Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Cool Temperate Closed Forests - Temperate Regions or Submontane Tropical or Subtropical Regions - antarctic floristic elements

These evergreen forests, dominated by Antarctic floristic elements are typical of the high rainfall temperate regions of Tasmania, pockets in southern Victoria, New Zealand and Chile. Contrasting with the tropical and subtropical closed forests with their many co-dominant tree species, these forests contain very few species of trees in the upper levels of the canopy. The sole dominant is often Nothofagus (southern beech), with occasional stands of Podocarpus, Dacrydium, Arthrotaxis, or Atherosperma species.

This type of forest of Tasmania and Victoria is also found in the submontane zones of the highlands along the New South Wales-Queensland border and in montane areas of tropical New Guinea. The characteristic dominants Nothofagus spp.

This type of forest varies in height from 18-42 m, but in a depauperate state may only reach from 6-15 m. There are never plank buttresses and robust woody lianas. There is often sparse or absent lower tree layers and understory. Epiphytic mosses and ferns often cover the tree trunks. The leaves are always small, from microphyll to nanophyll, less than 20 cm2 in area. A difference between this type of closed forest and the Tropical types is that there may be extensive additions of eucalypts and other sclerophylls.

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