Threatened ecological communities

An ecological community is a unique group of plants, animals and micro-organisms that occupy, and interact within, the same geographical space. Each ecological community is adapted to occur in a particular habitat type, usually determined by factors such as soil type, position in the landscape, climate and water availability.

Ecological communities may occur in land, marine, freshwater or cave environments. Some examples of ecological communities in South Australia are sheoak grassy woodlands and Fleurieu Peninsula swamps.

Threatened ecological communities

Many of South Australia's ecological communities are considered to be threatened or of conservation concern because their future survival is at risk. Threatened ecological communities are often so because they have been extensively cleared and fragmented, or are naturally restricted in distribution.

They may be exposed to a number of other threats, including:

  • pest plants and animals
  • excess nutrients in water and soil
  • inappropriate grazing or fire regimes
  • surface and groundwater changes
  • salinity.

Many threatened ecological communities also support a high number of threatened species within them.