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Cover Photos 
 
Front cover- 
Background,   
Gahnia trifida Sedgeland/Wet Shrubland and Melaleuca rhaphiophylla Woodland/Low Forest 
Complex,  Millbrook Nature Reserve 
Insets  
Hakea spp Shrubland/Woodland Complex, Angove Water Reserve. 
 
Karri Forest, Limeburners Creek 
Melaleuca striata/Banksia spp Coastal Heath, Gull Rock National Park 
 
 
Back cover 
Insets   
Limestone Heath, Wind Farm 
Eucalyptus goniantha Mallee, Bettys Beach/Two Peoples Bay 
Evandra aristata Sedgeland, Bornholm. 

 
 
 
 
 
ALBANY REGIONAL VEGETATION SURVEY 
 
Extent, Type and Status 
 
 
 
 
 
E.M. Sandiford & S. Barrett 
 
2010 
 
 
A project funded by Western Australian Planning Commission (EnviroPlanning “Integrating 
NRM into Land Use Planning” and State NRM Program), South Coast Natural Resource 
Management Inc. and City of Albany for the Department of Environment and Conservation. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
   
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
USE OF THIS REPORT 
Information used in this report may be copied or reproduced for study, research or educational purposes, subject 
to inclusion of acknowledgement of the source.  
 
DISCLAIMER 
In undertaking this work, the authors have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information used.  
Any conclusion drawn or recommendations made in the report and maps are done in good faith and the authors 
and participating bodies take no responsibility for how this information is used subsequently by others and 
accept no liability whatsoever for a third party’s use of or reliance upon this specific report and maps. 
 
CITATION 
Sandiford, E.M. and Barrett, S. (2010). Albany Regional Vegetation Survey, Extent Type and Status, A project 
funded by the Western Australian Planning Commission (EnviroPlanning “Integrating NRM into Land Use 
Planning” and State NRM Program), South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc. and City of Albany for the 
Department of Environment and Conservation. Unpublished report.  Department of Environment and 
Conservation, Western Australia.
 

 
 
ALBANY REGIONAL VEGETATION SURVEY 
 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................i
 
 
SUMMARY ...............................................................................................................................ii
 
 
1 INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................1 
1.1 Background.................................................................................................................1 
1.2 Context 
Area...............................................................................................................2 
1.2.1 Location..............................................................................................................2 
1.2.2 
Land use history .................................................................................................2 
1.2.3 
Geology, landforms and soils .............................................................................5 
1.2.4 Climate ...............................................................................................................5 
1.2.5 
Biogeography and Vegetation ............................................................................5 
1.2.6 Wetlands .............................................................................................................6
 
 
2 METHODS.........................................................................................................................9 
2.1 Existing 
data ...............................................................................................................9 
2.2 Quadrats......................................................................................................................9 
2.3 Relevé 
field 
survey .....................................................................................................9 
2.3.1 Pre 
survey ...........................................................................................................9 
2.3.2 
Survey and relevé data collection.....................................................................10 
2.4 Plant 
identifications ..................................................................................................10 
2.5 Data 
storage ..............................................................................................................10 
2.6 Data 
analysis.............................................................................................................11 
2.7 Mapping....................................................................................................................11 
2.7.1 Vegetation 
mapping..........................................................................................11 
2.7.2 Condition 
mapping ...........................................................................................12 
2.8 Conservation 
status...................................................................................................12
 
 
3 RESULTS.........................................................................................................................13 
3.1 
existing data review..................................................................................................13 
3.2 Field 
Survey..............................................................................................................13 
3.2.1 Quadrats............................................................................................................13 
3.2.2 Relevés .............................................................................................................13 
3.3 Flora..........................................................................................................................13 
3.3.1 Conservation 
species ........................................................................................13 
3.3.2 
Declared Rare plants.........................................................................................15 
3.3.3 Priority 
species .................................................................................................15 
3.3.4 Unusual 
species ................................................................................................15 
3.3.5 Range 
extensions ..............................................................................................15 
3.4 
Vegetation units and data analysis............................................................................16 
3.4.1 Vegetation 
units................................................................................................16 
3.4.2 Data 
analysis.....................................................................................................16 
3.4.3 Species 
diversity...............................................................................................19 
3.4.4 
Comparison with other surveys ........................................................................19 
3.5 Mapping....................................................................................................................20 
3.5.1 
Remnant vegetation mapping ...........................................................................20 
3.5.2 Vegetation 
unit 
mapping ..................................................................................20 
3.5.3 
Condition status mapping .................................................................................22 
3.6 
Rare and geographically restricted units and conservations status...........................27 

