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Southwest Australia

Southwest Australia is a biogeographic region in Western Australia. It includes the Mediterranean-climate area of southwestern Australia, which is home to a diverse and distinctive flora and fauna.

The region is also known as the Southwest Australia Global Diversity Hotspot, as well as Kwongan.

Contents

The region includes the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions of Western Australia. The region has a wet-winter, dry-summer Mediterranean climate, one of five such regions in the world. The region covers 356,717 km2, consisting of a broad coastal plain 20-120 kilometres wide, transitioning to gently undulating uplands made up of weathered granite, gneiss and laterite. Desert and xeric shrublands lie to the north and east across the centre of Australia, separating Southwest Australia from the other Mediterranean and humid-climate regions of the continent.

Southwest Australia is recognized as a floristic province.

Vegetation in the region is mainly woody, including forests, woodlands, shrublands, and heathlands, but no grasslands. Predominant vegetation types are Eucalyptus woodlands, eucalyptus-dominated mallee shrublands, and kwongan shrublands and heathlands, which correspond to the chaparral, matorral, maquis, and fynbos shrublands found in other Mediterranean-type regions. The region has generally nutrient-poor sandy or lateritic soils, which has encouraged rich speciation of plants adapted to specific ecological niches. The region hosts a great diversity of endemic species, notably among the protea family (Proteaceae).

Southwest Australia is home to many endemic carnivorous plants, including more than half the world's species of sundews (Drosera), the bladderwort subgenus Polypompholyx, the Byblis gigantea complex of rainbow plants (composed of two species, Byblis lamellata and B. gigantea), and the pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis, sole species in the plant family Cephalotaceae.

The honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus) is a tiny marsupial endemic to Southwest Australia that feeds on nectar and pollen, and is an important pollinator for several southwestern plants including Banksia attenuata, Banksia coccinea, and Adenanthos cuneatus. Other mammals endemic to Southwest Australia are the western brush wallaby (Macropus irma) and the quokka (Setonix brachyurus).

The World Wide Fund for Nature and Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) divide the region into six ecoregions and ten biogeographic regions:

The transitional Coolgardie, Hampton, and Yalgoo regions are generally drier than the rest of the Southwest. They considered part of Southwest Australia by the WWF, but are considered part of the Central Australian or Eremaean Region by the Western Australian Herbarium.

Southwest Australia has several permanent rivers and streams, including the SwanAvon system, the Blackwood River, and other short rivers. The perennial rivers drain from the interior plateau and Darling Range across the coastal plain. Their flow is strongly seasonal, corresponding to the Southwest's wet winter–dry summer weather pattern. The perennial streams extend from east of Esperance on the south coast to the Arrowsmith River north of Perth, most often in areas with 700 mm or more of annual rainfall.

Arid regions separate Southwest Australia's freshwater habitats from Australia's other year-round rivers. As with its terrestrial flora, Southwest Australia's Mediterranean climate and biogeographic isolation has given rise to a distinct freshwater ecoregion with many endemic species.

There are fifteen freshwater fish species, including nine exclusively freshwater species, three estuarine species adapted to brackish water, and three diadromous species that spend part of their life-cycle in the sea. The exclusively freshwater species are endemic to Southwest Australia, as are two estuarine species. The salamanderfish (Lepidogalaxias salamandroides) is the sole species in the endemic family Lepidogalaxiidae. Salamanderfish can aestivate during the summer months, an adaptation to the region's dry summers. Other endemic species are the nightfish (Bostockia porosa), western mud minnow (Galaxiella munda), black-stripe minnow (Galaxiella nigrostriata), Balston’s pygmy perch (Nannatherina balstoni), western pygmy perch (Nannoperca vittata), and western galaxias (Galaxias occidentalis).

Southwest Australian varieties of the diadromous common galaxias (Galaxias maculatus) and spotted galaxias (Galaxias truttaceus) have adapted so they can live their life-cycle and reproduce in fresh water.

The southwestern snake-necked turtle (Chelodina colliei) and western swamp turtle (Pseudemydura umbrina) are aquatic species endemic to Southwest Australia.

