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Why do tall herbs rarely dominate Tasmanian alpine vegetation? Evidence from islands in the Ouse River system

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Bridle, K and Kirkpatrick, JB (1998) Why do tall herbs rarely dominate Tasmanian alpine vegetation? Evidence from islands in the Ouse River system. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 132. pp. 9-14. ISSN 0080-4703

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Abstract

Tall alpine herb field is largely absent from the Tasmanian alpine zone. This absence has been attributed to marsupial grazing. Small islands
in the upper Ouse River valley are partly dominated by Craspedia paludicola, a showy tall alpine herb. The herbs dominate on the upstream
ends of the islands. The surrounding vegetation on the banks is mainly grassland. The tall herbs are a very minor element of the shore
vegetation, occurring on the undercut banks. Grassy islands close to the river banks are grazed and few tall herbs are found there. Craspedia
paludicola also occurs in small numbers in damp areas on grassy heaths at other grazed locations, largely within bushes with pungent leaves.
The distribution of Craspedia paludicola suggests that it is highly palatable and can thus only survive in larger numbers away from the
influence of vertebrate grazers (rabbits and marsupials). It appears that this species requires both disturbance and a lack of grazing to
dominate an area.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, RST, Van Diemens Land, natural history, science, ecology, taxonomy, botany, zoology, geology, geography, papers & proceedings, Australia, UTAS Library
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 9-14
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

Copyright Royal Society of Tasmania

Date Deposited: 22 May 2012 02:44
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:06
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