Topics: Australia, Great Ocean Road, Flora Pages: 5 (982 words) Published: May 10, 2013

Unit 3 AOS1

Plate Tectonics:
160 million years ago Pangaea split forming Laurasia and Gondwana

3 factors that have influenced the evolution of Australia…

Biological Isolation:
Flora and fauna has been able to adapt over millions of years in isolation. It has been able to adapt without the influence of predators. That is why Australian fauna is very susceptible to introduced species. EG. The fact that Kangaroos have roamed around for many years without predators.

Geological Isolation:
Due to the land not being refreshed regularly from instability (volcanic action) the land is generally very old with poor nutrients. Soils have also been subjected to wind and water erosion, washing away topsoil nutrients. The state of soils influence flora and fauna and due to this, they have been able to develop without nutrients and have become extremely energy efficient. Biodiversity can be very high due to one species not being able to dominate a particular environment.

Climatic Variations:
Australia's weather has fluctuated die to its size and position on Earth. There have been fluctuations in temperature and in sea levels and periods of aridity which had changed Australia's biodiversity over many years. The erratic climate can affect the reproduction cycles and survival rates of the flora and fauna. EG. Koalas have adapted with the changing nature of the Australian environment over time. They now have "re-shaped" faces to better cater for eating from Eucalyptus trees and communication. Brain is smaller for efficient energy.

Fire: Australia has become a drier land. Arid areas increased the incident of naturally occurring bush fires. Fire has saw some areas replaced with grasslands replacing lush understory such as ferns and a general thinning out of woodlands and the replacement of fire hardy trees. Certain plant species have adapted so much to the fire cycle, that their seeds only get a chance to germinate once the plant has been affected by fire.

Megafauna: Slow moving, generally large herbivorous animals. Extinct between 20,000 - 40,000 years ago. Originally flourished due to biological isolation and having no predators. Extinct due to fluctuations in climate (possibly ice age) and reduction in food supply or hunting by Aboriginals.

Relationships with Australian outdoor environments expressed by specific Indigenous communities before and after European colonisation…

Relationships - What we think, do, the effects

GUNDITJMARA - Hopkins River Estuary:
The river was a rich provider. Provided aspects of an economic base for Kooris as well as a subsistence base.
Women would catch fresh water muscles and crayfish.
The men made fish hooks out of small, sharp kangaroo and wallaby bones and fishing line from the stretched and dried ligaments of a kangaroo tail
Constructed fish traps
Gather abalone
Used nets
Most important resource, eel traps. Extremely successful due to the sheer number of migratory eels that swam along the river seasonally.
Hunter and gatherers
Nomadic lifestyle
Fire stick farming

Contemporary Aboriginal Relationships:
Land Management. Saving land of significant cultural heritage. The return of native titles
Tourism. Selling the traditions and stories to others.
Education. Eg Aboriginal food tour at Tower Hill
Employment. Earning a living by being involved in Aboriginal culture of some sort.

The first non-Indigenous settlers experiences…

Land declared terra nullius. Claimed land put up fences. Affecting Aboriginals nomadic lifestyle
Had a fascination with the coast line, landscape, unusual vegetation and exotic animals
Bought ornamental items e.g. Blackberry because it reminded them of home. (introduced species)
Found the land harsh and primitive
Conservation not considered. Didn't value flora and fauna
Land clearing for settlement, farming. High...
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