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Potential Impacts of Global Change on Vegetation in Australian Alpine Landscapes: Climate Change, Landuse, Vegetation Dynamics and Biodiversity Conservation

  • Richard J. Williams
  • Carl-Henrik Wahren
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 23)

Abstract

The alpine and subalpine regions of south-eastern mainland Australia are small and restricted, covering an area of only approximately 11,000 km2 in a continent of 7.7 million km2 (Williams and Costin 1994; Costin et al. 1999; Williams et al. 2003). The most extensive are the Kosciuszko plateau in New South Wales (NSW), the Bogong High Plains in Victoria, the Central Plateau in Tasmania and the mountains of south-west Tasmania (Kirkpatrick 1994; 1997; Williams and Costin 1994; Costin et al. 1999). These areas are of prime importance as catchments for the supply of high quality water to adjacent lowlands; for hydroelectricity generation; for recreation in both summer (e.g. walking, horse riding) and winter (mainly skiing); and for nature conservation. In Victoria and Tasmania, the high country is also used for the summer grazing of domestic cattle. Because of their unique combination of geomorphic, biotic and land-use characteristics, and despite their limited distribution, Australia’s high mountain regions are of national and international significance (Kirkpatrick 1994). In recognition of this, most of the Australian Alps are designated National Park.

Keywords

Australia Disturbance Grazing ITEX National park Open top chamber 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Williams
    • 1
  • Carl-Henrik Wahren
    • 2
  1. 1.CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsWinnellieAustralia
  2. 2.Boreal Ecology Cooperative Research UnitUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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