Dry Tropics Biodiversity Group Inc.
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Overview of Townsville Region Plant Species| top | to educate aware main page
1769 different plant species can be found in the Townsville region (Cumming 1989). This region includes the area from Paluma south along the top of the range to Reid River, includes from Crystal Creek to Cape Cleveland, and includes Magnetic Is. and the Rattlesnake Islands. A few species are included from the west of Paluma and south of Mt Elliott in the rest of the Bowling Green Bay National Park.
Earlier plant lists published for the Townsville area listed close to 1064 species (Jackes1987, Jackes 1991, Bean 1992). Townsville Region Plants (Cumming 1989) independently reconfirmed 841 of these and added another 705 species.
To put this in context: Within the two Townsville Shire boundaries can be found 20% of Queensland's entire flora.
The entire flora of Victoria is only twice the number of species found here. The entire flora of NSW is only three times the number of species found here.
Species introduced from outside Queensland and found naturalised in our area comprise 11% of all species. This figure parallels the whole of state figures
The Townsville area is internationally and locally well known for it's bird diversity. The less well known but parallel plant diversity can now be better demonstrated, and it occurs for the same reasons. This diversity results from the wide-ranging habitats in the area: from long coastlines, dry rainshadow areas that grade into really quite wet areas halfway to Ingham with it's "Cairns like" climate. Within all of these rainfall zones the altitude varies from lowlands to uplands, with occasional wetter highlands to 1000m. Vegetation types vary from low dry vine thicket closed forest to very tall full-on-rainforest, from expanses of mangroves and saline flats, grasslands, sparse woodlands right through to very tall Bluegum forests. Extensive wetlands cover the full gamut from permanently wet to strongly seasonal, from brackish to fresh water.
Species introduced from outside Queensland and found naturalised in our area parallels the whole of the state figures at 11%. However fully 20% of species found in Victoria and NSW are exotic. The lower ratio in Queensland is not necessarily a good indicator of the amount of harm/benefit caused by exotics to the natural environment/economy.
As indicated before, this publication independently confirms 841 and adds another 705 species. Those species (Jackes1987, Jackes 1991, Bean 1992) not confirmed by the recent work are still included in this list. Leakage from the surveys by the others from outside the Townsville/Thuringowa area included in this work and will account for some of those species not confirmed.
by Russell Cumming, Doug Silke
| top | to educate aware main page
Bean, A. R.; 1992; Bowling Green Bay National Park Resource Inventory (extracts)
Jackes, B.R.; 1991; Plants of the Tropical Rainforest
Jackes; 1987; Plants of Magnetic Island
Qld Herbarium; 1994; Queensland Vascular Plants
QueenslandHerbarium; 1997; Queensland Plants, names and distributions
Australian National Botanical Garden's Web Page