Open Access Repository

An in situ, Late Pleistocene Melaleuca fossil forest at Coal Head, western Tasmania, Australia


Downloads per month over past year

Rowell, MV, Jordan, GJ and Barnes, RW 2001 , 'An in situ, Late Pleistocene Melaleuca fossil forest at Coal Head, western Tasmania, Australia' , Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 49, no. 2 , pp. 235-244 , doi: 10.1071/BT00049.

[img] PDF
coal_head.pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Rowell, MV and Jordan, GJ and Barnes, RW
Keywords: palynology, representivity, palaeoecolgy, quaternary, pollen and spores
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
DOI / ID Number: 10.1071/BT00049
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available online at

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page