Review of vegetation within the Killingworth LES, Lake Macquarie LGA

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2012

30 January 2012

Report to Lake Macquarie City Council Box 1906 Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310

Stephen Bell

Eastcoast Flora Survey PO Box 216 Kotara Fair NSW 2289

Review of vegetation within the

Killingworth LES, Lake Macquarie LGA

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Executive Summary

A re-assessment has been made of the native vegetation present within the Killingworth Local Environmental Study area, immediately south of the current township of Killingworth (NW Lake Macquarie LGA). Previous classifications and mapping from two separate projects were in conflict in regard to the endangered Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest (termed ‘candidate-LHSGIF’ in this report). A new dataset of 72 Rapid Data Points was collected across the site, and attributed to the appropriate community type based on dominant species within the canopy, shrub and ground layers. This data generally supported the geographical distribution of different community types depicted in both studies (with minor modifications); however, the classification of these communities still required resolution.

To resolve the classification issue, two new full floristic sampling plots were censused in two locations supporting candidate-LHSGIF. Floristic data were comparatively analysed against regional (NSWNPWS 2000) diagnostic species lists for the LHSGIF, other Spotted Gum-Ironbark communities in the region, and Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland. Comparisons were also made with forms of LHSGIF outlined previously for Lake Macquarie LGA (Bell 2009a). This analysis revealed that such comparative studies did little to inform the identity of the vegetation at Killingworth, as low correlations of between 27.0% and 35.2% were returned for all four regional communities examined. By comparison, analysis of the two new plot samples against communities defined in Bell (2009a) returned values of between 63.0% and 73.5%, suggesting the vegetation to be Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest and/or Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest. Both of these are considered components of the Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest.

Further support for the identity of the Killingworth vegetation sampled was obtained through numerical classification of the two plot samples with two regional datasets. Both analyses suggested that the two Killingworth sample plots are more closely related to candidate-LHSGIF elsewhere in Lake Macquarie and the region than they are to other more general Spotted Gum-Ironbark vegetation, including Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest. It has been concluded, therefore, that the Killingworth LES study area supports stands of Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest (and its relative Red Gum-Ironbark – Paperbark Forest), rather than the Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest depicted in other studies.

The imposition of a regional-scale classification, based on environmentally stratified random sampling, onto local-scale investigations where community diversity is more complex will always be problematic. Local-scale classification, with a basis in preferential (targeted) sampling will enable local-scale comparisons to be more meaningful. The revision of LHSGIF, partly reported on in Bell (2009a), is following these principles, and has assisted in the resolution of vegetation community uncertainties at Killingworth. A refinement of the Bell and Driscoll (2010) map of vegetation communities for the Killingworth LES area has been possible with a finer resolution, independent ground dataset. The additional field survey and analysis has allowed preparation of an updated vegetation map which define EEC boundaries with a higher level of confidence, acknowledging however the difficulties in defining such boundaries in regular burnt areas.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary ... 1 1. Background ... 3 2. Study Area ... 3 3. Survey Methods ... 4 3.1 Map Data ... 4 3.2 Floristic Survey ... 4 3.3 Data Analysis ... 5 3.3.1 Map Analysis ... 5 3.3.2 Numerical Classification ... 5

3.3.3 Comparison against Diagnostic Species Lists ... 5

4. Results ... 6 4.1 Mapping ... 6 4.2 Numerical Analysis ... 8 4.3 Comparative Analysis ... 10 5. Discussion ... 11 6. References ... 13

7. Appendix 1 Comparative Analysis Data ... 15

Cover image shows vegetation within sample site WLSM4, Killingworth LES, dominated by Corymbia maculata and Eucalyptus fibrosa

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1.

Background

Detailed vegetation mapping of the Lake Macquarie local government area commenced in 2008, and continues in a staged process as funding allows: currently, vegetation in the west of Lake Macquarie is being finalized (Bell & Driscoll in prep.). Vegetation in and around the township of Killingworth in north-western Lake Macquarie was included in Stage 2 of the mapping project, and identified stands of the Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest endangered ecological community (LHSGIF EEC). Additionally, sampling and numerical analysis of all stands of LHSGIF EEC (termed candidate-LHSGIF EEC in this report) in Lake Macquarie were addressed in Bell (2009a) as part of a broader revision of this EEC. Since that time, local scale assessments have been undertaken for the Killingworth Biodiversity Review 2010 (EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd 2010), which is currently being incorporated into the Killingworth local environmental study (LES) by RPS.

