Low Elevation Mixed Species Forests
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The following is extracted from: Low Elevation Mixed Species in Victoria's State Forests (2013)
The Low Elevation Mixed (eucalypt) Species (LEMS) forest type occurs in every region of Victoria except the north-west, covering approximately 2,757,000 ha or 35% of Victoria's forested public land. There are similar forests in south-east NSW (Baur 1983) and Tasmania (Forestry Tasmania 2009a), but they are not explicitly covered in this manual.
LEMS forests contribute significantly to economic, social and ecological values for Victoria, including:
- the provision of timber and other forest products on a sustainable basis
- the protection of landscape, archaeological and historic values
- the protection of water catchments and water quality, and
- the provision of recreational and educational opportunities.
Mixed species forests are widespread in Victoria, except for the north-west region. There is significant variation in the range of species involved, the soil types, elevations and climatic conditions under which these forests grow. Consequently, these forests are often referred to by a number of common names, usually based on climate or location, e.g. Dry and Lowland Sclerophyll, or Foothill and Coastal Mixed Species.
However, the division of Victorian mixed species forests into High Elevation Mixed Species (HEMS) and Low Elevation Mixed Species (LEMS) is most relevant for guiding silvicultural practices. Generally the LEMS forest type occurs in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and in the near-coastal areas. High Elevation Mixed Species (HEMS) and Ash eucalypt species occur at higher and usually wetter sites.