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Introduction

  • Hans Lambers
Chapter

Abstract

Australia is the flattest and driest vegetated continent on Earth. More than two-thirds of the land is considered arid, and half is desert, which supports an amazingly adapted flora and fauna (White 1994). The iconic Red Centre of Australia broadly corresponds with the driest part of the continent, the Australian Arid Zone, suggesting that redness is related to aridity. However, the history of redness in Central Australia is longer than that of the Australian Arid Zone (Pillans 2018). The arid zone is Australia’s largest biome, occupying approximately 70% of the entire continent. It hosts a variety of vegetation types from shrub woodlands, acacia and mallee eucalypt shrublands, spinifex grasslands, tussock and hummock grasslands and chenopod shrublands, with a complex evolutionary history in both plants and animals (Byrne et al. 2018).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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