Mapping of the Killingworth LES area by EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010) identified three vegetation communities, attributing them to the regional classification of NSWNPWS (2000). These communities were in conflict with those defined in the earlier LGA-wide mapping (Bell & Driscoll 2010) for Killingworth, which although based on this same regional classification is expanding them to incorporate local-scale community diversity. Of particular concern for the Killingworth LES are the stands of Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest and Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest (both considered in Bell 2009a as LHSGIF EEC) shown in Bell and Driscoll (2010), but which are considered to be Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest by EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010). Clearly, resolution of this difference of opinion is required for planning to advance.

This report reviews the vegetation classification and mapping completed by Bell and Driscoll (2010) and EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010) for the Killingworth LES area. The site was re-inspected on 17th January 2012, and a new (independent) dataset of vegetation information was collected. Particular attention was paid to areas of candidate-LHSGIF EEC. For the purposes of this study, a broad framework for all candidate-LHSGIF EEC was employed, based on the most recent Final Determination of the NSW Scientific Committee (2010), and which considers LHSGIF EEC to occur if:

• vegetation is dominated by Corymbia maculata and/or Eucalyptus fibrosa in the canopy; • the site occurs within the Sydney Basin bioregion; and

• the site occurs on Permian or Triassic Narrabeen sediments.

2.

Study Area

The Killingworth LES incorporates land to the immediate south of the current township of Killingworth, generally within the bounds of Park Street, Westcroft Street, Wallace Street and The Trongate (Figure 1). Only land with a good cover of native vegetation has been considered in this review, although remnant trees within existing urban areas have been noted for contextual implications. The grassy nature across most of the site, together with the close proximity of the Killingworth Rural Fire Service station, suggests that regular low-intensity fire is a common feature of this environment.

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Killingworth lies within the Sydney Basin bioregion of Thackway & Cresswell (1995), and occurs on Permian Newcastle Coal Measures geology (Department of Mineral Resources 1999).

Figure 1 Killingworth LES area of investigation.

3.

Survey Methods

3.1

Map Data

Following the techniques described in Bell and Driscoll (2010) for the LGA-wide mapping study, rapid data points (RDP) were collected across the site on the 17th January 2012. These data points were collected on foot at regular intervals (~50-100m apart) with a hand-held Garmin GPS 60Csx. Each data point recorded dominant plant species within the canopy, shrub and ground layers, and were geo-referenced to a specific location in space via the GPS unit (+/- 3-6m).

3.2

Floristic Survey

Given the importance of establishing the presence or otherwise of the LHSGIF EEC, full floristic sampling plots were established within representative stands of Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest and Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest mapped by Bell and Driscoll (2010). None of these stands had been previously sampled or included in the LHSGIF classification of Bell (2009a). Sample sites were selected preferentially (Kent & Coker 2001) so that floristic composition within these stands could be compared against existing lists of diagnostic species (eg: NSWNPWS 2000;

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NSW Scientific Committee 2010; Bell 2009a). Standard 0.04 ha sampling plots were censused for all vascular plant species (Siverstsen 2010), and cover abundance of each estimated using the modified 1-6 scale of Braun-Blanquet. Sampling opportunities were limited within the study area, and the main stand of Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest lies adjacent to Park Street and next to a children’s playground, and is consequently of moderately quality only.

3.3

Data Analysis

3.3.1 Map Analysis

Rapid data points were collated and attributed a vegetation community code based on that in use for the LGA-wide mapping project (Bell & Driscoll 2010). These codes are based on the regional classification of NSWNPWS (2000), but have been expanded to accommodate local-scale variations in existing communities. Coding was accomplished by reviewing the dominant plant species within the relevant structural layers for each RDP. Within the GIS, RDPs were then overlain on the existing vegetation maps of Bell and Driscoll (2010) and EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010) to assess accuracy.

