia racemosa Wallaby Grass
Danthonia tenuior Wallaby Grass
Desmodium varians Slender Tick-trefoil
Dianella caerulea Blue Flax Lily
Dichelachne rara Rare Plume Grass
Dichondra repens Kidney Weed
Digitaria parviflora Smallflower Fingergrass
Einadia spp. Saloop
Entolasia stricta Wiry Panic
Eragrostis leptostachya Love Grass
Glycine tabacina Love Creeper
Goodenia hederacea Violet-leaved Goodenia
Hardenbergia violacea False Sarsparilla
Juncus usitatus Common Rush
Kennedia rubicunda Running Postman
Lepidosperma laterale Variable Sword-sedge
Lomandra filiformis Wattle Mat-rush
Lomandra longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Microlaena stipoides Meadow Rice Grass
Ozothamnus diosmifolius Ball Everlasting
Pandorea pandorana Wonga vine
Panicum simile Two Colour Panic
Paspalidium distans Paspalidium
Pomax umbellata Pomax
Solenogyne bellioides Solenogyne
Stackhousia viminea. Slender Stackhousia
Stipa pubescens Tall Spear Grass
Themeda australis Kangaroo Grass
Vernonia cinerea Veronia
Veronica plebeia Creeping Speedwell
Wahlenbergia gracilis Australian Bluebell

 

 

Significant species

ROTAP species: None recorded

REGIONAL: Includes Marsdenia viridiflora, Omalanthus stillingiifolius.

VULNERABLE: Includes Elymus scaber, Lasiopetalum parviflorum, Daviesia genistifolia, Acacia stricta, Glycine microphylla, Einadia polygonoides, E. trigonos. E. nutans, Paspalidium criniforme, Danthonia linkii, D. racemosa, Stipa rudis spp. nervosa. Sporobolus creber, Chloris truncata, Platylobium formosum, Leucopogon juniperinus, Brachychiton populneus, Pomaderris lanigera, Lepidosperma gunnii, Opercularia hispida, Senecio hispidulus and Arthropodium milleflorum.

 

Distribution within western Sydney.

Mostly cleared, surviving in a few, small remnants in the Bankstown district, Silverwater, Guildford, Carlingford, Kellyville, along the Old Northern and Wisemans Ferry Roads, Maroota and at Ellerman Park in Round Corner.

 

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: None

Sydney district: Fagan Park (Hornsby Council); Wallumatta N.R. (NPWS); very small areas on margins of sandstone reserves in northern Sydney e.g. Lane Cove National Park and Marramarra National Park.

Elsewhere in state: No listing in Conservation Atlas of Plant Communities in Australia (Specht et al. 1995).

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Silverwater/Newington; Ellerman Park (Round Corner), Coxs Park (Carlingford).

Complementary - All remaining remnants e.g. Gum Tree Reserve (Guildford).

 

Conservation Status

Preliminary determination as an endangered ecological community under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

*Unconserved.

CAR assessment

*Rare & endangered (national, state & regional)

 

Recommendations

  1. Appropriate protection of remnant Turpentine-Ironbark Forest - close to 15% of original distribution remaining
    (CAR guidelines).
  2. Review by NPWS for possible referral to Scientific Committee for listing as an endangered ecological community under the TSC Act (1995).
  3. Urgent protection of key biodiversity areas.
  4. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).

 

 

12. SHALE / SANDSTONE TRANSITION FOREST

 

Map unit: Included in 10ag

Structure: Open-forest to woodland depending on local conditions and degree of clearing and disturbance.

Geology: Wianamatta Shale/Sandstone interface, shale overlying sandstone e.g. on plateaus, sandstone with significant shale lens or alternating bands of shale and sandstones (Lucas Heights Soil Landscape).

Topography: Plateaus/ridge-tops, upper, middle and rarely lower slopes.

 

Notes: Transition Forest is found in a variety of geological and topographical situations involving the occurrence of both Wianamatta Shale and Hawkesbury Sandstone. Many of the sites are on shale overlying sandstone with the sandstone exposed or locally outcropping, often close to creeks, and in areas of relatively gentle topography. Where the relief is steeper (e.g. along Lower Blue Mountains escarpment) the transitional zone is often absent or insignificant. Site floristics are largely determined by the relative dominance of the shale and sandstone components and geographic location, however, Eucalyptus punctata, E resinifera and one or more stringybarks are usually present. The Centenary site along Toongabbie Creek has a stronger shale influence and the understorey is open and grassy (fire and past disturbance also contributing factors) in contrast to plateau sites in Gulguer N.R. (Bents Basin) which have a stronger sandstone influence and a denser understorey with greater representation of sandstone species. Other sites e.g. Green Road appears intermediate with more or less equal representation of shale and sandstone species.

