Department of Environment and Conservation
Wheatbelt Woodlands

SAP site DU14, Nallian Nature Reserve, 12.2km NE of Wagin



Location of sites used in the classification of this community


Eucalyptus astringens (Brown Mallet) Woodland

Group

Mallets

Sub-communities

Brown Mallet over Little Understorey
Brown Mallet over Scrub
Brown Mallet over Mallee
Brown Mallet and Merrit
Brown Mallet and Flat-topped Yate
See also Red Morrel and Brown Mallet

See the report by Harvey and Keighery for sub-communities recognised by Keighery (Appendix 1), Gibson et al. (Appendix 2) and Griffin (Appendix 3). Many of these correspond to the sub-communities presented here, as is shown in the right hand columns of the tables in the appendices, but there are some unusual groups that are not recognised in this classification.

McQuoid recognises three Eucalyptus astringens groups, based on geographic and topographic position:
   1. As a common, and often large, tree on rises and breakaways in the south from around
       Tambellup and Broomehill west to Darkan, east to Dongolocking and north to around
       Brookton.
   2. As a somewhat relictual tree of disjunct hills and breakaways in the western central 
       Wheatbelt extending to a few isolated stands north to Bolgart and Walebing, near
       Quairading and east to Tammin.
   3. As a rare lowland woodland in the west Beverley area.

Species Identification

M allet, to 18m (the largest of the mallets). Bark smooth, shiny grey-brown, often with small curled flakes of dead bark adhering to lower trunk. Leaves glossy green. Mature buds stubby to slightly elongated, operculum blunt horn-shaped. Flowers w hite, cream, yellow, from August to December. Fruit bell-shaped, hanging from recurved peduncles. (For this and more information see EUCLID; Brooker & Kleinig; FloraBase.)

Subspecies
Eucalyptus astringens subsp. astringens is found on clay soils below lateritic breakaways from Brookton to Albany.
Eucalyptus astringens subsp. redacta has smaller buds and fruits and occurs between Albany and Bremer Bay (Brooker & Hopper), with an outlier near Hyden (FloraBase). This sub-species is not included in this classification.

Soils and Landform

Laterite, red-brown gravelly clay, brown clayey sand, sandy loam, spongolite. Breakaways, hills, valley slopes.

Associated Species

Upperstorey
Eucalyptus astringens may occur with E. wandoo, especially when E. wandoo woodland is an adjacent community.

Understorey
Understorey species may include occasional Santalum acuminatum and Melaleuca scalena, and a sparse ground cover of common herbs and grasses including Thysanotus patersonii, Trachymene pilosa, Pterostylis sanguineus, Austrostipa elegantissima, Austrodanthonia setacea group and Lomandra micrantha subsp. micrantha.

Number of Sites and Polygons

25 sites

Average Species Richness

19.75 spp. per 100m(13 sites)

Reference Sites

Suggested by McQuoid
Southern
  Great Southern Hwy, 5km N of Tambellup 
  Broomehill-Gnowangerup Rd, 18km W of Gnowangerup
Central
  Dudinin-Kulin Rd, E of Dudinin
  Dongolocking Reserve, Wishbone Rd, 24km NE of Dumbleyung
  Dryandra Woodlands, 25km NW of Narrogin
Lowland
  York-Williams Rd, 9km W of Beverley 
  North of Broomehill on Great Southern Hwy

Comments

Brown mallet Eucalyptus astringens communities in the western Wheatbelt on alluvial flats (previously ‘Beaufort River Flats’) is classified as a Priority 1 Ecological Community (see list on WA threatened ecological communities web page). Near York and on the Arthur River on grey clays the understorey is dominated by Melaleuca viminea over sedges (Gahnia trifida) and bunch grasses. At Kojonup and near Tambellup on brown clays sparse shrubs and succulent shrubs (Disphyma crassifolium) dominate the understorey.

E. astringens was one of the first Australian trees to be grown in plantations; tannin extracted from its bark was used in the tanning industry, before the development of synthetic substitutes (Bamford).

The timber of E. astringens is very hard and strong and was used for tool handles, mining timber, farm purposes and fuel (EUCLID). It has been observed to grow back strongly after harvesting (McQuoid) but, in some cases, it was wiped out by harvesting and grazing, so plantations were established at the then Dryandra State Forest, now the Dryandra Woodland (P. White pers. comm.).