concept½ detailed planning

interesting places

great walk
vegetat'n types
botanic garden
plant hot spots
plant id
regional priority


index (not much here yet)

educate aware
data monitor
botanic garden
plant id
bio manage
urban reveg
sustainable use resources
regional priority

A standard set of Broad Ecosystems for the Townsville Region.

Commit to adopting a solid viable foundation that will much improve natural asset communication and reduce future information system rewriting expenses (e.g. web page) by using this standard set of 28 "Broad Ecosystems" covering the Paluma/Magnetic Island/Mt. Elliot/Charters Towers region (1:250,000 Townsville Map Sheet).

  • These broad ecosystems will suit communication with the community, enthusiasts, wild asset managers, for eco-tourism and professionals in allied fields.
  • A standardised ecosystem approach is critical now large information communication systems are being implemented.

  • 90-95% of Townsville’s coastal plains and ranges are described by 8 broad ecosystems.
  • 90-95% of the land over "The Range" are described by 8 broad ecosystems.
  • Another 12 broad ecosystems fill the gaps.
  • Yet these brief Broad Ecosystems are still highly useful entities.
  • Understanding "Broad Ecosystems" is the simplest way to get an overview of our wild assets.
  • "Broad Ecosystems" like these are far from vague concepts. Indeed the general public already think in terms of broad ecosystems, e.g. "Rainforest", "Wetlands" and "Mangroves", and already think of them as ecosystems of living things, not just plants.

Understanding "Broad Ecosystems" is the simplest way to get an overview of our wild assets.

  • Importantly the same basic knowledge can be used in two completely different ways
  1. Can be mapped over large areas, the regional overview.
  2. Can assist by providing highly specific site interpretation e.g. the Alligator Creek picnic area contains elements of 3 broad ecosystems: riverine woodland or forest, Poplar Gum plains and slopes woodland and dry rainforest.

More background discussion


To detailed analysis of broad ecosystems

Townsville Region Broad Ecosystems

The most useful comprehensive regional overview for communicating with the community, business and enthusiasts. At this time limited to the Townsville 1:250,000 map sheet.

rainforest, scrubs

semi-evergreen rainforest on coastal dunes

dry deciduous evergreen microphyll low closed forest or thicket on coastal sand masses +/- Eucalypt or Melaleuca emergents +/- vines and seasonally dry to moderately dry

seasonally very dry rainforest

dry deciduous evergreen (semi-evergreen) to deciduous microphyll semi-open to open thicket +/- closed +/- deciduous mid-high or Hoop Pine emergents +/- vines and seasonally dry to very dry

semi-evergreen rainforest

dry deciduous evergreen notophyll / microphyll and microphyll usually mid-high closed forests +/- vines +/-Eucalypt or Hoop Pine emergents and seasonally dry to moderately dry


lowland/lower slopes wetter vine forest; +/- Black Bean
lowland (warm) complex notophyll vine forest and notophyll vine forest +/- Black Bean

evergreen rainforest

simple notophyl tall closed vine forest of the permanently damp highlands uplands and alluvial riparian lowlands +/- patchy closely related evergreen rainforest types +/- vines


Eucalypt dominated

open cliffs

open cliffs, +/- Lophostemon confertus, +/- E. exserta

Poplar Gum woodland on plains and slopes
E. platyphylla, C.clarkesoniana woodland (+/- open) usually with narrow leaved Ironbark and C. dallachyana

riverine open forest on coastal plains

Eucalyptus tereticornis Melaleuca spp. Casuarina cunninhamiana riparian woodland or open forest

Ironbark only woodland
narrow leaved Ironbark open woodland usually with C. dallachyana

Eucalypt hilly woodland

E. exserta, shirleyi, peltata, acmenoides, citriodora, woodland (+/- open) to open forest usually with narrow leaved Ironbark and C. dallachyana on the ranges of the coastal plains +/- E. leichhardtii. More inland this grades into E. peltata and shirleyi woodland

Eucalypt coastal ranges open forest
Corymbia intermedia, E. tereticornis, Syncarpia glomulifera open forest on coastal ranges

