Curramore Sanctuary - Ecosystems / Plants
The habitats of Curramore have been mapped on aerial photos at 1:25,000 scale and Geographical Information System (GIS) processes used to produce two maps at 1:10,000 on backgrounds of aerial photography and a contour map. This process identified 29 habitat types. This number increases to 38 if small areas of various regrowth habitat types are included, as well as small cleared areas and small areas dominated by lantana.
The high rainfall, diverse geology, and sharp topographical variations of the property have combined to give it a remarkable range of habitat types expressed entirely as medium to tall eucalypt forests and several different types of vine forest (rainforest). Soils supporting these habitat types are formed on 3 basic rock types, the volcanics rhyolite and basalt, microgranite, and transported materials (colluvium and alluvium) eroded from these rocks.
Six recognised Regional Ecosystems, as broadly defined for Queensland legislation, encompass most of these habitat types, but several habitat types do not fit comfortably into any category of Regional Ecosystem.
The most significant habitat types are those developed on soils from basalt, because most basalt soils of the Blackall Ranges have been cleared.
The dominant habitats on basalt are two vine forest types developed in the high country near Donovan’s Knob; one as complex notophyll vine forest and the other is a simpler type (in terms of structure and floristic composition) dominated by palms. Other equally rare types of vine forest dominated by palms occupy sheltered gully positions on steep slopes and along Cedar Creek. A small, but significant area of “dry rainforest” (microphyll vine thicket) with emergent bunya pines is found in the south-western corner of the property.
A strip along the eastern margin of the property is occupied by grassy open forest, but most of the property is dominated by tall eucalypt or brush box forest with a vine forest understory. The tall white trunks of rose gum emerging from that understory are one of the aesthetic highlights of the property.