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Peter Jobson - 2019 Conference Abstract

The Blooming Desert: The flora of arid Central Australia - its diversity and potential uses


The MacDonnell Ranges bio region is second only to Kakadu National Park for the highest flora biodiversity within the Northern Territory.  This is in part due to the climatic changes in the past allowing species to migrate into the area from the temperate area, the tropics, and a relictual group remnant from a wetter time. Typically Australian genera are absent, while more widespread tropical genera are often specious, and yet the flora visually presents itself as iconically Australian.


Native species living in arid Central Australia come with some environmental challenges: drought, temperature extremes, fire and salt tolerance are some of main stresses on the flora.Plants have adapted using various mechanisms and strategies to survive these extremes. These adaptations may have applications in urban plantings particularly in semi-arid regions of Australia, and in areas where previous uses have severely compromised the local environment.


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