 

Main canopy species

At least two of the following species

Botanical Name Common Name
Eucalyptus resinifera Red Mahogany
Eucalyptus agglomerata Blue-leaved Stringybark
Eucalyptus crebra Narrow-leaved Ironbark
Eucalyptus eugenioides Thin-leaved Stringybark
Eucalyptus fibrosa Broad-leaved Ironbark
Eucalyptus globoidea White Stringybark
Eucalyptus paniculata Grey Ironbark
Eucalyptus punctata Grey Gum
Eucalyptus sparsifolia Narrow-leaved Stringybark

 

Associated canopy species:

Strong shale influence:

Allocasuarina torulosa Forest Oak
Corymbia maculata Spotted Gum
Eucalyptus haemastoma Scribbly Gum
Eucalyptus pilularis Blackbutt
Syncarpia glomulifera Turpentine

Strong sandstone influence:

Angophora bakeri Narrow-leaved Apple
Angophora costata Smooth-barked Apple
Corymbia eximia Yellow Bloodwood
Corymbia gummifera Red Bloodwood
Eucalyptus notabilis. Blue mountain Mahogany
Eucalyptus oblonga Common Sandstone Stringybark
Eucalyptus sclerophylla / racemosa Hard-leaved Scribbly Gum/Scribbly Gum
Eucalyptus squamosa Scaly Bark

 

Associated understorey species:

Mixture of species found on both Wianamatta Shale and Sandstone.

Shale:

Trees

Acacia falcata Sickle Wattle
Acacia decurrens Sydney Green Wattle
Acacia parramattensis Parramatta Green Wattle
Acacia implexa Hickory
   

Shrubs

Exocarpos cupressiformis Cherry Ballart
Bursaria spinosa Blackthorn
Breynia oblongifolia Breynia
Phyllanthus gasstroemii Spurge
Indigofera australis Native Indigo
Pultenaea villosa Eggs and Bacon
Dodonaea triquetra. Common Hop Bush
   

Groundcovers

Hardenbergia violacea False Sarsparilla
Glycine clandestina Twining Glycine
Calotis cuneifolia Blue Burr-daisy
Arthropodium milleflorum Pale Vanilla Lily
Stellaria flaccida Forest Starwort
Siegesbeckia orientalis Indian Weed
Wahlenbergia spp. Australian Bluebell
Hibbertia diffusa Guinea Flower
Lomandra filiformis Wattle Mat-rush
Vernonia cinerea Veronia
Einadia hastata Saloop
Solanum prinophyllum Forest Nightshade
Themeda australis Kangaroo Grass
Danthonia tenuior Wallaby Grass
Aristida vagans Wire Grass
Microlaena stipoides Meadow Rice Grass
Cymbopogon refractus Barbed-wire Grass
Pratia purpurascens White Root
Sporobolus creber Sand Couch
Poa labillardieri Tussock Grass
Bossiaea prostrata Bossiaea
Hypericum gramineum Small St John’s Wort
Ozothamnus diosmifolius Ball Everlasting
Leucopogon juniperinus Prickly Beard Heath
Platylobium formosum Handsome flat-pea
Bracteata bracteantha  

Sandstone:

Trees

Allocasuarina littoralis Black She Oak

Shrubs

Leptospermum trinervium Tea-tree
Hakea sericea Needle-bush
Daviesia ulicifolia Gorse Bitter-pea
Leucopogon lanceolatus Lance-leaf Beard-heath
Leucopogon muticus Beard Heath
Persoonia linearis Narrow-leaf Geebung
Grevillea mucronulata Green Spider-flower
Exocarpos strictus Pale Ballart
Melaleuca thymifolia Thyme Honey-myrtle
Styphelia laeta Five-corners
Acacia brownii Prickly Wattle
Phyllanthus hirtellus Thyme Spurge
Cryptandra amara Bitter Cryptandra
Banksia spinulosa Hairpin Banksia
Astrotricha latifolia Long-leaf Star-hair
Pultenaea flexilis Graceful Bush-pea
Bossiaea obcordata Spiny Bossiaea
Hakea dactyloides Broad-leaved Hakea
Leucopogon microphyllus Small-leaved White-beard
Gompholobium grandiflorum Wedge-pea
Lomatia silaifolia. Crinkle Bush

Groundcovers

Lomandra longifolia Spiny-headed Mat-rush
Entolasia stricta Wiry Panic
Dianella prunina Blue Flax Lily

 

Species typical of shale and sandstone:

Shrubs

Pimelea linifolia Slender Rice-flower
Leucopogon juniperinus Prickly Beard-heath
Olearia microphylla. Small-leaved Daisy-bush
Kunzea ambigua Tick Bush

Groundcovers

Pomax umbellata Pomax
Goodenia hederacea Ivy Goodenia
Cheilanthes sieberi Mulga Fern
Ozothamnus diosmifolius Button Everlasting
Eragrostis brownii Brown’s Love Grass
Hibbertia aspera Rough Guinea Flower

 

Notes: The relative proportions of shale and sandstone species will typically change along the transition profile. On shale-capped ridges, for example, Ironbark Forest (with a dominance of shale species) will intergrade downslope into sandstone communities with an increasing proportion of typically sandstone species. Transition forest/woodland often intergrades with distinctive scrub-heath communities (Sydney Sandstone complex but with a strong clay influence) on the Hornsby Plateau.