 
 
4 DISCUSSION .................................................................................................................. 30 
4.1 
Vegetation units and patterning ............................................................................... 30 
4.2 
Conservation and reservation status of vegetation units.......................................... 30 
4.2.1 
Pre-clearing extent of vegetation units............................................................. 31 
4.2.2 
Occurrence of threatened and priority flora in vegetation units ...................... 32 
4.3 
Threats to vegetation units ....................................................................................... 32 
4.4 Methodology ............................................................................................................ 34 
4.5 
Recommendations for future work .......................................................................... 36
 
 
REFERENCES......................................................................................................................... 37 
 
APPENDIX 1:  Life form definitions that differ from NVIS standards. ................................. 42 
APPENDIX 2: Relevé Recording Sheet .................................................................................. 43 
APPENDIX 3: Taxa rationalisations for data analysis ............................................................ 44 
APPENDIX 4: Vegetation Condition Scale  (Thackway and Lesslie 2006) ........................... 45 
APPENDIX 5: Species list....................................................................................................... 46 
APPENDIX 6: Conservation Codes For Western Australia.................................................... 56 
APPENDIX 7: Conservation species....................................................................................... 57 
APPENDIX 8: Taxon range extensions................................................................................... 58 
APPENDIX 9: Vegetation Descriptions .................................................................................. 59 
APPENDIX 10: NVIS Information Hierarchy – vegetation description............................... 186 
APPENDIX 11: Statistical significance matrix for vegetation units, Analysis of similarity 
tests (ANOSIM)    Key: *** P<0.001, ** P<0.01. * P< 0.05................................................ 187 
APPENDIX 12: R values for pairwise Analysis of similarity tests (ANOSIM) ................... 188 
APPENDIX 13: Comparison of percentage of relevés sampled per unit with percentage area 
of vegetation occupied by unit............................................................................................... 190 
APPENDIX 14: Dendrogram of comparative classifiication of relevés................................ 191 
APPENDIX 15: Comparison of Beard (1979) Vegetation Associations with ARVS vegetation 
units........................................................................................................................................ 192 
APPENDIX 16: ARVS vegetation unit comparison with smaller mapping projects within the 
ARVS context area................................................................................................................. 193 
APPENDIX 17: Vegetation patterning within broad landform and geographic areas .......... 195 
 
Figure 1.1  Albany Regional Vegetation Survey area ............................................................... 3 
Figure 1.2: Extent of remnant vegetation and reservation status............................................... 4 
Figure 1.3: Soil and landform units (Churchward et al. 1988) .................................................. 7 
Figure 1.4: Beard vegetation map (1979) and IBRA biogeographic regions ............................ 8 
Figure 3.1 Location of floristic relevés.................................................................................... 14 
Figure 3.2 Diagrammatical representation of vegetation units according to broad landform and 
geographic distribution. ........................................................................................................... 17 
Figure 3.3 Three dimensional ordination plot of relevés within units 12 and 17 .................... 18 
Figure 3.4  Simplified vegetation map of ARVS survey area ................................................. 21 
Figure 3.5  Simplifed map of condition status of remnants within ARVS survey area........... 26 
 
Table 2.1  Vegetation map reliability code .............................................................................. 12 
Table 3.1: Percentage of remnant vegetation in survey area within each condition................ 22 
category and percentage reservation status by category. ......................................................... 22 
Table 3.2: Extent and reservation status of ARVS vegetation units........................................ 23 
Table 3.3:  Conservation assessment of vegetation units......................................................... 28 
 

 
i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
 
This project was funded by Western Australian Planning Commission EnviroPlanning “Integrating 
NRM into Land Use Planning” project and State NRM Program, City of Albany and South Coast 
Natural Resource Management for the Department of Environment and Conservation, Albany. 
 
This project would not have been possible without the assistance, generosity and input of the many 
people and the authors acknowledge the input of the following people and apologise for anyone 
forgotten: 
 
ARVS Project staff: Damien Rathbone, Ellen Hickman, Julian Neville, Meredith Spencer and Karin 
Baker.  
 
