This study investigates the occurrence of scattered patches of fire-prone sclerophyllous shrubby (heathy) vegetation confined to infertile soil landscapes in a geographical area defined by a Köppen Cfa sub-tropical climate. The region extends from the long-recognised McPherson-Macleay Overlap and New England Tableland north-west to the edge of the sandstone massif of the Carnarvon Range on the margins of the semi-arid interior of central-eastern Australia. It lies north of the major occurrence of sclerophyllous shrubby vegetation within eastern Australia. Coastal parts of the region are recognised as supporting a distinctive heath flora known as the “wallum”. However the remainder of the area has been largely overlooked as a centre containing a definable sclerophyllous shrubby flora. The overall goal of the investigation, therefore, is to determine the extent and nature of the regional heath-type diversity and to place it within broader biogeographical and ecological contexts.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2016.
University of the Sunshine Coast Theses
How significant is the plant biodiversity of localised patches of heathy vegetation growing on low fertility soils on the hills and ranges and adjacent inland of southern Queensland?