Climbing plant diversity in Australia: taxonomy, biogeography and functional traits

Rachael V. Gallagher*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter provides a description of the taxonomic diversity, biogeographic patterns and functional traits of Australia's climbing plant flora at both regional and continental scales. The definition provided for a climbing plant encompasses species with a wide range of climbing strategies and growth habits and is not restricted to woody lianas. The taxonomic and functional trait information presented here has been gathered together from Floras, published literature, field surveys and herbarium records. The chapter explores continent-level patterns of climbing plant taxonomic diversity and biogeographic distribution. It also compares the traits and ecological strategies of tropical and temperate climbers of Australia. The pronounced reduction in leaf size between tropical and temperate climbers in Australia likely reflects a gradient in year-round soil water availability, which is typically higher in tropical forests than in temperate forests.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEcology of Lianas
    EditorsStefan A. Schnitzer, Frans Bongers, Robyn J. Burnham, Francis E. Putz
    Place of PublicationChichester, UK
    PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781118392409
    ISBN (Print)9781118392492
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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