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Regional ecosystem details for 12.2.7

Regional ecosystem 12.2.7
Vegetation Management Act class Least concern
Wetlands Palustrine wetland (e.g. vegetated swamp).
Biodiversity status No concern at present
Subregion 9, 4, 8, (10)
Estimated extent1 Pre-clearing 31000 ha; Remnant 2017 19000 ha
Extent in reserves High
Short description Melaleuca quinquenervia or rarely M. dealbata open forest on sand plains
Structure category Mid-dense
Description Melaleuca quinquenervia or rarely M. dealbata open forest. Other species include Eucalyptus tereticornis, Corymbia intermedia, E. bancroftii, E. latisinensis, E. robusta, Lophostemon suaveolens and Livistona decora. A shrub layer may occur with frequent species including Melastoma malabathricum subsp. malabathricum or Banksia robur. The ground layer is sparse to dense and comprised of species including the ferns Pteridium esculentum and Blechnum indicum the sedges Schoenus brevifolius, Baloskion tetraphyllum subsp. meiostachyum, Baumea rubiginosa and Gahnia sieberiana and the grass Imperata cylindrica. Occurs on Quaternary coastal dunes and seasonally waterlogged sandplains usually fringing drainage system behind beach ridge plains or on old dunes, swales and sandy coastal creek levees. (BVG1M: 22a)

Vegetation communities in this regional ecosystem include:
12.2.7a: Melaleuca quinquenervia low woodland with Gahnia sieberiana ground layer. Occurs on Quaternary coastal sand dunes fringing swamps. Palustrine wetland (e.g. vegetated swamp). (BVG1M: 22a)
12.2.7b: Whipstick Melaleuca quinquenervia. Occurs at base of frontal dunes on Quaternary coastal dunes and beaches. Palustrine wetland (e.g. vegetated swamp). (BVG1M: 22a)
12.2.7c: Melaleuca quinquenervia, Eucalyptus robusta, Melicope elleryana open forest with understorey of Todea barbara. Occurs along watercourses on Quaternary coastal dunes and beaches and seasonally waterlogged sandplains. Palustrine wetland (e.g. vegetated swamp). (BVG1M: 22a)
12.2.7d: Eucalyptus bancroftii woodland. Other canopy species include Lophostemon suaveolens and Melaleuca quinquenervia. A shrub layer may occur with frequent species including Melaleuca nodosa, Hakea actites and Melaleuca pachyphylla. The ground layer is sparse to dense and comprised of heath species. Minor wet depressions sometimes occur and sedges dominate these areas. Occurs on Quaternary coastal dunes and seasonally waterlogged sandplains. Palustrine wetland (e.g. vegetated swamp). (BVG1M: 22a)
Supplementary description Ryan, T.S. (ed.) (2012); Bean et al. (1998), B7a, C2, C3
Protected areas Great Sandy NP, Bribie Island NP, Naree Budjong Djara NP, Burrum Coast NP, Moreton Island NP, Eurimbula NP, Noosa NP, Eurimbula RR, Southern Moreton Bay Islands NP, Great Sandy CP, Maroochy River CP, Mount Coolum NP, South Stradbroke Island CP, Buckleys H
Special values Habitat for threatened plant species including Phaius australis, P. bernaysii and near threatened species including Durringtonia paludosa.
Fire management guidelines SEASON: Late summer to mid-winter (after rain). INTENSITY: Planned and occasional unplanned burns (typically of higher intensity) influence the ecology of melaleuca ecosystems. INTERVAL: Heath 8-12 years, Sedge 12-20 years, Mixed grass/shrub 6-20 years. STRATEGY: Aim for a 25-70% burn mosaic (in association with surrounding ecosystems, as melaleuca ecosystems often just occur in patches or along natural drainage lines). Fires may, depending on the conditions and type of vegetation, burn areas larger than just the melaleuca ecosystem. Ensure secure boundaries from non fire-regime adapted ecosystems, particularly foredune and beach ridge communities. Consider the needs of melaleuca ecosystems based on understorey (i.e., heath dominated, sedge dominated or mixed grass/shrub) when planning burns. High soil moisture (or presence of water on the ground) is required, as avoidance of peat-type fires must be maintained. ISSUES: Fire regimes for melaleuca ecosystems require further fire research. Melaleuca forests are fire-adapted, but too high an intensity or frequent fire will slow or prevent regeneration and lead to lower species richness (since these communities contain numerous obligate seed regenerating species that require sufficient fire intervals to produce seed). High intensity fires may kill trees and lead to whipstick regeneration. Too frequent fire may result in a net loss of nutrients over time from an already nutrient poor system. Fire associations are significantly influenced by understorey composition. Melaleuca communities with a heath understorey should burn in a similar way to coastal heath (8-12 years). Sedge understorey communities will burn in association with the surrounding ecosystems (so will often burn with them but sometimes not, such that these communities have a slightly less fire frequency). Mixed understorey communities burn in a similar way to dry sclerophyll, in association with the surrounding dry sclerophyll, though somewhat less frequently due to the additional moisture present in melaleuca communities.
Comments 12.2.7: Naturalised species associated with this regional ecosystem include *Baccharis halimifolia. Dense stands may occur as a tall shrub understorey. 12.2.7a: Largely restricted to southern sand mass islands. 12.2.7b: Largely restricted to southern sand mass islands. 12.2.7c: Largely restricted to southern sand mass islands.

1 Estimated extent is from version 11 pre-clearing and 2017 remnant regional ecosystem mapping. Figures are rounded for simplicity. For more precise estimates, including breakdowns by tenure and other themes see remnant vegetation in Queensland.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
16 April 2019
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