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An in situ, late pleistocene Melaleuca fossil forest at Coal Head, western Tasmania, Australia
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 13:08 authored by Rowell, MV, Gregory JordanGregory Jordan, Barnes, RW
Stumps of more than 365 tree and shrubs are preserved in growth position on the shores of Macquarie Harbour, western Tasmania. The most likely age is Last Interglacial or early Last Glacial. The in situ forest was almost monospecific Melaleuca (probably M. ericifolia) swamp forest, with one very large Nothofagus cunninghamii, occasional Acacia, interspersed with tussocks of Gahnia grandis. The Melaleuca stumps showed a more or less continuous size distribution, and tree rings suggested an age range from a few years to approximately 100 years or more. Similar vegetation occurs now in parts of lowland western and northern Tasmania, particularly in poorly drained, undisturbed, coastal sites. The composition of the in situ fossil forest differed markedly from previously recorded macrofossil and fossil palynomorph floras, suggesting that both of the latter included significant allochthonous components.
Publication titleAust. J. Botany
Department/SchoolSchool of Natural Sciences
Place of publicationCollingwood, Australia