Yilgarn Craton: Mount Forrest – Mount Richardson
, GAYNOR OWEN
& BEN BAYLISS
Science Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, PO Box 51,
Current Address: Avon Natural Diversity Alliance (ANDA), Department of Environment
A study of the flora and plant communities of the banded ironstone range of Mount Forrest – Mount Richardson
found 114 taxa, with a single introduced taxon. Four priority taxa and 5 taxa with significant range extensions
(> 100km) were found. Fifty one quadrats were established to cover the major geographical, geomorphological and
floristic variation across the range. Data from 51 of these quadrats were used to define seven community types.
Differences in communities were strongly correlated with soil fertility, landform and underlying geology. The
communities described were not similar to those found on nearby ironstone ranges. None of the plant communities
found on the Mount Forrest – Mt Richardson are currently in secure conservation reserves.
Science W. Aust. 7 (2) : 377–389 (2009)
Regional surveys of the eastern goldfields (Milewski &
Dell, 1992; Keighery et al. 1995) and previous studies on
the Archaean ironstone and greenstone ranges in the
Goldfields area of the Yilgarn Craton have found patterns
of high plant endemism and restricted plant communities
(Gibson et al. 1997; Gibson & Lyons 1998a, 1998b;
Gibson & Lyons 2001a, 2001b; Gibson 2004a, 2004b).
More recent surveys of the banded iron formation ranges
of the northern Yilgarn Craton have also shown these
patterns (Markey & Dillon, 2008a, 2008b; Meissner &
Caruso, 2008a, 2008b, 2008c). These ancient ranges are
also of significant interest for base metals and recent
growth in iron ore exports to China has resulted in an
increase in exploration and mining activities on these
ironstone range, partly located in the proposed Ida Valley
- Mt Forrest Conservation Park, and formerly a part of
the Bulga Downs pastoral lease. The proposed
Conservation Park is approximately 84 000 ha and located
about 100 km southeast of Sandstone within the
Murchison Bioregion (Interim Biogeographic
Regionalisation of Australia - IBRA); Department of the
Environment and Water Resources 2004). In addition,
the proposed park currently includes active exploration
The Mount Forrest - Mount Richardson ranges occur
section of the Illaara Greenstone Belt, which extends
southwest approximately 100 km. The ranges are
characterized by strike ridges and subrounded hills, with
prominent ridges of banded iron formations and chert
(Chen 2004, Cassidy et al. 2006). Mt Forrest and Mt
Richardson have the thickest unit of banded iron formation
and are the highest points in the belt, at 596 and 554 m
above sea level respectively (Stewart et al. 1983). In
addition, the banded iron formation is often intercalated
with tuffaceous mafic and ultramafic rocks (Stewart et al.
with mild wet winter and hot dry summers (Beard 1990).
Mean annual rainfall at Cashmere Downs Station (ca.
30km west of the range) is 252.9 mm, with moderate
seasonal variation over the 83 years of record (1919–2002:
decile 1, 128.5 mm; decile 9, 426.9 mm). Mean rainfall
is spread throughout the year, with little difference
between winter and summer. The highest maximum
temperatures occur during summer, with January as the
hottest month (mean maximum temperature 36 °C and
mean 6.2 days above 40°C). Winters are mild with lowest
mean maximum temperatures recorded for July of 17.5°C.
Temperatures occasionally fall below 0 °C in winter (a
mean 0.9 days below 0°C), with a mean minimum of 5.9°
C in July.
Floristic sur veys in the eastern goldfield have
described the vegetation of the ironstone ranges at a very
coarse scale. Beard (1976) mapped the range, as well as
several other ironstone ranges in the region, as shrublands
of mulga and Acacia quadrimarginea scrub at a scale of
1:1 000 000. At a scale of 1:500 000, Payne et al. (1998)
described the Mount Forrest - Mount Richardson range
© The Government of Western Australia, 2009
as part of the Brooking Land system. This system was
stony ironstone Mulga shrublands, composed of Acacia
spp. (Eremophila forrestii and Eremophila latrobei),
Recent more detailed vegetation mapping (c. 1:35
000) in the Mt Forest – Mt Richardson area covering both
the ranges and the surrounding sandplain identified a
number of structural units on the three major landforms,
sandplain (7 units), stony plains and low hills (6 units),
band ironstone ridges (4 units) and two minor units
associated with drainage lines (Outback Ecology Services
2007). A total of 118 taxa were recorded in this July survey.
