Cycadales is an order of seed plants that includes all the extant cycads. These plants have a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large and stiff, evergreen leaves, they have pinnate leaves. The individual plants are all female. Cycads vary in size from having trunks only a few centimeters to several meters tall, they grow slowly and live long, with some specimens known to be as much as 1,000 years old. Because of the superficial resemblance, they are sometimes confused with and mistaken for palms or ferns, but are only distantly related to either. Cycadales are found across tropical parts of the world, they are found in South and Central America, the Antilles, southeastern United States, Melanesia, Japan, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and southern and tropical Africa, where at least 65 species occur. Some can survive in harsh semidesert climates, others in wet rain forest conditions, some in both; some can grow in sand or on rock, some in oxygen-poor, bog-like soils rich in organic material, some in both.
Some are able to grow in full sun, some in full shade, some in both. Some are salt tolerant. Cycadales belong to the biological division Cycadophyta along with the fossil order Medullosales; the three extant families of cycadales are Cycadaceae and Zamiaceae. Though they are a minor component of the plant kingdom today, during the Jurassic period, they were common, they have changed little since the Jurassic, compared to some major evolutionary changes in other plant divisions. Cycads are gymnosperms, meaning their unfertilized seeds are open to the air to be directly fertilized by pollination, as contrasted with angiosperms, which have enclosed seeds with more complex fertilization arrangements. Cycads have specialized pollinators a specific species of beetle, they have been reported to fix nitrogen in association with a cyanobacterium living in the roots. These blue-green algae produce a neurotoxin called BMAA, found in the seeds of cycads; this neurotoxin may enter a human food chain as the cycad seeds may be eaten directly as a source of flour by humans or by wild or feral animals such as bats, humans may eat these animals.
It is hypothesized. Cycads have a cylindrical trunk which does not branch. Leaves grow directly from the trunk, fall when older, leaving a crown of leaves at the top; the leaves grow with new foliage emerging from the top and center of the crown. The trunk may be buried, so the leaves appear to be emerging from the ground and the plant appears to be a basal rosette; the leaves are large in proportion to the trunk size, sometimes larger than the trunk. The leaves are pinnate, with a central leaf stalk from which parallel "ribs" emerge from each side of the stalk, perpendicular to it; the leaves are either compound, or have edges so cut so as to appear compound. Some species have leaves that are bipinnate, which means the leaflets growing along the rachis each have their own subleaflets growing along a rachilla. About 306 species of living Cycadales have been described, in 10–12 genera and two or 3 families of cycads; the classification below is based upon a hierarchical structure based on cladistic analyses of morphological, karyological and phytochemical data.
The number of species in the clade is low compared to the number in most other plant phyla. However and molecular research indicates that the diversity was greater in the history of the phylum; the disparity in molecular sequences is high between the three main lineages of cycads, implying that genetic diversity in the clade was once high. Some defined cycad species can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Suborder Cycadineae Family Cycadaceae Subfamily Cycadoideae Cycas. About 115 species in the Old World from Africa east to southern Japan and the western Pacific Ocean islands. One species in southern Africa. Two species in Queensland, Australia. Ex Hook. f. Family Zamiaceae Subfamily Encephalartoideae Tribe Diooeae Dioon. 13 species in Mexico and Central America. About 66 species in southeast Africa. About 41 species in Australia. A. Gardner Lepidozamia. Two species in eastern Australia. 26 species in southern Mexico and Central America. Tribe Zamieae Subtribe Microcycadinae Microcycas. One species in Cuba.
Subtribe Zamiinae Chigua. Two species in Colombia. About 65 species in the New World from Georgia, USA south to Bolivia; each family has at least one vein running up the leaf stalk from bottom to top. The Cycadaceae have only one vein in
A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares or 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006. Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, are distributed around the globe. Forests account for 75% of the gross primary production of the Earth's biosphere, contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass. Net primary production is estimated at 21.9 gigatonnes carbon per year for tropical forests, 8.1 for temperate forests, 2.6 for boreal forests. Forests at different latitudes and elevations form distinctly different ecozones: boreal forests near the poles, tropical forests near the equator and temperate forests at mid-latitudes. Higher elevation areas tend to support forests similar to those at higher latitudes, amount of precipitation affects forest composition.
