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Assessment of Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest TEC on NSW Crown Forest Estate (South Coast Region)

The operational map for Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest (SOFF) 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 SOFF and agreeing upon a set of diagnostic parameters for its identification. The Panel found that SOFF 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 SOFF. 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 floristic and structural attributes of the vegetation cover on our modelled alluvial environments, and thus delineated polygons likely to contain SOFF. We also used API to modify the boundaries of the modelled alluvial areas using a prescribed list of 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 SOFF. 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 SOFF determination. To create the operational map, we assigned every mapped API polygon to SOFF based on the plot data, over-storey and understorey attributes, landform features and model output underlying each API polygon. In total, we mapped approximately 272 hectares of SOFF across our full study area.

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.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Assessment of Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest TEC on NSW Crown Forest Estate (South Coast Region)
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution
Update Frequency irregular
Landing Page https://data.nsw.gov.au/data/dataset/f6e272bd-b0a5-4827-b3b9-571baa2e05e5
Date Published 2018-06-15
Date Updated 2024-02-26
Temporal Coverage 2016-01-10
Geospatial Coverage {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[149.81795,-37.22477],[149.81795,-30.50141],[152.98365,-30.50141],[152.98365,-37.22477],[149.81795,-37.22477]]]}
Data Portal Data.NSW
Publisher/Agency Environment Protection Authority (EPA)