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Gondwana Rainforests Forms of Australia

Rainforest Nation

“cool, dry, swamp, heat … let it rain”

Pictures © by D & J Palmer, Big Volcano Tourism

Descriptions of the rainforest sorts discovered within the World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, nationwide parks and nature reserves of New South Wales and South East Queensland.

Cool Temperate Rainforest

Discovered principally in Tasmania and Victoria, Cool Temperate rainforest represented within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, are discovered in small pockets at excessive altitude all through the Border Ranges and Lamington Nationwide Parks.

There may be prepared entry to a grove close to the picnic services on the Antarctic Beech Picnic Space on the Border Ranges Nationwide Park Scenic Loop Drive, and in addition an historic native particular person estimated to be greater than 2000 years previous (learn the data signal to search out out why), which might be considered on a stroll to “Better of All Lookout”, within the Springbrook Plateau part of Springbrook National Park.

Cool Temperate Rainforest is famous for its commonest and most frequently solely dominant species, the Southern or Antarctic Beech (Nothofagus moorei), which is testomony to Australia’s being a part of the southern supercontinent, Gondwanaland, greater than 130 million years in the past.

Photograph © Border Ranges NP cool temperate rainforest by D Palmer.

Discovered at altitudes of 900 to 1500 metres, Cool Temperate rainforests obtain between 1750mm to 3000mm of rain yearly, and are sometimes shrouded in frequent mists when it isn’t raining.

Whereas they principally show 2 strata, you’ll generally discover only one, with a uniform cover of simply 2 or 3 species.

Stranglers and palms are absent, as is plank buttressing, however the tree trunks might be of huge dimension.  Massive vines and epiphytes will likely be uncommon or absent, though skinny wiry vines and some small ferns and orchids could happen.

Floor ferns and tree ferns are quite common and mossy epiphytes and lichens are in biggest abundance right here.

Dry Rainforest

Dry rainforest is often discovered on fertile eutrophic rock soils, and favours sheltered heat areas with rainfall round 600mm to 1100mm per 12 months, marked by a dry spell.

Dry Rainforest sorts are distinguished from Subtropical rainforest by scattered emergent species akin to Hoop Pine, Teak (Flindersia australis) and Lacebark (Brachychiton discolor) bushes within the higher cover, and 10 to 30 species within the decrease cover. Buttressing and palms are unusual or absent.

Very massive vines are widespread, and a prickly shrub layer, with species sporting pleasant widespread names like “Wait-a-Whereas” and “Lawyer Vine”, is often effectively developed. Floor cowl is restricted to leaf litter and generally just a few species of enormous epiphytes.

The transition from varied varieties of rainforests to eucalypt and sclerophyll forests might be fairly abrupt and distinct, and in lots of locations in all the national parks of the Tweed (Wollumbin) Volcano, the options of dry rainforest might be discerned by eager observers.

Simply out of Lismore, the Wilson Nature Reserve comprises the remaining recognised vital stand of dry rainforest within the area.

Littoral Rainforest

Littoral Rainforest is much like Subtropical Rainforest, however happens when it’s near the ocean and uncovered to salt laden winds.

Normally on nutrient enriched deep sands or soils derived from slates and basalts, it is thought of extra as a particular collection of communities reasonably than a subform of rainforest.

Photograph © Arakwal NP littoral heathland by D Palmer.

Combining the traits of each subtropical and dry rainforest sorts, it’s distinguished by the prevailing wind sheared higher tree cover, with some communities displaying outstanding stands of conifers akin to Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), Plum Pine (Podocarpus elatus), and that includes species akin to Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides).

Examples nonetheless happen in remoted pockets all through the area, together with Arakwal National Park, Broken Head Nature Reserve and Tyagarah Nature Reserve close to Byron Bay.

To expertise the biggest remaining intact stand of Littoral Rainforest in New South Wales, a go to to the World Heritage listed Iluka Nature Reserve simply north of Grafton is required, or you can also make a day journey to Bundjalung National Park and benefit from the distinct coastal vegetation and rainforest sorts preserved there.

Lowland Rainforest

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Probably the most handy instance of lowland rainforest, is on Stott’s Island within the Tweed River, about half manner between Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads.

Because the final main remnant of subtropical rainforest on a riverine floodplain in NSW, the rainforest sorts represented right here additionally embrace palm rainforests, mangrove forests, paperbark and reed swamps.  Nonetheless, as a consequence of the sensitivity of the habitat and threatened species, customer entry to the island is not obtainable or permitted.

Bruce Chick Conservation Park, situated on the Tweed Valley Approach south of Cudgen Highway, is situated on the river financial institution reverse the island, and you can find parking and picnic tables for day guests.

Should you would favor to see the view from the river, take a guided cruise, or in the event you’d reasonably make your personal tempo, hire a dinghy or stay on a houseboat for a day or two.

The one different vital stand of lowland rainforest within the area is at Moore Park Nature Reserve, simply off Summerland Approach.  It’s well-known for its Gray headed flying fox colony.

