Swamp watch – Lithgow Environment Group
LITHGOW ENVIRONMENT INC.
Seeking to preserve the balance of nature in our region.

SWAMP WATCH

Below you will see two sets of images. The set on the left shows a number of swamps that are pristine; untouched by human activity. The photos on the right, however, depict swamps that have been damaged in the Lithgow area. Lithgow Environment Group is dedicated to protecting Lithgow's remaining swamps, and all their beauty, from similar destruction. To do this, Lithgow Environment Group actively monitors several swamps in the area. We call these studies 'Swamp Watch'. Read on to find out about our previous Swamp Watch studies:



Images: Farmers Creek Swamp EEC NPSS, Photon East Wolgan Swamp protected under both TSC Act & EPBC Act, Sunnyside Swamp, East Wolgan Swamp, Carne Creek (in 2009), Farmers Creek Swamp protected under both TSC Act and EPBC Act – Action taken is that now this was identified that mine discharge water was flowing through this swamp LCC have gained government funding to now pipe the mine discharge water around the swamp directly into Farmers Creek Dam – Lithgow Drinking Water Supply.

Newnes Plateau Hanging Swamp



Newnes Plateau Hanging Swamps share many species with the endangered community Newnes Plateau Hanging Swamp (MU50) however they occupy a different habitat niche. The Hanging Swamps occupy gully heads and ridgetop sites at points of water seepage where percolating groundwater travelling through the sandstone is forced outwards by impermeable shale layers. These form ephemeral wet peaty soils on which a range of swamp heath plants grows. The uppermost stratum, which may include mallees such as E. gregsoniana and tea tree (Leptospermum juniperinum) and Banksias are usually only a few metres above ground level and may only be sparse. By contrast the lowest stratum may be a metre off the ground or more, with coral fern (Gleichenia) and umbrella fern (Sticherus) combining with large saw-sedge (Gahnia sieberiana) to form a nearly impenetrable layer. Diversity is relatively low, but the species presenta are often restricted to wet habitats. Soils are permanently saturated peat and humic loams, formed of the build up of the plants growing in the community. Occurring almost exclusively on the Triassic era Narrabeen sediments in the study area, the unit occurs between 900 and 1170 metres above sea level. Although not of primary importance for sustaining the unit (it being a groundwater dependant system), there is between 900 and 1070 millimetres of precipitation per annum. The community is likely to form a component of the Blue Mountains – Shoalhaven Hanging Swamps of Tindall et al. (2004), and in Keith (2004) is comparable to the Coastal Heath Swamp despite the montane position. While there is considerable floristic overlap with the Endangered Ecological Community Newnes Plateay Shrub Swamps it has not been included on the basis of the habitat. It is however a component of the Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone Endangered Ecological Community listed under the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999.

Structural Summary



StratumCountAvLowHtAvHtmaxHtAvCoverSDcoverminCovermaxCover
T212.5033436.77860
M1111.501.55 55
L12 11757.077080


Floristic Summary



Emergents and Trees
Eucalyptus dalrympleana, E. mannifera, E. pauciflora

Low Trees and Shrubs
Epacris microphylla, Grevillea acanthifolia, Leptospermum obovatum, Pultenaea capitellata

Ground Covers
Baloskion australe, Brachyscome scapigera, Deyeuxia gunniana, Empodisma minus, Gahnia sieberiana, Galium liratum, Gonocarpus micranthus, Gonocarpus tetragynus, Hydrocotyle peduncularis, Lepyrodia anarthria, Lomandra filiformis, Lomandra longifolia, Mitrasacme serpyllifolia, Murdannia graminea, Poa sieberiana, Sowerbaea juncea, Thelymitra venosa, Velleia montana, Viola hederacea, Viola sieberiana, Xanthosia dissecta

Key Identifying Features



Easily recognisable features to assist in identifying this map unit are:


  • Wetland community with a dense tea tree layer (Leptospermum myrtifolium/obovatum) with Grevillea acanthifolia and Epacris species. The groundcover is dense, dominated by the rush Empodisma, although an array of moisture-loving forbs is also present. Trees are scattered – occasionally clustered – and favour more elevated microtopography.