3.3.2 Numerical Classification

Full floristic data was subjected to numerical analysis using the Primer software program (version 6, Clarke & Gorley 2006). For analysis, new sampling plots were included within two existing regional datasets maintained by the author:

1. All Spotted Gum-Ironbark. Dataset of >550 sample plots from the Hunter region dominated by Corymbia maculata and any of the regional ironbark species (Eucalyptus fibrosa, E. crebra, E. paniculata, E. siderophloia, E. fergusonii, E. caleyi, E. sideroxylon, E. beyeriana, E. placita, E. fracta).

2. Candidate-LHSGIF. Dataset of >230 sample plots from the Hunter region dominated by Corymbia maculata and/ Eucalyptus fibrosa only, and which form the basis of a revision of the LHSGIF EEC (Bell in prep.).

Cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) were performed on the dataset using the group averaging strategy, the Bray-Curtis association measure and a Beta value of – 0.1. Ordinations were performed in two and three dimensions with 25 random starts and a minimum stress of 0.01. Primer v6 by default employs Kruskal’s stress in nMDS ordinations for depicting the effort required to configure the distribution of sample data into 2 or 3 dimensions. For presentation purposes, only nMDS ordination graphs are included in this report.

3.3.3 Comparison against Diagnostic Species Lists

Floristic data collected within sample plots was also compared to publically available lists of diagnostic species for the LHSGIF EEC and related communities. Principally, these lists include those in the Final Determination for LHSGIF EEC (NSW Scientific Committee 2010) and the regional classification study upon which it is based (NSWNPWS 2000). Similar lists included in the assessment of LHSGIF throughout Lake Macquarie on behalf of Council (Bell 2009a) have also been examined.

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4.

Results

4.1

Mapping

In total 72 RDPs were collected across the study area, and attributed to the appropriate classification unit. Figure 2 shows the distribution of these data points over the mapping of Bell and Driscoll (2010), while Figure 3 shows the same data over the EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010) map. On the whole, the two maps depicted in these figures are similar, and both show reasonable accuracy with respect to the new data. The new independent dataset confirms the mapping of Bell and Driscoll (2010), but for some minor amendments to map boundaries. The EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010) mapping has over-mapped its Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest in the east and west, and subsumed vegetation dominated by Eucalyptus fibrosa with Melaleuca decora into Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland. Locating precise boundaries on the ground are difficult due to the impacts of frequent low-intensity fire over many years, and the consequent profusion of short-lived, resprouting species (eg: grasses).

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Figure 3 New rapid data points over EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd (2010) mapping.

The main contention between the existing maps centre on the identities of the various mapping units, when each is equated to the NSWNPWS (2000) regional classification (Table 1). Both maps agree that the majority of the site supports Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland, with a few small patches of Spotted Gum-Ironbark forest (Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest or Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest), and with a narrow band of Scribbly Gum vegetation (Coastal Plains Scribbly Gum Woodland or a relative of it) along the extreme eastern edge.

A new, revised map of the study area is shown in Figure 4, effectively amending the existing map of Bell and Driscoll (2010).

Table 1 Comparison of existing mapping units, Killingworth LES.

Bell & Driscoll 2010 EcoLogical Australia Pty Ltd 2010

Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland ↔ Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland Lower Hunter Spotted Gum –Ironbark Forest ≠ Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest [Killingworth Snappy Gum Forest] ≠ Coastal Plains Scribbly Gum Woodland * there is currently no regional equivalent for Killingworth Snappy Gum Forest.

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Figure 4 New vegetation map for the Killingworth LES area.

4.2

Numerical Analysis

Two full floristic sample plots (coded WLSM4 & WLSM5) were censused within the Killingworth LES area, one in each of the Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest and Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest shown in the mapping of Bell and Driscoll (2010). Figure 5 shows the location of these sites.