Palm and Swamp forests

Three different distinctive rainforest or semi rainforest communities happen in some areas however are usually not typically recognised as subforms.

One among these, Palm Rainforests, is dominated by Bangalow or Cabbage Palm stands, and is usually present in firm of Melaleuca (Ti Tree) swamp forests.

Photograph © Littoral rainforest and swamp forest at Pottsville, by J Palmer.

Though most have been stuffed in for residential growth, some nonetheless happen in remoted pockets all through the area.

A bisected stand of Palm and Ti Tree swamp is seen as you pace alongside the “Chinderah Bypass” part of the Pacific Freeway simply south of the Tweed River and Barney’s Level Bridge.

Guests to the Tweed Heads Historic Site & Minjungbul Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Cudgen Nature Reserve at Cabarita, or the Tweed Bicentennial Environmental Park on the Coast Highway at Pottsville, might even see examples of combined littoral rainforest and remnant coastal and swamp forest vegetation.

Subtropical Rainforests

Sub-tropical rainforests are typically discovered the place the rainfall is extra than 1300mm yearly and rising in fertile eutrophic father or mother rocks (basalt and wealthy shales).  You will almost certainly discover subtropical rainforest favouring sheltered gullies from sea stage as much as about 900 metres.

Photograph © Subtropical rainforest courtesy Ed Jobson

There may be usually a effectively developed multi layered cover of between 10 and 60 species of bushes, a lot of which is able to exhibit the buttressing generally related to rainforest bushes.

Strangler species, together with the ever present Strangler Fig, stands of Bangalow Palms, woody vines and huge epiphytes akin to Orchids, Birdsnest, Elk and Staghorn ferns will likely be apparent, and the bottom cowl will encompass floor ferns and huge leafed herbs.

Regardless of the massive range of species, the extra widespread ones are Booyongs (Argyrodendron spp.), Yellow Carrabeen (Sloanea woollsii), Rosewood (Dysoxylum fraseranum), the Fig (Ficus spp) and Lilly Pillie (Syzygium) households.

In Queensland, main occurrences of sub tropical rainforest happen in Main Range National Park southwest of Bisbane, at Tamborine Mountain National Parks and Lamington National Park.

Within the Northern Rivers of NSW, you will discover it within the Border Ranges National Park, the decrease and extra sheltered reaches of Wollumbin (Mount Warning) National Park, at Minyon Falls within the Whian Whian State Conservation Space, and within the Nightcap National Park.

Heat Temperate Rainforest

Discovered on poorer soils consisting rocks akin to rhyolite, trachyte and slates within the Tweed (Wollumbin) Volcano area, and on the extra fertile eutrophic rocks in southern cooler areas, Heat Temperate Rainforest requires rainfall over 1300mm per 12 months.

Distinguished by a two strata layer which creates a extra even cover of bushes, solely 3 to fifteen species will likely be evident, with stranglers, palms, woody vines and buttressing uncommon or absent.

The tree trunks are typically slender and uniform in look, with distinct round formed communities of whitish lichens overlaying the bark. Tree and floor ferns are frequent, and epiphytes might be widespread however are usually not typically plentiful within the numbers or species current.

The most common bushes are species akin to Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras) and Scentless Rosewood (Synoum glandulosum).

Though Heat Temperate rainforest is predominant within the parks south of Coffs Harbour, examples might be present in all of the World Heritage nationwide parks of the area, between 450 to 1200 metres altitude, with main stands to be discovered within the Border Ranges and Wollumbin (Mount Warning) Nationwide Parks.

Different Forest Varieties

Along with the rainforest sorts described above, within the Border Group parks and reserves specifically, there are additionally massive areas of moist and dry sclerophyll forest, and pockets of sub-montane heath in numerous nature reserves with no customer entry.

This supplies crucial habitat for a lot of threatened plant and animal species, and the area is recognised as having the very best focus of marsupial, hen, snake and frog species in Australia, which was an necessary issue within the World Heritage listing.

References and Readings
  • Parks & Reserves of the Tweed Caldera, Draft Plan of Managment, NSW NP&WS, 2001
  • Stotts Island Nature Reserve, Draft Plan of Managment, NSW NP&WS, 2000.
  • Underneath the Cover, Information to the Rainforests of NSW: NSW Nationwide Parks and Wildlife Service 1991.
  • A Pure Historical past – Tweed Gold Coast Area: BW Graham, Tweed River Excessive Faculty Library 1990.
  • New South Wales Rainforests – the Nomination for the World Heritage Record (revised): Dr Paul Adam, NSW Nationwide Parks and Wildlife Service 1987.
  • Bushes & Shrubs in Rainforests of New South Wales & Southern Queensland: J.B. Williams, G.J. Harden & W.J.F. Mc Donald, Botany Division of the College of New England, Arimdale NSW, 1984.
  • Nationwide Park Information, Richmond – Tweed brochure: NSW Nationwide Parks and Wildlife Service. Date Unkn.



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