Human society and forests influence each other in both negative ways. Forests serve as tourist attractions. Forests can affect people's health. Human activities, including harvesting forest resources, can negatively affect forest ecosystems. Although forest is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition, with more than 800 definitions of forest used around the world. Although a forest is defined by the presence of trees, under many definitions an area lacking trees may still be considered a forest if it grew trees in the past, will grow trees in the future, or was designated as a forest regardless of vegetation type. There are three broad categories of forest definitions in use: administrative, land use, land cover. Administrative definitions are based upon the legal designations of land, bear little relationship to the vegetation growing on the land: land, designated as a forest is defined as a forest if no trees are growing on it. Land use definitions are based upon the primary purpose.
For example, a forest may be defined as any land, used for production of timber. Under such a land use definition, cleared roads or infrastructure within an area used for forestry, or areas within the region that have been cleared by harvesting, disease or fire are still considered forests if they contain no trees. Land cover definitions define forests based upon the type and density of vegetation growing on the land; such definitions define a forest as an area growing trees above some threshold. These thresholds are the number of trees per area, the area of ground under the tree canopy or the section of land, occupied by the cross-section of tree trunks. Under such land cover definitions, an area of land can only be known as forest if it is growing trees. Areas that fail to meet the land cover definition may be still included under while immature trees are establishing if they are expected to meet the definition at maturity. Under land use definitions, there is considerable variation on where the cutoff points are between a forest and savanna.
Under some definitions, forests require high levels of tree canopy cover, from 60% to 100%, excluding savannas and woodlands in which trees have a lower canopy cover. Other definitions consider savannas to be a type of forest, include all areas with tree canopies over 10%; some areas covered in trees are defined as agricultural areas, e.g. Norway spruce plantations in Austrian forest law when the trees are being grown as Christmas trees and below a certain height; the word forest comes from Middle English, from Old French forest "forest, vast expanse covered by trees". A borrowing of the Medieval Latin word foresta "open wood", foresta was first used by Carolingian scribes in the Capitularies of Charlemagne to refer to the king's royal hunting grounds; the term was not endemic to Romance languages. The exact origin of Medieval Latin foresta is obscure; some authorities claim the word derives from the Late Latin phrase forestam silvam, meaning "the outer wood". Frankish *forhist is attested by Old High German forst "forest", Middle Low German vorst "forest", Old English fyrhþ "forest, game preserve, hunting ground", Old Norse fýri "coniferous forest", all of which derive from Proto-Germanic *furhísa-, *furhíþija- "a fir-wood, coniferous forest", from Proto-Indo-European *perkwu- "a coniferous or mountain forest, wooded height".
Uses of the word "forest" in English to denote any uninhabited area of non-enclosure are now considered archaic. The word was introduced by the Norman rulers of England as a legal term denoting an uncultivated area set aside for hunting by feudal nobility; these hunting forests were not neces
Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland; the state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres. As of 15 May 2018, Queensland has a population of 5,000,000, concentrated along the coast and in the state's South East; the capital and largest city in the state is Australia's third-largest city. Referred to as the "Sunshine State", Queensland is home to 10 of Australia's 30 largest cities and is the nation's third-largest economy. Tourism in the state, fuelled by its warm tropical climate, is a major industry. Queensland was first inhabited by Torres Strait Islanders.
The first European to land in Queensland was Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606, who explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula near present-day Weipa. In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain; the colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip at Sydney. Queensland was explored in subsequent decades until the establishment of a penal colony at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Penal transportation ceased in 1839 and free settlement was allowed from 1842; the state was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who on 6 June 1859 signed Letters Patent separating the colony from New South Wales. Queensland Day is celebrated annually statewide on 6 June. Queensland was one of the six colonies which became the founding states of Australia with federation on 1 January 1901; the history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement.
The north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch and French navigators before being encountered by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. The state has witnessed frontier warfare between European settlers and Indigenous inhabitants, as well as the exploitation of cheap Kanaka labour sourced from the South Pacific through a form of forced recruitment known at the time as "blackbirding"; the Australian Labor Party has its origin as a formal organisation in Queensland and the town of Barcaldine is the symbolic birthplace of the party. June 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of its creation as a separate colony from New South Wales. A rare record of early settler life in north Queensland can be seen in a set of ten photographic glass plates taken in the 1860s by Richard Daintree, in the collection of the National Museum of Australia; the Aboriginal occupation of Queensland is thought to predate 50,000 BC via boat or land bridge across Torres Strait, became divided into over 90 different language groups.
