Review of Australia’s Major Vegetation Classification ces, unsw


Table 1: Key to Major Vegetation Subgroups in MVG1: Rainforests and Vine Thickets (NVIS Version 4.1)



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Table 1: Key to Major Vegetation Subgroups in MVG1: Rainforests and Vine Thickets (NVIS Version 4.1)


Key No.

Criteria

MVS# or Next Key No.

Broader groupings or MVS Name

Comments

0

  • Simple structure, with single tree stratum with relatively uniform leaf sizes and a lush understorey of tree ferns, ground ferns and bryophytes . Leaves of dominant trees small (nanophyll <2.5 cm or microphyll 2-5-7.5 cm). Usually single dominant tree species with perhaps 1 or 2 subordinates; usually from the Antarctican (cool temperate) genera (Nothofagus, Athrotaxis, Phyllocladus, Atherosperma, Eucryphia, etc.). Acacia melanoxylon emergent or subordinate. High moss and lichen diversity. Palms absent (except on montane Lord Howe Island), few vascular epiphytes and lianes. On various substrates.




  • Tree canopy more structurally complex and floristically more diverse than above. Often with multiple tree canopy layers (e.g. emergent and subcanopy). Vines present and typically conspicuous. Tree species of genera other than those listed above, generally with a greater range of leave sizes (notophyll 7.5 – 12.5 cm and larger). Includes dry rainforests with Backhousia canopies and fern-dominated understories in foothills of southern NSW.




MVS1

1


Cool temperate rainforest

TAS, VIC, NSW and SE QLD

Palms absent.



1

  • Evergreen canopy trees without plank buttresses and leaf sizes varying most commonly from notophyll (7.5-12.5 cm) to microphyll (2.5 – 7.5 cm). Lianes and vascular epiphytes present, but not typically abundant. Typical tree genera include Acmena, Ceratopetalum, Caldcluvia, Schizomeria, Elaeocarpus, Callicoma, Orites, Doryphora, Endiandra, Pittosporum. Palms uncommon, if present mainly Livistona. Ficus generally absent. Largely restricted to temperate climates in NSW and East Gippsland on acid substrates including sandstones, granites and acid volcanics.




  • Evergreen and/or deciduous tree canopy that often includes leaf sizes larger than notophyll (i.e. >12.5 cm). None of the genera above are dominant, but may co-occur with many other tree species, including Ficus.




MVS6

2


Warm Temperate Rainforest


NSW, VIC

These genera may also be present in more-complex rainforests.




2

  • Complex species-rich canopies, almost entirely evergreen with multiple strata (often with emergents) and a variety of compound and simple leaves with lamina sizes larger than notophyll (>12.5 cm). Many co-dominant species and genera in the multi-layered tree canopy, which typically exceeds 25 m tall at maturity. Palms, lianes and epiphytes often abundant. Widespread on basic substrates such as basalt, as well as alluvium, marine sands and fine-grained sedimentary rocks in warm, wet climates receiving at least 1200 mm mean annual rainfall. East of the Great Divide in Queensland and coastal NSW.




  • Tree canopies typically simpler than above, mostly with notophyll leaves (7.5 – 12.5 cm) and less than 25 m tall at maturity (may be 10 m or shorter), often with at least some semi-deciduous elements. Palms typically absent except in monsoon forests where Carpentaria and Livistona may occur. Occurs in relatively dry climates receiving less than 1100 mm mean annual rainfall or with distinct winter dry season.




MVS2

3



Tropical and sub-tropical rainforest

QLD, NSW

3

  • Tree canopy dominated by one or a few species, typically with at least some semi-deciduous species. Palms and Bryophytes generally absent, ferns generally uncommon except for Pellaea and Asplenium in the ground layer and Pyrrosia on rocks and tree trunks. Euphorbiaceae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae, Sapindaceae and Sterculiaceae are common tree families. Araucaria and several Acacia species may occur at subtropical latitudes. Understorey and ground layer typically sparse but may include grasses and herbs. Found on a variety of often rocky substrates where mean annual rainfall is less than 1100mm and as low as 600mm west of the Great Divide or in sheltered gorges within its eastern foothills. Queensland south from Townsville district to northern NSW, becoming confined to the coastal hinterland at latitudes greater than 32°S.