4.2.1 All Spotted Gum-Ironbark

Figure 6 shows the 2-dimensional ordination of 554 regional sample plots where Corymbia maculata co-dominates with one or more ironbark species (stress = 0.21). One of the newly collected plots from Killingworth (WLSM4) falls well within the group of candidate-LHSGIF samples, suggesting that it shares many of the species indicative of LHSGIF elsewhere in the region. Note that sample WLSM5 is not co-dominated by Corymbia maculata, so has not been analysed with this dataset. The 3-dimensional solution for this ordination returned a better stress value of 0.16, but is difficult to present in report format and is not shown.

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Figure 5 Location of new floristic sampling plots, targeting candidate-LHSGIF, Killingworth LES.

Figure 6 Position of Killingworth plot (solid diamond, arrowed) within 554 full floristic plots dominated by Corymbia maculata and various ironbarks.

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4.2.2 Candidate-LHSGIF

Data from the two newly sampled full floristic plots from Killingworth grouped within the existing cluster of data demarcating the Hinterland forms of the Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest. Figure 7 shows the relationship between all sites for the 2-dimensional ordination (stress = 0.24): the 3-dimensional solution (not shown) returned a lower stress value of 0.17 and hence better ‘fit’.

Figure 7 Position of Killingworth plots (solid dots, arrowed) within 239 full floristic plots dominated by Corymbia maculata and/ or Eucalyptus fibrosa.

4.3

Comparative Analysis

Full species lists (excluding weeds) for each of the two full floristic plot samples were examined against the Final Determination for LHSGIF EEC and two of its relatives from the coastal zone of the Hunter Valley (Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest & Seaham Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest). For completeness, they were also compared against the Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland which covers most of the site. All diagnostic species lists originate from the regional classification (NSWNPWS 2000), which stems from an environmentally stratified random sampling design incorporating over 1100 sample sites. Comparisons were also made against diagnostic species lists presented in Bell (2009a) for the Lake Macquarie stands of candidate-LHSGIF EEC, determined from numerical analysis of 166 preferentially located sample plots, and representing the top 90% of diversity present in each community. Appendix 1 lists the data for each Spotted Gum-Ironbark comparative analysis undertaken.

Table 2 summarises the results of the comparative analysis. As Final Determinations do not specify which of the species listed occur more frequently than others (Preston & Adam 2004a, 2004b; Larkin 2009), it has been assumed that all are of equal weighting. Both sample plots were shown to support 18 of the 55 species listed for LHSGIF, representing 32.7% of the total. When compared against

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Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest and Seaham Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest, all calculations returned values of between 30.6% and 35.2%. Similarly low results of 32.4% and 27.0% were returned for the Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland. Using this method, the two sampled floristic plots could equally be referred to EITHER Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest OR Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest OR Seaham Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest OR Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland. Clearly, a simple comparison of species presence-absence against lists of diagnostic species is uninformative when imposing a regional-scale classification onto local-scale diversity (see Section 5).

Table 2 Comparative analysis of presence-absence for two sample plots (WLSM4 & WLSM5) against diagnostic species lists from NSWNPWS (2000) for: Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest (LHSGIF), Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Gum-Ironbark Forest (CFSGIF), Seaham Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest (SSGIF) and Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland (CPSBAW).

in LHSGIF in CFSGIF in SSGIF in CPSBAW

Total diagnostic species 55 36 54 37

Species from WLSM4 18 (32.7%) 12 (33.3%) 17 (31.5%) 12 (32.4%) Species from WLSM5 18 (32.7%) 11 (30.6%) 19 (35.2%) 10 (27.0%)

By contrast, comparative analysis of the two sample plots against the diagnostic species lists documented for Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest and Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest in Bell (2009a) reveal greatly improved correlations of between 63.0% and 73.5% (Table 3), double that obtained for comparisons against NSWNPWS (2000). Although correlations are close, this result would suggest that plot WLSM4 supports Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest, while WLSM5 supports Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest.

Table 3 Comparative analysis of presence-absence for two sample plots (WLSM4 & WLSM5) against diagnostic species lists from Bell (2009a) for: Hinterland Spotted Gum-Red Ironbark Forest (HSGRIF) and Red Ironbark-Paperbark Forest (RIPBF).

in HSGRIF in RIPBF

Total diagnostic species 34 27

Species from WLSM4 25 (73.5%) 17 (63.0%)

Species from WLSM5 22 (64.7%) 18 (66.7%)

5.

