You are here

Home > Learn > Info for students > Ecosystems > Heathlands

Heathlands

Diuris

What are heathland ecosystems?

Heathlands are characterised by dense, low shrubs with scattered, twisted trees – a function of the harshness of the environment where they occur.

They support a very high floral diversity, a large number of small mammals and rich bird life. They are widespread in Victoria, particularly near the coast and in the south-west.

Heathland facts

  • Occur where drainage is poor so distribution is often patchy
  • Soils have extremely low levels of nutrients
  • Dominated by tough, hard leaved plants and terrestrial orchids - many are rare or threatened in the state.

Threats

Fire is a fundamental environmental factor. Fire allows regeneration of many small ground layer species, however fire regimes that are too infrequent or too large in scale pose a major threat to this ecosystem.

Heathlands support more than 80 species of birds and small marsupials such as dunnarts, bandicoots and potoroos and mammals such as the Swamp Rat and New Holland Mouse, which are prone to predation by foxes.

Heathlands are also particularly prone to Phytophthora cinnamomi (a fungal dieback) and invasion by woody native species

Where do I find heathlands?

Find out more

Deptartment of Environment and Primary Industries – Distribution map and information about the different types of heathlands found in Victoria.

Diurus or Donkey orchid Click to view the news RSS feed.

Now is a great time for local orchid spotting

10 Sep 2014

If you haven’t walked through Greens Bush, explored Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve or hiked from Arthurs Seat to Bushrangers Bay in spring, you’re missing out on something very special! These areas have the largest patches of remnant bushland on the Mornington Peninsula and their rare plants and native animals…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

18 Sep 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Enjoy the great natural beauty of the Billy’s Creek area and learn some local history while enjoying a free guided walk run by Friends of Morwell National Park. The park is home to many species of native orchids, marsupials and birds, as well as relics of past land usage. Billy’s…

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

19 Sep 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Combining rare coastal woodlands and a beautiful coastline, this loop walk immerses the walker in natural beauty and a real sense of remoteness. Come along and enjoy this free guided walk by the Friends of Edwards Point Coastal Park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Kooyoora Wildflower Show

20 Sep 2014 12:00am - 21 Sep 2014 12:00am

Local wildflower display, bus tours, presentations, photographic competition, plant and local products sales, activities and more. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be available. Location: Inglewood Eucy Museum 20 Grant Street North, Inglewood

Click to view RSS Feed

Please note there is no Hanami Day event this year

20 Sep 2014 12:00am - 21 Sep 2014 12:00am

There will be no Hanami Day event this year, but visitors are encouraged to enjoy the gardens anytime during the cherry blossom flowering season that usually occurs across 2-3 weeks in September. Good places to enjoy the flowers include: George Tindale Memorial Gardens, Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and the National…