Site of uncertain environmental stability
Dalyenong Flora and Fauna Reserve is still gazetted as State Forest Timber Reserve (Stimson May 98). The site has an altitude of between 210 m and 220 m and is on a westerly aspect. The area consists of gentle ridges on Palaeozoic sediments. The reserve is of moderate to high habitat value due to the range and age of tree species, fallen timber and large size of the area.
|Vegetation Description and Composition|
This large reserve is floristically diverse with Alluvial Terraces Herb Rich Woodland, Heathy Woodland and Plains Grassy Woodland EVC types and mosaics represented. Eucalyptus leucoxylon (Yellow Gum), Eucalyptus microcarpa (Grey Box) and some Allocasuarina luehmannii (Buloke) is found on the higher ground, with Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Red Gum) in the drainage lines. Calytrix tetragona (Common Fringe-myrtle), Acacia acinacea (Gold-dust Wattle) and Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) dominate the understorey layer.
The total number of species and level of abundance of many Poaceae (grass) species has been reduced, due to continued dry conditions. The number of introduced species, mostly pasture weeds has increased at the site since monitoring commenced in 1997.
Common Fringe myrtle is the dominant understorey species within the Heathy woodland EVC mosaic
Grey Box and Yellow Gum trees are dominant in the Plains grassy woodland EVC at Dalyenong Reserve
Eight trees are monitored for tree canopy health using a 20-point system assessing canopy size and density, number of dead branches and extent of epicormic growth. Leaf damage by insects is also assessed. Most trees at the site have remained stable or have improved in health since monitoring commenced in 1997. This is due to little epicormic growth present on trees or evidence of insect attack.
Groundwater and salinity
Two bores are located due west of the site near a saline discharge area. Groundwater levels have fallen in response to dry conditions, however remain high (approx 3 m) and contain very saline groundwater (>15 000 EC in 2002). The threat of rising saline groundwater in years of average or above average rainfall is of concern to the ecological health of this site.