South-east Australia temperate forests

Australia

A large expanse of dry and wet temperate broadleaf and mixed forests at the southern end of Australia’s Great Dividing Range.

SE Australia temperate forests

Status

Protection
0 %

Size

272,200 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

Nil

 

Background – CC Attribution CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication – Peter Woodard, 2011 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International – Every-leaf-that-trembles, 2020

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: Enviroshop

Services

Catering: Atiyah
Electrician: Green Earth Electrical

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 native eucalypts dependent on your region. Species like Mealy Stringybark (Eucalyptus cephalocarpa), Broad-leaved Peppermint (Eucalyptus dives) and Messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua) are good if you have space. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds, growing native vines like Native Sarsaparilla (Hardenbergia violacea) up your trees and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SUB-CANOPY LAYER

Plant native sub-canopy trees like Swamp She-oak (Allocasuarina paludosa) and Coast Banksia (Banksia integrfolia subsp. integrifolia). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant native acacia species endemic to this area like Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa) and Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) as well as Heath Tea-tree (Leptospermum myrsinoides) and Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata). These plants 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 Running Postman (Kennedia prostrata), Ivy-leaved Violet (Viola hederacea), Austral Bugle (Ajuga australis) and Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta) and thick, bushy grasses like Bristly Wallaby-grass (Austrodanthonia setacea) to create a thick ground-layer of tussock-grasses. To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants like Ficinia nodosa and Juncus pallidus, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.

Learn

This ecoregion covers most of the state of Victoria as well as south-eastern New South Wales. It is characterised by low coastal plains, the Great Dividing Range and then drier slopes to the west and centre of the region. Vegetation is dominated by a range of tall moist open forests in wetter areas, to drier plains and woodlands in dry belts. Coastal communities exist dominated by dense heaths. A large amount of the ecosystems in this ecoregion have been cleared for the City of Melbourne, as well as for agriculture. Indeed, the Mountain Ash Forest in the Central Highlands of Victoria is listed as a Critically Endangered ecosystem within this area by the IUCN. Dominant trees include some of the tallest flowering plants in the world such as the eucalypts growing in the central highlands. A wide array of unique wildlife exists across what remains of this ecoregion.

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

Temperate

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.

Leadbeater's Possum
(Gymnobelideus leadbeateri)

Metallic Sun-orchid
(Thelymitra epipactoides)

Orange-bellied Parrot
(Neophema chrysogaster)

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

Mountain Ash trees create important vertical habitat heterogeneity as they grow. Limb bowls (platforms where trunks and limbs intersect), hollows for nesting, shedding bark that creates ground habitat and sap-wounds that feed arboreal mammals all play an important part in sustaining life in these forests.

Life-support Systems​

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