The canopy is generally dense and less than 10 m in height (Keith 2004; Beard et al. 2013).
Foliage of dominant shrubs or trees is sclerophyllous and varies in size from nanophyll, (0.25 – 2.5 cm2) to microphyll (20 – 45 cm2).
Sometimes forms a dense canopy with a projected foliage cover of 70 – 100% which can limit light penetration, reducing the understorey to shade tolerant grasses and sedges (Keith 2004; Beard et al. 2013).
The canopy is dominated by one or a few species including Agonis flexuosa in south Western Australia (Beard et al. 2013), Casuarina equisetifolia around tropical and subtropical coast lines (Neldner et al. 2014), and Acacia sophorae, Banksia integrifolia, Leptospermum laevigatum,Leucopogon parviflorus and Melaleuca armillaris around the subtropical and temperate coasts of eastern and southeast Australia (Keith 2004; (Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment 2004).
The ground layer includes species of Austrostipa, Lepidosperma, Lomandra Oplismenus, Poa, and Ficinia nodosa in the southern Australia (Keith 2004); and is dominated by grasses and forbs such as Thuarea involuta, Eragrostis interrupta, Sporobolus virginicus, Euphorbia tannensis subsp. tannensis, Achyranthes aspera, Tribulus cistoides and Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis in northern Australia (Neldner et al. 2014).
Occurs in exposed locations on coastal headlands, foredunes and beach ridges (Keith 2004; Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment 2004; Neldner et al. 2014).
Substrates vary from unconsolidated sands to various rocky substrates including limestone in south-western Australia (Beadle 1981).
Distributed around the coastal fringe of Australia in all states and territories except the ACT.
Typically small patches within narrow coastal zones from a few hectares to larger pockets.
Approximately 37% of the estimated pre-1750 extent cleared accounting for 0.9% of total clearing in Australia.
Approximately 9 500 km2 cleared since European settlement due to coastal development.
Near major population centres and along the eastern seaboard this community has been cleared for urban development, recreation infrastructure
Exposed to frequent fire regimes in some per-urban areas due to unplanned ignitions.
Threats include the increasing residential/urban expansion in and along coastal areas, root rot disease, nutrient enrichment and weed invasion and regular or intense fires used as part of hazard reduction management near urban areas
New South Wales:
protected areas, leasehold land and freehold land
protected areas, state forests, leasehold land, isolated areas on freehold land
protected areas, state forests and isolated areas on freehold land
some leasehold land, protected areas, other crown land and isolated fragments on freehold land
Biodiversity including a variety of species and communities.
Ecotourism, including bushwalking and landscape features.
Cultural and heritage values.
Often support diverse faunal communities and provide food and shelter for fauna that are often both reliant on this vegetation group and on the surrounding landscapes.
List of key management issues
Tourist/visitor management (e.g. access to beaches).
Clearing and control of clearing for urban development.
Fire regimes that address both biodiversity and hazard reduction issues.
Control of root rot disease.
Restoring connectivity between remnants and removing barriers to the movement of fauna between remnants.
Weed control (e.g. aggressive weeds such as boneseed, veldt grass, South African love grass).
Feral animal eradication and/or control to reduce their impact on native flora and fauna.
Long term monitoring to inform future management.
Australian Surveying and Land Information Group (1990) Atlas of Australian Resources. Volume 6 Vegetation. AUSMAP, Department of Administrative Services, Canberra, 64pp. & 2 maps.
Beadle N.C.W. (1981) The Vegetation of Australia. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 690pp.
Beard J.S., Beetson, G.R, Harvey J.M. Hopkins A.J.M and Shepherd D.P. (2013) The Vegetation of Western Australia at 1:3,000,000 Scale. Explanatory Memoir. Second Edition. Science Division, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia.
Keith D. (2004) Ocean Shores to Desert Dunes. The native vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT. Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), Hurstville
National Land and Water Resources Audit (2001) Australian Native Vegetation Assessment 2001. National Land and Water Resources Audit, Canberra, 332pp.
Neldner, V.J., Niehus, R.E., Wilson, B.A., McDonald, W.J.F. and Ford, A.J. (2014). The Vegetation of Queensland. Descriptions of Broad Vegetation Groups. Version 1.1. Queensland Herbarium, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.
Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment (2004).EVC Bioregion Benchmark for Vegetation Quality Assessment http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/biodiversity/evc-benchmarks [Accessed June 2015]
Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), Version 6.1.
National Vegetation Information System, Version 4.1.
1996/97 Land Use of Australia, Version 2.
Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database – CAPAD 2004 – Terrestrial.
See the Introduction to the MVG fact sheets for further background on this series.