This study also includes an analysis of the composition of
presence/absence data of 30 quadrats sampling all three
major landforms and reported significant compositional
difference between them. The resultant ordination shows
the sandplain units to be distinct but the difference
between the stony plains and hill and the banded ironstone
ridges is less clear.
The aim of the current survey was to document further
the flora and the plant communities that occur on the
ironstone range of Mount Forrest and Mount Richardson
area. This was done through compiling detailed flora lists
and community descriptions based upon 51 permanently
established quadrats on the range. This survey is part of a
continuing series investigating the flora and vegetation of
banded iron formation ranges across the Yilgarn.
Δ) on the range. Shaded area represents the proposed conservation park. The 500m contour is
The methodology employed in this survey follows the
standard procedure used in previous vegetation surveys
of other ironstone and greenstone ranges in Western
Australia (Gibson and Lyons 1998a, 1998b, 2001a,
2001b; Gibson 2004a, 2004b; Markey and Dillon 2008
a, 2008b). Fifty one 20 x 20 m quadrats were established
on the crests, slopes and foot slopes of Mount Forrest -
Mount Richardson ranges in August 2006 (Figure 1).
These quadrats were established strategically in the
vegetation on the BIF and adjacent geologies to cover
the major geographical, geomorphological and floristic
variation found in the study area. Each quadrat was
permanently marked with four steel fence droppers and
their positions determined using a GPS unit. All vascular
plants within the quadrat are recorded and collected for
later identification at the Western Australian Herbarium
abundance, size and shape of coarse fragments on surface,
the amount of exposed bedrock, cover of leaf litter and
bare ground were recorded following McDonald et al.
(1990). Additionally, growth form, height and cover
classes were recorded for dominant taxa in each stratum
(tallest, mid- and lower). The quantitative data were used
to describe the plant communities following McDonald
Twenty soil samples were collected from the upper 10
cm of the soil profile within each quadrat. The soil was
bulked and the 2 mm fraction extracted using the Mehlich
No. 3 procedure (Mehlich 1984). The extracted samples
were analysed for B, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn,
Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, S and Zn using an Inductively Coupled
Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES). This
procedure is an effective and cost efficient alternative to
traditional methods for evaluating soil fertility and has
been calibrated for Western Australian soils (Walton and
Allen 2004). pH was measured in 0.01M CaCl
at soil to
soil ground to less than 0.15 mm using Metson’s
colorimetric modification of the Walkley and Black method
6A1 (Metson 1956; Walkley 1947). It involved wet
oxidation by a dichromate-sulfuric acid mixture, which
produced enough heat to induce oxidation of the organic
carbon (Rayment and Higgenson 1992). Total nitrogen
was measured using the Kjeldahl method 7A2 (Rayment
and Higgenson 1992). The nitrogen was measured as
-N by automated colorimetry by the nitroprusside/
dichloro-S-triazine modification (Blakemore et al. 1987)
of the Berthelot indophenol reaction reviewed by Searle
(1984). Electrical conductivity (EC) was based on a 1:5
soil/deionised water extract and measured by a
conductivity meter at 25° C (Rayment and Higgenson
species composition on perennial species only. This was
to facilitate comparison and to be consistent with other
analyses of banded ironstone ranges (Gibson & Lyons
1998a, 1998b, 2001a, 2001b; Gibson 2004a, 2004b;
Markey and Dillon 2008a, 2008b) as surveys in semi-arid
regions can occur in years with below average rainfall
resulting in a patchy distribution of annuals (e.g. Gibson
& Lyons 1998a). The quadrat and species classifications
were undertaken using the Bray - Curtis coefficient
followed by Flexible UPGMA (Unweighted pair-group
β = –0.1; Belbin 1989) clustering. The Bray
– Curtis coefficient is commonly used in ecological studies
especially in presence/ absence datasets (Belbin 1989;
Clarke et al. 2006) while Flexible UPGMA is an effective
method of recovering true group structure (Belbin &
McDonald 1993). PATN uses a beta value of -0.1 in
