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Habitat 2. Casuarina woodland

Casuarinas are distinctive in the Australian landscape, particularly along the beaches of Magnetic Island. The name Casuarina is derived from the Malay Kasuari, resembling the drooping foliage of the genus and that of the feathers of a cassowary bird. The genus Casuarina has approximately 56 species. The beach she-oak, Casuarina equisetilolia occurs within the Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve.

Casuarina woodland Casuarina woodland
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The Casuarina foliage is made up of jointed photosynthetic branchlets that have grooves running along the length, where the stomata are located. The ridges between the grooves terminate in leaf tips, collectively forming many minute leaves at the joint. The photosynthetic branchlets of Casuarina equisetilolia are distinctively long and weeping.

Many species of Casuarina occur in early ecological succession of new sites and are therefore light demanders and can occupy a wide range of habitat types. The wood of most Casuarinas is dense and very hard. The wood is considered to be an excellent fuel and when burnt, the wood will produce high amounts of heat with relatively minimal smoke. Casuarina equisetilolia is considered by some the best fuel wood species in the world. The bark from Casuarina equisetilolia is used in tanning, in medicine and for the extraction of dyes. Several species of Casuarina are planted as shade trees in parks, for beach stabilisation after mining activities and on mining spoil dumps.

At Nelly Bay Habitat Reserve
The Casuarina woodland is almost a pure stand of Casuarina or mixtures of strand vegetation such as Barringtonia asiatica, Terminalia spp. Thespesia populnea with a variety of grasses, forbs and sedges. Much of this vegetation type is found only as a very narrow strip along the sandy coastline.

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Habitat Name  Landform
Casuarina woodland  
locations seen (2)  ..

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