Flora of Australia
The flora of Australia comprises a vast assemblage of plant species estimated to over 20,000 vascular and 14,000 non-vascular plants, 250,000 species of fungi and over 3,000 lichens. The flora has strong affinities with the flora of Gondwana, below the family level has a endemic angiosperm flora whose diversity was shaped by the effects of continental drift and climate change since the Cretaceous. Prominent features of the Australian flora are adaptations to aridity and fire which include scleromorphy and serotiny; these adaptations are common in species from the large and well-known families Proteaceae and Fabaceae. The arrival of humans around 50,000 years ago and settlement by Europeans from 1788, has had a significant impact on the flora; the use of fire-stick farming by Aboriginal people led to significant changes in the distribution of plant species over time, the large-scale modification or destruction of vegetation for agriculture and urban development since 1788 has altered the composition of most terrestrial ecosystems, leading to the extinction of 61 plant species and endangering over 1000 more.
Austrial major commonwealth foundations Australia was part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, which included South America, Africa and Antarctica. Most of the modern Australian flora had their origin in Gondwana during the Cretaceous when Australia was covered in subtropical rainforest. Australian ferns and gymnosperm bear strong resemblance to their Gondwanan ancestors, prominent members of the early Gondwanan angiosperm flora such as the Nothofagus and Proteaceae were present in Australia. Gondwana began to break up 140 million years ago; as Australia drifted and global climate change had a significant and lasting effect: a circumpolar oceanic current developed, atmospheric circulation increased as Australia moved away from Antarctica, precipitation fell, there was a slow warming of the continent and arid conditions started to develop. These conditions of geographic isolation and aridity led to the development of a more complex flora. From 25-10 MYA pollen records suggest the rapid radiation of species like Eucalyptus, Allocasuarina and the pea-flowered legumes, the development of open forest.
Collision with the Eurasian Plate led to additional South-east Asian and cosmopolitan elements entering the flora like the Lepidium and Chenopodioideae. The development of aridity and the old and nutrient poor soils of the continent led to some unique adaptations in the Australian flora and evolutionary radiation of genera – like Acacia and Eucalyptus – that adapted to those conditions. Hard leaves with a thick outer layer, a condition known as scleromorphy, C4 and CAM carbon fixation which reduce water loss during photosynthesis are two common adaptations in Australian arid-adapted dicot and monocot species respectively. Rising aridity increased the frequency of fires in Australia. Fire is thought to have played a role in the development and distribution of fire-adapted species from the Late Pleistocene. An increase in charcoal in sediment around 38,000 years ago coincides with dates for the inhabitation of Australia by the Indigenous Australians and suggests that man-made fires, from practices like fire-stick farming, have played an important role in the establishment and maintenance of sclerophyll forest on the east coast of Australia.
Adaptations to fire include lignotubers and epicormic buds in Eucalyptus and Banksia species that allow fast regeneration following fire. Some genera exhibit serotiny, the release of seed only in response to heat and/or smoke. Xanthorrhoea grass trees and some species of orchids only flower after fire. In biogeography and zoogeography, Australia alone is sometimes considered a realm, while some authors unite the area with other regions to form the Australasian realm. In phytogeography, the area is considered a floristic kingdom, with the following endemic families, according to Takhtajan: Platyzomataceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Gyrostemonaceae, Davidsoniaceae, Eremosynaceae, Emblingiaceae, Tremandraceae, Brunoniaceae, Doryanthaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae, it is the center of origin of Eupomatiaceae, Epacridaceae, Stackhousiaceae and Goodeniaceae. Other families with high occurrences are Poaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rutaceae and Proteaceae. Australia's terrestrial flora can be collected into characteristic vegetation groups.
The most important determinant is rainfall, followed by temperature which affects water availability. Several schemes of varying complexity have been created, the most recent scheme developed by the Natural Heritage Trust divides Australia's terrestrial flora into 30 Major Vegetation Groups, 67 Major Vegetation Subgroups. According to the scheme the most common vegetation types are those that are adapted to arid conditions where the area has not been reduced by human activities such as land clearing for agriculture; the dominant vegetation type in Australia is the hummock grasslands that occur extensively in arid Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. It accounts for 23% of the native vegetation, the predominant species of which are from the genus Triodia. Zygochloa occurs in inland sandy areas like the Simpson Desert. A furt
In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only woody plants with secondary growth, plants that are usable as lumber or plants above a specified height. Trees are not a taxonomic group but include a variety of plant species that have independently evolved a woody trunk and branches as a way to tower above other plants to compete for sunlight. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old. In wider definitions, the taller palms, tree ferns and bamboos are trees. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years, it is estimated. A tree has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground by the trunk; this trunk contains woody tissue for strength, vascular tissue to carry materials from one part of the tree to another. For most trees it is surrounded by a layer of bark. Below the ground, the roots spread out widely. Above ground, the branches divide into smaller shoots.