  1. Wardell-Johnson, Grant; Wardell-Johnson, Angela; Bradby, K; Robinson, Todd; Bateman, Bill; Williams, K; Braun, K; Beckerling, J; Burbridge, Michael (2016), Application of a Gondwanan perspective to restore ecological integrity in the south-western Australian global biodiversity hotspot, Department of Environment and Agriculture, retrieved11 October 2016
  2. Burbidge, Andrew (1 February 2010), "Global hotspot under stress: while the south-west corner of Western Australia is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot, its unique ecosystems have suffered land clearing, introduced pests and weeds, a changed fire regime, loss of water and salinisation. climate change may tip the balance for some species, unless effective action is taken.(Focus)", Ecos, CSIRO Publishing (153): 18(2), ISSN 0311-4546
  3. Lambers, H., (editor.) (2014), Plant life on the sandplains in southwest Australia : a global biodiversity hotspot : kwongan matters, Crawley, Western Australia UWA Publishing, ISBN 978-1-74258-564-2CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. "The Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot as a Tourist Destination". 31 December 2015.
  5. Cook, Lyn G; Hardy, Nate B; Crisp, Michael D (2015), "Three explanations for biodiversity hotspots: small range size, geographical overlap and time for species accumulation. An Australian case study", New Phytologist, Wiley Subscription Services, Inc (published 1 July 2015), 207 (2): 390–400, doi:10.1111/nph.13199, ISSN 0028-646X, PMID 25442328
  6. Flannery, Tim (1994). The Future Eaters.. Grove Press. ISBN 0-8021-3943-4.
  7. "FloraBase - the Western Australian Flora". Department of Environment and Conservation. Retrieved25 October 2011.
  8. Unmack, Peter. "Southwestern Australia". Freshwater Ecoregions of the World. Accessed 17 June 2020. [1]
Wikimedia Commons has media related toSouthwest Australia.