Flexible UPGMA to dilate and counteract the known
underestimation of larger association values (Belbin 1989;
Belbin et al. 1992). Indicator species and species
assemblages characterising each community were
determined following Dufréne and Legendre (1997) using
INDVAL routine in PC-ORD (McCune and Mefford
1999). Quadrats were ordinated using SSH (semi-strong
hybrid multidimensional scaling), a non parametric
approach and does not presume any underlying model of
species response gradients. Correlations of environmental
variables were determined using PCC (Principal
Component Correlation) routine and significance
determined by MCAO (Monte Carlo Attributes in
Ordination) routine in PATN (Belbin 1989). PCC uses
multiple linear regressions of variables in the three
dimensional ordination space (Belbin 1989). Statistical
relationships between quadrat groups were tested using
Kruskal-Wallis non parametric analysis of variance (Siegel
1956), followed by Dunn’s Multiple comparison test (Zar
A total of 114 taxa were recorded from Mount Forrest -
Mount Richardson range, from quadrats and opportunistic
collections. The flora were represented by 29 families in
60 genera (Appendix 1) covering both the banded iron
formation and associated mafic substrates but largely
excluding sandplain. The dominant families were
Myrtaceae (21 taxa), Poaceae (15), Myoporaceae (13),
Mimosaceae (9) and Amaranthaceae (5), while the
representative genera were Eremophila (13 taxa), Acacia
(9), and Eucalyptus (7). A single introduced taxon to the
State, Pentaschistis airoides subsp. airoides, was recorded.
Four priority flora were recorded within the survey area.
was first collected in 1992 on Bulga Downs pastoral
lease. Prior to this survey, this species was known
only from the holotype. It is closely related to Aluta
aspera but is easily distinguished by prominent
recurved apicula on the leaves and bracteoles (Rye
& Trudgen 2000). It was restricted to the northern
end of the range.
is Priority 2 taxon. It was first collected in the 2005
survey of the Mt Forrest - Mt Richardson range
(Outback Ecology Services 2007). It appears to be
an ironstone endemic with other recent collections
of the taxon on Weld Range and the banded ironstone
range west of Wiluna.
• Baeckea sp. Melita Station (H. Pringle 2738)
is a Priority 3 myrtaceous shrub to 2.5 m with
distinctive pointed and hooked golden green leaves.
The nearest population located 100 km to the east,
and represents a significant range extension.
• Euryomyrtus patrickiae is a Priority 3 taxa in the
Myrtaceae. A shrub to 1 m with light pink flowers.
A single specimen was collected from the northern
part of the range growing in red sand.
In addition to new records of priority flora, the survey
extended the range of four taxa, including one Priority
taxon, Baeckea sp. Melita Station (H. Pringle 2738).
perennial fern often associated with rocky sites.
Recent collections in previous ironstone surveys
extended it’s range to the Yalgoo IBRA region. The
collections from this survey extend the taxon’s eastern
extent, with the nearest population approximately
300 km to the west.
• Cheilanthes brownii is another distinctive perennial
fern found growing in cracks within the rocky
outcrops on the range. It is a small fern with densely
woolly fronds and can be confused for Cheilanthes
hairs on the pinnules. An additional collection was
made at the nearby Cashmere Downs Range, 30 km
to the west Both collections extend the eastern range
by 300 km.
• Leptospermum fastigiatum is a myrtaceous shrub to
3m with white flowers. It was an opportunistic
collection from the sandplains north of the range
which increased the taxon’s northwest extent. The
nearest population is approximately 200 km south
A total of 103 taxa (including 80 perennials) were recorded
in the 51 quadrats. Sixty eight taxa occurred in more than
one quadrat. Final analysis was conducted using perennial
species occurring in two or more quadrats. Preliminary
analysis showed high correlations between the dissimilarity
matrix derived from the full data set and that with the
annual species and singletons were removed (r = 0.981).
This indicates that with the removal of annuals and
singletons, there is little difference between the two
dissimilarity matrices and therefore the outcome would
be similar. In the final analysis, 57 perennial species from
51 quadrats were analysed.
