SIGNIFICANT ECOLOGY of the TWEED REGION

Unique groups of native plants are known as Ecological Communities.

They are important for providing clean healthy air, water and  

soil and for providing a healthy environment for threatened plants and animals.  

Ecological Communities can become endangered from

encroachment, degradation and fragmentation.

The Tweed region has a high percentage of these very important ecological communities compared to the rest of NSW.  

(Scroll down to see some EECs that occur in this region....)

  • Lowland Rainforest on Floodplain

    This a rainforest community that occurs as only scattered remnants  on the NSW Nth Coast with approximately 1000ha remaining. It can create a dense canopy blocking most light from reaching the ground and is cool and moist within. It is richly diverse in species. Plants include figs, palms, Silky Oak, Black Bean and Brush Cherry.  Animals include rainforest pigeons like the brilliant Wompoo, the Noisy Pitta, pademelons, flying foxes, the Land Mullet skink and snails like the rare Mitchells Rainforest Snail. This type of Rainforest occurs along riverine corridors and alluvial flats with rich volcanic silts.  (Stotts Island is a prime example)

  • Lowland Rainforest

    Lowland Rainforest in the NSW North Coast and Sydney Basin Bioregions is the

    This ecological community occurs on high nutrient / basalt substrates - on coastal plains, plateaux and foothills.  It consists of subtropical rainforest & some complex dry rainforest. When undisturbed it has a closed canopy with trees forming three strata  -  emergent, canopy and sub canopy.   Trees are highly diverse in genus and family - some with buttressed roots.  A range of plant forms will be present including palms, vines  & vascular epiphytes.  An occasional Eucalypt may be present and canopy continuity may be broken by disturbance or smothered in exotic vines.   Lowland Rainforest species number several hundred and over 60 threatened species occur in this community.  Lowland Rainforest also supports a rare and unique diversity of native fauna. 

  • Littoral Rainforest

     

    Littoral Rainforest is found on coastal headlands & other marine environments. It is characterised by a closed canopy - obscuring 70% of sky.  The shrub & tree layer is made up of rainforest trees & plants with evergreen, moist leathery leaves.  Littoral Rainforests consist of distinct plant "alliances" depending on landscape position and climatic factors.  These plant "sub alliances"  will consist of one of  the following groups:  

    16. Small and Broad leaved Lilly Pilly;   17. Tuckeroo;  18. Brush Box;  19. Yellow Tulipwood -Yellow Aspen, Red Olive Berry - Brown Pine;  20. Lilly Pilly-Fig tree-Cabbage Palm-Brown Pine.  (Numbering: Floyd (1990))

  • Themeda Grassland on Sea cliffs & Coastal Headlands

     

    This ecological community is found on sea cliffs and coastal headlands.  Its structure is typically closed tussock grassland to open scrubland or heath with a grassy matrix between shrubs.  This community is geographically restricted comprising small widely scattered patches. Themeda australis is the dominant species Sporobolus (Salt Couch) can also be present.   Shrubs include Coastal Tea tree, Coastal Rosemary, Coast Wattles, Coast Banksia, Tree Broom Heath and Slender Rice Flower.  Ground covers include Lomandra longifolia, Poranthera and Tree broom Heath.  Ground-covers include Commelina cyanea , Native Violet and scramblers like Snake vine, Kennedia vine and native Glycenes.

  • Swamp Schlerophyll on Coastal Floodplains

     

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  • Coastal Cyprus Pine

     

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Photos © Lui Weber 2016 unless otherwise stated.