  • Tree canopy almost entirely deciduous or entirely evergreen depending on soil moisture retention and springs in dry season. Evergreen forests may be dominated by one or two species, notably Allosyncarpia ternata, while semi-deciduous forests typically include multiple genera from Combretaceae, Euphorbiabeae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae. Occurs on lowlands and floodplains or in rocky gorges where mean annual rainfall is less than 1200 mm, but rarely below 800 mm. Top end of the Northern Territory and Kimberley region of Western Australia.




MVS62

MVS ##


Dry rainforest and vine thickets

Monsoon vine forest



QLD, NSW

NT, WA


Table 2: Key to Major Vegetation Subgroups in MVG2: Eucalypt Tall Open Forests (NVIS Version 4.1)


Key No.

Criteria

MVS# or Next Key No.

Broader groupings or MVS Name

Comments

0

  • Understorey is dominated by shrubs, small trees and/or tree ferns. Small trees may include Acacia species but other broad-leaf species typically also present.




  • Understorey is dominated by non-woody growth forms (ferns, forbs, sedges, rushes or wet tussock grasses) sometimes with scattered shrubs or small trees (mainly Acacia species). Tree ferns rare.




1

3




Eucalyptus (+/- tall) open forest with a dense broad-leaved and/or tree-fern understorey

Eucalyptus tall open forests and open forests with wet tussock grasses and ferns, herbs, sedges or rushes



1

  • Occurs in Western Australia. Overstorey includes Eucalyptus diversicolor or Corymbia calophylla or Eucalyptus gomphocephala. Understorey shrubs/trees may include species of Trymalium or Agonis.




  • Forest has none of the above features.




MVS##

2


Western wet sclerophyll forests

This is the only MVG 2 subgroup represented in WA

2

  • Overstorey includes at least one eucalypt species from section Transversaria (E. grandis, E, saligna, E. resinifera, etc.) and none of the eucalypt species listed below are dominant. Understorey is dominated by broad leaved, mesophyllous (soft-leaved) shrubs, typically including some from Lauraceae, Rubiaceae, Sapindaceae or other families with tropical affinities.




  • Overstorey includes at least one eucalypt species from section Maidenaria (E. denticulata, E. cypellocarpa, E. globulus, E.nitens, etc.) or at least one of the following ‘ash’ species: Eucalyptus regnans; E. fastigata, E. obliqua E. campanulata. Understorey is dominated by broad leaved, mesophyllous (soft-leaved) shrubs or tree ferns, including some from the following genera: Bedfordia, Dicksonia, Olearia, Pomaderris, Prostanthera.




MVS3

MVS60




Subtropical broadleaf wet sclerophyll forests

Cool temperate ferny wet sclerophyll forests



NSW, QLD. Distribution centred on NSW north coast with outliers in Qld tropics and increasingly confined to coastal lowlands in southern NSW
NSW, VIC, TAS. Distribution centred on Victorian central highlands and southern Tasmania, increasingly confined to high elevations northward along the NSW escarpment

3

  • Overstorey includes at least one eucalypt species from section Adnataria (E. siderophloia, E. molluccana, etc.) or section Transversaria (E. propinqua, E. resinifera, E. saligna, etc.) or genus Corymbia (C. intermedia, C. maculata, C. variegata, etc.) or any of the following: Eucalyptus microcorys; E. pilularis; Eucalyptus montivaga; Syncarpia glomulifer; Lophostemon confertus and none of the eucalypt species listed below are dominant. Understorey may include C4 grasses such as Imperata or Themeda, and small trees or shrubs of Allocasuarina torulosa, Alphitonia, Breynia or Maytenus. Occurs north from Bega in NSW to Queensland and rarely at altitudes above 600 m south from 30°S.




  • None of the overstorey species listed above are dominant. C3 grass species such as Poa conspicuous in the understorey. Found south from the New England plateau in southern Queensland to southern Tasmania and may occur at any altitudes within that range.




MVS54

MVS##


Subtropical open wet sclerophyll forests

Cool temperate open wet sclerophyll forests



NSW, QLD. Distributed from the central Queensland coastal hinterland to the NSW south coast, with the largest areas on NSW north coast (also represented in MVG 2)

NSW, QLD(?), VIC, TAS. Occurs from Tasmania to southeast NSW, extending northwards along the tablelands to the NSW/Qld border (also represented in MVG 2)




Table 3: Key to Major Vegetation Subgroups in MVG3: Eucalypt Open Forests (NVIS Version 4.1)


Key No.

