Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Australian Pollen Record - The Southeast

Pollen cores from southeast Australia indicate that during the glacial periods the predominant vegetation types were open woodlands, herb-fields and grasslands, with forests predominating in the interglacial periods.

At places such as Lake George, in New South Wales, where the climate was wetter (Singh & Geissler, 1985), and Darwin Crater, in Tasmania (Colhoun & van de Geer, 1988), cool temperate plants such as Nothofagus, dominated cool-temperate rainforests. Eucalypts dominated cool temperate rainforests in drier regions such as Lake Wangoom (Harle et al., 2002).

During the coldest parts of the last 2 glacial phases, in the area around Lake George woodlands were replaced by sparse treeless vegetation, a process which reached a maximum when the area was covered  by grassland where grass was almost the only plant type. The vegetation was actually more diverse at the LGM, comprising a variety of shrubs and grasses. Casuarinas dominated the sclerophyll woodlands originally, then at the beginning of the last interglacial they were replaced by eucalypts. Charcoal was not common until the last cycle, becoming almost continuously present throughout the cycle.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Mary E. White, The Greening of Gondwana, the 400 Million Year story of Australian Plants, Reed, 1994
  2. Chris Johnson, Australia's Mammal Extinctions, a 50,000 year history, Cambridge University Press, 2006



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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading