Year

2017

Degree Name

BEnviSc Hons

Department

School of Earth & Environmental Science

Advisor(s)

Colin Murray-Wallace

Abstract

The Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone and the Montane Peatlands and Swamps of the New England Tableland are present throughout Penrose State Forest in the NSW Southern Highlands. These environments are currently the only known habitat to support the highly vulnerable species Eucalyptus Aquatica, which is restricted to these swampy environments.

In this study, an extensive field survey covering 63 hectares was conducted across three swamps in Penrose State Forest (Hanging Rock Swamp, Stingray Swamp, Webbers Creek Swamp) in order to map the distribution of Eucalyptus aquatica, to determine its habitat requirements, and to estimate the species population abundance. Eucalyptus aquatica appears to have a clumped distribution across the swamps, which tends to cluster in the centre of the swamp and progressively declines towards the swamp margins. This distributional pattern appears to be associated with peat depth, with a significant relationship being found between increasing peat depth, and the probability of Eucalyptus aquatica being present. Stingray Swamp was found to support the largest proportion of the population with an estimated population abundance of 32, 411, whereas Hanging Rock Swamp and Webbers Creek Swamp had an estimated population abundance of 9, 643 and 222 respectively.

The findings of this study provide a whole new breadth of data that has not been previously available for this species, and sets a new starting point for future research and improved conservation and management of Eucalyptus aquatic.

Share

COinS