Lowland Native Grasslands of Tasmania

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©Matt Appleby

Lowland native grassland in Tasmania occurs below 600 m on valley flats and well-drained slopes on basalt, dolerite and deep sands geologies. The majority of remnants occur in the Midlands, Derwent Valley, east coast and south-east areas of Tasmania. There are two distinct sub-communities, differentiated by the dominant tussock-forming grass. Lowland Themeda triandra grassland is dominated by Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass) with Austrostipa, Poa and Rytidosperma species subdominant. In good-quality patches, the intertussock spaces contain many daisies, particularly Leptorhynchos squamatus (Scaly Buttons) and Chrysocephalum apiculatum (Common Everlasting), Arthropodium spp. (Chocolate and Vanilla Lilies) and other native lilies, native orchids and short or prostrate shrubs including Pimelea humilis (Common Rice-flower), Bossiaea prostrata (Creeping Bossiaea) and Hibbertia species such as Hibbertia hirsuta (Hairy Guinea-flower). Epacridaceae, including Lissanthe strigosa (Peach Berry) and Astroloma humifusum (Native Cranberry), are a conspicuous component of Tasmanian Themeda grasslands rarely found in lowland native grasslands on the mainland. The other community is Lowland Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock) grassland, which is typically found on alluvial flats in valley bottoms, sometimes in association with scattered Eucalyptus ovata (Swamp Gum) trees, and on gentle slopes. It is typically less diverse than Tasmanian Themeda triandra grassland. The size of the Poa labillardierei tussocks, and therefore their competitive influence, varies with topographic situation and grazing pressure, which in turn influences the species composition of the intertussock spaces, with larger tussocks reducing species diversity. Characteristic species include Schoenus apogon (Common Bog-rush), Acaena novae-zelandiae (Bidgee-widgee), Acaena echinata (Sheep’s Burr), Dichondra repens (Kidney Weed) and Veronica gracilis (Slender Speedwell).

Conservation Status (EPBC Act) 
Critically Endangered
Percent of former extent remaining 
9 -12 %
Bioregions the community occurs in 
Characteristic fauna species 

Tasmanian Bettong, Spotted-tail Quoll, Tiger Quoll, Eastern Quoll, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Forester Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Bennetts Wallaby, Eastern-barred Bandicoot, Long-nosed Potoroo, Tasmanian Devil, Tasmanian Pademelon, Common Brushtail Possum, Common Wombat, Short-beaked Echidna, Yellow-rumped ThornbillAustralasian Pipit, Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Quail, Australian Magpie, Brown Falcon, Australian Hobby, Latham’s Snipe, Blue-winged Parrot, Flame Robin, Tasmanian Native Hen, Lowland Copperhead, White-lipped Snake, Tiger Snake, Tussock Skink, Glossy Grass Skink, Catadromous Carabid Beetle, Tunbridge Looper Moth, Ptunnarra Brown Butterfly

Example Locations