Australian Alps montane grasslands

Australia

High alpine, sub-alpine and montane woodlands and open grasslands often with heathy shrublands and patches of open feldmark, tundra and deep bogs.

Australian_Alps

Status

Protection
0 %

Size

12,330km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

Nil

 

Background – Dr Mark Nadir Runkovski, 2010 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Hesperian, 2007

ACT
Help your Ecoregion
So what can you do to help your ecoregion? Below is a list to help you support your ecoregion, while also achieving life's everyday tasks. Don’t underestimate your power in doing good for nature!

PRODUCTS

Food and Homeware: Thor's Hammer

Services

Waste Management: NT Recycling Solutions

At Home
Below is a list of actions you can easily take at home to minimise your impact on the ecoregion in which you live, and the rest of the planet too!
In your Garden
Below is a list of native plants and habitat creation tips you can use in your garden or on your property to give your ecoregion and its species a boost!

CANOPY LAYER

Plant large feature trees like Mountain Gum (Eucalyptus dalrympleana), Ribbon Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), Candlebark Gum (Eucalyptus rubida) and Black Sally (Eucalyptus stellulata) if you have space. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SUB-CANOPY LAYER

Plant native sub-canopy trees like the famous Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant native shrubs such as Alpine Mint-bush (Prostanthera cuneata), Alpine Wattle (Acacia alpina), Pimelea ligustrina, Mountain Rusty-pods (Hovea montana), Alpine Bottlebrush (Melaleuca pityoides), Candle Heath (Richea continentis), Mountain Podolobium (Podolobium alpestre) and Royal Grevillea (Grevillea victoriae). These species are great for creating dense shrubby refugia and provide plenty of nectar for birds and mammals. To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.

GROUND LAYER

Plant colourful native daisies like the classic Orange Everlasting (Xerochrysum subundulatum), Chamomile Sunray (Rhodanthe anthemoides), Scaly Buttons (Leptorhynchos squamatus), Craspedia lamicola and Craspedia costiniana. Other ground-layer plants such as the orchid-like Thrift-leaved Triggerplant (Stylidium armeria), Tasman Flax-lily (Dianella tasmanica), Australian Caraway (Oreomyrrhis eriopoda) and Royal Bluebell (Wahlenbergia gloriosa) are great for a variety of colours. Also consider tufts of native grasses like Blue-green Snow Grass (Poa fawcettiae) and Mountain Bent Grass (Deyeuxia monticola). To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants like Tufted Sedge (Carex gaudichaudiana) and Carex appressa, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.

Learn

The Australian Alps occupy less than 0.3% of Australia’s mainland and are confined entirely to the high country between Canberra south to Victoria. The ecoregion is dominated by montane woodlands, grasslands and heaths, with tundra-like communities and sub-alpine bogs on the highest mountain peaks. The ecoregion is at risk from climate change with annual snowmelts occurring earlier than in the past, leading to alterations in the function of the ecoregion and its constituent species. Many species are endemic to the high mountains, and have evolved to suit habitats within relatively narrow altitudinal gradients.

Ecoregion Structure
The structure of the ecoregion is defined as the key living and non-living features characterising its ecosystems, and the differences between how these ecosystems are arranged. For example, layers of vegetation, geology, habitat features and landscapes.

Geology

A complex and ancient deposit of high-altitude igneous and metamorphic ranges

Climate

Temperate

Iconic Landscapes

Native plant communities

Scenes by @blueringmedia
Ecoregion Composition
The composition of the ecoregion is defined as the biodiversity that inhabits its ecosystems, and the differences between this biodiversity. For example, communities, populations, species, subspecies and genetic traits.
Keystone Species​
Keystone species are those that have a disproportionately large effect on the ecosystems in which they live, relative to their natural abundance there. In other words, species with a really important role in the health of ecosystems.

Snow Gum
(Eucalyptus pauciflora)

Gunn's Heath
(Epacris gunnii)

Flagship Species
Flagship species are those that are chosen by people to represent a wider conservation message, usually for a given place or social context, and as such often carry conservation messages for wider biodiversity.

Southern Corroboree Frog
(Pseudophryne corroboree)

Gang Gang Cockatoo
(Callocephalon fimbriatum)

Recently Extinct Species
All around the world, biodiversity is declining at a concerning rate. For some species it's already too late, and they have disappeared from the ecoregions they once called home. These are some examples of those lost species.

Lord Howe Fantail
(Rhipidura cervina)

Lord Howe Thrush
(Turdus vinitinctus)

Ecoregion Function
The function of the ecoregion is defined as how its structural and compositional components all work together to form ecological relationships and processes which change over time through geological shifts and evolution by natural selection.

Keystone Relationships

Bogong Moths breed in many of Australia's eastern states but during spring and summer they aggregate in huge numbers in the Australian Alps where they become a vital source of protein and fats for many larger animals.

Life-support Systems​

Biodiversity is fundamental to a healthy planet and thriving communities, but the world's species are under tremendous threat.