Discussion

Vegetation classification is a dynamic process (de Cáceres & Wiser 2011), and improvements and revisions are common place as new data becomes available, particularly for endangered

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communities (eg: Kendall & Snelson 2009; Payne et al. 2010). The endangered Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest is also undergoing a revision (Bell in prep.), and components of this revision have been released in some areas (eg: Bell 2009a, 2009b, 2009c, 2010; NSWDECC 2008). In more recent regional analysis, Somerville (2009) has also included more finely defined communities within the Spotted Gum-Ironbark group. The Hinterland group of communities, extending along the western side of Lake Macquarie, is one of the more strongly defined units evident in these revisions. The Killingworth LES study area lies within the Sydney Basin and on Permian-aged geology, satisfying two of the three principal determining features of Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest EEC (NSW Scientific Committee 2010). In the area demarcated as candidate-LHSGIF in Bell and Driscoll (2010), it is also dominated by Corymbia maculata and Eucalyptus fibrosa (satisfying the third determiner), with Eucalyptus umbra also commonly present. On these characteristics alone, LHSGIF can be deemed to be present at Killingworth.

Traditionally, inspection of an area to determine whether or not it supports vegetation equating to a listed endangered community involves, among other tests, assessing the plant species present (Adam 2004; Preston & Adam 2004a, 2004b; Larkin 2009). While simple in theory, in practical application such a process is fraught with difficulties, since it is heavily dependent on how the diagnostic species list was constructed, the scale at which such data was created and intended to be used, the condition of the sites where data was collected, and how samples were selected in the landscape. Other characteristics of an EEC must then come into play, such as physical characteristics of the environment, etc.

In the current situation, calculating the total number or proportion of species present within a sample to compare against the LHSGIF final determination or regional (NSWNPWS 2000) diagnostic species lists is unproductive: the regional classification from which this EEC is drawn is based on an environmentally stratified random sampling regime which is ineffective at defining rare communities (Bell in prep.). In the current study, this is demonstrated by the fact that both sampling plots placed within candidate-LHSGIF EEC at Killingworth recorded between 30.6% and 35.2% of the diagnostic species contained in NSWNPWS (2000) for Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest, Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest and Seaham Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest, and 32.4% and 27.0% for Coastal Plains Smooth-barked Apple Woodland. All four of these communities occur within the Sydney Basin on Permian-aged sediments, but only one (Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest) is dominated by Corymbia maculata and Eucalyptus fibrosa in the canopy.

Diagnostic species lists were generated by Bell (2009a) for the revision of the Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest within Lake Macquarie, where Hinterland Spotted Gum – Red Ironbark Forest and Red Ironbark – Paperbark Forest were defined. The two plots sampled from Killingworth during the current study, when compared against this 2009 revision, returned comparative values >63%, double that obtained from the NSWNPWS (2000) comparisons. Numerical analysis of this data within regional datasets also supported a determination of LHSGIF in preference to CFSGIF.

A refinement of the Bell and Driscoll (2010) map of vegetation communities for the Killingworth LES area has been possible with a finer resolution, independent ground dataset. The additional field survey and analysis has allowed preparation of an updated vegetation map which define EEC boundaries with a higher level of confidence, acknowledging however the difficulties in defining such

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boundaries in regular burnt areas. Overall, there has been limited change in the distribution of communities, and none in the classification of component polygons.

Newly collected ground data did uncover a few trees of Eucalyptus tereticornis and Eucalyptus amplifolia along road edges in the east and west of the study area, but these are too restricted in area to show meaningfully on a map. A few plants of the vulnerable Tetratheca juncea were also located near the southern boundary of the study area.

6.

References

Adam, P. (2004) Opening a can of words. The importance of definitions in the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act. Pp 59-67 IN Threatened species legislation: is it just an Act ? Ed. By P. Hutchings, D. Lunney & C. Dickman. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Mosman. Bell, S.A.J. (2009a) Lower Hunter Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest: Distribution and composition in

Lake Macquarie LGA. Unpublished Draft Report to Lake Macquarie City Council. Eastcoast Flora Survey. May 2009.

