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Major Australian Habitats

Australia is a highly diverse continent with a large number of distinct vegetation types. Only the major habatat types are listed here. These represent the types most commonly recognised by ant collectors and found on specimen labels. Note that these habitats can be easily subdivided, often into a large number of subtypes. Also note that the types listed here often merge. For example, rainforest trees and Eucalyptus, typical of wet sclerophyll, can occur together. These situations blur the distinctions given here.

 

Tropical and Temperate Rainforests
Highly diverse and species-rich habitats found in high rain fall areas along coastal areas and Tasmania.
Rainforest
Sclerophyll Forest
The most common habitat found in Australia (with the possible exception of the Arid Zone). Dominated by Eucalyptus species, this habitat ranges from wet to dry sites. The tree canopy is generally closed (that is, branches of neighboring trees touch) and the understory ranges from open to dense.

Dry Sclerophyll

Dry Sclerophyll

Wet Sclerophyll

Wet Sclerophyll

 

Open Woodland
Widely spaced trees (whose canopies don't overlap) with minimal understory.
Open woodland
Mallee
Dominated by a range of Eucalyptus species which produce a number of trunks from a single point. Often on sandy soils with spinifex (Triodia species).
Mallee
Arid Zone
Dry regions in the interior of Australia. Dominated by low shrubs with only scattered trees. In extreme cases vegetation can be limited to scattered shrubs over grasses and bare ground.
Arid Zone

 

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