Queensland tropical rainforests

Australia

The very eastern coastal regions of northern Queensland, this ecoregion is made up of ancient Gondwanic rainforest communities with a multitude of broadleaf evergreen and conifer rainforests, vine thickets and misty cloud forests.

Queensland tropical rainforests

Status

Protection
0 %

Size

33,129 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

 

Background – CC Attribution CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication – Vatunz, 2006 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Terpsichores, 2012

ACT
Help your Ecoregion
So what can you do to help your ecoregion? Below is a list to help you support your ecoregion, while also achieving life's everyday tasks. Don’t underestimate your power in doing good for nature!

PRODUCTS

Food and Homeware: Community Foods
Food and Homeware: Enviromart Australia
Food and Homeware: Eorth

At Home
Below is a list of actions you can easily take at home to minimise your impact on the ecoregion in which you live, and the rest of the planet too!
In your Garden
Below is a list of native plants and habitat creation tips you can use in your garden or on your property to give your ecoregion and its species a boost!

CANOPY LAYER

Plant Corkwood (Melicope elleryana), Bolly Gum (Beilschmiedia obtusifolia), Indian Beech (Millettia pinnata) and and if you have space, Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta) and White Fig (Ficus virens). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds, growing native vines like Aristolochia tagala and Jasminum elongatum up your trees and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SUB-CANOPY LAYER

Plant native palm species endemic to this area such as Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi), along with Silk Handkerchief Tree (Maniltoa lenticellata), Little Evodia (Melicope rubra) and Native Banana (Musa banksii). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant native shrubs such as Daintree Penda (Xanthostemon verticillatus), Native Monstera (Epipremnum pinnatum) and Weeping May (Leptospermum madidum) to create dense shrubby refugia for birds and mammals. To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.

GROUND LAYER

Plant native groundcovers like Cat Whiskers (Orthosiphon aristatus) and Native Thyme (Prostanthera incisa) to create a lush ground-layer. Plant native butterfly and other insect foodplants like Wax Vine (Hoya australis) and Native Mint (Mentha australis). To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants like Lomandra hystrix, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.

Learn

Covering the eastern fringes of northern Queensland, Australia, this ecoregion is largely found east of the Great Dividing Range, on coastal mountain ranges and lowlands. The area’s climate is tropical with a strong wet season during the summer. This has led to a wide diversity of largely forest communities, with mangroves dominating the coast. The lowland areas contain the Coastal Lowland Rainforests ecosystem listed as Endangered by the IUCN, largely due to land-clearing. Many of the ecoregion’s plant species hail from the oldest extant evolutionary lineages including many that once inhabited the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. The evolution of songbirds and marsupials is also well-represented here with many species endemic to the region (11%).

Ecoregion Structure
The structure of the ecoregion is defined as the key living and non-living features characterising its ecosystems, and the differences between how these ecosystems are arranged. For example, layers of vegetation, geology, habitat features and landscapes.

Geology

Sedimentary and metamorphic coastal lowlands to igneous mountain ranges

Climate

Tropical

Iconic Landscapes

Native plant communities

Scenes by @blueringmedia
Ecoregion Composition
The composition of the ecoregion is defined as the biodiversity that inhabits its ecosystems, and the differences between this biodiversity. For example, communities, populations, species, subspecies and genetic traits.
Keystone Species​
Keystone species are those that have a disproportionately large effect on the ecosystems in which they live, relative to their natural abundance there. In other words, species with a really important role in the health of ecosystems.
Flagship Species
Flagship species are those that are chosen by people to represent a wider conservation message, usually for a given place or social context, and as such often carry conservation messages for wider biodiversity.

Ulysses Swallowtail
(Papilio ulysses)

Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo
(Dendrolagus lumholtzi)

Recently Extinct Species
All around the world, biodiversity is declining at a concerning rate. For some species it's already too late, and they have disappeared from the ecoregions they once called home. These are some examples of those lost species.

Eastern Hare-wallaby
(Lagorchestes leporides)

Lord Howe Fantail
(Rhipidura cervina)

Lord Howe Thrush
(Turdus vinitinctus)

Ecoregion Function
The function of the ecoregion is defined as how its structural and compositional components all work together to form ecological relationships and processes which change over time through geological shifts and evolution by natural selection.

Keystone Relationships

The amazing cassowary is an important distributor of seeds. Many of the ecoregion's dominant canopy trees require being passed through the gut of cassowaries. Once these mighty birds deposit them in their droppings, the young trees get a head-start at life.

Life-support Systems​

Biodiversity is fundamental to a healthy planet and thriving communities, but the world's species are under tremendous threat.