Bell, S.A.J. (2009b) Vegetation and floristics of Columbey National Park, lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales. Cunninghamia 11(2): 241-275.

Bell, S.A.J. (2009c) Defining and mapping an endangered ecological community within Lake Macquarie Local Government Area, New South Wales. Australasian PlantConservation 18(3): 18-19.

Bell, S.A.J. (2010) Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest EEC in the Warnervale area, Wyong Shire. Unpublished Report to Wyong Shire Council, September 2010. Eastcoast Flora Survey. Bell, S.A.J. (in prep.) Defining and mapping rare vegetation communities: improving techniques to

assist land-use planning and conservation. PhD thesis, University of Newcastle.

Bell, S. & Driscoll, C. (2010) Vegetation mapping of Lake Macquarie LGA: Stages 1 & 2. Unpublished Report to Lake Macquarie City Council, May 2010. Eastcoast Flora Survey.

Bell, S. & Driscoll, C. (in prep) Vegetation mapping of Lake Macquarie LGA: Stages 1, 2 & 3. Unpublished Report to Lake Macquarie City Council. Eastcoast Flora Survey.

Clarke K.R. & Gorley R.N. (2006) PRIMER v6: User Manual/ Tutorial. PRIMER-E: Plymouth.

De Cáceres, M. & Wiser, S.K. (2011) Towards consistency in vegetation classification. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01354.x

Department of Mineral Resources (1999) Lower North East Region 1:250,000 scale equivalent geology [lner5ge_p (polygons) and lner5ge_l (lines or arcs)] geological coverage comprising the area covered by parts of the Dorrigo, Tamworth, Hastings, Singleton and Newcastle 1:250 000 sheet areas, Hunter Coalfield and Newcastle Coalfield Regional Geology 1:100 000 sheet

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areas and part Sydney 1:250 000 sheet area. CRA project Lower North East. NSW Department of Mineral Resources.

Ecological Australia Pty Ltd (2010) Killingworth Biodiversity Review. Report prepared for Lake Macquarie City Council.

Kendall, P. & Snelson, B. (2009) The role of floristic survey data and quantitative analysis in identification and description of ecological communities under threatened species legislation: A case study from north-eastern New South Wales. Ecological Management & Restoration 10(S1): S16-S26.

Kent, M. & Coker, P. (2001) Vegetation Description and Analysis. A Practical Approach. Wiley & Sons, England.

Larkin, P.W. (2009) Bright lines on fuzzy boundaries? How the law of New South Wales deals with the existence and extent of endangered ecological communities. Ecological Management & Restoration 10(S1): S35-S43.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (2008) Vegetation of the Cessnock-Kurri Region: Survey, classification and mapping. Cessnock LGA, New South Wales. Department of Environment & Climate Change (NSW). Sydney. February 2008.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (2000) Vegetation survey, classification and mapping: Lower Hunter and Central Coast region. A project undertaken for the Lower Hunter and Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy by CRA Unit, Sydney Zone, NPWS. April 2000. NSW Scientific Committee (2010) Amendment to final determination for Lower Hunter Spotted

Gum-Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin Bioregion. NSW Scientific Committee.

Payne, R., Wellington, R., & Somerville, M. (2010) Coastal sandplain vegetation at Brisbane Water and Broken Bay – reconstructing the past to plan for the future. Cunninghamia 11(3): 295-318. Preston, B.J. & Adam, P. (2004a) Describing and listing threatened ecological communities under the

Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (NSW): Part 1 – the assemblage of species and the particular area. Environmental Planning Law Journal 250: 250-263.

Preston, B.J. & Adam, P. (2004b) Describing and listing threatened ecological communities under the Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (NSW): Part 1 – the role of supplementary descriptors and the listing process. Environmental Planning Law Journal 250: 372-390.

Sivertsen, D. (2010) Native Vegetation Interim Type Standard, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, Sydney.

