Alpine region covers only 0,15% of the otherwise hot
and sunburnt continent of Australia.
It is found in the south eastern
parts of the
the high country in eastern Victoria, southern New South Wales, ACT and
Alpine wildflowers by Tatters via Flickr.com
Tablelands and Montane Zones
There are four different vegetation zones in Australian Alps. The zone
below 1,100metres is called the Tablelands, and the zone between 1,100
metres and 1,400 metres is called the Montane Zone. In the Tablelands
are tall eucalypt
trees like Yellow Box (Eucalyptus
melliodora), and some Acacia
species like Yellow Wattle (Acacia dealbata) and
Black Wattle (Acacia
mearnsii). In the Montane Zone, there are Blue Gums (Eucalyptus
globules), Manna Gums (Eucalyptus viminalis),
Peppermints like (Eucalyptus radiate and Eucalyptus
In the higher elevations of Montane Zone there are Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus
delegatensis) and Mountains Ash (Eucalyptus regnans).
Supalpine and Alpine Areas
The zone between 1,400 metres and 1,850 metres is called Subalpine
Zone, and the zone above the tree line at 1,850 metres is the Alpine
Zone, which is too cold for trees to grow. In the Subalpine Zone,
there are Snow Gums like White Sallee (Eucalyptus pauciflora)
and Black Sallee (Eucalyptus stellulatea). In the
there are no trees - instead there are short plants in grasslands,
heathlands and herbfields with species belonging to families like Juncaceae,
Cyperaceae, Ranunculaceae, Gramieae
This zone is also known for the Alpine wildflowers that all bloom at
the same time of the year.
Adaptations of the Australian Alpine Plants
The plants in the alpine areas are adapted to the winter cold, summer
heat, winds, frosts, bushfires
and high sun radiation. Most of the plant
species are small and grow quickly during the
summer. Many of them don’t produce seeds (instead they grow from
other plants, root nodules or rhizomes). The ones that do produce
seeds, flower as soon as the snow melts. One, Caltha introloba,
even flowers under the snow.
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