Commonwealth of Australia
Amendments to the list of threatened ecological communities under section 181 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EC130)
I, GREG HUNT, Minister for the Environment, pursuant to paragraph 184(1)(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, hereby amend the list referred to in section 181 of that Act by:
including in the list in the critically endangered category Central Hunter Valley eucalypt forest and woodland
as described in the Schedule to this instrument.
Dated this…...........30th.........................day of….................April.................................2015
Minister for the Environment
Central Hunter Valley eucalypt forest and woodland
The ecological community comprises eucalypt woodlands and open forests; typically with a shrub layer of variable density and a grassy ground layer. Across its range, one or more of a complex of four eucalypt tree species typically dominate the canopy.
It occurs in the Hunter River catchment; primarily in the Central Hunter region. It generally occurs on soils derived from the Permian sedimentary bedrock found on the valley floors and on lower hillslopes and low ridges.
The canopy of the ecological community is dominated by one or more of the following four eucalypt species: Eucalyptus crebra (narrow-leaved ironbark), Corymbia maculata (syn. Eucalyptus maculata) (spotted gum), Eucalyptus dawsonii (slaty gum) and Eucalyptus moluccana (grey box). Under certain circumstances a fifth species, Allocasuarina luehmannii (bulloak or buloke), may be part of the mix of dominants, in sites previously dominated by one or more of the above four eucalypt species.
A number of other tree species may be sub-dominant or locally dominant, within a limited area. These include Angophora floribunda (rough barked apple), Eucalyptus blakelyi (Blakely’s red gum), Eucalyptus glaucina (slaty red gum) and Eucalyptus tereticornis (forest red gum). Other characteristic canopy species include Brachychiton populneus subsp. populneus (kurrajong), Callitris endlicheri (black Cypress-pine) and Acacia salicina (cooba). Eucalyptus albens (white box) and Eucalyptus punctata (grey gum) are also often present.
Hybrids of eucalypt species may be present (and contribute to levels of dominance) and are included in the ecological community.
A sparse mid canopy layer may be present; typically with young eucalypts of upper canopy species and other species, such as Acacia.
The ecological community typically has a shrubby midstorey of variable density in response to factors such as soil moisture and management history. The shrub layer may include Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa (native blackthorn). Other common species include: Acacia amblygona (fan wattle), Acacia decora (western silver/golden/showy wattle), Acacia implexa (lightwood), Acacia falcata (sickle wattle), Acacia parvipinnula (silver-stemmed wattle), Breynia oblongifolia (breynia, coffee bush), Daviesia genistifolia (broom bitter pea), Daviesia ulicifolia (gorse bitter pea), Notelaea microcarpa (native olive) and Pultenaea spinosa (spiny bush-pea). The shrub layer may be absent.
Groundcover is may include species such as Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi (poison rock fern), Desmodium varians (slender or variable tick treefoil), Dichondra repens (kidney weed), Eremophila debilis (winter apple) and Lomandra multiflora subsp. multiflora (many flowered mat rush). Grasses commonly include Aristida ramosa (wire-grass), Cymbopogon refractus (barbed wire grass) and Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (weeping grass).