ARVS Project Steering Committee: Ryan Taylor, Danielle Matthews, Anthony Deutschmann 
(Department of Planning), Gary Whisson, Alice O’Connor, Kelly Freeman, Bridget Hyder (Office of 
the EPA), Deon Utber (South Coast NRM, DEC), Sarah Comer, Alan Danks, Sarah Barrett, Laurie 
Anderson, Libby Sandiford, Damien Rathbone (DEC), Robert Fenn, Adrian Nicholl, (City of Albany), 
Damien Shepherd (DAFWA), Chris Gunby and Karen McKeough (Department of Water).  
 
DEC staff: Greg Freebury, John Watson, Laura Beck, Linda Broomhall, Janet Newell, Meg Porter, 
Kate Brown, Neil Gibson, Judith Harvey, Greg Keighery, Mark Lamming, Mat Laming, Sam 
Hammill, Shane French, Mike Hislop, Barbara Rye, Terry MacFarlane,  Ryonen Butcher, Juliet Wege, 
 
Wildflower Society Albany Branch members: Coralie Hortin, Judy Morris, Pat Bracknell, Pat Johns, 
Ruth Moir,  Mary Hart, Lola Broadhurst, Karin Baker. 
 
Land holders: Val and Kednarth Bezard, Keith Ford, Mike Hyder, M Caldwell, Vanessa and Maurice 
Frank, Jamie Back, Nadia, Michael and Kevin Watkins, Terri Strong, Oscar Colbung, Anthony 
Galante, Redmond Aboriginal Corporation, Tom and Jocelyn Wilkinson, Doug Russell, Ross Davies, 
Edward and Lois Stone, J.M. Godfrey, Brian Newman (Heath Development Pty Ltd), Gary Brandli 
(Peet & Bayonet Head Syndicate), Holland (Big Grove), Rotary Youth Camp. 
 
DAFWA Albany staff: Ruhi Ferdowsian, Sally Peltzer, Peter Dawson and David Low. 
 
Botanists and others: Russell Barrett, Una Bell, Brendan Lepschi, Ted Griffin, Gil Craig, Simon 
Neville, Barbara Cook, Naree Ashford and Malcolm Traill. 
 
 
 

 
ii 
 
SUMMARY 
 
The Albany Regional Vegetation Survey (ARVS) provides a local and regional overview of the native 
vegetation of the area to assist land use and conservation planning in the region by describing, 
mapping and assessing the conservation status of the vegetation within the ARVS area.  This report 
provides detailed descriptions and maps of the vegetation types and the condition status of remnants 
within the ARVS area in written and digital formats. Assessments of the extent, rarity, diversity and 
reservation status of vegetation units, their status as wetland/streamline/estuarine or coastal dune 
vegetation and threats to vegetation units are provided to assist in determining the local and regional 
conservation significance of the vegetation. 
 
The ARVS area encompasses 124,415 ha
 
that extends some 30 km east and west of Albany and 20 km 
north. It is situated at the junction of three IBRA biogeographic regions - the Warren, Jarrah Forest 
and Esperance Plains Regions - and includes a variety of landforms from coastal dunes, granitic hills, 
gently undulating plains, lowland flats, rivers and drainage lines to estuarine fringes and lakes.  
 
The ARVS determined that 35% (44,093 ha) of remnant vegetation remains within the ARVS area of 
which 19% occurs within formal conservation reserves (IUCN I-IV) and 39% in other Crown reserves.  
Two thirds (67%) of the vegetation is in residual condition (excellent-very good) with 21% in 
modified and 12% in transformed states.  
 
The ARVS found the flora and vegetation to be very diverse.  The survey involved a review of 
existing vegetation information, extensive field work including the recording of 785 floristic relevés 
and statistical analysis of data that were used along with field observations to define 67 native 
vegetation units.  Extensive field work was essential in defining and mapping the vegetation due to 
high vegetation and landform diversity, low aerial photography interpretability and the absence of 
other data sets at a fine enough scale to reflect the vegetation patterning.  
 