The Shale/Sandstone Transition Forest and Woodland communities are floristically highly variable due to the range of other plant communities involved and broad distributional limits within the region. Further discussions are, therefore, provided on a geographical basis.

 

Distribution within Western Sydney

Predominantly in peripheral areas of western Sydney at interface between Wianamatta Shales of the Cumberland Plain and Hornsby, Lower Blue Mountains and Woronora sandstone plateaus. Original distribution widespread, although restricted to often narrow transitional zones. Small remnants survive in the Cattai district (including Mitchell Park component of Cattai N.P.), Toongabbie Creek (Parramatta), Bowen Mountain-Kurrajong and Glossodia districts, Bents Basin and the Appin-Bargo area.

Hornsby Plateau:

The distribution of Shale/Sandstone Transition Forest appears to be very restricted along the Hornsby Plateau and Cumberland Plain interface, within western Sydney. This rarity may be due to insufficient rainfall and the steepness of slopes above the creeks as well as clearance for rural and urban development. Woodland, scrub and heath communities of the Sydney Sandstone complex with a distinctive shale influence are more common. One of the best examples occurs at the Centenary Centre site along Toongabbie Creek in the Parramatta LGA, where a distinct zone of Transition Forest is found above River-flat Forest. The understorey is open and grassy, which is partly due to disturbance and fire, but also indicative of a strong shale influence. Sandstone species include Persoonia linearis, Allocasuarina littoralis, Daviesia ulicifolia, Leptospermum trinervium, Lepidosperma laterale and Lomandra Mongolia. Shale species include Acacia parramattensis, Eremophila debilis, Hibbertia diffusa, Bursaria spinosa, Arthropodium milleflorum, Thysanotus tuberosus and Themeda australis. Of particular significance at this site is the occurrence of a small-fruited form of Eucalyptus punctata (to be described as a separate taxon - subsp. wianamattica ms) which is now rare in the Sydney district. This taxon is associated with shale/sandstone transitional areas, with previous records from further east at Beecroft, Dundas and Ryde, in areas now largely developed. The Parramatta site is the only known location for this species in western Sydney.

Further east there is some indication of Transition Forest around Lake Parramatta and on the upper slopes of Darling Mills Creek, however, the original vegetation patterns are difficult to discern due to extensive clearance and modification of the bushland. It is likely that transitional communities occurred between the Blue Gum High Forest or Turpentine-lronbark Forest on the ridges and sandstone gully communities on the lower slopes, although the extent of these intergrade zones may have been limited by steep relief A small but intact site occurs on the eastern boundaries of Fred Caterson Reserve in Castle Hill adjacent to the cemetery. The forest is transitional between Ironbark Forest on the cemetery site and Sydney Sandstone (10ar) communities within the reserve. Typical species include Eucalyptus punctata, E. resinifera, E. eugenioides, Acacia falcata, Pultenaea villosa, Epacris purpurascens and Leucopogon juniperinus.

Important sites are also found in the Kellyville and Annangrove areas. A good example of Transition Woodland is found at Roseberry Road with more or less equal representation of shale and sandstone species. This site is of particular significance because of the intact nature of the vegetation above and below the transition woodland although development is fast approaching from the southern side. The woodland intergrades below with scrub/heath communities of the Sydney Sandstone which have a significant clay influence typical of the shale/sandstone interface. A high proportion of ROTAP and regionally significant species are associated with these communities and are found at the site. Similar associations are found at Heath Road and in the Annangrove district, however, these areas are more fragmented and the Shale/Sandstone Transition Woodland largely cleared.