The shoots bear leaves, which capture light energy and convert it into sugars by photosynthesis, providing the food for the tree's growth and development. Trees reproduce using seeds. Flowers and fruit may be present, but some trees, such as conifers, instead have pollen cones and seed cones. Palms and bamboos produce seeds, but tree ferns produce spores instead. Trees play a significant role in moderating the climate, they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues. Trees and forests provide a habitat for many species of plants. Tropical rainforests are among the most biodiverse habitats in the world. Trees provide shade and shelter, timber for construction, fuel for cooking and heating, fruit for food as well as having many other uses. In parts of the world, forests are shrinking as trees are cleared to increase the amount of land available for agriculture; because of their longevity and usefulness, trees have always been revered, with sacred groves in various cultures, they play a role in many of the world's mythologies.
Although "tree" is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition of what a tree is, either botanically or in common language. In its broadest sense, a tree is any plant with the general form of an elongated stem, or trunk, which supports the photosynthetic leaves or branches at some distance above the ground. Trees are typically defined by height, with smaller plants from 0.5 to 10 m being called shrubs, so the minimum height of a tree is only loosely defined. Large herbaceous plants such as papaya and bananas are trees in this broad sense. A applied narrower definition is that a tree has a woody trunk formed by secondary growth, meaning that the trunk thickens each year by growing outwards, in addition to the primary upwards growth from the growing tip. Under such a definition, herbaceous plants such as palms and papayas are not considered trees regardless of their height, growth form or stem girth. Certain monocots may be considered trees under a looser definition.
Aside from structural definitions, trees are defined by use. The tree growth habit is an evolutionary adaptation found in different groups of plants: by growing taller, trees are able to compete better for sunlight. Trees tend some reaching several thousand years old. Several trees are among the oldest organisms now living. Trees have modified structures such as thicker stems composed of specialised cells that add structural strength and durability, allowing them to grow taller than many other plants and to spread out their foliage, they differ from shrubs, which have a similar growth form, by growing larger and having a single main stem. The tree form has evolved separately in unrelated classes of plants in response to similar environmental challenges, making it a classic example of parallel evolution. With an estimated 60,000-100,000 species, the number of trees worldwide might total twenty-five per cent of all living plant species; the greatest number of these grow in tropical regions and many of these areas have not yet been surveyed by botanists, making tree diversity and ranges poorly known.
The majority of tree species are angiosperms. There are about 1000 species of gymnosperm trees, including conifers, cycads and gnetales. Most angiosperm trees are eudicots, the "true dicotyledons", so named because the seeds contain two cotyledons or seed leaves. There are some trees among the old lineages of flowering plants called basal angiosperms or paleodicots. Wood gives structural strength to the trunk of most types of tree; the vascular system of trees allows water and other chemicals to be di
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Department of Parks and Wildlife (Western Australia)
The Department of Parks and Wildlife was the department of the Government of Western Australia responsible for managing lands described in the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 and implementing the state's conservation and environment legislation and regulations. The minister responsible for the department was the Minister for the Environment; the Department of Environment and Conservation was separated on 30 June 2013, forming the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Environment Regulation, both of which commenced operations on 1 July 2013. DPaW focused on managing national parks, marine parks and reserves. DER focused on environmental regulation and appeals processes, pollution prevention, it was announced on 28 April 2017 that the Department of Parks and Wildlife would merge with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, the Zoological Parks Authority, the Rottnest Island Authority on 1 July 2017 to form the Department of Biodiversity and Attractions. The Department of Parks and Wildlife had management responsibilities in: nature reserves 100 national parks 19 conservation parks 17 marine parks 1 marine nature reserve 2 marine management areas State forests and other lands and waters throughout the stateAt 30 June 2017, the total area under Parks and Wildlife's care was 31,480,868 ha.