During the last ice age Queensland's landscape became more arid and desolate, making food and other supplies scarce. This led to the world's first seed-grinding technology. Warming again made the land hospitable, which brought high rainfall along the eastern coast, stimulating the growth of the state's tropical rainforests. In February 1606, Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon landed near the site of what is now Weipa, on the western shore of Cape York; this was the first recorded landing of a European in Australia, it marked the first reported contact between European and Aboriginal Australian people. The region was explored by French and Spanish explorers prior to the arrival of Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of the United Kingdom on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming Eastern Australia, including Queensland,'New South Wales'; the Aboriginal population declined after a smallpox epidemic during the late 18th century. In 1823, John Oxley, a British explorer, sailed north from what is now Sydney to scout possible penal colony sites in Gladstone and Moreton Bay.
At Moreton Bay, he found the Brisbane River. He established a settlement at what is now Redcliffe; the settlement known as Edenglassie, was transferred to the current location of the Brisbane city centre. Edmund Lockyer discovered outcrops of coal along the banks of the upper Brisbane River in 1825. In 1839 transportation of convicts was ceased, culminating in the closure of the Brisbane penal settlement. In 1842 free settlement was permitted. In 1847, the Port of Maryborough was opened as a wool port; the first free immigrant ship to arrive in Moreton Bay was the Artemisia, in 1848. In 1857, Queensland's first lighthouse was built at Cape Moreton. A war, sometimes called a "war of extermination", erupted between Aborigines and settlers in colonial Queensland; the Frontier War was notable for being the most bloody in Australia due to Queensland's larger pre-contact indigenous population when compared to the other Australian colonies. About 1,500 European settlers and their alli
Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its aim is to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species. Jimmy Wales stated that editors are not required to fax in their degrees, but that submissions will have to pass muster with a technical audience. Wikispecies is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and CC BY-SA 3.0. Started in September 2004, with biologists across the world invited to contribute, the project had grown a framework encompassing the Linnaean taxonomy with links to Wikipedia articles on individual species by April 2005. Benedikt Mandl co-ordinated the efforts of several people who are interested in getting involved with the project and contacted potential supporters in early summer 2004. Databases were evaluated and the administrators contacted, some of them have agreed on providing their data for Wikispecies. Mandl defined two major tasks: Figure out how the contents of the data base would need to be presented—by asking experts, potential non-professional users and comparing that with existing databases Figure out how to do the software, which hardware is required and how to cover the costs—by asking experts, looking for fellow volunteers and potential sponsorsAdvantages and disadvantages were discussed by the wikimedia-I mailing list.
The board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation voted by 4 to 0 in favor of the establishment of a Wikispecies. The project is hosted at species.wikimedia.org. It was merged to a sister project of Wikimedia Foundation on September 14, 2004. On October 10, 2006, the project exceeded 75,000 articles. On May 20, 2007, the project exceeded 100,000 articles with a total of 5,495 registered users. On September 8, 2008, the project exceeded 150,000 articles with a total of 9,224 registered users. On October 23, 2011, the project reached 300,000 articles. On June 16, 2014, the project reached 400,000 articles. On January 7, 2017, the project reached 500,000 articles. On October 30, 2018, the project reached 600,000 articles, a total of 1.12 million pages. Wikispecies comprises taxon pages, additionally pages about synonyms, taxon authorities, taxonomical publications, institutions or repositories holding type specimen. Wikispecies asks users to use images from Wikimedia Commons. Wikispecies does not allow the use of content.
