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Habitats within the woodland

Woodland sites with particular soil, topographic or past management conditions provide localised habitats and microhabitats for particular plant species. These are important to maintain the full range of local biodiversity.

The Conservation Research Woodland occupies a gentle east-facing slope from a ridge running along Mount Annan Drive about 130 m elevation to Mount Annan Creek (110 m elevation), a change in elevation of about 20 m.

Soils and geology

Soils are derived from Bringelly shales in the Wianamatta Group, and are yellow podzolic on the hillside with some alluvium along Annan Creek.

Localised habitats

Within the woodland localised habitats include

  • Dry gully habitat in the northern part of the woodland provides locally moister conditions and habitat for the ferns Asplenium flabellifolium and Pellaea falcata, and the climbers Cayratia clematidea and Parsonsia straminea.
  • Shady area habitat on slopes provides habitat for Plectranthus parviflorus, Scutellaria humilis and Ranunculus lappaceus.
  • Under tree habitat has a species composition that includes a higher proportion of species with fleshy fruits such as Einadia nutans subsp. linifolia and Einadia nutans, and the woody weed African Olive *Olea europea subsp. cuspidata though the more shaded conditions may also influence species composition.
  • Bare area habitat may be temporally colonised by ephemerals during wet periods, such as Crassula sieberiana, Ranunculus sessiliflorus, and mosses, lichens and algae.
  • Mown area habitat, though favouring exotic grass species such as couch, *Cynodon dactylon and Paspalum, *Paspalum dilatatum, may sometimes provide habitat for ephemeral herbs such as Solenogyne bellioides and Solenogyne dominii, depending on weather conditions.
  • Roadside habitat and paths provide habitat for a number of weed species as well as Chloris truncataBothriochloa macra, Cotula australis

Away from the woodland are other important habitat areas including

  • Riverflat forest habitat along Mount Annan Creek on the eastern side of the woodland, with some very large trees of Eucalyptus tereticornis. The creekline itself includes sedges and Typha (Bullrush).
  • Dam habitat at a small dam below the woodland as well as larger ones further along Mount Annan Creek. These provide habitat for aquatic and semiaquatic plants. Additional native species, not necessarily local ones have been established in the larger dams.
  • Grassland habitat - there are some large areas of open, periodically mown grassland adjacent to our woodland, and elsewhere in the Gardens. Grassland /woodland interfaces are currently the focus of some of our ecological studies.
  • Woodland Picnic area is a gardened habitat providing picnic facilities. Even during dry seasons visitors can see a range of woodland plants in flower as a result of irrigation water.

Asterisk * indicates exotic species naturalised at the Australian Botanic Garden.

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