Cooljarloo west project flora and vegetation assessment

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Drosera closterostigma 

range extension 

50km north 

Myriocephalus helichrysoides 

range extension 

75km north 

Villarsia submersa (P4) 

range extension 

65km north 

Stenanthemum sublineare (P2) 

range extension 

100km north 

Angianthus pygmaeus 

range extension 

50km north 

Schoenus natans (P4) 

range extension 

75km north 

Stylidium aceratum (P2) 

range extension 

150km north 


A collection of a Conospermum species previously collected within the Cooljarloo West 

project area and reported by Woodman Environmental Consulting (2009) as a potential 

new species is now known to be Conospermum scaposum (P3). 


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Cooljarloo West Project Area 



Flora and Vegetation Assessment  


4.2.1  Cooljarloo West Project Area 

A total of 22 structural plant communities were described and mapped within the 

Cooljarloo West project area during studies conducted by Woodman Environmental 

between 2005 and 2008. A photographic record of the communities recorded is 

provided in Appendix D. 





Low Forest of Casuarina obesa and Melaleuca spp. over scattered low shrubs 

on brown sandy loam on lowerslopes and drainage flats 


Community F1 is located in the west of the project area on loamy soils adjacent to 

drainage basins. The overstorey is dominated by Casuarina obesa and Melaleuca 

rhaphiophylla. Common understorey species included Melaleuca brevifolia and 

Melaleuca lateriflora subsp. acutifolia over a mixture of herb species. A total of 22 

vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community F1. 





Low Woodland to Dense Low Forest of Melaleuca rhaphiophylla over Low 

Sedges on brown sand over clay in basins 


This plant community was mapped in isolated pockets throughout the project area 

within seasonally damp basins and areas fringing open water bodies. The understorey is 

typically dominated by Lepidosperma longitudinale with emergent shrubs such as 

Melaleuca teretifolia and Acacia saligna depending on water regimes. A total of 124 

vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community W1. 



Low Woodland to Low Forest of Eucalyptus rudis or Corymbia calophylla and 

Melaleuca spp. over Low Scrub or Scrub on grey or brown sand or clay on 

lowerslopes, drainage lines and basins 


A total of five occurrences of Community W2 are located throughout the project area 

along small drainage lines and basins. The overstorey is typically dominated by 

Eucalyptus rudis and  Melaleuca rhaphiophylla with scattered shrubs such as Acacia 

saligna and Xanthorrhoea preissii. A total of 81 vascular plant taxa were recorded 

within Community W2. 



Low Woodland to Low Forest of Banksia attenuata and Banksia menziesii with 

occasional  Eucalyptus todtiana over Heath dominated by Eremaea pauciflora 

and/or Hibbertia hypericoides on brown or grey sand on lower to midslopes 


Community W3 was the dominant woodland mapped throughout the project area. The 

Heath understorey is species rich and Melaleuca clavifolia (P1) is commonly seen. In 

parts the understorey is dominated by Acacia pulchella var. glaberrima or Jacksonia 

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Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

nutans reflecting recent fire history (<5yrs) and intensity. A total of 342 vascular plant 

taxa were recorded within Community W3. 


W4:  Open Low Woodland of Banksia attenuata,  Banksia menziesii and Melaleuca 

preissiana over Low Heath on brown sand in swales and low rises 


This community was recorded in the south of the project within small swale areas. The 

presence of a number of wet species including Melaleuca preissiana, Beaufortia 

squarrosa and Phlebocarya ciliata indicates that the water table is close to the surface. 

This community is comparable to Community W3 - the sandy soils support a species 

rich heath with similar suites of species. The occurrence of W4 adjacent to Woolka Rd 

within the Mullering area is situated on the crest of a low rise. Eucalyptus rudis and 

Melaleuca rhaphiophylla are present at this location and are likely to be associated with 

an underground mound spring. A total of 131 vascular plant taxa were recorded within 

Community W4.  