Somerville M. (2010) Hunter, Central & Lower North Coast Vegetation Classification & Mapping Project Volume 2: Vegetation Community Profiles. Report prepared by HCCREMS/Hunter Councils Environment Division for Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority, Tocal, NSW.

Thackway, R. & Cresswell, I.D. (1995) An Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia: A Framework for Setting Priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program. Version 4. Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra.

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7.

Appendix 1

Comparative Analysis Data

Floristic data used in comparative analysis. LHSGIF = Lower Hunter Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest, CFSGIF = Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest, SSGIF = Seaham Spotted Gum-Ironbark Forest, HSGRIF = Hinterland Spotted Gum-Red Ironbark Forest and RIPBF = Red Ironbark-Paperbark Forest. ‘y’ = species presence is specific list. Note that all species for the two new plots (WLSM4 & WLSM5) are not included on this list.

NPWS 2000 Bell 2009 New plots

Species LHSGIF CFSGIF SSGIF HSGRIF RIPF WLSM4 WLSM5

Acacia falcata y y Acacia implexa y Acacia parvipinnula y Acacia ulicifolia y y y y Allocasuarina torulosa y Angophora costata y y y y Aristida vagans y y y y y y Arthropodium milleflorum y Billardiera scandens y y y Brachycome graminea y Breynia oblongifolia y y y Brunoniella australis y y y Bursaria spinosa y y y Cheilanthes sieberi y y y Corymbia eximia y Corymbia gummifera y Corymbia maculata y y y y y Cymbopogon refractus y y y Daviesia leptophylla y Daviesia ulicifolia y y y Desmodium rhytidophyllum y y Desmodium varians y Dianella caerulea y y y y y y y Dianella revoluta y y y Dianella tasmanica y Dichelachne micrantha y Dichondra repens y Digitaria parviflora y Digitaria ramularis y Dillwynia retorta y y y Echinopogon caespitosus y y Echinopogon ovatus y Entolasia marginata y y Entolasia stricta y y y y y y Eragrostis brownii y y

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NPWS 2000 Eucalyptus acmenoides y Eucalyptus agglomerata y Eucalyptus canaliculata intergrades y Eucalyptus crebra y Eucalyptus fergusonii y Eucalyptus fibrosa y Eucalyptus globoidea y Eucalyptus microcorys Eucalyptus moluccana y Eucalyptus nubila y Eucalyptus paniculata y Eucalyptus propinqua Eucalyptus punctata y Eucalyptus siderophloia y Eucalyptus sparsifolia y Eucalyptus tereticornis y Eucalyptus umbra y Eustrephus latifolius Gahnia aspera Galium gaudichaudii Glycine clandestina y Gonocarpus tetragynus Goodenia hederacea subsp.

hederacea y

Goodenia heterophylla subsp. heterophylla Grevillea montana y Hardenbergia violacea y Imperata cylndrica Joycea pallida Lagenifera stipitata Laxmannia gracilis y Lepidosperma laterale y Leucopogon juniperinus Lissanthe strigosa y Lomandra confertifolia Lomandra filiformis y Lomandra longifolia y Lomandra multiflora y Lomandra obliqua Macrozamia flexuosa y Maytenus silvestris y Melaleuca decora Melaleuca nodosa y Microlaena stipoides y 16 NPWS 2000 Bell 2009 y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y New plots y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y

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NPWS 2000 Bell 2009 New plots

Notodanthonia longifolia y Opercularia diphylla y y y Oplismenus imbecillis y Oxalis perenans y y Ozothamnus diosmifolius y Pandorea pandorana y Panicum effusum y Panicum simile y y y y y y Paspalidium distans y y y y Persoonia linearis y y y Phyllanthus hirtellus y y y Plectranthus parvifolius y Polyscias sambuccifolia y Pomax umbellata y y Pratia purpurascens y y y y y y y Pseuderanthemum variabile y y Pterostylis baptistii y Pterostylis furcillata y Ptilothrix deusta y y y Pultenaea villosa y Sigesbeckia australis y Syncarpia glomulifera y y Themeda australis y y y y y y y Vernonia cinerea y y y y y Totals 55 36 54 34 27 29 30

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