Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Desert Ranges

Runoff from the desert ranges ranges often collects in low-lying areas among the ranges in places that are at least partially protected from the full glare of the sun. In these areas vegetation grows around the pools and this attracts wildlife. These areas are also refugia, places where wildlife from the surrounding flat lands can usually get the water they need to survive dry spells. Because most of the land surface of central Australia is flat, the higher areas, such as the desert ranges, tend to get more rain as a result of their height. Although not high, they are higher than the surrounding area, so if any rain falls it is more likely to be on the ranges than the surround flat land.

The soils in these areas tend to be poor, as it is formed by the erosion from the ranges without the addition of much if any organic matter, so tends to be rather infertile. Because not much leaf litter forms under these conditions natural fires are rare.

Because of the availability of food for herbivores, the vegetation can be placed under varying amounts of pressure from both mammals and insects, as the populations of animals varies with the seasons and climate, the vegetation of these places can be patchy.

Sources & Further reading

  • Penny Van Oosterzee, 1993, The Centre - The Natural history of Australia's Desert Regions, Reed Australia.




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