Southwest Australia
Southwest Australia Language Watch Edit Southwest Australia is a biogeographic region in Western Australia It includes the Mediterranean climate area of southwestern Australia which is home to a diverse and distinctive flora and fauna Ecoregions of Southwest Australia as defined by the WWF 1 Jarrah Karri forest and shrublands 2 Southwest Australia woodlands 3 Southwest Australia savanna 4 Coolgardie woodlands 5 Esperance mallee The region is also known as the Southwest Australia Global Diversity Hotspot 1 2 3 as well as Kwongan 4 Contents 1 Geography 2 Flora 3 Fauna 4 Ecoregions 5 Freshwater 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External linksGeography EditThe region includes the Mediterranean forests woodlands and scrub ecoregions of Western Australia The region has a wet winter dry summer Mediterranean climate one of five such regions in the world The region covers 356 717 km2 consisting of a broad coastal plain 20 120 kilometres wide transitioning to gently undulating uplands made up of weathered granite gneiss and laterite Desert and xeric shrublands lie to the north and east across the centre of Australia separating Southwest Australia from the other Mediterranean and humid climate regions of the continent Flora EditSee also Flora of Western Australia Southwest Australia is recognized as a floristic province 5 Vegetation in the region is mainly woody including forests woodlands shrublands and heathlands but no grasslands Predominant vegetation types are Eucalyptus woodlands eucalyptus dominated mallee shrublands and kwongan shrublands and heathlands which correspond to the chaparral matorral maquis and fynbos shrublands found in other Mediterranean type regions The region has generally nutrient poor sandy or lateritic soils which has encouraged rich speciation of plants adapted to specific ecological niches The region hosts a great diversity of endemic species notably among the protea family Proteaceae Southwest Australia is home to many endemic carnivorous plants including more than half the world s species of sundews Drosera the bladderwort subgenus Polypompholyx the Byblis gigantea complex of rainbow plants composed of two species Byblis lamellata and B gigantea and the pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis sole species in the plant family Cephalotaceae 6 Fauna EditThe honey possum Tarsipes rostratus is a tiny marsupial endemic to Southwest Australia that feeds on nectar and pollen and is an important pollinator for several southwestern plants including Banksia attenuata Banksia coccinea and Adenanthos cuneatus Other mammals endemic to Southwest Australia are the western brush wallaby Macropus irma and the quokka Setonix brachyurus Ecoregions EditThe World Wide Fund for Nature and Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia IBRA divide the region into six ecoregions and ten biogeographic regions Coolgardie woodlands IBRA Coolgardie and Hampton Esperance mallee IBRA Esperance Plains and Mallee Jarrah Karri forest and shrublands IBRA Warren Southwest Australia savanna IBRA Geraldton Sandplains Avon Wheatbelt and Yalgoo Southwest Australia woodlands IBRA Jarrah Forest Swan Coastal Plain scrub and woodlands IBRA Swan Coastal Plain The transitional Coolgardie Hampton and Yalgoo regions are generally drier than the rest of the Southwest They considered part of Southwest Australia by the WWF but are considered part of the Central Australian or Eremaean Region by the Western Australian Herbarium 7 Freshwater EditSee also South West drainage division Southwest Australia has several permanent rivers and streams including the Swan Avon system the Blackwood River and other short rivers The perennial rivers drain from the interior plateau and Darling Range across the coastal plain Their flow is strongly seasonal corresponding to the Southwest s wet winter dry summer weather pattern The perennial streams extend from east of Esperance on the south coast to the Arrowsmith River north of Perth most often in areas with 700 mm or more of annual rainfall 8 Arid regions separate Southwest Australia s freshwater habitats from Australia s other year round rivers As with its terrestrial flora Southwest Australia s Mediterranean climate and biogeographic isolation has given rise to a distinct freshwater ecoregion with many endemic species 8 There are fifteen freshwater fish species including nine exclusively freshwater species three estuarine species adapted to brackish water and three diadromous species that spend part of their life cycle in the sea The exclusively freshwater species are endemic to Southwest Australia as are two estuarine species The salamanderfish Lepidogalaxias salamandroides is the sole species in the endemic family Lepidogalaxiidae Salamanderfish can aestivate during the summer months an adaptation to the region s dry summers Other endemic species are the nightfish Bostockia porosa western mud minnow Galaxiella munda black stripe minnow Galaxiella nigrostriata Balston s pygmy perch Nannatherina balstoni 8 western pygmy perch Nannoperca vittata and western galaxias Galaxias occidentalis Southwest Australian varieties of the diadromous common galaxias Galaxias maculatus and spotted galaxias Galaxias truttaceus have adapted so they can live their life cycle and reproduce in fresh water 8 The southwestern snake necked turtle Chelodina colliei and western swamp turtle Pseudemydura umbrina are aquatic species endemic to Southwest Australia See also EditSouth West Seismic ZoneReferences Edit Wardell Johnson Grant Wardell Johnson Angela Bradby K Robinson Todd Bateman Bill Williams K Braun K Beckerling J Burbridge Michael 2016 Application of a Gondwanan perspective to restore ecological integrity in the south western Australian global biodiversity hotspot Department of Environment and Agriculture retrieved 11 October 2016 Burbidge Andrew 1 February 2010 Global hotspot under stress while the south west corner of Western Australia is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot its unique ecosystems have suffered land clearing introduced pests and weeds a changed fire regime loss of water and salinisation climate change may tip the balance for some species unless effective action is taken Focus Ecos CSIRO Publishing 153 18 2 ISSN 0311 4546 Lambers H editor 2014 Plant life on the sandplains in southwest Australia a global biodiversity hotspot kwongan matters Crawley Western Australia UWA Publishing ISBN 978 1 74258 564 2 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link CS1 maint extra text authors list link The Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot as a Tourist Destination 31 December 2015 Cook Lyn G Hardy Nate B Crisp Michael D 2015 Three explanations for biodiversity hotspots small range size geographical overlap and time for species accumulation An Australian case study New Phytologist Wiley Subscription Services Inc published 1 July 2015 207 2 390 400 doi 10 1111 nph 13199 ISSN 0028 646X PMID 25442328 Flannery Tim 1994 The Future Eaters Grove Press ISBN 0 8021 3943 4 FloraBase the Western Australian Flora Department of Environment and Conservation Retrieved 25 October 2011 a b c d Unmack Peter Southwestern Australia Freshwater Ecoregions of the World Accessed 17 June 2020 1 Further reading EditThackway R and I D Cresswell 1995 An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program Version 4 0 Canberra Australian Nature Conservation Agency Reserve Systems Unit 1995 ISBN 0 642 21371 2External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Southwest Australia Biodiversityhotspots org Conservation International Southwest Australia Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Southwest Australia amp oldid 1041662136, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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