As part of the Department of Ecology & Environmental Science Seminar Series Professor Bob Hill Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences University of Adelaide, and Director, Environment Institute will presented a seminar entitled: Fire, Air, Earth, Water – the elemental drivers of the Australian vegetation.
The living Australian vegetation is the end result of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, but the modern component of the vegetation derives from the origin of flowering plants about 120-140 million years ago.
Some aspects of Australia’s landform and geographic position have had a particularly important impact on the current makeup of the vegetation, and chief amongst these are low soil nutrients, developing aridity, and more than 30 million years of spatial isolation.
Until recently there has been a widely accepted history that encompassed all these things, but important discoveries in the last few years have thrown out an enormous challenge to the orthodox view.
This seminar will summarise those findings and show how critical the fossil record is in understanding the living Australian biota.