Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Native flora

One characteristic of the arid land flora of Australia that it is noticeably different from the desert flora of other continents in the almost total lack of succulents such as cacti. It is thought that this is probably because although succulents can survive long periods of drought, they require fairly regular, if widely dispersed, periods of rain to replenish their water supplies. This is precisely the condition that doesn't exist in the Australian desert areas, the rain periods being very irregular. The succulents survive periods of drought by storing water and reducing its use and leakage as much as possible. Australian arid-zone plants are forced by the rainfall regime to evolve other strategies to survive, such as a seeds that sprout, flower and set seeds in as short a time as possible after rain, so that by the time the dry conditions return a new crop of seeds have been produced. These seeds can then remain dormant for long periods of drought until the next rain. Some plants also produce seeds that remain dormant for various lengths of time even if soil water is present, thus being ready to be a backup seed supply if the first seeds to germinate don't have time to set the next generation of seeds before the soil dries out again. 


Sources & Further reading
Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
Photo Galleries
Site Map
                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading