Threatened Ecological Communities

An ecological community is a naturally occurring group of native plants, animals and other organisms that are interacting in a unique habitat. Its structure, composition and distribution are determined by environmental factors such as soil type, position in the landscape, altitude, climate and water availability.

Types of ecological communities listed under national environmental law include woodlands, grasslands, shrublands, forests, wetlands, marine, ground springs and cave communities.

The native plants and animals within an ecological community have different roles and relationships that, together, contribute to the healthy functioning of the environment. Protecting native communities also supports ecosystem services such as clean air, clear land and clean water. These all contribute to better productivity of our land and water, which benefits people and society.

Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs) are, in many respects, treasure chests of threatened plants and animals and their associated habitat.

These communities are at risk of extinction if threats are not adequately managed. Their survival is essential to biological diversity conservation and the maintenance of many ecosystem processes on which we rely.

We have 10 TEC’s in the Peel-Harvey Region, as listed below.

 

Disclaimer:  The information contained in this document is provided by the PHCC in good faith. However, there is no guarantee of the accuracy of the information contained in this document and it is the responsibility of users to make their own enquiries as to its accuracy, currency, relevance and correctness.

Search

Local Landscapes

Nationals(EPBC)

States(WA)

Assemblages of plants and invertebrate animals of tumulus (organic mound) springs of the Swan Coastal Plain

Community Identifier

National: Assemblages of plants and invertebrate animals of tumulus (organic mound) springs of the Swan Coastal Plain State (WA): Communities of Tumulus Springs (Organic Mound Springs, Swan Coastal Plain)

Conservation Status

National: EN: Endangered State (WA): CR: Critically Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey:

Description

“The habitat of this community is characterised by continuous discharge of groundwater in raised areas of peat. The peat and surrounds provide a stable, permanently moist series of microhabitats. Intact vegetated tumulus springs are only found at four locations… The maintenance of hydrological processes in terms of both quality and quantity of water to the mounds is essential to sustain the tumulus spring communities”.

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Conservation Advice

Threat Abatement Plan

Further information

Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain ecological community

Community Identifier

National: Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain ecological community State (WA): SCP20a - Banksia attenuata woodland over species rich dense shrublands ENSCP20c - Banksia attenuata and/or Eucalyptus marginata woodlands of the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain CR

Conservation Status

National: EN: Endangered State (WA): EN: Endangered CR: Critically Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Coastal Plain

Description

Key feature is a prominent tree layer of Banksia, with scattered eucalypts and other tree species often present. The greatest threat is clearing and fragmentation. The ecological community is characterised by a high endemism and considerable localised variation in species composition across its range. A number of sub-communities are highly restricted and listed as Threatened or Priority ecological communities in Western Australia. These should be provided specific or additional protection, particularly where assigned a higher threat rank than the Banksia Woodlands listing.

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Listing Advice

Further information

Claypans of the Swan Coastal Plain

Community Identifier

National: Claypans of the Swan Coastal Plain - (SCP 07, 08, 09, 10a) State (WA): SCP07 - Herb rich saline shrublands in clay pans VUSCP08 - Herb rich shrublands in clay pans VUSCP09 - Dense shrublands on clay flats VUSCP10a - Shrublands on dry clay flats EN

Conservation Status

National: CE/CR: Critically Endangered State (WA): VU: Vulnerable EN: Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Coastal Plain

Description

These wetlands rely on rainfall and local surface drainage to fill; drying out to form a relatively impervious substrate in summer. A suite of perennial plants that propagate by underground bulbs, tubers or corms (geophytes), and annual herbs, flower sequentially as the clay pans dry out. The clay pans are the most diverse of the Swan Coastal Plain wetlands. (cite) The clay pan communities also provide habitat for thirteen other TECs, Twelve declared rare flora (DRF) 42 priority flora taxa all of which are likely to benefit from their management. Three critically endangered fauna known to be dependent on clay pans and the surrounding communities for a portion of their life/breeding cycle: Pseudemydura umbrina (Western Swamp Tortoise) and two native bees: Leioproctus douglasiellus and Neopasiphae simplicior.

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Further information

Corymbia calophylla – Kingia australis woodlands on heavy soils of the Swan Coastal Plain

Community Identifier

National: Corymbia calophylla - Kingia australis woodlands on heavy soils of the Swan Coastal Plain -(SCP 3a) State (WA): SCP3a

Conservation Status

National: EN: Endangered State (WA): CR: Critically Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Coastal Plain

Description

Located on the heavy soils of the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain between Waroona and Forrestfield. First assessed by State on 21 November 1995 as Critically Endangered. Some 97% of all vegetation in the area cleared historically (Keighery and Trudgen 1992; CALM 1990). The marri dominated types on these heavy soils were probably some of the most common on this portion of the plain but are now very rare and are likely to be at least 90% cleared (Gibson et al. 1994)). Threatening processes include clearing for agriculture plus altered fire regimes, weed invasion, hydrological changes, salinization, grazing and introduction of disease.

Management Plans
Further information

Corymbia calophylla – Xanthorrhoea preissii woodlands and shrublands of the Swan Coastal Plain

Community Identifier

National: Corymbia calophylla - Xanthorrhoea preissii woodlands and shrublands of the Swan Coastal Plain -(SCP 3c) State (WA): SCP3c

Conservation Status

National: EN: Endangered State (WA): CR: Critically Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey:

Description

Occur on heavy soils of the eastern side of the Swan Coastal Plain (Bullsbrook to Waterloo - Bunbury). Other dominant species: Acacia pulchella, Dryandra nivea (note now Banksia nivea, ref Flora Base), Gompholobium marginatum, Hypocalymma angustifolia; Burchardia umbellata, Cyathochaeta avenacea, Neurachne allopecuroidea (Gibson et al. 1994). Weed species Briza maxima and Romulea rosea are also common. Assessed November 1995 as Critically Endangered as of January 2000 (check GAIA’S ;latest stats) there were only seven occurrences across approximately 43 ha (as per IRP 2000 cited not quote), two in Peel-Harvey (3.5 & 0.5 ha). The most significant threat to the community is clearing, followed by too frequent fire, and other disturbances causing weed invasion.

