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Mentioning the word ’rainforest’ usually conjures up images of huge trees, palms, vines, layers of vegetation and incredible plant diversity; typical of a tropical rainforest. Vegetation is characteristically dense and moisture dependent with a variety of shade-tolerant plants growing beneath an almost closed canopy that filters the light reaching the forest floor. There are, however, other rainforest types, each with its own suite of plants, each suited to its own environment and Queensland has them all.

Subtropical rainforest and warm temperate rainforest are both found in South East Queensland, the first on the richer basaltic soils and the second on less fertile soils at higher altitudes. Patches of monsoon rainforest are found in the Northern Territory and patches of tropical rainforest in coastal areas north of Mackay and of course on the eastern side of Cape York Peninsula. Small pockets of various rainforest types are also found in Tasmania and across north Australia from Cape York to the Kimberleys.

 
From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Eleven
 
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Subtropical character is created in landscapes mainly through planting, and especially using a rich diversity of plants in multiple layers, with an emphasis on their architectural form and foliage. This requires selecting plants which will grow together to convey these characteristics over time, even through periods of drought and flood which South East Queensland has recently experienced.

The subtropical climatic zone (mainly between 28° and 40° latitude) is characterised by its temperature range, with long growing seasons and relatively warm winters, with mean temperature of the coldest month between 6 and 18C. Whilst this zone generally has distinct wet and dry seasons, the rainfall patterns and soil types vary widely worldwide, from deserts and savannas, through swamps and humid forests, to dry hill slopes and exposed coasts. Australia has a higher proportion of its continental mass in this zone than any other continent, and most of eastern subtropical Australia is also affected regularly by the El Niño weather patterns, where the rainfall can vary widely from year to year.

 
From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Eleven
 
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