Low Woodland to Low Forest of Banksia prionotes over Low Scrub or Heath 

dominated by Acacia spathulifolia on brown over yellow sand on low rises 


Community W5 was recorded in the south west of the project area adjacent to drainage 

areas. The overstorey is dominated by Banksia prionotes with occasional Banksia 

attenuata and Banksia menziesii. Common understorey species included Acacia 

spathulifolia,  Melaleuca systena and  Allocasuarina lehmanniana subsp.  lehmanniana 

reflecting the coastal position of Community W5 within the project area. A total of 123 

vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community W5. 



Low Woodland to Low Forest of Banksia prionotes and Banksia attenuata over 

Heath on yellow sand on upperslopes 


Community W6 was recorded in the east of the project area on low rises with deep 

yellow sands. The understorey is quite variable in composition and notable species 

include  Allocasuarina humilis,  Hibbertia hypericoides and Leptospermum erubescens

A total of 60 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community W5. 


W7:  Open Low Woodland of Banksia ilicifolia,  Banksia menziesii and Banksia 

attenuata over Heath on brown sand on lowerslopes 


Community W7 was recorded in the south of the project area on lowerslopes adjacent to 

drainage areas. This community may be considered to be an ecotone between 

Community W3 and the wetter communities recorded within the project area- floristic 

analysis is required to determine whether this unit is delineated from Community W3. 

The occurrences to the south-east of the project area could be mapped using field 

observations and aerial interpretation. However, it is likely that this community is more 

extensive within the project area than reported, forming mosaics between wet and dry 

communities. Wet indicator species recorded within Community W7 include Banksia 

telmatiaea,  Beaufortia squarrosa,  Hypocalymma angustifolium,  Isopogon sp. 

Badgingarra (A.S. George 14200) (P2) and Melaleuca seriata. A total of 71 vascular 

plant taxa were recorded within Community W7. 


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W8: Woodland 



Eucalyptus decipiens subsp. decipiens over mixed 

shrubs and herbs on grey sand on lowerslopes 


A total of 3 small occurrences of Community W8 were mapped in the south of the 

project area within swale areas and lowerslopes adjacent to basins. The overstorey is 

dominated by Eucalyptus decipiens subsp. decipiens with occasional Banksia prionotes 

and Banksia attenuata. The understorey is dominated by Austrostipa compressa 

reflecting the recent fire history of this community at the time of survey (< 1yr). A total 

of 38 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community W8. 





Scrub to Thicket dominated by Melaleuca lateriflora subsp. acutifolia on brown 

or grey clay or loamy clay in basins 


Community T1 was recorded in the central portions of the project area on loams and 

clays in small basins. Common overstorey species included Melaleuca viminea subsp. 

viminea,  Grevillea  thelemanniana  subsp. Coojarloo (B.J. Keighery 28 B) (P1) and 

Melaleuca rhaphiophylla. Emergent rushes and sedges included Gahnia trifida and 

Chaetanthus aristatus. A number of salt tolerant species (Melaleuca brevifolia, 

Tecticornia indica subsp. bidens and  Samolus repens var. ?paucifolius) were recorded 

within this community in areas adjacent to samphire salt pans. A total of 72 vascular 

plant taxa were recorded within Community T1. 


T2: Thicket 


Allocasuarina lehmanniana subsp. lehmanniana over Open Low 

Sedges on grey clay in basins 


This community was recorded in the west of the project area within coastal basins 

associated with the Guilderton System. The understorey is dominated by Gahnia trifida 

and  Baumea juncea with emergent Melaleuca rhaphiophylla. Saline areas within the 

basin feature herb fields of salt tolerant species such as Triglochin mucronata and 

Wilsonia backhousei (see photo on front cover). A total of 65 vascular plant taxa were 

recorded within Community T2. 



Scrub to Thicket dominated by Acacia saligna, Viminaria juncea and Melaleuca 

rhaphiophylla (stunted form) on grey or brown sand over clay on lowerslopes, 

drainage lines and minor basins 


A total of two isolated occurrences of Community T3 were recorded in the east of the 

project area within small basins. This community is similar to Community W1, however 

the absence of dominant sedges within the understorey and the emergence of thickets of 

Acacia saligna and Viminaria juncea indicate that the soils are inundated for a lesser 

period of time. A total of 59 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community T3. 



