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Environment and floristics of ten Australian alpine vegetation formations


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Kirkpatrick, JB and Bridle, K 1999 , 'Environment and floristics of ten Australian alpine vegetation formations' , Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 47, no. 1 , pp. 1-21 , doi: 10.1071/BT97058.

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Data on floristics, structure and environment were collected from quadrats throughout the geographic
range of alpine vegetation in Australia. These data were used to explore the floristic and environmental
relationships of ten alpine vegetation formations: bolster heath, coniferous heath, heath, alpine
sedgeland, fjaeldmark, tall alpine herbfield, short alpine herbfield, grassland, bog and fen. Alpine
sedgeland and coniferous heath, and tall alpine herbfield and grassland, proved to be closely similar in
their floristics. Grassland and coniferous heath were most separated in ordination space. The
environmental variables with the largest numbers of significant differences between formations were
extractable phosphorus, summer temperatures, winter temperatures and topography. However, many
other edaphic, climatic, topographic and biotic variables were important in discriminating between
formations. The results of the formation-environment analyses were largely consistent with the
relationships suggested in the previous literature. However, some environmental differences between
formations that were observed or posited from local studies did not prove to be exportable to the alpine
zone as a whole. Edaphic and topographic variables appear to be more important in discriminating the
environments of alpine formations than the environments of alpine floristic communities.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kirkpatrick, JB and Bridle, K
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
DOI / ID Number: 10.1071/BT97058
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