All Species Foundation Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life Tree of Life Web Project List of online encyclopedias The Plant List Wikispecies, The free species directory that anyone can edit Species Community Portal The Wikispecies Charter, written by Wales
Stangeriaceae is the smallest family of cycads, both in number of living and fossil species. The family contains only two living genera and Bowenia, though the latter genus has been recommended for placement in a separate family by itself; the family is recognized as having vascularized stipules, by lacking cataphylls, or producing them irregularly. These unusual characters led to the original description of Stangeria as a fern, it was only when seeds were produced on the plant that its true affinities were realized. Though today the family occurs only in South Africa and Queensland, fossils are known from Jurassic sediments in Argentina and the British Isles. Recent cladistic studies suggest that the fossil taxon Mesodescolea may have affinities with the Stangeriaceae; this lobed fossil leaf from the Lower Cretaceous has only been found in Argentina. Another fossil from the Lower Cretaceous of Argentina, Eobowenia incrassata, has been suggested as the oldest relative of Bowenia
The Atherton Tableland is a fertile plateau, part of the Great Dividing Range in Queensland, Australia. The Atherton Tablelands is a diverse region, covering an area of 64,768 square kilometres and home to 45,243 people; the main population centres on the Atherton Tablelands are Atherton. Smaller towns include Malanda, Kuranda, Millaa Millaa, Dimbulah, Mt Garnet, Mt Molloy and Yungaburra; the principal river flowing across the plateau is the Barron River. It was dammed to form an irrigation reservoir named Lake Tinaroo. Tinaroo Hydro, a small 1.6 MW Hydroelectric power station is located near the spillway. This area is a distinct physiographic section of the larger North Queensland Highlands province, which in turn is part of the larger East Australian Cordillera physiographic division. South of the Tablelands is the Bellenden Ker Range. About 100 million years ago, the eastern edge of the Australian continent extended much further to the east, before tectonic forces fractured the eastern margin, pulling it apart.
At the same time rising mantle material caused a doming up of the continental crust. As the eastern part of the continent broke away, it sank below sea level. Since that time, the uplifted western portion has been eroding westwards, creating the abrupt Great Escarpment, which separates the coastal plain to the east from the uplifted tablelands to the west. From over 4 million to less than 10,000 years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions occurred over the Atherton Tablelands; the oldest eruptions created large sloping “shield volcanoes” that produced extensive basalt flows. These flows filled the pre-existing valleys, producing a flat tableland surface, instead of the more dissected landscape that would have existed previously. About one million years ago, the style of eruption changed; the lavas became more gas-charged, throwing fragmented lava into the air which built the numerous, small scoria cones, such as the Seven Sisters, near Yungaburra. Some of the rising magma interacted with groundwater, producing violent eruptions that led to the formation of maar volcanoes, such as Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine.
Although all the volcanoes in the Atherton Basalt Province are regarded as being extinct and volcanism has been waning over time, given the recent activity, it is possible that further eruptions could occur in the future. The Atherton Tableland Region has a long history of indigenous occupation. Aspects of traditional Aboriginal land use and culture have been documented from the period of first contact to the present. Aboriginal people with ties to the region seek to maintain their culture today, despite a long period of forced removal from their lands following European occupation in the late 19th-early 20th century. Atherton was explored by a European, J. V. Mulligan, in 1875. In 1877, John Atherton settled near the town; the area was explored for its mining potential where deposits of tin and gold were found. A pioneering pastoralist, John Atherton was the first to find tin deposits in Northern Queensland. Local legend has it that Tinaroo Creek received its name from Atherton who shouted, "Tin!
Hurroo!" when he first made his discovery. Atherton and his friends, William Jack and John Newell, discovered the famous lode, which became the Great Northern Tin Mine. A rush of miners from the Hodgkinson’s Goldfields followed; the construction of a dray road through the Tableland brought a secondary rush, this time timber cutters to mine the red gold of the rainforest. Redcedar cutters camps were Prior Pocket, Oonda Swamp & Ziggenbein's Pocket. Although tin was a major part in the Tablelands, timber is what Atherton owes its existence to with large areas of red cedar, maple, black bean, white beech and red tulip oak being milled for buildings. Before the town of Atherton developed, a full-blown Chinatown sprang into existence; the Chinese had moved from the Palmer River Goldfields to the Atherton area, where the big timber stands had been cleared to make way for farming. The Chinese were considered pioneers of agriculture in North Queensland as 80% of crop production on the Tablelands was grown by them and they played a vital role in opening up the area for settlement.
After the crops, they turned to dairying. As the population of Chinatown increased, small shops appeared, wells were sunk to supply water, there were cooks, herbalists and merchants etc; the rough straw huts were replaced by sawn timber houses with corrugated iron roofs. By 1909, Chinatown had become the largest concentration of Chinese on the Tablelands with a population of 1100. Today, the Hou Wang Temple remains as one of the few reminders of the former Chinese population of the Atherton Tablelands. In the Second World War, Australian troops were camped around the district prior to being sent to the front and again on their return. Many soldiers were interred at the war cemetery in Atherton. Crops grown in and around Atherton include banana, corn/maize, strawberries, macadamia nuts and mangoes and citrus. Tobacco was grown until October 2006 when it was ended by a Government buyout. Dairying and poultry are present on the Tableland. Tourism is the second largest economic driver to the Atherton Tablelands economy, with Tinaroo Dam and extensive trail network being the focal point.
