Southern Tablelands Vegetation

Geoff Robertson, Southern Tablelands community advocate. has developed a table of information and some images about the classification of Southern Tablelands Vegetation for the information of visitors to the STEP website in March 2013. Robertson’s work provides a useful guide to the classification of the Southern Tablelands vegetation.

The vegetation classification table includes eight formations: alpine, dry and wet forest, riparian (forested wetlands), wetlands, grasslands and grassy woodlands, and heathlands. In turn, these formations may be divided to sub-formations (grassy and shrubby forests), vegetation class and vegetation type.

The information was originally collected and recorded by Robertson in 2008 and 2009. The source was the then NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change’s (DECC) Detailed Data Definition of Vegetation Types for Catchment Management Authority areas (compiled by Danielle Ayres), and available from DECC’s website.

DECC had developed the vegetation classification as part of the infrastructure to administer the Native Vegetation Act. It was broadly based on David Keith’s Ocean Shores to Desert Dunes: The Native Vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT, which should be used in conjunction with this document. At the time of publication (in March 2013) the status of this work is not known. 

PDF fileDownload the Classification of Southern Tablelands Vegetation

Where are the Southern Tablelands?

Image source: Masterplan Panel 1

Southern Tablelands Ecosystems

The main ecosystems of the southern tablelands are:

Key terms*

  • Biodiversity
    The variety of all forms of life, encompassing species and the genetic diversity they contain as well as the ecological systems and processes of which they are a part. Biodiversity encompasses three levels of natural variation, genes, species and ecosystems.
  • Ecosystem
    An assemblage of plant and animal species that live and interact with each other, in the same place at the same time.
  • Ecological community
    An assemblage of plant and animal species that live and interact with each other, in the same place at the same time.
  • Vegetation community
    An assemblage of plant species that live and interact with each other, in the same place at the same time.
  • Vegetation formation
    Groups of vegetation classes with related structural, physiognomic and ‘functional;’ features (e.g. tolerance to low temperatures, or high levels of salt).  Examples:  Dry sclerophyll forests, Grassy woodlands.
  • Vegetation class
    A group of plant communities, defined by their overall floristic similarities (i.e. shared species), though they may also share structural characteristics and some features of their habitat.
  • Vegetation Classification Table
    The vegetation classification table for the Southern Tablelands includes eight formations: alpine, dry and wet forest, riparian (forested wetlands), wetlands, grasslands and grassy woodlands, and heathlands. In turn, these formations may be divided to sub-formations (grassy and shrubby forests), vegetation class and vegetation type.

* Key terms are derived from David Keith 2004, Ocean Shores to Desert Dunes; The Native Vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT, Dept of Enviromnment and Conservation (NSW)

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