Styx Rainforest

Fertile, wet soils grows Giant Trees in the Styx Valley Rainforest, Tasmania

tas-jc-styx-874 forest floorP1010914Description:   wet clay loam soils
deeply covered with forest litter layer

Location:        hillsides
of the Big Tree Reserve (Styx State Forest Reserve)
in the ‘Valley of the Giants’, Styx Valley, Tasmania.

Values for these soils

  • Grows the rich biodiversity of a temperate wet Eucalyptus rainforesttas-jc-styx-userainforest-848comp
    • The world’s tallest trees Swamp Gum ( aka Mountain Ash) Eucaplytus regnans,
    • Sassafras and Myrtles
    • ferns
    • lichens and mosses and fungi etc
  • from the soil to the tree tops these support native fauna in great diversity
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Supports the growth of 6 Giant Trees * in the Styx State Forest Reserve over 112 ha of soil,
    • with another 27 elsewhere in the Styx Valley on about 4500 ha of soil.
  • Carbon storage
    • Estimated at up to 1200 tonnes p.a. by the Wilderness Society**
    • Photography and walking recreation for tourists
    • Education in the nature of complex ecosystems and biodiversity
    • Water catchment

Erosion and compaction challenges for these wet soils of the Styx Valley (up to 1500 mm pa, with a minimum month of over 50mm)
– from high numbers of tourists
removal of forest plant cover (eg under logging out of the reserve)
Management of these wet soils as part of the forest reserve management
Natural events and processes take place
Fires, even of lighting a cigarette, are not allowed
Removal of plants is not allowed, (but logging is allowed in other parts of this valley)
Prepared tracks and board walks have been placed to protect soils from damage by heavy foot traffic.

See more at
* needs of Giant Trees by Balmer et al, Management of Tasmania’s Giant Trees at
** Wilderness Society Website
About plants especially at Out in the Styx … Valley Forest Reserve
Peter Cundall’s summary at
The Styx Valley as a self drive excursion with attractions
For different soils, growing different type of forests, visit the Weissenstein Forest Soil Selfies in the Jura Switzerland, or  the Silkeborg Forest Soil Selfies from Jutland Denmark and in LN post

Credits :  Jeanie Clark, of Warracknabeal, gives permission for her photos and information to be used under a (cc) license 2015. Editing and page created by Jeanie Clark, enviroed4all®, Warracknabeal, for use in education under a (cc) licence 2015

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page setup 10 September 2015, updated 9 January 2016