An extensive network of ephemeral wetlands exists within arid and semiarid Australia. These wetlands provide important resources to local and migratory species; however, they are poorly studied, particularly in terms of their vegetation–environmental relations. To better understand these relationships, a flora survey was conducted in a large complex of ephemeral, subtropical wetlands in central Queensland, in an attempt to describe the vegetation patterns present,
and determine their underlying environmental conditions. In total, eight vegetation groups were identified, with water depth
having the greatest influence over vegetation patterns, with slope, assumed to affect drainage, having a secondary influence.
Aquatics, such as Nymphaea gigantea Hook. and Vallisneria nana R.Br., characterise the deepest zone, grasslands and
sedgelands characterise intermediate depths and a herbfield including many ephemeral terrestrial species characterises the
shallow zone. The geography of the wetland-dependant species indicates mostly tropical affinities. All wetland-dependant
species present are broadly distributed, with none requiring special conservation considerations. There are no significant
infestations of exotic species, including ponded pasture species, that have spread throughout other tropical and subtropical
wetlands. The complex of wetlands extending over a large catchment area in the upper Dawson River catchment is in
excellent natural condition, and as such, it forms a very important component of the network of wetlands extending along the
east coast of Australia.