The tropical rain forests of Queensland contain the largest number of relics of the former Gondwanian forests in the world. The high concentration of endemic monotypic genera and families with primitive plants reflects the history of these forests, repeatedly being refugia for species of different epochs. Representatives of the flora of these forests are living evidence of the evolutionary processes that have shaped the flora of Australia for the last 415 million years. It is believed that Queensland’s rain forests themselves remained in stable environmental conditions for at least the last 70 million years.
These forests go along a narrow strip along the coast of the Coral Sea, located on steep slopes or slightly wavy descending plateaus at altitudes between 600 and 900 m above sea level. sea, with mountain peaks up to 1622 m. The coastal lowlands along the coast of the Coral Sea are separated from the mountain ranges by foothill hills and in many areas – sharp ledges and cliffs.
Forests are located in two isolated areas: (1) a larger northern near Cairns between 15 ° 30 ‘S and 19 ° 25 ‘S. and (2) southern near Mackay from Whitsunday Group to Garmila. The third section, smaller, is further south on the Warginburra peninsula with the inclusion of parts of the Normanby Range.
In the tropical rain forests of Queensland, you can find representatives of tropical, subtropical, temperate and monsoon forests of Australia, distributed on a wide variety of ecotopes – at different heights, different geological rocks, different types of terrain. The high diversity of floral elements here reflects a huge range of plant communities that once occupy the continent’s spaces. Geobotany distinguish in the rain forests of 16 large types of forests and 30 communities identified by the floral composition. Arrays of rain forests are dissected by eucalyptus forests and woodlands, mangroves and swampy communities with melaleukes.
The average annual precipitation in the region is 1200 to 8000 mm, even in some years it is higher, with 75-90% of all precipitation falling in the Australian summer (November to April). It is curious that in various regions of the region, and even in various seemingly intimate areas, there is an extremely wide amount of precipitation and with different rhythms, depending on the height above sea level, the exposure of the slope, the orientation of the coast towards the prevailing (from the southeast) streams of air. The greatest amount of rain falls near the highest peaks and on their slopes of the eastern exposure. In general, precipitation is greater in the northern part of the region. The ecological amplitude of rain forest growth includes a range of areas with a precipitation amount of more than 1500 mm per year, and in the driest quarter of the year, at least 75 mm should fall out.