She-oak/Turpentine uplands open forest
Allocasuarina torulosa Corymbia intermedia, Syncarpia glomulifera open forest in uplands and highlands +/- sparse understorey

tall highland Eucalypt open forest
tall to very tall open-forest on permanently damp highlands and uplands +/- E. grandis +/- Syncarpia glomulifera +/- Eucalyptus resinifera +/- well developed understorey with sclerophyllous and/or rainforest species

riverine woodland on inland plains
Eucalyptus camaldulensis, E. coolabah, E. tereticornis, Melaleuca western plains riparian

Box (E. persistens) woodland
Eucalyptus persistens woodland (+/- open, usually dominates alone) on inland plains and foothills

Red Bloodwood woodland
Corymbia erythrophloia Ironbark woodland (+/- open) usually with narrow leaved Ironbark and C. dallachyana on inland plains and foothills

Reid River Box inland plains woodland
E. brownii plains woodland (+/- open)

Queensland Yellowjacket woodlands
Eucalyptus similis, C. brachycarpa, C. setosa, C. leichardtii woodlands to open-woodlands on sand sheets

Miscellaneous Eucalypts
Miscellaneous, E. setosa vlu and E cambageana vlu

Acacia dominated

Brigalow, Belah forest (no link as no RE's)
Acacia harpophylla, Casuarina cristata open- forests to woodlands on heavy clay soils. Includes areas co-dominated with A. camabgei and/or emergent eucalypts.

Gidgee/Blackwood woodland
Acacia cambagei/A. georginae/A. argyrodendron dominated woodland and closed woodland

Lancewood/Bendee woodland
Acacia spp. on residuals. Species include A. stowardii, A. shirleyi, A. microsperma, A. catenulata, Acacia rhodoxylon woodland and closed

grassland (+/- very open woodland)

 grassland and very open woodland
Tussock and closed-tussock grasslands (various species) +/- very open woodland

wetlands or Melaleuca dominated

wetlands and fringing woodlands

Vegetation of permanent lakes and swamps, as well as ephemeral lakes, claypans and swamps. Includes fringing woodlands and shrublands

Melaleuca low woodland
Low woodlands and low open-woodlands of Melaleuca spp. predominantly on depositional plains in the tropical north +/- open

coastal seasonally inundated lowland Melaleuca open woodland
Seasonally inundated open-forests and woodlands of lowland coastal areas. Dominated by Melaleuca spp.

shrubland and heathland

low woodlands and heathlands

Open to closed scrub, low woodlands, shrublands, heathlands and sedgelands in low altitude coastal locations and montane locations

coastal communities

Mangroves and saltmarshes

Mangroves and saltpans or samphire flats +/- grasses


Sand blows, rock pavements, sand islands
coastal sand blows, rock pavements, sand islands

coastal dune dry woodlands (+/- grassy)
Dry woodlands, primarily on coastal sandplains and dunes, especially C. tessellaris, Melaleuca dealbata +/- grassy

not sure

not sure
not sure, Casuarina leuhmanii and separately Acacia burdekinensis


More information about a standard set of Broad Ecosystems for the Townsville Region.

Show commitment to better communication and save cost by rapidly:

Plan to use these broad ecosystems on Townsville City Council Web Page strategy

Help to educate many by promoting the use of these with all ecotourism operators

Change other relevant policies.

Write a very simple letter. The problem: three different Queensland Herbarium people will each redefine our immediate regional ecosystems to suit the average needs of 3 very different bioregions.

Why this is better than other alternatives:

  1. About 70 different ecosystems cover their estate divided into three sections. Each section has it’s own overlapping but different purpose, written by different people, with different definitions and names.
  2. A general overview of the whole "Greater Townsville Region wild assets is required with consistent simple but recognisable ecosystems both inside and outside the Council’s Boundaries.

These "Broad Ecosystems" provide a solid framework for extending knowledge about species of interest.

How this system meshes with the Herbarium’s strategy including Broad Vegetation Groups:

  1. 18 state system groups have been more or less adopted though the names and descriptions are more general public and locally orientated.
  2. 6 other state system groups are regionally insignificant.

The 12 "Eucalypt dominated" groups proposed include 10 new groups and appear especially relevant. For various reasons they do not include 10 state system groups.

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