Atherton and Mareeba are the largest towns in the area. Herberton, Kuranda, Millaa Millaa, Tolga, Chillagoe and Ravenshoe are located on the Atherton Tablelands; the tableland contains several small remnants of the rainforest which once covered it
In ecology, a habitat is the type of natural environment in which a particular species of organism lives. It is characterized by both biological features. A species' habitat is those places where it can find food, shelter and mates for reproduction; the physical factors are for example soil, range of temperature, light intensity as well as biotic factors such as the availability of food and the presence or absence of predators. Every organism has certain habitat needs for the conditions in which it will thrive, but some are tolerant of wide variations while others are specific in their requirements. A habitat is not a geographical area, it can be the interior of a stem, a rotten log, a rock or a clump of moss, for a parasitic organism it is the body of its host, part of the host's body such as the digestive tract, or a single cell within the host's body. Habitat types include polar, temperate and tropical; the terrestrial vegetation type may be forest, grassland, semi-arid or desert. Fresh water habitats include marshes, rivers and ponds, marine habitats include salt marshes, the coast, the intertidal zone, reefs, the open sea, the sea bed, deep water and submarine vents.
Habitats change over time. This may be due to a violent event such as the eruption of a volcano, an earthquake, a tsunami, a wildfire or a change in oceanic currents. Other changes come as a direct result of human activities; the introduction of alien species can have a devastating effect on native wildlife, through increased predation, through competition for resources or through the introduction of pests and diseases to which the native species have no immunity. The word "habitat" has been in use since about 1755 and derives from the Latin habitāre, to inhabit, from habēre, to have or to hold. Habitat can be defined as the natural environment of an organism, the type of place in which it is natural for it to live and grow, it is similar in meaning to a biotope. The chief environmental factors affecting the distribution of living organisms are temperature, climate, soil type and light intensity, the presence or absence of all the requirements that the organism needs to sustain it. Speaking, animal communities are reliant on specific types of plant communities.
Some plants and animals are generalists, their habitat requirements are met in a wide range of locations. The small white butterfly for example is found on all the continents of the world apart from Antarctica, its larvae feed on a wide range of Brassicas and various other plant species, it thrives in any open location with diverse plant associations. The large blue butterfly is much more specific in its requirements. Disturbance is important in the creation of biodiverse habitats. In the absence of disturbance, a climax vegetation cover develops that prevents the establishment of other species. Wildflower meadows are sometimes created by conservationists but most of the flowering plants used are either annuals or biennials and disappear after a few years in the absence of patches of bare ground on which their seedlings can grow. Lightning strikes and toppled trees in tropical forests allow species richness to be maintained as pioneering species move in to fill the gaps created. Coastal habitats can become dominated by kelp until the seabed is disturbed by a storm and the algae swept away, or shifting sediment exposes new areas for colonisation.
Another cause of disturbance is when an area may be overwhelmed by an invasive introduced species, not kept under control by natural enemies in its new habitat. Terrestrial habitat types include forests, grasslands and deserts. Within these broad biomes are more specific habitats with varying climate types, temperature regimes, soils and vegetation types. Many of these habitats grade into each other and each one has its own typical communities of plants and animals. A habitat may suit a particular species well, but its presence or absence at any particular location depends to some extent on chance, on its dispersal abilities and its efficiency as a coloniser. Freshwater habitats include rivers, lakes, ponds and bogs. Although some organisms are found across most of these habitats, the majority have more specific requirements; the water velocity, its temperature and oxygen saturation are important factors, but in river systems, there are fast and slow sections, pools and backwaters which provide a range of habitats.
Aquatic plants can be floating, semi-submerged, submerged or grow in permanently or temporarily saturated soils besides bodies of water. Marginal plants provide important habitat for both invertebrates and vertebrates, submerged plants provide oxygenation of the water, absorb nutrients and play a part in the reduction of pollution. Marine habitats include brackish water, bays, the open sea, the intertidal zone, the sea bed and deep / shallow water zones. Further variations include rock pools, sand banks, brackish lagoons and pebbly beaches, seagrass beds, all supporting their own flora and fauna; the benth