This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises Tasmania and its associated islands. Built on a granitic core covered in metamorphic rocks of Cambrian to Tertiary age, it is a mountainous island with many lakes and rivers, and has an extensive tableland. The climate is temperate with rain throughout most of the year, and snow covers the mountain tops for three to six months. The island has been described as ‘a living piece of Gondwana’ and so not surprisingly its flora and vegetation is of considerable interest. It includes several Gondwanan taxa such as Caltha, Coprosma, Gunnera, Lomatia, Nothofagus and Orites. Nothofagus forest dominates in the wetter western areas while Eucalyptus forest is characteristic of eastern areas. The flora comprises a number of endemic genera including Acradenia, Agastachys, Anodopetalum, Bellendena, Cenarrhenes, Diselma, Isophysis (Hewardia), Milligania, Microcachrys, Nablonium, Prionotes, Pterygopappus and Tetracarpaea, and about 20% of species are endemic. In common with the Australian Alps many of the genera, such as Carex, Epilobium, Euphrasia, Mentha and Ranunculus, have northern hemisphere affinities, and have undergone their only southern radiations in alpine habitats. Many appear to have reached Tasmania from the north via mountain migration routes.
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Endemic Vascular Plant Flora|