Criteria

MVS# or Next Key No.

Broader groupings or MVS Name

Comments

0

  • Understorey has no ‘mesic’ attributes such as dominance by ferns or forbs or broad-leaf mesophyllous shrubs, but typically has sclerophyllous shrub species (with or largely without tussock grasses). Overstorey dominated by species of Angophora, Corymbia or Eucalyptus subgenus Eucalyptus, rarely subgenus Symphyomyrtus, except ironbarks (series Crebrae or Paniculatae) or grey gums (series Punctatae).




  • Understorey not as above, usually with a prominent layer of ferns, forbs and/or soft tussock grasses and no sclerophyllous shrub species. Overstorey dominants typically include at least one species from Eucalyptus subgenus Symphyomyrtus or subgenus Nothocalyptus.




1

3





Dry sclerophyll forests

Wet sclerophyll forests



1

  • Understorey dominated by highly sclerophyllous (hard-leaved) shrubs, typically from families Ericaceae, Proteaceae, Myrtaceae Fabaceae or Xanthorrhoeaceae, with a sparse groundlayer of wiry sedges (Cyperaceae) or cord rushes (Restionaceae). Large tussock grasses scarce or absent. Usually on siliceous sands, sandstones or granitoids.




  • Understorey is dominated by a mixture of shrubs and grasses. Shrubs are mostly semi-sclerophyllous shrubs (e.g. families Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Rhamnaceae), but may include some highly sclerophyllous taxa (as above). Large tussock grasses (e.g. Austrostipa, Cymbopogon, Rytidosperma, Poa or Themeda) usually dominate a semi-continuous groundcover.




2

3




Eucalypt forests with a heathy understorey

Eucalyptus open forests with a mixed shrubby and grassy understorey




2

  • Occurs in eastern states (east of Nullarbor plain). Tree stratum does not include either Eucalyptus marginata, Eucalyptus wandoo or Corymbia calophylla.




  • Occurs in Western Australia. Tree stratum includes Eucalyptus marginata, Eucalyptus wandoo, or Corymbia calophylla or combinations of these species.




MVS4

MVS##


Eastern dry shrubby sclerophyll forests

Western dry shrubby sclerophyll forests



ACT, QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, TAS

WA


3

  • Overstorey dominated by Eucalyptus camaldulensis or Eucalyptus rudis. Riparian corridors and floodplains (usually inland).




  • Overstorey not dominated by Eucalyptus camaldulensis or Eucalyptus rudis. Occurs on a variety of landforms, but rarely inland riparian zones.




MVS##

MVS5


Riparian eucalypt forests

Dry shrub/grass sclerophyll forests



ACT, QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, WA

QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, TAS



4

  • Overstorey includes at least one eucalypt species from section Adnataria (E. siderophloia, E. molluccana, etc.) or section Transversaria (E. propinqua, E. resinifera, E. saligna, etc.) or genus Corymbia (C. intermedia, C. maculata, C. variegata, etc.) or any of the following: Eucalyptus microcorys; E. pilularis; Eucalyptus montivaga; Syncarpia glomulifera; Lophostemon confertus and none of the eucalypt species listed below are dominant. Understorey may include C4 grasses such as Imperata or Themeda, and small trees or shrubs of Allocasuarina torulosa, Alphitonia, Breynia or Maytenus. Occurs north from Bega in NSW to Queensland and rarely at altitudes above 600 m south from 30°S.




  • None of the overstorey species listed above are dominant. C3 grass species such as Poa conspicuous in the understorey. Found south from the New England plateau in southern Queensland to southern Tasmania and may occur at any altitudes within that range.




MVS54

MVS60


Subtropical open wet sclerophyll forests

Cool temperate open wet sclerophyll forests



NSW, QLD (primarily in MVG 2)

ACT, NSW, VIC, TAS (primarily in MVG 2)





Table 4: Key to Major Vegetation Subgroups in MVG4: Tropical Eucalypt Open Forests (NVIS Version 4.1)


Key No.

Criteria

MVS# or Next Key No.

