The Indo-Malayan (including Papuan) Element in Australian Flora

Thistle Y. Harris

Abstract


Over a vast continent such as Australia one expects to find a great variety of plant life, since the climatic conditions and geological formations differ so markedly in different regions. Broadly speaking, however, the flora of the whole of Australia may be classified into two great groups: (a) Endemic types, which are predominant and which, according to Bentham, either originated in Australia or were differentiated here in direct response to the environment and never spread much out of it. This group is quite unique among the world's flora, though plants with similar ecological modifications are to be found in regions of the earth where the environmental conditions are somewhat similar, as they are in South Africa. (b) Indo-Malayan and Papuan types, which in Australia are confined to the Eastern Coast District from Cape York to Cape Otway, and rarely extend for more than one hundred miles inland.

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