Six communities were elucidated from the
classification, based upon groupings that were ecologically
sound (Figure 2). Communities 2 and 3 (upland sites)
were distinguished from Communities 4 and 5
(communities on colluvial or mafic sites), as well as two
species poor sites. These sites were then separated from
the species poor mulga sites on lower slopes (Community
1). From the dendrogram, Community 6, a spinifex
community found in northern part of the range, was clearly
separated from the other communities. The two species
poor quadrats were found on a lower slope and crest of
banded ironstone, the latter heavily grazed by feral goats.
The two quadrats can not be confidently described as a
community type, with only two shared perennial species.
Figure 2. Dendrogram of 7 group level classification of the 51
quadrats established on Mount Forrest - Mount Richardson
range. * represents the species poor quadrats (BULG39 and
BULG48). Dissimilarity is based upon the Bray-Curtis
dissimilarity measure (dilated using
β = –0.1).
Community 1 – The community is found on lower slopes
of banded iron formation ridges and hills. It can be
described as open shrublands and mallee shrublands of
subsp. forrestii over isolated grassland and shrublands of
characterised by Species Group A and D. Indicator species
are E. forrestii subsp. forrestii, M. paradoxus, Sida
chrysocalyx, Acacia aneura var. microcarpa, Acacia
ramulosa var. ramulosa and E. kingsmillii subsp. kingsmillii
(Table 1). This community had low mean species richness
with 8.3 (± 2.3 SE) taxa per quadrat.
Community 2 – This was the most common community
found on the range, occurring mainly on the upper slopes
and crests of banded ironstone. It can be described as
open woodlands and shrublands of A. aneura, A.
quadrimarginea, Acacia cocker toniana, Callitris
columellaris and Grevillea berryana over sparse to open
shrubland of Eremophila glutinosa, Drummondita
Station (H. Pringle 2738), Dodonaea petiolaris, Aluta
A and B, and characterised by indicator species C. sieberi
(Table 1). It had a mean species richness of 12.9 (± 2.8
SE) taxa per quadrat.
Community 3 – This community occurred on the crests
and slopes of the banded ironstone range. It is described
as shrublands to open shrublands of A. quadrimarginea,
shrublands of Eremophila spp. (E. glutinosa, Eremophila
of C. sieberi subsp. sieberi and Prostanthera althoferi subsp.
A, B and F. Indicator species were S. chrysocalyx, E.
(Table 1). It had a mean species richness of 10.4 (± 2.5
Community 4 – Communities of lower slopes of banded
ironstone found mainly in the valley between the two strike
ridges (Figure 1) and found on colluvial soils. Shrublands
of A. aneura, Acacia ramulosa var. ramulosa and A.
quadrimarginea over shrublands of Eremophila spp.
(Eremophila oldfieldii subsp. angustifolia, E. conglomerata
and E. georgei), Dodonaea adenophora, D. microphylla and
Ptilotus obovatus var. obovatus over grassland and fernland
of Eriachne pulchella and C. sieberi subsp. sieberi.
Characterised by taxa from Species Groups A, B and D
(Table 1). Indicator species were Acacia exocarpoides and
2.9 SE) taxa per quadrat.
Community 5 – This community was located on the
midslopes of Mount Forrest growing on metabasalt
bedrock. It is described as open mallee shrublands of
Eucalyptus spp. (Eucalyptus carnei and Eucalyptus
gypsophila) and A. aneura over of Eremophila pantonii,
D. adenophora, Dodonaea lobulata and Philotheca brucei
subsp. brucei over sparse shrubland of P. obovatus var.
Species Group A, B and H. Indicator species were P.
and P. brucei subsp. brucei (Table 1), with a mean species
richness of 13.6 (± 5.2 SE) taxa per quadrat.
Community 6 – This community occurred in the northern
area of the range where the sandplain was accumulating
against the side of the range. It is described as sparse to
open mallee shrublands and shrublands of Eucalyptus
oldfieldii, A. quadrimarginea and A. aneura over sparse
to open shrubland of Calothamnus gilesii and characterised
by Species Group I. Indicators species were Aluta teres,
Verticordia helmsii, Triodia lanigera, Hibbertia arcuata,
E. oldfieldii and C. gilesii over shrubland and hummock
grassland of H. arcuata, A. teres and T. lanigera (Table
1). It had a mean species richness of 11.7 (± 4.2 SE) taxa
Given the large floristic differences between Community
6 and the other communities, the ordination excluded
these quadrats in order to better elucidate the relationships
between the remaining quadrats. The patterns in soil
chemistry found in the univariate analyses were also
correlated with the location of sites in the three
dimensional ordination (stress = 0.18, Figure 3A).
