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The Australian Alps. What does Alpine mean? The word ‘alpine’ is often used to describe any high mountain area. The term refers to area’s above a certain.

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Presentation on theme: "The Australian Alps. What does Alpine mean? The word ‘alpine’ is often used to describe any high mountain area. The term refers to area’s above a certain."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Australian Alps

2 What does Alpine mean? The word ‘alpine’ is often used to describe any high mountain area. The term refers to area’s above a certain altitude that are treeless because of prolonged low temperatures.

3 The three zones in the alpine environments Alpine Zone Sub Alpine Zone Montane Zone

4 Alpine Zones /default/files/Zones%202_0.jpg

5 Alpine Zone The elevation above the tree line with mean midsummer temperatures below 10°C and very high precipitation. Alpine zone landforms include rolling summits, exposed ridge lines and rocky outcrops. Vegetation includes herb fields, grasslands, bogs and fens.

6 Key words Precipitation; When cloud particles become too heavy to remain suspended in the air, they fall to the earth as precipitation E.g. rain hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain Outcrop: An outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth

7 Precipitation

8 Herb fields Herbfields are plant communities dominated by herbaceous plants, especially forbs and grasses.

9 Bogs A bog is a stretch of boggy ground (mire) that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands

10 Fens Fens, are peat-forming wetlands that receive nutrients from sources other than precipitation: usually from upslope sources through drainage from surrounding mineral soils and from groundwater movement. Fens differ from bogs because they are less acidic and have higher nutrient levels and therefore are able to support more diverse plant and animal communities.

11 Fens

12 Sub Alpine Zone Subalpine zone: Above about 1500 metres there is an abrupt change from tall forests to a low-growing subalpine woodland dominated by Snow Gums. The plants growing here have to endure low temperatures all year round, and much of the precipitation is in the form of snow and ice. The trees are stunted and often twisted away from prevailing winds.

13 Montane Zone As you move up to the montane slopes where precipitation is higher, the forest generally becomes taller, wetter, darker and more dense and it is these montane forests which form the most extensive zone in the Australian Alps. The dominant trees, a mixture of eucalypts, are taller and grow closer together. The understorey is made up of ferns and small trees.

14 Other Alpine Facts. only 0.5 per cent of Australia is truly ‘ treeless’ alpine. - climatic conditions are harsh - they are typically covered in snow for more than a third of the year - the Victorian Alps remain largely intact and protected in National Parks, Alpine National Park, Mount Buffalo National Park and Mt Baw Baw National Park


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