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An in situ, late pleistocene Melaleuca fossil forest at Coal Head, western Tasmania, Australia


Rowell, MV and Jordan, GJ and Barnes, RW, An in situ, late pleistocene Melaleuca fossil forest at Coal Head, western Tasmania, Australia, Aust. J. Botany, 49, (2) pp. 235-244. ISSN 0067-1924 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/BT00049


Stumps of more than 365 tree and shrubs are preserved in growth position on the shores of Macquarie Harbour, western Tasmania. The most likely age is Last Interglacial or early Last Glacial. The in situ forest was almost monospecific Melaleuca (probably M. ericifolia) swamp forest, with one very large Nothofagus cunninghamii, occasional Acacia, interspersed with tussocks of Gahnia grandis. The Melaleuca stumps showed a more or less continuous size distribution, and tree rings suggested an age range from a few years to approximately 100 years or more. Similar vegetation occurs now in parts of lowland western and northern Tasmania, particularly in poorly drained, undisturbed, coastal sites. The composition of the in situ fossil forest differed markedly from previously recorded macrofossil and fossil palynomorph floras, suggesting that both of the latter included significant allochthonous components.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Plant and fungus systematics and taxonomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Rowell, MV (Mr Marcus Rowell)
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:Barnes, RW (Dr Richard Barnes)
ID Code:22624
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-03

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