Paleobiogeography and origin of the New Guinea flora

  • D. I. Axelrod
  • P. H. Raven
Part of the Monographiae Biologicae book series (MOBI, volume 42)


Interpretation of the biogeography of the flora must be made in the context of the salient geologic events that have affected New Guinea and the adjacent region as well. In setting this background the tectonic position of New Guinea in the SW Pacific is reviewed first. Then the history of the island proper is reviewed, with emphasis on land-sea relations and tectonism that have had a crucial role in its development. These data provide a basis for reconstructing a tentative history of the flora, following which several special problems are reviewed. The geologic data are drawn chiefly from the excellent summaries of tectonics in the Indonesian region by Hamilton (1977, 1978, 1979), from the synthesis of Papuan geology by Dow (1977), and from the paleopositions of the continents as revealed by plate tectonics (e.g., Creer 1973; Smith and Briden 1977; Crook and Belbin 1978). We emphasize, as have these and other authors, that there are still many major unresolved geologic problems in the region so our summary statements and the conclusions drawn from them must be viewed in this light.


Oceanic Crust Late Miocene Middle Miocene Pacific Plate Mobile Belt 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1982

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  • D. I. Axelrod
  • P. H. Raven

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