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Sclerophyll Forests

Sclerophyll forest are generally dominated by plants that have hard leaves adapted to drought and are fire tolerant (i.e. can re-sprout after fire, or have hard-coated or hard-capsuled seeds that can survive fire). Eucalypt (including Corymbia or Angophora), Melaleuca or Acacia are common genera in the canopy where the canopy ranges from 50 - 80%. Understories are dominated by grasses or shrubs.



Forest Ecosystems


What ecosystem functions do schlerophyll forests perform?


Eucalypt forest at Cunninghams Gap.


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Table 1 below presents the relative magnitude sclerophyll forests perform each ecosystem function (relative to other ecosystems) in SEQ.


Table 1:The relative magnitude (to other Ecosystem Reporting Categories) schlerophyll forests perform each ecosystem function.

Ecosystem Function Category Ecosystem Function 0
Regulating Functions
Gas Regulation            
Climate Regulation            
Disturbance Regulation            
Water Regulation            
Soil Retention            
Nutrient Regulation            
Waste Treatment and Assimilation            
Biological Control            
Barrier Effect of Vegetation            
Supporting Functions
Supporting Habitats            
Soil Formation            
Provisioning Functions
Raw Materials            
Water Supply            
Genetic Resources            
Provision of Shade and Shelter            
Pharmacological Resources            
Cultural Functions
Landscape Opportunity            


What types of sclerophyll forests are in SEQ?

Sclerophyll forests are a typically Australian vegetation type having plants with hard, short and often spiky leaves. There are two types of sclerophyll forests, dry and wet, both of which have a canopy of eucalypts.

This Ecosystem Reporting Category contains the following Regional Ecosystems: 12.5.1, 12.5.13, 12.5.3, 12.5.6, 12.8.1, 12.8.2, 12.8.10, 12.8.11, 12.8.12, 12.8.14, 12.8.24, 12.8.25, 12.8.26, 12.9-10.1, 12.9-10.2, 12.9-10.3, 12.9-10.4, 12.9-10.5, 12.9-10.12, 12.9-10.17, 12.9-10.14, 12.9-10.18, 12.9-10.19, 12.9-10.20, 12.9-10.21, 12.9-10.23, 12.9-10.24, 12.11.3, 12.11.5, 12.11.6, 12.11.9, 12.11.16, 12.11.17, 12.11.18, 12.11.19, 12.11.23, 12.12.2, 12.2.3, 12.12.4, 12.12.5, 12.12.6, 12.12.11, 12.12.20, 12.12.28, 12.2.4, 12.3.2, 12.8.8, 12.8.9, 12.11.2, 12.11.3, 12.11.16, 12.12.15.


What is the area and extent of schlerophyll forests in SEQ?


Similar to rainforests, sclerophyll forests are recognisable by tall trees but have much less dense canopies.

Links to other publications and websites

The Great Eastern Ranges
Forest Education Foundation
Qld Govt Forestry Agreement
DAFF - Siviculture Studies
Forest Ecology and Management

Sclerophyll forests cover approximately 4 562 km2, 18.16% of SEQ. They are the most dominant forest ecosystem in SEQ and this maps shows they cross the full extent of the region. Sclerophyll forests once would have covered larger areas of the SEQ landscape. They are now found mostly in the higher altitude and steeper slopes such as D'Aguilar Range, Helidon Hills and the Main Range to name a few. No sclerophyll forests are identified on the islands due to structural and land zone bias (e.g. vegetation exists mostly on sand dunes in land zones 2, according to the RE database, and therefore have been classified under different Ecosystem Reporting Categories).


What is the vulnerability of sclerophyll forests and threats to this ecosystem in SEQ?


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How do we manage sclerophyll forests in SEQ?


More Information is soon to come