Territory Stories

Bioregions of the nt



Bioregions of the nt


Kerle, J. A.


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Technical Report LRD94100 Viewed at 07:02:32 on 18/02/2010 Page 77 of 275. coastal plains. The soils range from sandy red earths or podsols with some siliceous sands and heavYalluvials and clays associated with the floodplains The Darwin Coastal sub-region of the north west is flat, low-lying country. It is drained by several large rivers which flood extensively during the wet season but retract to billabongs during the dry. The rivers include the lower reaches of the Daly, Reynolds, Finnis, Darwin, Adelaide, Mary, Wildman, South Alligator and East Alligator. The Arnhem Coast sub-region includes the Arafura Swamp which is the largest freshwater swamp in the NT. There are many off sh9re islands and bays, some of which have sandy beaches and others with mudflats and mangroves. There are fewer large rivers than further west with the major rivers being the Mann, Blythe and Glyde. The third sub-region contains the Tiwi Islands and the Coburg Peninsula with gently sloping terrain on laterised sandstones and siltstones. Vegetation Total number of plant species? Total number of known rare/relict species? Number/type weed species Plant Communities Although many of the plant communities are found right across this bioregion, the three sub-regions are distinctive.' The grasslandlsedgelands of the seasonal floodplains dominate the western Darwin Coastal sub-region, Darwin Woolly Butt / Stringybark open-forests are most common in the eastern Arnhem Land sub-region and on Tiwi-Cobourg the Melville Island Bloodwood (E. nesophila) is an added dominant tree species in the open-forest. , Monsoon Vine Forest Thicket o These communities, also often called rainforests or jungles are mostly small discrete patches 5ha), but in this region several are large enough to be mapped at a scale of 1: 1,000,000. They have a dense canopy of mixed species, many of which are deciduous or vines. They are found in a variety of locations ranging from drainage depressions to rocky hill slopes and relict dune systems abd are mostly within 300 km of the coast. Undulating low plateaux, peneplains, plains, gravelly rises o Stringybark (E. tetrodonta) and Darwin Woolly Butt (E. miniata) are co-dominant species throughout the open plains and woodlands of the region almost always in association with Ironwood (Erythrophleum chlorostachys) and Bridal Tree (Xanthostemon paradoxus). Their relative abundances and significance of other species varies with substrate and soil type. In most places tall grasses, most commonly Sorghum and Speargrass (Heteropogon), dominate the ground flora and the mid layer varies from a low open woodland to a tall sparse-shrubland. Shrub species include Acacias, Eucalyptus, Fan Palm (Livistona humilis), Zamia Palm (Cycas armstrongii), Wild Mango (Bucharidnia obovata), Heather (Calytrix), pea (Jacksonia), Screw Palm (Pandanus spiralis) and Grevilleas. - important co-dominant species of communities in the east of the region include Cypress Pine (Callitris intratropica) with WanderrieGrass (Eriachne) and Rusty Bloodwood (E. ferruginea). The shrubs Calytrix and Jacksonia are indicative of sandy soils. - in the western sub-region Smooth-stemmed Bloodwood. (E. bleeseri) co BioregiOns of the NTDRAFTVersion 3 75 Printed:March 25. 1996

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