Scrub to Thicket dominated by Melaleuca rhaphiophylla and Melaleuca viminea 

subsp. viminea on brown or grey sand over clay in basins 


Community T4 was recorded predominantly in the southern portion of the project area 

with isolated occurrences adjacent to the Falcon area in the north. Common species 

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included  Regelia ciliata,  Hakea varia and Goodenia pulchella subsp. Coastal Plain A 

(M. Hislop 634). A total of 154 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community 



T5: Thicket 


Melaleuca lateritia and Melaleuca teretifolia over rushes and sedges 

on grey clay in a swamp 


Community T5 was recorded within the grey clay soils of Cooljarloo Swamp to the 

south of the project area. The understorey is dominated by Lepidosperma longitudinale 

and an unidentified Meeboldina species. A total of 5 vascular plant taxa were recorded 

within Community T5, represented by only one detailed recording site. 





Low Scrub to Heath dominated by Melaleuca brevifolia on brown sand over 

clay in drainage lines and basins 


Community H1 was recorded throughout the project area within drainage lines and 

basins with shallow sands over clay. Common species included Verticordia densiflora

Calothamnus hirsutus,  Conostylis aculeata subsp. spinuligera and Grevillea 

thelemanniana subsp. Coojarloo (B.J. Keighery 28 B) (P1). A total of 81 vascular plant 

taxa were recorded within Community H1. 



Heath to Thicket of a mix of species including Allocasuarina lehmanniana 

subsp.  lehmanniana,  Acacia cyclops,  Melaleuca viminea subsp. viminea  and 

Regelia ciliata on brown or grey clay in basins 


Community H2 was recorded in the west of the project area within basins associated 

with the Guilderton System. A number of coastal species were recorded within this 

community (Leucopogon parviflorus,  Acacia cyclops,  Acacia rostellifera and  Samolus 

junceus). A total of 28 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community H2. 



Heath to Thicket dominated by Allocasuarina lehmanniana subsp. lehmanniana 

or Melaleuca systena on yellow or white sand on dunes 


Community H3 was recorded in the west and south-west of the project area on sand 

dunes associated with the Guilderton System. Common species included Anthocercis 

littorea,  Clematis linearifolia,  Spyridium globulosum,  Leucopogon parviflorus and 

Schoenus grandiflorus which are typically coastal species or indicators of calcareous 

soils. A total of 72 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community H3. 



Heath dominated by a mix of species including Banksia telmatiaea, Regelia 

ciliata and Melaleuca seriata with occasional Scrub or Open Scrub of Hakea 

obliqua subsp. parviflora on grey or brown sand on lowerslopes, flats and 

drainage basins 


This community is widespread throughout the project area and features a species rich 

heath on sandy soils in low lying areas adjacent to larger drainage basins. The 

emergence of a scrub layer of Hakea obliqua subsp. parviflora is likely to be a 

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reflection of fire history. Common species included Beaufortia squarrosa

Xanthorrhoea preissii,  Conostylis aculeata subsp. spinuligera and Verticordia 

densiflora. A total of 308 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community H4. 


H5:  Heath dominated by Allocasuarina humilis and  Melaleuca seriata with 

emergent  Eucalyptus todtiana and Nuytsia floribunda on brown sand on 



Community H5 is located in the south of the project area on sandy soils with occasional 

lateritic gravel. Common understorey species included Hibbertia hypericoides

Eremaea pauciflora and Melaleuca clavifolia (P1). A total of 215 vascular plant taxa 

were recorded within Community H5. 


H6: Heath 


Allocasuarina microstachya and Banksia armata var. armata on brown 

silty sand over laterite on low rises 


Community H6 was recorded in a number of small pockets in the south of the project 

area on sandy soils over lateritic gravel. Only one recording site was positioned within 

this community, with other notable species including Beaufortia eriocephala (P3), 

Melaleuca seriata and  Hakea incrassata. A total of 41 vascular plant taxa were 

recorded within Community H6. 



Low Heath dominated by Gastrolobium oxylobioides and Hakea spp. on brown 

sand over laterite on midslopes and low rises. 


This community was recorded in the south of the project area on sands over lateritic 

gravel. Common species included Calothamnus sanguineus,  Hibbertia hypericoides

and  Hakea incrassata. A total of 89 vascular plant taxa were recorded within 

Community H7. 