Two small sites of Transition Forest, dominated by Eucalyptus punctata, are found at Mitchell Park (Cattai National Park). One site is on either side of Mitchell Park Road, just inside the entrance to the park. This appears to be an interface area between the Woodlands (Mittagong Formation with alternating bands of shale and sandstone) and Gymea (sandstone) soil landscapes. Grey Gum is the dominant species with occasional trees of Angophora bakeri and Eucalyptus eugenioides. The understorey is relatively open and grassy with scattered shrubs of Bursaria spinosa, Acacia parramattensis, Ozothamnus diosmifolius, Breynia oblongifolia and Exocarpos strictus. The second site occurs in a narrow band between 10-20 m on north western-facing slopes above Reedy Swamp. The shale influence appears to be due to shale lenses within the sandstone or from the Burralow Swamp soil landscape which occurs below 10 m a.s.l. along Reedy Creek. The open-forest is dominated by Eucalyptus punctata with occasional trees of E. resinifera, E. sclerophylla and E. fibrosa. The understorey is moderately open and grassy with a strong sandstone component. Typical species include Persoonia pinifolius, Leucopogon muticus, Poranthera microphylla, Pimelea Viola, Breynia oblongifolia and Melaleuca thymifolia.

 

Significant species

ROTAP and TSC Act species: Epacris purpurascens var. purpurascens, Darwinia biflora and Tetratheca glandulosa (often associated with intergrading scrub/heath communities), Persoonia hirsuta. (There are an additional three species under review).

REGIONAL: Includes Pimelea curviflora var. curviflora, Pterostylis saxicola, Eucalyptus squamosa, Eucalyptus punctata subsp. wianamattica (ms), Pultenaea scabra var. biloba, Acacia leiocalyx, Stackhousia muricata, Lepidium pseudohyssopifolium, Prostanthera incisa, Acacia irrorata, Persoonia mollis, Gompholobium huegelii, Entolasia stricta var. hirsuta.

VULNERABLE: Includes: Eucalyptus pilularis, E. globoidea, Leucopogon juniperinus, Senecio hispidulus Centaurium spicatum Calotis dentex Phylanthus similis Thysanotus juncifolius Cyperus laevis, Mentha satureioides, Dichelachne crinita, Digitaria ramularis, Arthropodium milleflorum, Thysanotus tuberosus, Bothriochloa macra, B. decipiens, Danthonia racemosa, Sporobolus creber, Solenogyne bellioides, Calotis lappulacea, C cuneifolia, Einadia trigonos, Polymeria calycina, Chamaesyce dallachyana, Glycine microphylla, Oxalis perennans, Acacia lunata, Lasiopetalum ferrugineum, Rulingia dasyphylla, Leucopogon juniperinus, Platylobium formosum, Bossiaea prostrata.

 

Existing NPWS Reserves

Western Sydney: Gulguer N.R. (small area), Mitchell Park - Cattai N.P (small area) less than c.30 ha total.

Sydney district: Wallumatta N.R. Similar communities may exist at other sites in eastern parts of the Hornsby Plateau but floristics will differ. Unlikely to be extensive, not recognised on the 1: 100 000 Sydney Vegetation map (Benson & Howell 1994). Possibly small areas in Blue Mountains N.P. and Wedderburn Nature Reserve.

Elsewhere in state: Cumberland Plain communities likely to provide a floristic uniqueness to this community.
No equivalent community identified in Conservation Atlas of Plant Communities in Australia (Specht et al. 1995).

 

Key Biodiversity Areas

Core - Green/Roseberry Road (Kellyville), Centenary Centre (Toongabbie Creek), Fred Caterson Reserve, (Castle Hill), Patterson Council Reserve (Bowen Mountain), Appin and small areas in Cornelia Crown Lands and Maroota.

Complementary - Heath Road (Annangrove), Samuel Gilbert Public School (Castle Hill), Bowen Mountain-Kurrajong district, Wilberforce-Glossodia district, Lake Parramatta & Subiaco Creek, Georges River (Lv, Ct and Ba LGAs), Annangrove Park.

 

Conservation Status and CAR Assessment

Listed as an endangered ecological community under Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Inadequately conserved with < c.30 ha within NPWS reserves. Pre- 1 750 figures not available (previously included within Sydney Sandstone Complex) but in considering the potential distribution of the community based on Present knowledge, it is highly likely that < 1 0% of original areal extent remains. On this basis the community can be classified as endangered and this is supported by the fact that 90% of its present area is in small patches which are subject to threatening processes and unlikely to persist in the long-term. It also qualifies as a rare ecosystem with patch sizes of < 100 ha. This assessment is at national, state and regional levels.

Notes: Adequate conservation of this community will require a combination of primary and complementary strategies with particular focus on representation over the geographical range of the community. Most remnants outside of Gulguer N.R. and Cattai N.P. are on private land.

 

Recommendations

  1. Further assessment by NPWS for possible review by Scientific Committee for listing as an endangered ecological community under the TSC Act (1995).
  2. Protection of key biodiversity areas. Off-park conservation will be crucial considering many of the remnants are small and in private ownership.
  3. Conduct further research into this community type and relationships within the Shale/Sandstone Transition complex.
  4. Implement conservation and management recommendations made by the UBBS for specific sites (see LGA reports).