Regional Ecosystem 12.2.5a - Littoral closed or open forest
  • Last updated:
  • 05 Dec 2022

This ecosystem occurs on coastal dunes across the Sunshine Coast region primarily behind the frontal dunes in the swales.

The Queensland biodiversity status is Of Concern, however it is upgraded to Vulnerable on the Sunshine Coast due to the threats posed by weed invasion, recreation and fire.

Prior to European settlement the extent of this regional ecosystem on the Sunshine Coast was restricted to only 31 hectares. Over 60% of this ecosystem has since been lost with 19 hectares remaining today. 90% of this extent is protected in either state or council protected tenures.


Melaleuca closed or open forest with Livistona australis and/or a shrubby understorey which may include rainforest species.

Flora commonly found in this ecosystem include:

Melaleuca quinquenervia Broad leaf paperbark tree
Acronychia imperforata Coastal aspen
Banksia integrifolia var integrifolia Coastal banksia
Livistona australis Fan palm

+/- vine scrub species in understorey.

Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

Habitat for threatened species:

Acronychia littoralis Scented acronychia

Management considerations

One of the main threats to this ecosystem is from weed invasion generated by encroachments of invasive non-native plants and dumping of green waste from home gardens.

Other threats to the maintenance of ecosystem biodiversity are caused by inappropriate recreational use, arson, illegal vegetation removal, unauthorised structures and paths as well as changes in hydrology i.e. draining of the water table.

Some of the common garden weeds regularly removed from this ecosystem include:

Baccharis halimifolia Groundsel bush
Bryophyllum ssp Mother of millions
Callisia fragrans Purple succulent
Ipomoea cairica Coast morning glory
Lantana camara Lantana
Murraya paniculata Mock Orange, Orange Jessamine
Ochna serrulata Ochna
Protasparagus densiflorus var sprengeri Asparagus fern
Sansevieria trifasciata Mother in law’s tongue
Schinus tebinthifolia Broad leaf pepper tree
Schefflera actinophylla Umbrella tree
Senna pendula var. glabrata Easter cassia
Sphagneticola trilobata Singapore daisy
Gloriosa superba Glory lily