Calcium, magnesium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, pH and
ECEC all increased toward Community 5, in the lower
left quadrant (Figure 3B). Organic carbon, iron and
maximum surficial rock size higher in the upper left
quadrant, corresponding to sites of Community 2, while
conversely, these were all lower in Communities 1, 3 and
4 (Figure 3B).
All soil chemical parameters, except cadmium, showed
significant differences between communities in the non-
parametric univariate analysis. Community 6, the spinifex
community, occurred on sandy soil with the poorest soil
nutrition, with the lowest phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen
and organic carbon (Table 2). It is also has the lowest
values of calcium, cobalt, copper, manganese,
molybdenum, sodium, nickel, sulphur, zinc, eCEC and
chemistry occurred between the Eucalyptus community
on meta basalt (or mafic) bedrock (Community 5) and
the communities 1, 2 and 3. Soils at Community 5 were
the most fertile and had a significantly higher pH and
greater concentration of molybdenum than Communities
1, 2 and 3. Community 1 tended to occur on less fertile
soils and lower concentrations of micro nutrients than
Community 5. Community 3 showed a similar pattern to
Community 1 except for significantly lower concentrations
of potassium, copper and nickel than Community 5.
Community 2, occurring on the crests and slopes of the
ranges, was lower in cobalt, copper, manganese and nickel
than Community 5, but was significantly higher in
R. Meissner et al.
Figure 3. A. Three dimensional ordination showing Axis 1 and 2 of 47 quadrats, excluding community 7, established on Mount
Forrest – Mount Richardson range showing community type. “ represent species poor sites (BULG39 and BULG48). B. Best
fit linear correlated variables (P<0.05) shown as lines representing the strength and direction of the correlation.
phosphorus to Community 4, significantly higher in iron
than Communities 1, 3 and 4 and total nitrogen to
In general, Community 4 was intermediate in soil
nutrients between Community 5 and Communities 1, 2
and 3, except for lower concentrations of phosphorus and
iron when compared to Community 2 and lower organic
carbon than Community 5. Community 4 differed from
7 in percentage organic carbon, otherwise the remaining
soil chemicals were not significantly different in the post-
hoc tests (Table 2).
Only four of the eight site parameters were significantly
different between community types (Table 3). Community
5 occurred at significantly higher elevation than
Community 1. Community 5 was only located on the
midslopes around Mount Forrest while Community 1
primarily occurred on the lower slopes of the range.
Community 1 and 4 had smaller surficial rock size than
Community 2. Community 2 also had lower amount of
leaf litter than Community 5 and occurred on much
steeper slopes than Communities 1 and 3.
In this survey, a total of 114 taxa were recorded, this
included 65 taxa not recorded in an earlier survey of this
range (Outback Ecology Services 2007). However the
present survey was restricted to the range and did not
include the sandplain that formed a large area of the
The banded ironstone range on Cashmere Downs
pastoral lease some 30 km to the west were also surveyed
in 2006 (Meissner et al. 2009), where 139 taxa were
recorded. These figures contrast with 287 taxa that were
previously recorded from the Hunt Range, Yendelberrin
and Watt Hills, approximately 160 km south (Gibson &
Lyons 2001b) and 238 taxa on the Mount Manning
Range, 140 km south east (Gibson 2004a). Both the
Mount Manning and Hunt Range floras had higher
numbers of annuals represented due to good winter and
spring rains. In contrast, the Mount Forrest – Mt
Richardson and Cashmere Downs Ranges had below
average rainfall, with less than 20 mm in the two months
preceding the survey. Twenty percent of the flora were
annuals, compared with nearly 30% and 40% of flora as
annuals recorded on Mount Manning and Hunt Range
respectively (Gibson & Lyons 2001b, Gibson 2004a).
The Mount Forrest – Mount Richardson Range also
had a lower number of perennial taxa (93 taxa cf. 142 and
148 on Mount Manning and Hunt Range respectively).