Broader groupings or MVS Name

Comments

0

  • Canopy cover of at least 50% (>30% foliage projective cover) and dominated by eucalypts, usually including at least one of the following: Eucalyptus tetrodonta, Eucalyptus miniata and Corymbia nesophila. Understorey often includes palms or cycads with C4 grasses. Restricted to tropical areas receiving typically 1000 – 1400 mm per annum.




MVS##


Tropical eucalypt savanna forest






Table 5: Key to Major Vegetation Subgroups in MVG5: Eucalypt Woodlands (NVIS Version 4.1)


Key No.

Criteria

MVS# or Next Key No.

Broader groupings or MVS Name

Comments

0

  • Woodlands in southwestern Australia’s wheatbelt region. Overstorey usually dominated by species of Eucalyptus within subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Bisectaria. Understorey dominated by shrubs with relatively sparse cover of grasses.




  • Woodlands not in southwestern Australia. Overstorey usually dominated by at least one species of Eucalyptus within subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Adnataria (box and ironbark eucalypts) or within subgenus Eucalyptus. Understorey dominated by perennial tussock grasses or shrubs, ephemeral forbs and grasses.




MVS##

1


Western temperate shrubby woodlands

Only in southern WA

1

  • Understorey includes a relatively continuous ground stratum dominated by large perennial tussock grasses (e.g. Austrostipa, Cymbopogon, Rytidosperma, Poa or Themeda) with perennial forbs, and may include sclerophyllous ericoid shrubs. Chenopod shrubs and forbs largely absent. Mainly in humid or subhumid climates receiving more than 500 mm mean annual rainfall.




  • Understorey without a continuous ground layer dominated by large perennial tussock grasses, but may include an open layer of perennial tussock species of Astrebla, Austrostipa, Enteropogon, etc. with chenopod forbs and shrubs, and a range of ephemeral species. Mainly in semi-arid climates receiving less than 500 mm mean annual rainfall.




2

3





Temperate grassy woodlands

Semi-arid woodlands



2

  • Overstorey includes species of Eucalyptus within subgenus Symphyomyrtus section Adnataria (box and ironbark eucalypts) or section Maidenaria (southern blue gums and allies) but species of subgenus Eucalyptus are scarce or absent. Ericoid shrubs not common. Ground layer usually includes a mixture of C3 and C4 grasses. Rarely found at altitudes above 1000 m but reaches high elevations on the New England plateau (NSW).




  • Understorey is dominated by Eucalyptus within subgenus Eucalyptus section Pauciflorae (snow gums) or section Stellulatae (sallees) but species of subgenus Symphyomyrtus (e.g. Eucalyptus rubida) are rarely dominant. Sclerophyllous ericoid shrubs may be present and conspicuous, sometimes more abundant than the tussock grass ground layer, which is dominated by Poa with other C3 grasses. Found most commonly at altitudes above 1000 m




MVS9

MVS##


Eastern temperate grassy woodlands

Subalpine woodlands



QLD, ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, TAS

(Semi-arid floodplain and wadi woodlands may have abundant tussock grasses in the ground layer, superficially resembling Eastern temperate grassy woodlands. See description

below for distinguishing features)

ACT, NSW, VIC, TAS



3

  • Understorey is dominated by chenopods (shrubs and forbs), and/or lignum (Duma florulenta) and/or tussock grasses or sedges. Non-chenopod shrubs scarce, except Acacia species may be present as small trees or tall shrubs. Overstorey includes a range of ‘coolibah’ eucalypts (E. coolabah, E. microtheca, E, barklyensis, etc), E. camaldulensis, E. largiflorens, E. ochrophloia or E. populnea. Occurs on clay soils on depositional plains.




  • Understorey dominated by open layer of non-chenopod shrubs, including species of Dodonaea, Eremophila and Senna. Chenopod shrubs and lignum absent, tussock grasses sparse and mostly ephemeral. Eucalyptus populnea may be dominant but other eucalypts listed above are absent. Occurs on loamy upland peneplains and hills, rarely depositional landforms.




MVS65

MVS8




Semi-arid floodplain and wadi woodlands

Semi-arid upland woodlands




NSW, VIC, QLD, NT, SA, WA (also represented in MVG 11)

NSW, QLD, NT, SA, WA (also in MVG 11)




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