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A study of the soil and vegetation patterns within part of the Pilliga forests, and an evaluation of the impact of European settlement on the vegetation

posted on 2022-03-28, 03:16 authored by Elizabeth Norris
An investigation of the relationships between soil and vegetation was undertaken within part the Pilliga State Forests in north-western New South Wales in order to develop a model explaining the contrasting vegetation patterns observed. -- Given the uniformity of climate in the Pilliga forests it was suggested that vegetation structure and floristics would be largely influenced by the nature of the substrate and local topographic and drainage conditions. The most common soil within the study area is a texture-contrast soil, the formation of which is discussed. Two other soils are described in the study are and their geomorphic and pedologic origins postulated. -- A soil moisture - slope model was proposed as a major influence in the distribution of species and communities along a topographic gradient from a ridge crest to depression. Seven plant communities were described for the study area, and 185 species recorded. A low proportion were exotic (5 taxa), and the possible significance of this was discussed. -- European settlement and land management has been alleged to have had an enormous impact on the structure of the forests, altering them from an open savannah woodland to woodlands of much greater tree densities with shrubby understoreys. This research demonstrates that dramatic structural changes in the study area were not of the magnitude as previously claimed, with some communities being present relatively unchanged for well over 100 years.


Table of Contents

The nature of this study -- Environmental perspectives -- Study area, general forest description and methodology -- European history -- Results and analysis part 1 - soils -- Results and analysis part 2 - vegetation -- Discussion and conclusions.


July 1996 Bibliography: leaves 191-214B

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis masters research


Thesis (MSc), Macquarie University, School of Earth Sciences

Department, Centre or School

School of Earth Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Peter Mitchell


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Elizabeth Helen Norris 1997. This thesis was digitised for the purposes of Document Delivery. Macquarie University ResearchOnline attempted to locate the author but where this has not been possible; we are making available, open access, the thesis which may be used for the purposes of private research and study. If you have any enquiries or issues regarding this work being made available please contact Macquarie University ResearchOnline - If you wish to access the complete thesis, on receipt of a Document Supply Request, placed with Macquarie University Library by another library, we will consider supplying a copy of this thesis. For more information on Document Supply, please contact




New South Wales


xviii, 264 leaves ill., maps (some col.)

Former Identifiers

mq:14317 1526652

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