Tasmanian temperate rainforests

Australia

A cool, temperate rainforest ecoregion cloaking the western regions of Tasmania. The area is highly vegetated and protected at a comparatively high rate by national parks and reserves. It is favoured for lush, green vegetation and a wet climate.

Tasmanian temperate rainforests

Status

Protection
0 %

Status

Size

31,340 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

 

Background – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Caine Barlow, 2012 / 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: Good Riddance

Services

Holidays: Tasmanian Walking Company

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 trees that represent the different rainforest divisions of this ecoregion such as Southern Sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum) and Myrtle-beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) if you have space. Also native confiers such as Pencil Pine (Athrotaxis cupressoides) and Huon Pine (Lagarostrobos franklinii) make nice feature trees. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SUB-CANOPY LAYER

Plant native sub-canopy trees and tall shrubs like Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida), Woolly Tea-tree (Leptospermum lanigerum), Tasmanian Laurel (Anopterus glandulosus) and Whitey Wood (Acradenia frankliniae). The Soft Tree-fern (Dicksonia antarctica) makes a fantastic, stately addition to any garden. 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 Dwarf Leatherwood (Eucryphia milliganii), Mountain Pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata), Port Arthur Plum (Cenarrhenes nitida), Australian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), Fragrant Purpleberry (Trochocarpa gunnii) and the spikey Honey-bush (Richea scoparia) for structure. 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 creeping groundcovers like the ferns Histiopteris incisa, Austroblechnum penna-marina and Parablechnum wattsii in wet areas, while in dry areas try Richea sprengelioides, Veronica formosa or Olearia phlogopappa for colourful features. To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.

Learn

A complex ecoregion that covers a large majority of the south-west of the island of Tasmania. The area is dominated by temperate, cool rainforests and representative proportion of these are protected. The ecoregion is divided into two alliances, forests dominated by the Myrtle-beech including callidendrous, thamnic and implicate rainforests, and forests dominated by Pencil Pine which are all open montane forests. The area is rich in Gondwanic species (those surviving as relics of the break-up of the supercontinent Gondwana), as well as ferns, mosses and lichens. The area has high rainfall which has led to pretty dense ecosystems often with 100% vegetative cover. Some of the largest trees in Australasia occur in these rainforests including giant Mountain Ash which have become icons of the area’s conservation history.

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

Igenous mountains (mostly dolerite) and sedimentary hills and ranges (mostly quartzite)

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.

Alpine Ash
(Eucalyptus delegatensis)

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.
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.

Lake Pedder Earthworm
(Hypolimnus pedderensis)

Thylacine
(Thylacinus cynocephalus)

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

Fungi are incredibly important in breaking down tough matter in old-growth forests; tissues like lignin are hard for other species to biodegrade. As such, native fungi help recycle important nutrients locked up in these tissues making them available to other life-forms in new soil.

Life-support Systems​

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