  • Unlike Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp community, this is dominated more by Leptospermum – both relatively uncommon in that community.



Example Locations



Restricted to a small area on the Newnes Plateau, near Blackfellowshand – Sunnyside Ridge intersection in the headwaters of the Wolgan River.

Map





Condition Assessment



Disturbance ClassArea (ha)Proportion Extant (%)
A Low
235.94
86.67
B Medium
22.77
8.36
C High
13.53
4.97
Total
272.24
100

Threatened Plant Species



None noted, but Boronia deanei, Baloskion longipes and Eucalyptus camphora may occur. The community forms part of the Montane Peatlands and Swamps Endangered Ecological Community. It also forms part of the Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone Endangered Ecological Community listed under the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999.

Diagnostic Species



Species Name Group Score Group Freq (%) Non Group Score Non Group Freq (%) Fidelity Class
Allocasuarina nana250.0033.98positive
Babingtonia densifolia250.0021.99positive
Baeckea linifolia350.0021.03positive
Banksia marginata250.0022.31positive
Boronia microphylla250.0025.17positive
Conospermum taxifolium250.0010.79positive
Dampiera stricta250.0028.44positive
Drosera peltata250.0021.35positive
Drosera spatulata2100.0020.39positive
Empodisma minus350.0031.43positive
Epacris breviflora250.0020.07positive
Epacris microphylla250.0024.30positive
Eucalyptus gregsoniana250.0030.31positive
Eucalyptus rossii250.00313.23positive
Gahnia sieberiana3100.0012.54positive
Galium liratum250.0020.87positive
Gleichenia dicarpa5100.0021.27positive
Gonocarpus micranthus250.0020.87positive
Goodenia bellidifolia250.00210.84positive
Grevillea acanthifolia350.0020.79positive
Grevillea laurifolia250.0021.51positive
Hakea dactyloides350.00211.08positive
Hibbertia empetrifolia subsp.empetrifolia250.0011.11positive
Hybanthus monopetalus250.0012.47positive
Joycea pallida250.00214.26positive
Lepidosperma limicola4100.0031.43positive
Lepidosperma tortuosum350.0020.79positive
Leptocarpus tenax250.0020.39positive
Leptospermum continentale250.0021.51positive
Leptospermum lanigerum350.0020.39positive
Leptospermum parvifolium350.0032.62positive
Leptospermum sphaerocarpum450.0023.74positive
Mitrasacme polymorpha250.0021.75positive
Olearia quercifolia250.0020.31positive
Patersonia longifolia250.0024.78positive
Platysace linearifolia250.0028.36positive
Thelionema caespitosum250.0010.95positive
Xyris juncea250.0000.00positive
Xyris ustulata250.0030.79positive
Lomandra filiformis00.00236.25negative
Lomandra longifolia00.00239.60negative
Poa sieberiana00.00240.00negative


Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp Corresponding Classifications



Regional: FRW130 Blue Mountains-Shoalhaven Hanging Swamps
State: Coastal Heath Swamps / Montane Bogs and Fens
Number of Sites: 7

Description



This recently listed NSW Endangered Ecological Community (Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp in the Sydney Basin Average number of identified native species per plot: 19.1 Bioregion) occurs on long gentle open drainage lines on the Newnes Plateau. It forms a dense, wet heath with an unevenly-textured,tussock sedge understorey. Trees are typically absent, although occasional eucalypts do occur where there is greater influence from incoming sediments. The main shrub species are Baeckea linifolia, Boronia deanei, acanthifolia, Grevillea Epacris species and Leptospermum species. The consistent feature of the ground cover are the Cyperoid species Lepidosperma limicola, and button grass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus) and Empodisma minus a members of the Restionaceae. Xyris, the yellow flag, is also very common in the community.

While the unit is typically within the Triassic age Narrabeen Sandstone, the community itself occurs within recent alluvial deposits that form in the low-lying, broad valleys of the plateau. They range in elevation from 900 to 1130 metres above sea level, although most are above 1000 metres above sea level. There is usually between 880 millimetres and 1080 millimetres of precipitation per annum. This particular swamp community is restricted to the high elevations of the Blue Mountains. While some examples are likely to fall within the Blue Mountains reserve system, the largest patches fall within the Newnes State Forest.

