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The climate of eastern Tasmania indicated by its lichen flora

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posted on 2023-11-22, 09:07 authored by Francis RM Wilson
During a visit of five weeks to Tasmania, in February and March, 1891, while exploring for lichens in the 'neighbourhoods of Launceston, Mount Arthur, Ulverstone, Hobart, Mount Wellington, the Huon River, and St. Mary's Pass, I was struck with the general and unexpected poverty of the lichen flora, and, on looking about for the cause of this, I noted the evident frequency of bush fires, which are the most destructive enemies of lichen growth. This, however, did not wholly explain the matter, for, even where the plants might be expected to recover from the action of the fire, their vitality seemed to be checked by the dryness of the climate.
This was a discovery surprising to a Victorian, who had been accustomed to consider the climate of Tasmania a humid one.
An examination of meteorological authorities, however, showed that in the eastern portion of the island the rainfall is rot only less than it is in the western, but less than it is in Victoria. In the west and the highlands of Tasmania 75in. of rain have been registered in one year, and the average of the whole island is said to be 35in.; but the annual rainfall at Hobart is only 21-52in.

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Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania

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131-132

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In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania..

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