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Sandstone vegetation pattern in the Jim Jim Falls region, Northern Territory, Australia
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 05:56 authored by David BowmanDavid Bowman, Wilson, BA, Fensham, RJ
Analysis of 58 floristic quadrats from two areas near Jim Jim Falls on the Arnhem Land Plateau revealed seven plant communities: wetland; monsoon forest; Allosyncarpia forest; broadleaf woodland; shrubby Eucalyptus woodland; Eucalyptus arnhemensis woodland; and sandstone scrub. The communities inter-grade with each other and form a complex mosaic. The patterning of vegetation is related to topography, rockiness, degree of fire protection and moisture supply. Surface soil nutrient concentrations were similar in all the communities with the exception of the monsoon forest which was substantially more fertile. We suggest that moisture supply is the primary determinant of vegetation and soil fertility patterns. Fire in the preceding dry season stimulated some herbaceous species, while a long unburnt shrubby Eucalyptus woodland was invaded by some monsoon forest seedlings. Conservation of the present mosaic of vegetation presents a major challenge to land managers because of this variable impact of fire.
Publication titleAustralian Journal of Ecology
Department/SchoolSchool of Natural Sciences
Place of publicationUK