Data analysis suggested a stand alone assemblage associated with the higher elevations of the Newnes Plateau although there is strong overlap with species composition found in the Blue Mountains – Shoalhaven Hanging Swamps of Tindall et al. (2004). It may be included within the Coastal Heath Swamps of Keith (2004), although Montane Bogs and Fens class may also be appropriate. The community is included within the Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone Endangered Ecological Community listed under the Commonwealth EPBC Act 1999.

Structural Summary



Stratum Count AvLowHt AvHt maxHt AvCover SDcover minCover maxCover
T 5 0.64 1.80 2.5 55 7.07 45 60
L1 5 0.01 0.42 0.8 31 18.84 10 60


Floristic Summary



Low Trees and Shrubs
Baeckea linifolia, Banksia marginata, Callistemon sieberi, Epacris paludosa, Grevillea acanthifolia, Leptospermum continentale, L. grandifolium, Pultenaea divaricata

Ground Covers
Baloskion australe, Celmisia longifolia, Drosera spp., Empodisma minus, Gleichenia dicarpa, Gymnoschoenus
sphaerocephalus, Lepidosperma limicola, Lepyrodia scariosa, Olearia quercifolia, Patersonia fragilis, Viola
hederacea, Xyris ustulata

Key Identifying Features



Easily recognisable features to assist in identifying this map unit are:

Moderately dense shrub layer (sometimes opened by fire), and very dense understorey of sedges.
Semi-permanently saturated soils, high in organic matter.
Found at the lower parts of the landform (lowest footslopes, broad valley floors and alluvial flats).

Example Locations



Throughout the Newnes Plateau, in broad valleys of Narrabeen Sandstone.



Condition Assessment




Disturbance Class Area (ha) Proportion Extant (%)
A Low 229.28 58.18
B Medium 113.13 28.71
C High 51.66 13.11
Total 394.07 100



Threatened Plant Species



Definite: Boronia deanei, Derwentia blakelyi

Possible: Baloskion longipes, Carex klaphakei, Euphrasia bowdeniae, Persoonia hindii
Community: This community matches the Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp in the Sydney Basin BioregionEndangered Ecological Community listed under the NSW TSC Act 1995. It is included within the Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone Endangered Ecological Community listed under the Commonwealth EPBC
Act 1999.

Diagnostic Species



Species Name Group Score Group Freq (%) Non Group Score Non Group Freq (%) Fidelity Class
Baeckea linifolia 2 62.50 2 0.72 positive
Baloskion australe 2 37.50 3 0.40 positive
Banksia paludosa 1 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Boronia deanei 4 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Celmisia longifolia 2 37.50 0 0.00 positive
Empodisma minus 3 100.00 3 0.88 positive
Epacris microphylla 2 37.50 2 4.16 positive
Epacris paludosa 2 75.00 2 0.48 positive
Gleichenia dicarpa 2 37.50 3 1.20 positive
Gonocarpus micranthus 2 37.50 2 0.72 positive
Grevillea acanthifolia 3 87.50 2 0.32 positive
Lepidosperma limicola 3 100.00 3 0.96 positive
Leptospermum continentale 5 37.50 2 1.36 positive
Leptospermum grandifolium 3 87.50 1 0.96 positive
Mitrasacme serpyllifolia 2 37.50 2 0.24 positive
Notochloe microdon 2 25.00 0 0.00 positive
Olearia quercifolia 2 37.50 2 0.16 positive
Pimelea linifolia 2 37.50 1 8.08 positive
Pultenaea divaricata 3 50.00 0 0.00 positive
Utricularia dichotoma 2 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Utricularia uniflora 1 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Viola fuscoviolacea 2 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Viola hederacea 2 37.50 2 16.81 positive
Xanthorrhoea concava 5 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Xanthorrhoea minor subsp. minor 3 12.50 0 0.00 positive
Xyris ustulata 3 87.50 2 0.32 positive
Lomandra filiformis 0 0.00 2 36.43 negative
Lomandra longifolia 1 12.50 2 39.71 negative
Poa sieberiana 3 25.00 2 40.03 negative


Data sourced from:
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/vegBlueMntnsVol250.pdf