This group includes at least 7 communities which occupy the highest parts of the
Wellington Range and contains vegetation less than 2m in height. These communities
are all considered fire sensitive, with communities on peat being the most vulnerable to
damage. A number of fire sensitive species (eg. creeping pine Microcachrys tetragona)
previously recorded on the Wellington Range no longer exist in the Park. The exception
is Ozothamnus ledifolius heath which has benefited from an increased frequency of fire
and dominates much of the summit plateau.
Sub-alpine Woodlands and Shrublands
This group includes communities dominated by Tasmanian snow gum (Eucalyptus
These communities do not appear to require fire for their long-term survival, although
in the total absence of fire there may be reduced regeneration of eucalypts.
Buttongrass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus) is confined to the far western portion of
Wellington Park and includes a 17 ha site at Long Marsh beside Jefferys Track.
There are two facies of this community. One on sandstone in the east of the Park, and
the other on dolerite in the far western portion of the Park. The most extensive area
(116 ha) of wet heath on sandstone occurs at Snake Plains. There is also a small patch
(2.5 ha) of a similar community within Mountain Park.
Snake Plains consists of a 1-2 m high dense shrub layer dominated by Leptospermum
of Melaleuca squamea, Epacris lanuginosa and Sprengelia incarnata. Sedges are
dominated by Empodisma minus with Gahnia grandis and Lepyrodia tasmanica amongst
the coral fern (Gleichenia dicarpa).
There are several patches of wet heath on dolerite (15 to 50 ha in size) at the far
western end of the Wellington Range. These occur on poorly drained sites where
conditions have inhibited eucalypt establishment or regeneration. Typically sites have a
shrub layer which includes Leptospermum lanigerum, Melaleuca squamea, Callistemon
viridiflorus, and Baeckea gunniana. Graminoids can be abundant and include Empodisma
minus, Restio australis, and Gahnia grandis. Other species that are locally prominent
include Astelia alpine and Gleichenia alpina. Small patches of sphagnum were also
recorded. It is likely that there are several distinct floristic communities within this
broad vegetation type that could be related to alpine communities. Eucalyptus gunnii is
scattered through some of the patches and often forms a dense stand on the margins of
Rainforest Gully Scrub
Notable for the absence of eucalypts, these are areas of rainforest which have suffered
sufficient burning to eliminate many of the rainforest elements, although tiny relicts of
rainforest species may be present in deep gullies. Prominent broadleaf shrubs are
blanket leaf (Bedfordia salicina) and musk (Olearia argophylla) with silver wattle (Acacia
dealbata) sometimes emergent. The rainforest remnants are highly sensitive to fire.
Wet Forest and Mixed Forests
These are dominated by white-top (Eucalyptus delegatensis) at higher altitudes, yellow
gum (E.johnstonii) on moist sandstone sites, swamp gum (E. regnans) on wet mid and
low altitude sites, and stringybark (E. obliqua), blue gum (E. globulus) and very
occasionally white gum (E. viminalis) at lower altitudes.
Rainforest elements are often much reduced or absent from areas where rainfall would
Park include regrowth with scattered emergent overmature trees showing signs of fire
This includes forests which grade downslope from the true sub-alpine communities.
Dominated by Eucalyptus delegatensis they predominantly occur on dry and often
shallow soils which accounts for the sclerophyllous nature of the vegetation. Due to the
slow regeneration rates at higher altitudes this vegetation type has a longer fire
interval than dry sclerophyll forest at lower altitudes. Some of the sites occupied by
this community are an artefact of relatively frequent burning, and are likely to revert to
wet and possibly mixed forest communities in the extended absence of fire. East of
Jefferys Track the community has a grassy ground layer over deeper soils.
Shrubby and Heathy Low Altitude Dry Sclerophyll Forests
These communities include forests dominated by Eucalyptus obliqua, E. globulus. and
white peppermint (E. pulchella) on dolerite, and by E. obliqua, silver peppermint (E.
warmer, drier aspects than wet forest.
Heathy communities generally occupy warmer aspects or less fertile soils on sediments,
sites tend to have shrubs dominant in the understorey.
Grassy Woodlands and Open Forests
These communities are generally found on relatively fertile soils derived from dolerite,
usually on relatively gentle lower slopes. These communities are dominated by
Eucalyptus globulus, E. pulchella , or occasionally E. ovata.
This community occupies steep, rocky, north-facing slopes on dolerite. Small patches
occur close to the boundary of the Park with one larger area on slopes above Islet
Rivulet at Glenorchy. Sheoak forests are maintained by regular fire, although the
dominant species Allocasuarina verticillata can reproduce without fire.