Comprehensive Regional Assessment World Heritage Sub-theme



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Workshop Conclusions


The expert workshop was asked to advise governments concerning technical documentation of the sub-theme of eucalypt-dominated vegetation. Provision of this advice required the workshop to identify values of eucalypt-dominated vegetation that have outstanding universal significance. It also required the identification of particular attributes of the eucalypts and eucalypt ecosystems which contribute to these values and which can be used to document and assess the significance of places in relation to representing the sub-theme in the global context. In addition, the workshop was asked to advise on likely data requirements for documentation and assessment of possible places to represent the outstanding universal values of the sub-theme. Terms of Reference for the workshop are included in Attachment 5.
The conclusions of the expert workshop concerning outstanding universal values of eucalypt-dominated vegetation are summarised in Table 7 below. These conclusions are also interpreted in relation to the criteria for inclusion of natural properties on the World Heritage List specified in paragraph 44 (a) of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (UNESCO 1999) (Attachment 1) (see Table 8).
Processes for further assessment of the sub-theme of eucalypt-dominated vegetation are outlined in Attachment 3. The findings of the expert workshop (Table 7) are directly relevant to the subsequent steps embodied in these processes which involve documentation and assessment of possible places to represent the sub-theme in the global context.
Table 7 Summary of outstanding universal values and significant attributes of eucalypt-dominated vegetation in Australia

Outstanding universal value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Explanatory sentence

Significant attributes identified in relation to eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Advice concerning data issues

Ancient origins in Gondwana and evolution in Australia

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding as an example of the taxonomic radiation of a single phylogenetic group in response to environmental change following the breakup of Gondwana.

- basal taxa in eucalypt clades

- taxa associated with radiation

- sub-genera


- need to consider Isla Gorge, Queensland, and Walpole region, Western Australia in addition to areas identified by the World Heritage Expert Panel




Ongoing evolutionary processes amongst the eucalypts, including introgression, hybridisation and divergence, contribute to the globally-outstanding value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation in terms of its evolution in Australia.

- peaks of richness within subgenera [surrogate]

- peaks of total eucalypt species richness

- relicts

- spatially-restricted species

(ie less than 100 x 100 km)

- rare taxa



- use Leigh & Briggs (1988)

- data of A.M Gill et al. 1985

- data of A.M. Gill et al. (in progress)





The high taxonomic diversity of the eucalypts contributes to the globally-outstanding value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation in terms of its evolution in Australia.

- peaks of richness within subgenera [surrogate]

- peaks of total eucalypt species richness

- relicts

- spatially-restricted species

- rare taxa


- use Leigh & Briggs (1988)

- data of A.M Gill et al. 1985

- data of A.M. Gill et al. (in progress)


Domination of an entire continent

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is a globally-outstanding and unique example of the domination of an entire continent by a single phylogenetic lineage.

- norms of environmental classes

- extremes of environmental classes



- total number of classes flexible, (but within 10-25)

- 8-12 climatic zones (Belbin & Margules - Bioclim)

- 3 nutrient classes (based on lithology)

- need to capture catenas in broad classes (e.g. sea to alps, laterite cap to sandy plain)



Diverse range of growth forms

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for the unusual diversity of growth forms amongst the eucalypts which range from the world’s tallest hardwood trees to low or even prostrate shrubs.

- structural classes [surrogate]

- representation of extreme types

(e.g. marlocks, mallets)


- use Carnahan structural mapping for treeless areas,

- use NFI maps for tree areas

- ensure representation of unmappable types (e.g. mallets, marlocks, creepers etc)


Wide diversity of eucalypt-dominated communities

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for its wide diversity of communities, reflecting its exceptional range of structural, physiognomic and floristic diversity

- vegetation types

- floristic regions



as for "diverse range of growth forms" (see above)

- ensure specified vegetation types included (Tables 3 & 4)



Unique ecology of eucalypt dominated communities

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for its unique ecology which includes:
- a globally-outstanding range of fire regimes.

- environmental classes

- vegetation maps including

structural classes

vegetation types

floristic regions


- as for "domination of an entire continent" (see above)

- as for "wide diversity of eucalypt-dominated communities" (see above)

- ensure specified vegetation types included (Tables 3 & 4)





- a wide range of characteristics that facilitate survival and reproduction under different fire regimes.

as above

as above




-exceptional lignotuber and epicormic shoot responses to defoliation.

as above

as above

Table 7 (cont)

Outstanding universal value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Explanatory sentence

Significant attributes identified in relation to eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Advice concerning data issues

Unique ecology of eucalypt dominated communities(cont)

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for its unique ecology which includes:

- unusual types of fuels with a high woody component.



