Some plant ecological studies in South-east Queensland : being a comparative consideration of vegetational distribution and environmental factors in three localities : and other relevant studies

Tommerup, Eric Christian (1934). Some plant ecological studies in South-east Queensland : being a comparative consideration of vegetational distribution and environmental factors in three localities : and other relevant studies M.Sc Thesis, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Tommerup, Eric Christian
Thesis Title Some plant ecological studies in South-east Queensland : being a comparative consideration of vegetational distribution and environmental factors in three localities : and other relevant studies
School, Centre or Institute School of Biological Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1934-01-01
Thesis type M.Sc Thesis
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Supervisor W.W. Bryan
D.A. Herbert
Total pages 103
Language eng
Subjects 270400 Botany
Formatted abstract

A general resume of certain aspects of plant ecological work in Queensland is given, which indicates the main conclusions of previous workers in this sphere. The present work describes the distribution of plant species in certain parts of S.E. Queensland and attempts to correlate this distribution with environmental factors. Edaphic agencies are found to be the most important in determining the occurrence of species. It is shown that the American method of soil classification is a natural system.

The first district to be considered represents a "profile" from coast plain sub littoral forest to the rainforests of the coast range in the neighbourhood of Maryborough, Q. An examination of the vegetation in relation to topography, drainage, climatic variations and geology was made by means of a careful strip survey over an area of about 300 sq. miles. It was found that the distribution of species was closely allied to edaphic changes. The soils have been classified into 6 Series. Taken as a whole they appear to fall into the Yellow earth and Brown earth soil groups rather than into a podsolic group.

The second and third districts covered lie on the higher coast ranges leading up to the Main Divide of Queensland. They carry a considerable area of rainforest formation, and a study has been made of the structure of this formation and of the agencies which govern the development of rainforest. The soils in the rainforests are specially rich in humus, they belong to the pedalferic, non lime accumilating division. Though they are frequently formed on basic igneous rocks (Prescott's Basaltic Red Loams), this is not always the case, and they are definitely ektodynamorphic soils. It should be remarked that they are "loamy" in consistence, but very frequently are clays in texture. They do not fit easily into any of the described great soil groups of the world but seem to be most closely allied to the red earths. Four tentative soil series are suggested in these districts, one series has two phases, a red phase and a black phase. 

The extent of the rainforest formation is governed by both climatic-rainfall- conditions and by soil. The nature of the soil is largely influenced by the geology, which has been described and mapped by the writer in a previous paper. A study of the structure of the rainforest formation, judged by the distribution of the species within it, is undertaken; the principal conclusion of which is that the arrangement depends partly upon the soil moisture properties and partly upon complex biological relationships of the various species to one another. The conditions in the rainforest ecotone are discussed. The various types of sclerophyll forests are discussed.

The lands described are suitable for a variety of purposes. The coastal lands near Maryborough are the most difficult to prescribe a system of soil management for, because many of them are poorly drained and probably deficient in phosphorus. Reforestation with S.E. U.S.A. pines is suggested for the better class soil, but only as experimental trials, because it has not yet been proved that these trees will be successful. Some of the open forest land at the head of the Brisbane River is suitable for hardwood reforestation, other of it is more suitable for pastoral purposes. The more gently sloping rainforest soils are suitable either for reforestation or agricultural farms. The hilly areas would provide excellent grazing lands.

Keyword Plant ecology -- Queensland, Southeastern

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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