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The Introduced Elements of the Flora of Southern Australia

P. M. Kloot
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1984), pp. 63-78
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2844776
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2844776
Page Count: 16
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The Introduced Elements of the Flora of Southern Australia
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Abstract

The standard published floras are, among other things, data bases for studies in plant geography and contain apparently anomalous records of distribution which, if accepted uncritically, may lead to the conclusion that some species are native to widely separated regions. It is suggested that this problem has arisen because a species' geographic status is determined by its presence at some historical baseline. In this manner `origin' becomes confused with `distribution'. Definitions are offered to clarify these points, and some South Australian examples are presented. The role of long-distance dispersal in the formation of disjunct distributions is discussed. The disjunctions between the ranges of certain species in southern Australia and other continents may be explained by long-distance dispersal, particularly between aquatic environments. Earlier confusion in Australia as to the origin of many species was due to an underestimation of the rapidity with which introduced plants could spread and also a misunderstanding of Mueller's inclusion of alien plants in the Australian flora.

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