The vegetation units defined through the ARVS include 32 upland units, 22 wetland units and 13 
dampland or transitional units. Within these there are nine Jarrah / Marri / Sheoak / Eucalyptus staeri 
woodland or forest units, seven coastal dune units, seven granite outcrop units, and three tidal or 
estuarine units. Nineteen units do not appear to have been described previously, and comparisons with 
Beard (1979) vegetation units and units described in other surveys within the region are provided.  
 
The vegetation units are not evenly distributed throughout the survey area but are linked to distinctive 
broad landforms. The most common unit is Jarrah/Marri/Sheoak Laterite Forest (unit 12) representing 
29.8% of remnant vegetation, with the next most common unit, Jarrah/Sheoak/Eucalyptus staeri 
Sandy Woodland (13), representing 11.7%. The most restricted unitsLepidosperma longitudinale 
Sedgeland (42) and Leucophyta brownii Coastal Shrubland/Grassland (7), occur on less than 1ha.  
 
Many units occur in small patches, with 49 units each occurring on less than 1% of the remnant 
vegetation within the ARVS area. The importance of these small units in terms of biodiversity is 
highlighted by the finding that 20% of all species recorded in the ARVS are restricted to these 49 
units, and 78% of all species recorded in the ARVS occur within this group. 
 
Over 800 species were recorded during the survey including six Declared Rare Flora, 43 Priority listed 
species and 19 species occurring beyond their previously known distribution.  Due to the methodology 
this list under represents the number of species in the area, particularly annuals and geophytes, and 
many species are known to occur at their range limits within the survey area. 
 
The conservation status of the vegetation units was assessed on a local and regional scale and the 
botanical significance of the ARVS area is highlighted by the occurrence of over a half of the units at 
their range limit and over a quarter of units are likely to be restricted to the survey area and its 10 km 
buffer
 
based on species distribution maps.  Further survey outside the ARVS area is required to verify 
the entire extent of these units. However, at least one unit, Banksia occidentalis/Kunzea clavata 
Shrubland (34), is restricted to the survey area and another, Banksia coccinea Shrubland/Eucalyptus 

 
iii
staeri/Sheoak Open Woodland (14), is largely restricted to the survey area and currently listed as a 
Priority 1 Ecological Community.  Nine units were restricted to the eastern edge of the ARVS area, 
near the boundary of the wetter Jarrah Forest biogeographic region and the drier Esperance Plains 
biogeographic region.   
 
At least four units appear to have less than 30% of their total pre-clearing extent remaining in Western 
Australia including Banksia coccinea Shrubland/Eucalyptus staeri/Sheoak Woodland (14), 
Jarrah/Sheoak/Eucalyptus staeri Sandy Woodland (13), Pericalymma spongiocaule Shrubland (39) 
and Astartea scoparia Swamp Thicket (56).  A further 17 units are likely to have less than 30% of 
their pre-clearing extent remaining within the ARVS area. 
 
The local reservation status of the vegetation units varies and needs to take into account areas of 
conservation reserve within the ARVS 'context area' i.e. within a 35 km radius of Albany, as well as 
the ARVS area.  Taking these areas into account, over one quarter of units are poorly reserved having 
less than 10% of their local extent within conservation reserves (IUCN I-IV).  The importance of other 
Crown reserves (non IUCN I-IV) is highlighted by 15 units being either restricted to or having greater 
than 70 % of their ARVS occurrence within these reserves. 
 
Major threats observed through the ARVS include Phytophthora dieback, hydrological change, weed 
invasion (particularly by *Acacia longifolia), fire, land clearing and grazing

 Given the high number 
of units that occur at their range limit and the high number of wetland/dampland units, the potential for 
climate change to impact on the vegetation within the survey area is very high.   
 
Recommendations include: further survey and assessment to determine the regional significance of 
units thought to be largely restricted to the ARVS area; further assessment of threats and the condition 
status of units to determine their regional significance; prioritisation of the conservation significance 
of units to assist in land use planning; extension of mapping to non surveyed areas within the ARVS 
context area; modelling of pre-clearing vegetation extent, updating vegetation map as required, 
reassessment of conservation species and assessment of units against threatened ecological community 
criteria. 
 
The ARVS report, associated maps and data will assist land use planning by State and local 
government agencies, community groups, land owners and developers; but does not preclude the 
requirement for site based ecological assessment in areas likely to be impacted by development.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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