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Further information

Eucalypt Woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt

Community Identifier

National: Eucalypt Woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt State (WA):

Conservation Status

National: CE/CR: Critically Endangered State (WA):

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Hotham-Williams

Description

These eucalypt woodlands were formerly the most common type of vegetation across the wheatbelt landscape of south-western Western Australia (WA), i.e. inland between the Darling Range and western edge of the goldfields. They are dominated by a complex mosaic of eucalypt species with a tree or mallet form; highly variable understorey . (Mallee dominant forms or vegetation with a very sparse eucalypt tree canopy are not part of the ecological community.) The ecological community has undergone a decline in extent of at least 85 percent. Numerous threats include clearance of native vegetation, loss of habitat for key native species, fragmentation into smaller, disconnected patches, weed invasion and impacts from pest animals.

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Listing Advice

Further information

Melaleuca systena shrublands on limestone ridges

Community Identifier

National: State (WA): Limestone ridges (SCP 26a)

Conservation Status

National: State (WA): EN: Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore

Description

The community occurs on massive Tamala limestone ridges mainly around Yanchep and also in the Lake Clifton area. “Species rich thickets, heaths or scrubs dominated by Melaleuca huegelii, M. systena (previously M. acerosa), Dryandra sessilis over Grevillea preissii, Acacia lasiocarpa and Spyridium globulosum, occurring on skeletal soil on ridge slopes and ridge tops (community 26a as described by Gibson et al. 1994).” All known habitat is critical including area of known occurrences; areas of similar habitat within 200 metres of known occurrences, (provide potential habitat for natural range extension); remnant vegetation that surrounds or links several occurrences (… provide habitat for pollinators and allows them to move between occurrences)

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT)

Conservation Advice

Listing Advice

Threat Abatement Plan

Further information

Sedgelands in Holocene dune swales of the southern Swan Coastal Plain

Community Identifier

National: Sedgelands in Holocene dune swales of the southern Swan Coastal Plain State (WA): SCP 19

Conservation Status

National: EN: Endangered State (WA): CR: Critically Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore

Description

The community occurs in linear damplands and occasionally sumplands, between Holocene dunes. Considered critical to the survival of this community are occurrences that provide for a representative cross section of each geomorphic age sequence of this community and that can be managed for conservation and/or with conservation included in their purpose. "The actual assemblage of species varies between occurrences of the … community. In addition to the presence of the sedgeland community, the conservation values of the wetlands are primarily related to the geomorphic significance of the site and the respective location of the wetlands along the evolutionary time sequence. When conserved as a representative unit, the relative youth of the wetlands, and the range of wetlands of different ages in association with their geomorphic history, provide important opportunities for research on wetland evolution (V & C Semeniuk Research Group 1991).”

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Conservation Advice

Listing Advice

Further information

Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh

Community Identifier

National: Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh State (WA):

Conservation Status

National: VU: Vulnerable State (WA):

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore

Description

“The ecological community consists of organisms including and associated with saltmarsh in coastal … areas under regular or intermittent tidal influence. In southern latitudes saltmarsh is often the main vegetation-type in the intertidal zone and commonly occurs in association with estuaries (Adam, 2002; Fairweather, 2011; Sainty et al., 2012). It is typically restricted to the upper intertidal environment, …, often between the elevation of the mean high tide and the mean spring tide (Saintilan et al., 2009)”. “… differences in species composition and abundance (occur) between the east and west coasts of Australia. … (It) is inhabited by a wide range of infaunal and epifaunal invertebrates, and low-tide and high-tide visitors such as prawns, fish and birds (Adam, 2002; Saintilan and Rogers, 2013). It often constitutes important nursery habitat for fish and prawn species. Insects (terrestrial and aquatic, including nuisance mosquitoes and midges) are abundant and an important food source for other fauna, with some species being important pollinators (Adam, 2002; Harvey et al., 2010, 2011). The dominant marine residents are benthic invertebrates, including molluscs and crabs that rely on the sediments, vascular plants, and algae, as providers of food and habitat across the intertidal landscape (Ross et al., 2009).”

Management Plans

Recover Plan

Recover Plan2

Listing Advice

Further information

Thrombolite (microbialite) Community of a Coastal Brackish Lake (Lake Clifton)

Community Identifier

National: Thrombolite (microbialite) Community of a Coastal Brackish Lake (Lake Clifton) State (WA): Clifton-microbialite (Stromatolite like freshwater microbialite community of coastal brackish lakes)

Conservation Status

National: CE/CR: Critically Endangered State (WA): CR: Critically Endangered

Location within the Peel-Harvey: Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore

Description

“Thrombolite (microbialite) Community of a Coastal Brackish Lake (Lake Clifton) was listed under EPBC Act as critically endangered (State 2000, EPBC 2010). … it has a very restricted geographic distribution coupled with demonstrable threat. Recent investigations indicate that Scytonema, a key cyanobacterium for thrombolite formation has gone from being a dominant species to no longer being found in Lake Clifton thrombolites (Alexander, pers. comm.). Community integrity has also been reduced, and the rate of continuing detrimental change is very severe.” There are identified priorities for conservation action and research.

Management Plans

Recover Plan2

Further information