Habitats at RBG Cranbourne
The Conservation Zone
As an isolated fragment of remnant vegetation, the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne bushland gives a rare glimpse of the type of vegetation that once covered much of the Westernport Bay and Port Phillip Bay regions. This page lists the 6 types of habitats that occur on site and how to find them on the site map
Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne bushland
What is the Conservation Zone at RBG Cranbourne?
The Conservation Zone comprises approximately 250 hectares of indigenous native vegetation. This area includes all sections of the gardens that have not been set aside for other uses such as the depot area, the former sand mined areas that encompass the Australian Garden and Special Collections, and approximately 100 hectares of former pasture land such as Wylies Creek Wetlands and the Arboretum.
Why is it considered an area of ‘conservation significance’?
As an isolated fragment of remnant vegetation, the Conservation Zone gives us a rare glimpse of the type of vegetation that once covered much of the Westernport Bay and Port Phillip Bay regions. The Conservation Zone is considered of state conservation significance for biodiversity conservation. Many of the plant, animal and vegetation communities that exist at the site are now rare in the region and RBG Cranbourne provides a secure, managed environment.
How are the different types of vegetation determined?
The different types of vegetation at RBG Cranbourne are defined using ‘Ecological Vegetation Class’ (EVC) criteria. These criteria classify the different types of vegetation communities by their structure, form, and dominant species. The soil type, topography and hydrology of the area generally determine the different types of vegetation that an area can support.
What are the different types of vegetation at RBG Cranbourne?
The Conservation Zone at RBG Cranbourne is generally classified into 6 distinct vegetation classes:
- Wetland Complex - This includes various types of wetland including sedge wetland and aquatic herb fields. Sedge wetland generally appears as a dense, open sedgeland without trees, dominated by one or two species of sedge such as Pithy Sword-sedge (Lepidosperma longitudinale). Examples of sedge wetland appear along the western side of Stringybark Drive and next to the main gate. Perch Swamp is an example of an aquatic herb field and consists of Triglochin villarsia and Myriophyllum species.
- Grassy Woodland - Dominated by Narrow-leaf Peppermint (Eucalyptus radiata), this area has an open, grassy understorey. Woodland species prefer the clay soils with limited sand cover that occur along the side of the depot area, stretching out towards the Wylies Creek Wetlands.
- Heathy Woodland - The tree layer of this area usually consists of a canopy of Coast Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis subsp. Pryoriana), with a dense shrub layer dominated by Silky Tea-tree (Leptospermum myrsinoides). Examples of this type of vegetation can be seen along the Trig Point Track.
- Wet Heath - This type of vegetation can generally be seen in the gullies between the dunes and is characterised by a tree layer of Mealy Stringybark (Eucalyptus cephalocarpa),with a shrub layer dominated by Scented Paperbark (Melaleuca squarrosa). Examples of this type of vegetation can be seen along the Entry Road.
- Swamp Scrub - Appearing along the south western end of the Woodland area and along the natural drainage lines to the south of the Conservation Zone, this area consists of dense thickets of Swamp Paperbark (Melaleuca ericifolia) beneath a very sparse canopy of Swamp Gum (Eucalyptus ovata).
- Grassland - RBG Cranbourne contains a large area of man-made grassland that was cleared for agriculture in the 1800’s. It mainly contains exotic grasses however, many species of native grass persist.
RBG Cranbourne Map shows the different habitat types as different colours on the map.
Last updated 01 Nov 2010