Regional ecosystem 12.2.5 - Littoral rainforest
  • Last updated:
  • 29 Nov 2022

A coastal ecosystem which occurs on frontal dunes either on beach ridges, in the swales between dunes or on the sandy banks of coastal streams. 

The Queensland biodiversity status is of concern but the ecosystem is considered vulnerable south of Noosa due to clearing, recreational use, weed incursion and over-frequent fire.

The class given under the Vegetation Management Act is least concern.


Open or closed canopy forest sometimes very low due to wind shear, particularly on exposed coastal dunes. The shrubby understorey may include vine forest species. This ecosystem often has Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) and Cabbage Tree Palms (Livistona spp.) in the swales where the ecosystem classification is 12.2.5a, vegetated wetland.

Flora commonly found in this ecosystem include:

Acacia spp. 
Acronychia imperforate
Coastal Aspen 
Austromyrtus dulcis
Corymbia intermedia  Pink Bloodwood 
Banksia aemula   Wallum Banksia 
Banksia integrifolia var integrifolia   Coastal Banksia 
Callitris columellaris  Bribie Island Pine 
Cupaniopsis anacardioides 
Cyclophyllum coprosmoides    Coastal Canthium 
Exocarpos latifolius    Beach Cherry 
Melaleuca quinquenervia  Broad-leaved Paperbark                                     

Management considerations

This ecosystem provides habitat for threatened flora and fauna species. Ecosystem diversity is threatened by over-frequent fires south of Noosa. Fire should be excluded from this ecosystem to maintain ecosystem diversity and protect threatened species. This ecosystem may require active protection from wildfire in extreme conditions or after prolonged drought.

The other threat to this ecosystem is weed incursion, and some of the common garden weeds regularly invading this ecosystem include: 

Gloriosa superba    Glory Lily 
Bryophyllum ssp  Mother of Millions 
Callisia fragrans   Purple succulent 
Ipomoea cairica   Coastal Morning Glory 
Lantana camara   Lantana (on edges) 
Murraya paniculata  Mock Orange 
Ochna serrulata   Mickey Mouse Plant
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                                        
Nephrolepsis cordifolia   Fishbone Fern

This ecosystem is found in coastal areas of Sandy Srait South to Caloundra. Some local locations where the ecosystem is found include Marcus Beach, Sunshine Beach, Coolum, Yaroomba and Warana.  

Article by Suzanne Aspland