Paruna Sanctuary - Ecosystems / Plants
Paruna sanctuary is in the 'Darling System', at the northern extremity of the Northern Jarrah Forest in the southwest of Western Australia. There are four major vegetation complexes represented, which are:
- Dwellingup and Yalanbee Complex, which supports an open forest of Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and Marri (Eucalyptus calophylla) with an understorey of species typical of the Northern Jarrah Forest
- Yalanbee Complex comprising woodland of Wandoo and Powderbark (Eucalyptus accedens)
- Helena Complex, which is restricted to deeply incised valleys with steep rocky slopes and some shallow red or yellow soils. The floristics of the Helena complex is variable and dependent upon soil depth. However, a distinctive feature is an open woodland of Wandoo on the deeper soils. The majority of vegetation at Paruna sanctuary is representative of this complex
- Murray and Bindoon Complex, which occur on the slopes of deeply, incised valleys with red or yellow soils. Typical vegetation comprises intermixing of Wandoo with Marri on slopes or with Blackbutt (Eucalyptus patens) and/or Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus rudis) on lower slopes
The diversity of habitats present on the sanctuary is due to a complex geology and topography. The different vegetation communities are associated with a range of different soil types.
The Jarrah forest occurs predominantly on the smaller areas of lateritic plateau at Paruna sanctuary, while the Powderbark is found on ridges, and the Marri woodland on slopes. The majority of the sanctuary consists of steep granitic slopes supporting Wandoo woodland on the deeper soils and diverse heathlands and shrublands on the shallower soils. In the Avon Valley itself, Flooded Gum occurs with Paperbark (Melaleuca raphiophylla) along the river.
Over 350 species of plants are expected to occur at Paruna sanctuary, including a number of priority species. A field herbarium has been established, with over 240 plants collected and identified, providing a valuable