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Assessment of River-Flat Eucalypt forest on Coastal floodplains TEC on NSW Crown Forest Estate

The operational map for River-flat Eucalypt Forest (RFEF) was constructed to resolve long-standing issues surrounding its identification, location and extent within the NSW State Forest estate covered by the coastal Integrated Forestry Operation Agreements. The map was constructed in two parts, with State Forests to the north of Sydney being mapped in a separate process to those to the south of Sydney. We did this to minimise the risk that relationships between regional vegetation communities and the TEC would be confounded or masked by geographical variation or other major ecological gradients, which might otherwise be a significant risk if we had treated the full latitudinal range of the TEC as a single study area. In total, we assessed 1,218,000 hectares of State Forest across coastal NSW. This consisted of 868,000 hectares of State Forest on the north coast and more than 350,000 hectares of State Forest on the south coast. In both study areas, the project’s Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) Reference Panel (the Panel) preceded the assessment process by reviewing the determination for RFEF and agreeing upon a set of diagnostic parameters for its identification. The Panel found that RFEF is primarily defined by floristic plot data and that it is mostly located on coastal floodplains and associated alluvial landforms. Following on from these conclusions, we started the mapping process by mapping the distribution of floodplains and alluvial soils and thus identifying possible areas of RFEF. For both the north and the south coast we used an existing map of coastal landforms and geology in combination with several fine-scale models of alluvial landform features to determine the likely extent of floodplains and alluvial soils within our study areas. We used aerial photograph interpretation (API) to assess the floristic and structural attributes of the vegetation cover found on our modelled alluvial environments, and thus delineated polygons likely to contain RFEF. We also used API to modify the boundaries of the modelled alluvial areas using a prescribed list of eucalypt, casuarina and melaleuca species in combination with the interpretation of landform elements relevant to alluvial and floodplain environments. We then compiled floristic plot data for all State Forest areas within our modelled alluvial landforms and API polygons. For both the north and the south coast the floristic plot data was sourced from both existing flora surveys held in the OEH VIS database and from targeted flora surveys conducted specifically for this project. We compared these plots with those previously assigned to flora communities listed in the determination of RFEF. Both dissimilarity-based methods and multivariate regression methods were used for the comparison. The results of the comparison were then used to assess the likelihood that the plots in State forests belonged to one or more of the communities listed in the RFEF determination. Following this, we developed a predictive statistical model of the probability of occurrence of RFEF using plot data and a selection of environmental and remote-sensing variables. For the north coast, we used a Random Forest model, while for the south coast we used a Boosted Regression Tree model. To create the operational map, we assigned every mapped API polygon to RFEF if appropriate based on the plot data, over-storey and understorey attributes, landform features and modelled probabilities underlying each API polygon. We mapped 3819 hectares of RFEF on the south coast and 198 hectares of RFEF on the north coast.

Operational TEC Mapping have been derived by API at a viewing scale between 1-4000 using ADS40 50 cm pixel imagery and 1 m derived LIDAR DEM grids for floodplain EECs.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Title Assessment of River-Flat Eucalypt forest on Coastal floodplains TEC on NSW Crown Forest Estate
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution
Update Frequency irregular
Landing Page
Date Published 2018-06-15
Date Updated 2024-03-13
Temporal Coverage 2016-01-10
Geospatial Coverage {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[149.50438,-37.41703],[149.50438,-32.74726],[150.77762,-32.74726],[150.77762,-37.41703],[149.50438,-37.41703]]]}
Data Portal Data.NSW
Publisher/Agency Environment Protection Authority (EPA)