The land area managed by the Department was about 10.6 per cent of the land area of Western Australia. The lands and waters managed by the Department received in 2014-15 18.6 million visits a year, with visitor satisfaction at a high level of 89%. The average level of visitor satisfaction with their visit on Parks & Wildlife lands and waters was of 91.4% in 2015-16. Western Australian national parks and reserves received 20 million visits in a single year for the first time in 2016–17 and a visitor satisfaction level of 92.5 per cent. Each year Parks and Wildlife aimed for a satisfaction rating above 85 per cent, a figure it had achieved for more than 10 consecutive years. 10,910 people were registered volunteers with the Department in 2014-15 that helped in a range of projects across the State with 610,000 hours contributed. During 2015-16, 5,189 active volunteers of the total 13,737 registered individuals contributed 638,747 voluntary hours to more than 200 Parks and Wildlife environmental and recreational programs.
In 2016-17, Parks and Wildlife's volunteers have contributed to a record number of hours to help conserve and manage WA’s natural places, with 5,410 volunteers contributing 723,508 hours. Parks and Wildlife was responsible for the wildlife conservation project Western Shield, a pest animal and weed control program that included 4 million hectares of conservation reserves and State forests baited for feral animal control, as well as weed control on more than 89 million hectares of unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves. There are a number of internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots within Western Australia and in particular in the south west of the state. Parks and Wildlife managed two long distance trails: the 1,000 km Bibbulmun Track for walkers, the 1,000 km Munda Biddi Trail for cyclists. An important duty of the Department was to be responsible for bushfire prevention and suppression on its lands as well as fire prevention in unallocated Crown land and unmanaged reserves.
This included conducting controlled burns to reduced fuel load, research into the behaviour and effects of bushfires. More than 247,360 hectares were prescribed burnt in the three forest regions during the 2016-17 financial year, in addition to the significant burns that have been undertaken by staff in the South Coast, Wheatbelt, Mid West and Kimberley regions up to 2,988,394 hectares; some of the most severe West Australian bushfires that the Department had to suppress, in chronological order, include: Earlier forms of Nature conservation in Western Australia were under: Department of Lands and Surveys: 1 January 1890 - 31 December 1895 Wood and Forests Department: 1 January 1896 – 31 December 1918 Forests Department: 1 January 1919 – 21 March 1985 State Gardens Board: 15 December 1920 – 30 April 1957 National Parks Board: 1 May 1957 – 30 July 1977 Department of Fisheries and Fauna: 1 October 1964 – 31 December 1973 National Parks Authority: 1 August 1977 – 15 April 1985 National Parks Authority Wildlife section of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife: 1 January 1974 – 21 March 1985 Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Department of Conservation and Land Management: 22 March 1985 – 30 June 2006 Department of Environment and Conservation: 1 July 2006 – 30 June 2013 Swan River Trust: 1989 - 1 July 2015 The Department maintained and coordinated a range of specialist equipment and emergency response vehicles.
This included pumpers and tankers and other equipment relating to operations involving search and rescue and firefighting. The Department of Parks and Wildlife had 3 types of uniforms: a standard khaki and bottle green uniform with appropriate badging was supplied to and worn by staff whose duties included the monitoring of legislative compliance, a work wear for those that worked in the field and personal protective equipment or clothing (TecaSafe gold overshirt, TecaSafe dark green trouse
The eudicots, Eudicotidae or eudicotyledons are a clade of flowering plants, called tricolpates or non-magnoliid dicots by previous authors. The botanical terms were introduced in 1991 by evolutionary botanist James A. Doyle and paleobotanist Carol L. Hotton to emphasize the evolutionary divergence of tricolpate dicots from earlier, less specialized, dicots; the close relationships among flowering plants with tricolpate pollen grains was seen in morphological studies of shared derived characters. These plants have a distinct trait in their pollen grains of exhibiting three colpi or grooves paralleling the polar axis. Molecular evidence confirmed the genetic basis for the evolutionary relationships among flowering plants with tricolpate pollen grains and dicotyledonous traits; the term means "true dicotyledons", as it contains the majority of plants that have been considered dicots and have characteristics of the dicots. The term "eudicots" has subsequently been adopted in botany to refer to one of the two largest clades of angiosperms, monocots being the other.
The remaining angiosperms include magnoliids and what are sometimes referred to as basal angiosperms or paleodicots, but these terms have not been or adopted, as they do not refer to a monophyletic group. The other name for the eudicots is tricolpates, a name which refers to the grooved structure of the pollen. Members of the group have tricolpate pollen; these pollens have three or more pores set in furrows called colpi. In contrast, most of the other seed plants produce monosulcate pollen, with a single pore set in a differently oriented groove called the sulcus; the name "tricolpates" is preferred by some botanists to avoid confusion with the dicots, a nonmonophyletic group. Numerous familiar plants are eudicots, including many common food plants and ornamentals; some common and familiar eudicots include members of the sunflower family such as the common dandelion, the forget-me-not and other members of its family, buttercup and macadamia. Most leafy trees of midlatitudes belong to eudicots, with notable exceptions being magnolias and tulip trees which belong to magnoliids, Ginkgo biloba, not an angiosperm.
