Your gateway to a wide range of natural resources information and associated maps

Victorian Resources Online

Macalister (Mr)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Macalister- geoArea: 359 sq. km (1.7%)

Macalister land system is mapped on Carboniferous sediments below the subalpine tract and occurs in the north-west of the East Victorian Uplands. The terrain is mountainous with ridge-and-ravine topography and long, steep slopes on which soil creep and other slope processes are active. Some structural control of slopes is evident, for example, the many subhorizontal and narrow, rocky shelves which break the steep slopes are due to beds of hard rock. The land is similar in geology and topography to Turton land system but has a much more humid climate.

Very steep slopes, active soil creep and high, natural erosion rates result in soils which are extremely shallow and very stony, with much rock outcrop. Deeper soils may occur on protected or lower, gentler slopes.

The vegetation is mainly shrubby open forest II or III. with closed fernland in moist, protected valley heads.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Macalister- image
The characteristic ridge and ravine topography

Rainfall, mean (mm)
Temperature, mean (C)
Seasonal growth limitations

Annual 900 - 1600; lowest January or February (50 - 90), highest August or September (120 - 180)

Annual 8 - 12; lowest July (3 - 7), highest February (16 - 20)
Temperature <10C (av.): April - October
Rainfall < potential evapotranspiration: January, February; occasional winter snow
Age, lithology

Carboniferous quartzose sandstones, feldspathic sandstones and silty sandstones of the Snowy Plains Formation
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Steep mountains with ridge-and-ravine topography

380 - 1460
220 - 680
PRESENT LAND USEUncleared: hardwood forestry (mainly general construction and ash timber); bush grazing of cattle; apiculture

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Macalister- csA study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Macalister- graph

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Steep slopes with humid forest
Lower slopes and valley sides with drier
Protected slopes and valleys with more
vigorous humid forest
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
35 - 45, (10 - 100)
35 - 45, (10 - 100)
Straight, some concave
35 - 40, (5 - 50)
Straight, some concave
Parent material
Quartzose and feldspathic sandstone
Very shallow and stony brown loam to sandy clay loam; deep profiles on inclusions of more gently sloping terrain
Similar to component 1. Colluvium with deeper very stony brown loam to sandy clay loam; little differentiation with depth
Stony brown loam to sandy clay loam becoming slightly more reddish or yellowish at depth
Lithosols, some Red Earth/Krasnozems
Um6.21, Um5.42
Probably Brown Earths/Lithosols
Brown Earths, Lithosols
Um7.11, Uml.43
Surface texture
Loam to sandy clay loam
Loam to sandy clay loam
Loam to sandy clay loam
Surface consistence
Depth (m)
<0.4; >1.0 on colluvium
Nutrient status
Available soil water capacity
Perviousness to water
Exposed stone (%)
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Mainly shrubby open forest III, IV:
Pure or mixed stands of E. cypellocarpa,
E. dives, E. obliqua, E. radiata, E. sieberi and at higher elevations, E. pauciflora,
E. rubida
Open forest I, II or woodland I:
E. dives, E. mannifera or E. macrorhyncha
usually dominant. Associated species include E. radiata, E. rubida, E. sieberi
Protected slopes — open forest III, IV:
Higher elevations — E. delegatensis+ often with E. rubida
Lower elevations — E. regnans+ often with E. obliqua
Valleys — open forest III of E. viminalis+ and/or E. radiata+ or closed fernland of Dicksonia antarctica

Affected process and trend
Primary resultant deterioration
Casual activities
Primary off-site process
Susceptibility of components
Incidence with components
    Alteration of vegetation:

    — reduction in leaf area, rooting depth and/or perenniality

    — reduction in density of tree roots
Reduced transpiration,
resulting in:

a) increased deep

b) increased regolith

Decreased root-binding

Nutrient loss

Soil creep

Soil creep

Not determined

1,3; high
2; moderate

1,3; high
2; moderate

Not determined



Removal of trees

Accelerated by major disturbances of native vegetation

Accelerated by major disturbances of native vegetation

Increased movement of water to groundwater; increased base-flow of streams

Increased sediment load

Increased sediment load

    Increased exposure of surface soil
Increased overland flow and soil detachmentSheet and rill erosion1,2,3; highUncommonClearing, logging, burning, overgrazing, road building and other earth-moving activities, trafficking by stock and vehicles.Increased flash flows and sediment load.
    Increased physical pressure on soil
Increased compaction


reduced infiltration
Structure decline

Sheet and rill erosion
1,2; low – moderate

1,2,3; high

Increased trafficking, overgrazing, export of organic matter

As for sheet and rill erosion above

Increased flash flows
    Increased soil disruption
Increased soil break-upGully erosion1,2,3; highUncommonAs for sheet and rill erosion aboveIncreased sediment load.
Comments: -
Page top