Biogeography of the Australian monsoon tropics

Bowman, D. M. J. S., Brown, G. K., Braby, M. F., Brown, J. R., Cook, L. G., Crisp, M. D., Ford, F., Haberle, S., Hughes, J., Isagi,Y., Joseph, L., McBride, J., Nelson, G. and Ladiges, P. Y. (2010) Biogeography of the Australian monsoon tropics. Journal of Biogeography, 37 2: 201-216. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02210.x


Author Bowman, D. M. J. S.
Brown, G. K.
Braby, M. F.
Brown, J. R.
Cook, L. G.
Crisp, M. D.
Ford, F.
Haberle, S.
Hughes, J.
Isagi,Y.
Joseph, L.
McBride, J.
Nelson, G.
Ladiges, P. Y.
Title Biogeography of the Australian monsoon tropics
Journal name Journal of Biogeography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-0270
1365-2699
Publication date 2010-02
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02210.x
Volume 37
Issue 2
Start page 201
End page 216
Total pages 16
Editor Robert J. Whittaker
Place of publication Oxford, U.K
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography
Formatted abstract
Aim  This paper reviews the biogeography of the Australian monsoon tropical biome to highlight general patterns in the distribution of a range of organisms and their environmental correlates and evolutionary history, as well as to identify knowledge gaps.

Location  Northern Australia, Australian Monsoon Tropics (AMT). The AMT is defined by areas that receive more than 85% of rainfall between November and April.

Methods  Literature is summarized, including the origin of the monsoon climate, present-day environment, biota and habitat types, and phylogenetic and geographical relationships of selected organisms.

Results  Some species are widespread throughout the AMT while others are narrow-range endemics. Such contrasting distributions correspond to present-day climates, hydrologies (particularly floodplains), geological features (such as sandstone plateaux), fire regimes, and vegetation types (ranging from rain forest to savanna). Biogeographical and phylogenetic studies of terrestrial plants (e.g. eucalypts) and animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) suggest that distinct bioregions within the AMT reflect the aggregated effects of landscape and environmental history, although more research is required to determine and refine the boundaries of biogeographical zones within the AMT. Phylogenetic analyses of aquatic organisms (fishes and prawns) suggest histories of associations with drainage systems, dispersal barriers, links to New Guinea, and the existence of Lake Carpentaria, now submerged by the Gulf of Carpentaria. Complex adaptations to the landscape and climate in the AMT are illustrated by a number of species.

Main conclusions  The Australian monsoon is a component of a single global climate system, characterized by a dominant equator-spanning Hadley cell. Evidence of hot, seasonally moist climates dates back to the Late Eocene, implying that certain endemic elements of the AMT biota have a long history. Vicariant differentiation is inferred to have separated the Kimberley and Arnhem Land bioregions from Cape York Peninsula/northern Queensland. Such older patterns are overlaid by younger events, including dispersal from Southeast Asia, and range expansions and contractions. Future palaeoecological and phylogenetic investigations will illuminate the evolution of the AMT biome. Understanding the biogeography of the AMT is essential to provide a framework for ecological studies and the sustainable development of the region.
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Keyword Biogeography
Fire
Geological history
Monsoon climate
Northern Australia
Phylogeny
Last glacial cycle
Fresh-water fish
Lake Eyre Basin
Northern Australia
New-guinea
Sea-level
Historical biogeography
Northeastern Australia
Callitris-intratropica
Fire frequency
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 30 SEP 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 121 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 17 Dec 2009, 09:59:05 EST by Hayley Ware on behalf of School of Biological Sciences