Samphire Salt Pans 



Samphire salt pans dominated by Tecticornia  indica subsp. bidens and/or 

Sarcocornia ?blackiana on brown or grey clay in basins 


Community S1 was predominantly recorded in the west of the project area on saline 

flats. Emergent shrubs include Melaleuca brevifolia,  Melaleuca rhaphiophylla and 

Melaleuca viminea subsp. viminea. Common species included Calandrinia sp. Kenwick 

(G.J. Keighery 10905), Frankenia pauciflora,  Isotoma scapigera and Lawrencia 

squamata. A total of 43 vascular plant taxa were recorded within Community S1. 


Mosaic Communities 


Most of the mosiac communities recorded during the surveys were mapped in the south 

of the project area. As shown on Figure 2, this area of the project is the most complex in 

terms of vegetation communities and this reflects the variable soil units located within 

this area. These soil units are a reflection of the position of the project area within the 

landscape, which predominantly lies within the Bassendean System and is bordered by 

the Guilderton, Lesueur and Jurien Systems. A number of plant communities were 

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Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

within ecotones of these soil complexes and could not be cleanly differentiated out in 

the field or on the aerial photographic maps at a scale that would allow presentation. 


The largest mosiac community was recorded in the west of the project area (W3/W5). 

This community records the interchange between coastal species associated with recent 

dunes of the Guilderton System and species associated with the older dunes of the 

Bassendean System. 



Distribution of Communities Recorded Within Tiwest Cooljarloo 

Leases by Woodman Environmental Between 2005 and 2008 

An attempt has been made to align the plant communities recorded within the 

Cooljarloo West project area with previous studies conducted by Woodman 

Environmental within the Falcon project area (Table 6). 


Table 6: 

Comparison of Communities Recorded Within the Cooljarloo West 

Project Area and Falcon Project Area 


Cooljarloo West Project Area 

Plant Community 

Falcon Project Area 

Floristic Community Type 


F1 - 

W1 - 

W2 - 

W3 FCT9a 

W4 - 

W5 - 

W6 FCT10 

W7 FCT9b 

W8 - 

T1 FCT2 

T2 - 

T3 FCT8 

T4 FCT7 

T5 - 

H1 FCT2 

H2 - 

H3 - 



H5 - 

H6 - 

H7 FCT11 

S1 - 

- FCT6 


The Cooljarloo West project area was structurally mapped using data collected from 

detailed recording sites. The Falcon area was initially surveyed using similar structural 

mapping methods, however this data was superseded with statistical based analyses 

(quadrats) and mapped according to Floristic Community Type (FCT) to support future 

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Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

mining. The comparisons made in Table 6 can only be confirmed using statistical based 

analysis and FCT mapping within the Cooljarloo West project area. 


This comparison demonstrates that FCT6 within the Falcon project area is unlikely to 

occur within the Cooljarloo West project area and may potentially represent a restricted 

community. FCT6 is located on the border of the Lesueur and Bassendean Systems. 

Similar communities have not been recorded within the Cooljarloo leases during studies 

conducted by Western Botanical (2002) or Mattiske Consulting (1996, 1997).  


In addition, plant community H4 (Banksia telmatiaea heath) is structurally similar to a 

number of FCTs recorded within the Falcon project area. Banksia telmatiaea heaths are 

widespread throughout the Falcon and Cooljarloo West project areas. The species 

composition of these heath communities is strongly influenced by fire age and intensity 

and position in the landscape (distance to watertable). The floristics of these 

communities is not yet fully understood. A wider understanding of the distribution of 

Banksia telmatiaea heaths beyond the Falcon leases could be attained by using 

statistical based analyses and FCT mapping of the Cooljarloo West project area. It is 

recommended that these studies be conducted within the Cooljarloo West project area 

following the exploration drilling phase, should Tiwest proceed with additional studies 

to support and facilitate future sand mining in this area. 


The number of hectares (ha) each plant community recorded within the Cooljarloo West 

project area was calculated to determine relative distributions and identify communities 

that may potentially be locally and/or regionally restricted (Table 7).  

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