, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 177–192 | Cite as

The monsoon forests of the Admirality Gulf, Western Australia

  • J. S. Beard


Recent investigation has revealed the occurrence of patches of ‘monsoon forest’ (Semi-evergreen and Deciduous Vine Thickets sensu Webb 1959) in the north Kimberley District of Western Australia. Rainfall is much higher in this area than was previously assumed and reaches 1500 mm annually. As in southern Queensland these forests occur only on basic igneous rocks. A description is given of the general vegetation of the Mitchell Plateau and of the monsoon forests found there, based on study of seven sites, three of them ‘high-level’ on the scarps of the bauxite plateau, three ‘low-level’ on the lower basalt country and one riverain. Eleven species not previously listed in published records for Western Australia were found. All were known from the Northern Territory and represent an extension of the known range of species comprised in the Indo-Malaysian element of the Australian flora.


Botanical exploration Monsoon forests Tropical Australia 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, A. D. 1966. Geology of the Montague Sound 1 : 250, 000 area (SD/51-12), Western Australia. Bur. Miner. Resour. Aust. Rec. 1966/20.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, A. D. 1971. Explanatory Notes on the Montague Sound Geological Sheet Area. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Canberra.Google Scholar
  3. Andel, T. H. van et al. 1967. Late Quaternary history, climate and oceanography of the Timor Sea, N. W. Australia. Am. J. Sci. 265: 737–58.Google Scholar
  4. Bagnouls, F. & H.Gaussen, 1957. Les climats écologiques et leur classification. Ann. Geogr. 66: 193–220.Google Scholar
  5. Beard, J. S. 1944. Climax Vegetation in tropical America. Ecology, 25: 127–58.Google Scholar
  6. Beard, J. S. 1955. The classification of tropical American vegetation types. Ecology, 36: 89–99.Google Scholar
  7. Beard, J. S. 1974. The vegetation of the Great Sandy Desert area. In Beard, J. S. and Webb, M. J., Vegetation Survey of Western Australia, 1: 1,000,000 series, Explanatory Notes to Sheet 2, ‘Great Sandy Desert’. University of W.A. Press, Nedlands.Google Scholar
  8. Christian, C. S. & G. A.Stewart, 1953. General report on survey of Katherine-Darwin region, 1946. Land Research Series No. 1, C. S. I. R. O., Melbourne.Google Scholar
  9. Easton, W. R. 1922. Report on north Kimberley District of Western Australia. Dept. of the North-West Publ. 3, Perth.Google Scholar
  10. Galloway, R. W. 1965. Late Quaternary climates in Australia. J. Geol. 73: 603–18.Google Scholar
  11. Gardner, C. A. 1923. Botanical notes, Kimberley Division of Western Australia. Forests Dept. Bulletin No. 32, Perth.Google Scholar
  12. Gellatly, D. C. & J.Sofoulis, 1969. Explanatory Notes on the Drysdale and Londonderry Geological Sheets, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Canberra.Google Scholar
  13. Hammen, T.van der 1974. The pleistocene changes of vegetation and climate in tropical South America. J. Biogeog. 1: 3–26.Google Scholar
  14. Jennings, J. N. 1971. Sea level changes and land links. In Aboriginal Man and Environment in Australia, ed. D. J.Mulvaney and J.Colson, A. N. U. Press, Canberra, pp. 1–13.Google Scholar
  15. Köppen, W. 1936. Das geographische System der Kllmate. Handbuch der Klimatologie, Vol. 1, part C. Berlin.Google Scholar
  16. Specht, R. L. & C. Mountford, 1958. Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. 3. Botany and Plant Ecology, Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Speck, N. H. et al. 1960. The lands and pastoral resources of the North Kimberley area, W. A. Land Research Series No. 4, C. S. I. R. O., Melbourne.Google Scholar
  18. Story, R. et al. 1969. Lands of the Adelaide-Alligator area, Northern Territory. Land Research Series No. 25, C. S. I. R. O., Melbourne.Google Scholar
  19. Thornthwaite, C. W. 1931. The elimate of North America according to a new classification. Geog. Rev. 21: 633-Google Scholar
  20. Webb, L. J. 1959. A physiognomic classification of Australian rain forests. J. Ecol. 47: 551–70Google Scholar
  21. Webb, L. J. 1963. The influence of soil parent materials on the nature and distribution of rain forests in South Queensland. Symp. Ecol. Research Hum. Trop. Veg., Kuching, Sarawak.Google Scholar
  22. Webb, L. J. 1968. Environmental relationships of the structural types of Australian rain forest vegetation. Ecology 49: 296–311.Google Scholar
  23. Zinderen Bakker, E. M.van & J. A.Coetzee, 1972. A reappraisal of late-Quaternary climatic evidence from tropical Africa. Palaeoecology of Africa 7: 151–181.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Beard
    • 1
  1. 1.AppiecrossAustralia

Personalised recommendations