These latter ranges are at the northern extent of the South
West Interzone, where floral elements of the Southwest
and Eremaean Botanical Provinces intermingle (Beard et
al. 2000). This boundary also marks the transition from
low shrublands of Acacia (mainly mulga) in the drier north
to euclaypt woodlands in the more mesic south. The
differences between Mount Forrest and the ranges further
south highlights this transition and may possibly explain
the difference in the number of perennials and total
number of taxa.
Several priority species were recorded in the survey.
However no new taxa were discovered. Prior to the survey,
Aluta teres was known only from the type specimen. In
this survey, it was only found growing in Community 7,
the spinifex community in the northern section of the
Previous surveys of ironstone have shown high plant
& Caruso, 2008 a, 2008b, 2008c) on individual ranges.
Mount Forrest area on the crests of the ironstone range.
Additional surveys by consultants have confirmed that it
is restricted to a 700 m area of the banded ironstone
ridgeline (Outback Ecology Services 2007). This species
appears to be an ironstone endemic. However it is not
restricted to the Mount Forrest - Mount Richardson
Range, as other specimens were collected from other
ironstone ranges on the Yilgarn Craton, namely the Weld
Range, northwest of Cue, and an ironstone range west of
Wiluna. This survey also increased collections of A.
cockertoniana, a species largely restricted to other ironstone
ranges in the region.
The soil substrate and chemistry was the major factor
separating the floristic communities on the range, the
spinifex community (Community 7) growing on sandy
soils located in the northern end of the range on the
poorest soils, while the Eucalyptus community
(Community 5) found on soil derived from mafic bedrock
in at higher elevations around Mount Forrest occurs on
the richest. Both these communities are restricted on the
range. The spinifex community appears to be a transitional
community, growing where sandplains to the north meet
and overlays the banded ironstone. The community
contains floral elements from the sandplain community
(ie. the T. lanigera, C. gilesii and E. oldfieldii) and those
from ironstone communities (e.g. A. aneura,
A. quadrimarginea, A. cockertoniana, Eremophila
The soil chemistry of the Eucalyptus community
(Community 5) is characteristic of soils derived from mafic
bedrock. Mafic rocks are generally higher in phosphorus,
manganese, potassium, calcium, zinc, and magnesium
(Gray & Murphy 2002). The difference in soil chemistry
clearly limits the species that can grow there, as shown by
the high constancy of several species such as D. lobulata
and E. pantonii (Table 1).
In contrast, the main Communities 2 and 3 on the
range possess intermediate soil nutrition between the
communities on poor, sandy soils and the rich, mafic sites.
These two communities are characterised as shrublands
of A. aneura, A. quadrimarginea over shrublands E.
glutinosa and E. latrobei subsp. latrobei, and occurred from
the midslopes to crests across the entire range. The
relationship between these two communities is close, as
shown in the dendrogram and ordination, and differed
only in several indicator species i.e A. cockertoniana and
P. althoferi subsp. althoferi (Community 3) and D. petiolaris
and T. decussata (Community 2). As well as differences in
floristic composition, Community 2 occurs on slightly
richer soils than Community 3, with higher organic
carbon, phosphorus, iron and potassium.
The present survey shows that the communities on
the Mount Forrest – Mount Richardson Range show the
same soil - landscape patterns as described for other banded
ironstone ranges with characteristic communities occurring
on the crest and slopes of ironstone (Markey & Dillon
2008 a, 2008b; Meissner & Caruso 2008a, 2008b,
2008c). The communities described also fall within the
broad category of the stony Acacia shrublands (Payne et
al. 1998), except for the Eucalypt Community 5 and the
sandplain Community 7. The latter falls within the
sandplain spinifex hummock grassland habitat group,
found within the Marmion Landsystem (Payne et al.
1998). In comparison to recent survey work, all
communities except Community 5 occur within the broad
categories as described by Outback Ecology Services (2007).
The lower slope and colluvial communities 1 and 4 are
consistent with Acacia woodlands on stony plains/ low hills,
Communities 2 and 3, found on the crests and slopes of
the range correspond to the Acacia Woodland on Banded
Ironstone Ridge, while the sandplain community
(Community 7) corresponded to Eucalypt Tree Mallee on
sandplain (Outback Ecology Services, 2007).
