The alpine and subalpine areas on the Central Plateau are home to significant Tasmanian flora with many endemic plant species. Some plants are descended from when Australia was part of the ancient supercontinent, Gondwana, which broke apart millions of years ago. The area is subject to extreme weather conditions such as high rainfall, low temperatures, strong winds, ice and occasional snow and winter and is also at risk from recurrent bushfires, the most recent of which in January 2016 caused catastrophic damage to some areas of flora. The vegetation at lower altitudes on the central plateau is a mix of both dry and wet sclerophyll woodland merging to more alpine and coniferous forests as the altitude increases. Tasmanian alpine areas show great variation with many different types of flora existing in small areas. The vegetation at lower altitudes on the central plateau is a mix of both dry and wet sclerophyll woodland merging to more alpine and coniferous forests as the altitude increases. Tasmanian alpine areas show great variation with many different types of flora existing in small areas. Often there is no clear tree line with only the toughest of eucalypts such as snow gum (Eucalyptus coccifera) growing up to elevations of 1300 m in sheltered areas or well drained tables. Heath and mountain shrubberies such as scoparia are the main cover of these sheltered table areas. In exposed areas where trees are unable to survive resilient grasses and sedges dominate. The coniferous forests and shrubberies at higher altitudes are sensitive to exposure and are also less resilient to fire than eucalypts.  

Photo credit: JJ Harrison

Photo credit: JJ Harrison