Territory Stories

Plant species and sites of botanical significance in the southern bioregions of the Northern Territory



Plant species and sites of botanical significance in the southern bioregions of the Northern Territory

Other title

Matthew White ... [et al.]


White, Matthew; Albrecht, David; Duguid, Angus W.; Latz, Peter; Hamilton, Mary


E-Publications; PublicationNT; E-Books




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This report provides a benchmark for the conservation status of botanical values in the southern, predominantly arid part of the Northern Territory. It will have many and varied uses, providing information about conservation values to land holders and managers as well as government departments and conservation groups.

Table of contents

Volume 1 : Significant vascular plants -- Volume 2 : Significant sites




Plants -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs Region; Northern Territory -- Alice Springs Region

Publisher name

Arid Lands Environment Centre

Place of publication

Alice Springs (N.T.)


2 v. : maps ; 30 cm.

File type



0724527842 (v. 1); 0724527850 (v. 2)

Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/601264; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/601266; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/601268

Page content

Volume 2, Part 2, page 135 Great Sandy Desert 6. Great Sandy Desert Bioregion 6.1 OVERVIEW OF THE NT PORTION OF THE GREAT SANDY DESERT BIOREGION The Great Sandy Desert bioregion comprises an area of 394,600km2, 26% (100,600km2) of which is located in the Northern Territory. The extensive NT portion of this large bioregion is characterised by gently undulating stepped plains. Occasional outcrops of sandstone emerge from the sandplain as ranges or inselbergs and include the Kintore Range, the Cleland Hills, Uluru and Kata Tjuta. The predominant soils on the sandplains are earthy sands. Hummock (Triodia spp.) dominated grassland is prevalent over much of the bioregion typically forming woodland and shrubland associations with Desert Oak (Allocasuarina decaisneana) and various Acacia spp. (commonly Acacia melleodora, A. ligulata and A. pruinocarpa). The plains are also crossed by a series of ancient watercourses and drainage depressions. These deflated basins present as a series of saline playa lakes in-filled with more recent alluvium. These lakes are rarely filled and support samphire (Halosarsia spp. dominated vegetation) and Inland Melaleuca (Melaleuca glomerata) shrublands. The climate of the NT portion of this bioregion is arid sub-tropical with rainfall patterns strongly influenced by the summer monsoon and coastal cyclones. In the south of the bioregion winter rainfalls may be significant from time to time. However, seasonal and annual rainfall is highly variable and extended periods of low rainfall are typical. Regular frosts are also a feature of winter months. Apart from the notable exception of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park, the botanical values of this bioregion are poorly known. In particular, the remote saline lake systems such as Lake Mackay, Lake Amadeus and Lake Neale have rarely been visited by western biologists. A total of 181 indigenous vascular plant taxa are currently considered to of conservation significance in the NT portion of the Great Sandy Desert bioregion. These taxa are listed in volume 1, appendix 3.