Swamp Tea-tree (Melaleuca irbyana) Forest of South-east Queensland

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005

Nationally threatened ecological community information sheet

About the fact sheet

The Swamp Tea-tree Forest is a type of forest that only occurs in south-eastern Queensland. It can be found in the local government areas of Beaudesert, Boonah, Logan, Ipswich, Laidley and Esk.

A characteristic feature of this ecological community is the presence of Swamp Tea-trees (Melaleuca irbyana), usually in thickets about 8–12m high underneath an open canopy of eucalypt trees. Typical eucalypt trees include Narrow-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra), Silver-leaved Ironbark (E. melanophloia), Grey Box (E. moluccana) or Forest Red Gum (E. tereticornis). The understorey is sparse and comprises grasses, sedges and herbs with few shrubs and vines present.

The Swamp Tea-tree Forest grows on poorly draining clay soils on the plains and low hills of the Moreton basin. The clay soils drain slowly and often become waterlogged after heavy rains, resulting in the appearance of numerous temporary ponds.

A variety of plants and animals make their homes in the Swamp Tea-tree Forest, including the nationally threatened Slender Milkvine plant. The Swamp Tea-trees provide shelter and nesting sites for a range of bird species. On the ground, numerous fallen logs provide shelter for reptiles and other animals while temporary ponds provide breeding habitat for frogs and other pond life. Koalas, echidnas and wallabies also occur in the Swamp Tea-tree Forest.