Currently, none of this range is in secure conservation
reserve. However, part of the Mount Forrest – Mount
Richardson Range is within a proposed conservation park,
the Ida Valley – Mt Forrest Conservation Park.
We would like to thank the following people: Dave Allen,
WA Chemcentre for Soil Analysis; Dave and Vicky
McQuiew at Bulga Downs for their cooperation and help
during the field survey and the staff at the Western
Australian Herbarium (especially Karina Knight and Phil
Spencer), as well as Rob Davies, Malcolm French, Mike
Hislop, Bruce Maslin, Frank Obbens,, Barbara Rye,
Malcolm Trudgen, and Paul Wilson for their taxonomic
expertise. And finally, Neil Gibson, for his advice and
support. Permits for flora collection were issued by the
Western Australian Department of Environment and
Conservation. This project is part of the Biodiversity
Conservation Initiative (BCI) of the Saving Our Species
(SOS) Program, and has been funded by the Department
of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia.
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Sorted two-way table of quadrats established on Mount Forrest - Mount Richardson range showing species analysed
by community type (+ represent the species poor quadrats). Taxa shaded grey within a community are indicator species
identified by INDVAL >17 (Dufrene and Legendre 1997) at the 7 group level (* indicates p< 0.05; ** indicates p<0.01;
statistical significance tested by randomisation procedures).
Plant community mean values for soil chemistry parameters (measured mg/kg except eCEC, pH, Total N, Org C and
EC). Differences between ranked values tested using Kruskal - Wallis non-parametric analysis of variance. Standard
error in parentheses. a,b,c denote significant difference between groups by post hoc test (P < 0.05). (P = probability, n
= number of quadrats, ns = not significant). Post-hoc tests undertaken on all communities except Community 5 due to
low sample size.
0.007 (0.001)b 0.008 (0.003)ab
Plant community mean values for physical site parameters; aspect (16 cardinal directions), slope (degrees), coarse
fragment (CF) abundance (0 – no coarse fragments to 6 very abundant coarse fragments), maximum size of coarse
fragments (1 – fine gravely to 7 large boulders), rock outcrop (RO) abundance (0 – no bedrock exposed to 5 – rockland),
runoff (0 – no runoff to 5 – very rapid), % leaf litter (1 - >70% to 4 - <10%). Differences between ranks tested using
Kruskal –Wallis non-parametric analysis of variance. Standard error is given in parentheses. a, b and c represent
significant differences between community types at P < 0.05 (n = number of quadrats, P = probability, ns = not significant).
510.1 (7.8)ab 510.6 (13.8)ab
CF Max Size
% Leaf Litter
1.6 (0.4) ab
* post hoc pairwise comparison not significant
Floristic list for Mount Forrest - Mount Richardson, including all taxa from the sampling quadrats and from adjacent
areas. * indicates introduced taxon to the State. Vouchers for each taxon were lodged at Western Australian Herbarium
Eremophila forrestii subsp. forrestii
Eremophila gilesii subsp. variabilis
Eremophila cf. jucunda
Eremophila latrobei subsp. latrobei
Eremophila oldfieldii subsp. angustifolia
Eremophila oppositifolia subsp. angustifolia
Eremophila platycalyx subsp. platycalyx
Eremophila simulans subsp. simulans
Aluta aspera subsp. hesperia
Baeckea sp. Melita Station (H. Pringle 2738)
Eucalyptus cf. oldfieldii
Eucalyptus kingsmillii subsp. kingsmillii
Eucalyptus leptopoda subsp. elevata
Dianella revoluta var. divaricata
Eriachne cf. mucronata
Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi
Ptilotus obovatus var. obovatus
Senna artemisioides subsp. filifolia
Euphorbia drummondii subsp. drummondii
Euphorbia tannensis cf. subsp. eremophila
Prostanthera althoferi subsp. althoferi
Sida sp. tiny green fruits (S. van Leeuwen 2260)
Sida sp. Golden calyces glabrous (H.N. Foote 32)
Acacia ramulosa var. ramulosa
*Pentaschistis airoides subsp. airoides
Grevillea didymobotrya subsp. didymobotrya
Psydrax cf. rigidula
Synaptantha tillaeacea var. tillaeacea
Philotheca brucei subsp. brucei