The name "eudicots" is used in the APG system, of 1998, APG II system, of 2003, for classification of angiosperms. It is applied to a monophyletic group, which includes most of the dicots. "Tricolpate" is a synonym for the "Eudicot" monophyletic group, the "true dicotyledons". The number of pollen grain furrows or pores helps classify the flowering plants, with eudicots having three colpi, other groups having one sulcus. Pollen apertures are any modification of the wall of the pollen grain; these modifications include thinning and pores, they serve as an exit for the pollen contents and allow shrinking and swelling of the grain caused by changes in moisture content. The elongated apertures/ furrows in the pollen grain are called colpi, along with pores, are a chief criterion for identifying the pollen classes; the eudicots can be divided into two groups: the basal eudicots and the core eudicots. Basal eudicot is an informal name for a paraphyletic group; the core eudicots are a monophyletic group.
A 2010 study suggested the core eudicots can be divided into two clades, Gunnerales and a clade called "Pentapetalae", comprising all the remaining core eudicots. The Pentapetalae can be divided into three clades: Dilleniales superrosids consisting of Saxifragales and rosids superasterids consisting of Santalales, Berberidopsidales and asteridsThis division of the eudicots is shown in the following cladogram: The following is a more detailed breakdown according to APG IV, showing within each clade and orders: clade Eudicots order Ranunculales order Proteales order Trochodendrales order Buxales clade Core eudicots order Gunnerales order Dilleniales clade Superrosids order Saxifragales clade Rosids order Vitales clade Fabids order Fabales order Rosales order Fagales order Cucurbitales order Oxalidales order Malpighiales order Celastrales order Zygophyllales clade Malvids order Geraniales order Myrtales order Crossosomatales order Picramniales order Malvales order Brassicales order Huerteales order Sapindales clade Superasterids order Berberidopsidales order Santalales order Caryophyllales clade Asterids order Cornales order Ericales clade Campanulids order Aquifoliales order Asterales order Escalloniales order Bruniales order Apiales order Dipsacales order Paracryphiales clade Lamiids order Solanales order Lamiales order Vahliales order Gentianales order Boraginales order Garryales order Metteniusales order Icacinales Eudicots at the Encyclopedia of Life Eudicots, Tree of Life Web Project Dicots Plant Life Forms
Karel Domin was a Czech botanist and politician. After gymnasium school studies in Příbram, he studied botany at the Charles University in Prague, graduated in 1906. Between 1911 and 1913 he published several important articles on Australian taxonomy. In 1916 he was named as professor of botany. Domin specialised in phytogeography and plant taxonomy, he became a member at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, published many scientific works and founded a botany institute at the university. The Domin scale, a used means of classifying a standard area by the number of plant species found in that area, is named after him. In the academic year 1933-34 he was rector of Charles University and was one of the participants of a struggle for ancient academic insignia between the Czech and German universities of Prague that resulted in street-fights and looting. From 1935 to 1939 he was a member of parliament, he is considered the man, the most responsible the creation of Tatra National Park. Short biography
Triodia is a large genus of hummock-forming bunchgrass endemic to Australia. They are known by the common name spinifex, although they are not a part of the coastal genus Spinifex. Many of the soft-leaved members of this species were included in the genus Plectrachne. Triodia is a perennial Australian tussock grass which grows in arid regions and has awl-shaped, pointed leaves; the leaf tips can break off in leading to infections. Leaves are 30–40 centimetres long. Spinifex has traditionally had many uses for Aboriginal Australians; the seeds ground to make seedcakes. Spinifex resin was an important adhesive used in spear-making. Smoke signals were made to communicate with families and groups a long distance away, as burning spinifex produces a strong black smoke; the species Triodia wiseana is used for building shelters. It is called baru in the languages of the Yindjibarndi and Ngarluma people, the English term is hard spinifex. Species include: Numerous species once considered members of Triodia have been reclassified, they are in other genera, which include: Austrofestuca, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Disakisperma, Gouinia, Leptocarydion, Plinthanthesis, Puccinellia, Scolochloa, Torreyochloa, Tridens, Triplasis and Vaseyochloa.
Bunchgrasses of Australasia Poales of Australia Spinifex pigeon Macquarie University.edu: "Hummock Grasslands in Australia"