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The comparative ecology of mainland Australian and Tasmanian alpine vegetation

posted on 2023-05-28, 00:46 authored by Kirkpatrick, JB
The comparative ecology of mainland Australia and Tasmania alpine vegetation J.B. Kirkpatrick Department of Geography and Environmental Sttldies University of Tasmania GPO Box 252C Hobart TAS 7001 Our knowledge of pattern and process in the cl5OO km' of alpine and treeless sub-alpine vegetation in Australia is beaer than that of any other major ..Austnlian vegetation type. We have quadrat data from almost every mountain (McVean 1969; McDougall 1982; Waisll et al. 1986: Kirkpitrick 19RGa.b). and the short to medium term dynamics of the major plant communities are moderarely well-known (e.g. Carr and Turner 1959; Wimbusll and Costin 1979: Kirkpatrick and Dickinson 1984: Kirkpatrick and Gibson 1984: Williams and Ashton 1987: Leigh eral. 1987). The relative recency of alpine research in Tasmania has meant that reviews of the alpine vegetation of Austnlia as a whole have been almost totally based on work carried out in the mainland mountains (e.g. Costin 1981). A study of the phytogeography of Austnlian alpine floras (Kirkpatrick 1982) indicated that Tasmania contained more florisric variation than the mainland. In (his paper the earlier analysis is extended to include more mountains. using Tasmanian and mainland quadrat data to form a nationwide classification of alpine vegetation and to discuss the nature and putative causes of the differences in pattern and process between the treeless vegetation of the high country of the two islands.


Publication title

The Scientific Significance of the Australian Alps






Australian Academy of Science

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