- environmental classes

- vegetation maps including

structural classes

vegetation types

floristic regions


- as for "domination of an entire continent" (see above)

- as for "wide diversity of eucalypt-dominated communities" (see above)

- ensure specified vegetation types included (Tables 3 & 4)





- characteristics that facilitate long-distance propagation of fire.

as above

as above




- the capacity to maintain high growth rates under a wide range of soil nutrient conditions.

as above

as above




- adaptations to a-wide range of soils and moisture regimes.

as above

as above




- the capacity to produce hollows utilised by fauna, including a large proportion of vertebrate fauna.

- structural vegetation

- floristic survey data



as above




-an exceptional diversity of groups of invertebrate fauna, including the mallee moths and the psyllids.

environmental classes

- vegetation maps including

structural classes

vegetation types

floristic regions


- as for "domination of an entire continent" (see above)

- as for "wide diversity of eucalypt-dominated communities" (see above)

- ensure specified vegetation types included (Tables 3 & 4)

- ensure unusual groups included



Cultural significance of eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation requires further investigation for possible global significance for cultural values, including as a cultural landscape.

[expert opinion required]




Aesthetic significance of eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation requires further investigation for possible global significance for aesthetic values associated with landscapes, tall trees, understoreys and contribution to the visual arts.

[expert opinion required]




Economic significance of eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation requires further investigation for possible global significance for economic values associated with wood production, fuel and other commodities and uses in many countries of the world.

[expert opinion required]




Genetic significance of eucalypt-dominated vegetation

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation requires further investigation for possible global significance as a genetic repository in relation to the natural values of eucalypt ecosystems in Australia and also for the utility values of eucalypts which are exceptionally-widely planted throughout the world.

[expert opinion required]



Table 8 Outstanding universal values of eucalypt-dominated vegetation in Australia interpreted in relation to the criteria for inclusion of natural properties on the World Heritage List (UNESCO 1999)



Outstanding universal value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation


Explanatory sentence

World Heritage criteria for natural properties

(see Attachment 1)

Ancient origins in Gondwana and evolution in Australia

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding as an example of the taxonomic radiation of a single phylogenetic group in response to environmental change following the breakup of Gondwana.

criterion (ii)

criterion (iv)







Ongoing evolutionary processes amongst the eucalypts, including introgression, hybridisation and divergence, contribute to the globally-outstanding value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation in terms of its evolution in Australia.

not “best of the best” in own right; supportive to above value only




The high taxonomic diversity of the eucalypts contributes to the globally-outstanding value of eucalypt-dominated vegetation in terms of its evolution in Australia.

not “best of the best” in own right; supportive to above value only

Domination of an entire continent

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is a globally-outstanding and unique example of the domination of an entire continent by a single phylogenetic lineage.

criterion (ii)

criterion (iii)

criterion (iv)


Diverse range of growth forms

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for the unusual diversity of growth forms amongst the eucalypts which range from the world’s tallest hardwood trees to low or even prostrate shrubs.

criterion (ii)

criterion (iii)

criterion (iv)


Wide diversity of eucalypt-dominated communities

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for its wide diversity of communities, reflecting its exceptional range of structural, physiognomic and floristic diversity

criterion (ii)

criterion (iii)

criterion (iv)


Unique ecology of eucalypt dominated communities

Eucalypt-dominated vegetation is globally-outstanding for its unique ecology which includes:

- a globally-outstanding range of fire regimes.


criterion (ii)

criterion (iv)





- a wide range of characteristics that facilitate survival and reproduction under different fire regimes.

criterion (ii)




-exceptional lignotuber and epicormic shoot responses to defoliation.

criterion (ii)




- unusual types of fuels with a high woody component.

criterion (ii)




- characteristics that facilitate long-distance propagation of fire.

criterion (ii)




- the capacity to maintain high growth rates under a wide range of soil nutrient conditions.

criterion (ii)




- adaptations to a-wide range of soils and moisture regimes.

criterion (ii)

criterion (iv)






- the capacity to produce hollows utilised by fauna, including a large proportion of vertebrate fauna.

criterion (ii)

criterion (iv)






-an exceptional diversity of groups of invertebrate fauna, including the mallee moths and the psyllids.

criterion (ii)

criterion (iv)






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