My heart metaphorically exploded when I saw ya fave marshie low-riders, alpine marsh marigolds (Psychrophila introloba) still flowering last week. An odd and ancient member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and one of the loveliest Australian alpine wildflowers.
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#marshmarigold #buttercup #ranunculaceae #psychrophila #snowpatch #alpine #whiteflowers #alpineplants #alpineplantsofaustralia #alpinewildflowers #snowmelt #snowymountains #snowymountainsnsw #kosciuszkonationalpark #austalps #australianalps #iucnrle #ozplants #australiannativeplants #choosemountains #biodiversity #ecology #botany

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Psychedelic flower bud of woolly billy button (Craspedia maxgrayi), contrasting beautifully against the tomentose (aka, downy) grey leaves. Woolly billy button is widespread in the tall alpine herbfield and grasslands at the highest elevations of Kosciuszko, putting on a splendid flowering display from late December to late January every year. Down in the Victorian Alps, this billy button is listed as vulnerable and is restricted to the high points of Mt Hotham and Bogong High Plains.
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#asteraceae #billybutton #alpine #alpinewildflowers #alpinemeadows #austalps #australianalps #alpineplants #iucnrle #alpineplantsofaustralia #snowymountains #snowymountainsnsw #kosciuszkonationalpark #ozplants #australiannativeplants #ecology #botany #phenology #womeninstem #choosemountains #biodiversity

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Nice little raised bog on Mueller's Pass, between Mt Kosciuszko and Lake Albina. Lots of different plants call this hummock of vibrant green Sphagnum cristatum home: candle heath (Richea continentis), rope rush (Empodisma minus), and ribbon grass (Chionochloa frigida).
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#sphagnum #sphagnumbog #raisedbog #alpine #alpineplants #alpineplantsofaustralia #kosciuszkonationalpark #austalps #endangeredecologicalcommunity #iucnrle #australianalps #ecology #science #choosemountains #snowymountainsnsw #snowymountainsnsw #snowpatch #wetlands #mire

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Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is usually seen lining the tracksides of the high peaks, but here it has formed an extensive localised colony. While it is pretty to look at, dandelion can disperse into surrounding eroded areas.
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#dandelion #asteraceae #taraxacum #weeds #MIREN #mountains #invasivespecies #yellowflowers #austalps #australianalps #kosciuszkonationalpark #snowymountains #snowymountainsnsw #alpine #abcmyphoto #nswparks #choosemountains #ecology #nature #science #botany #glaciallakes

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Early December is undoubtedly when the buttercups rule the mountains. While the showy snow daisies, billy buttons and eyebrights of the tall alpine herbfield are yet to hit their straps, anemone buttercups (Ranunculus anemoneus) dot the high peaks with their big white flowers. Almost as wonderful as seeing these vulnerable plants in all their glory is seeing random mountain-goers point them out and gasp with excitement. I love seeing people's reactions to plants.
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#ranunculaceae #Ranunculus #threatenedspecies #alpine #alpinewildflowers #austalps #australianalps #nswparks #alpineplantsofaustralia #kosciuszkonationalpark #snowymountains #snowymountainsnsw #choosemountains #biodiversity #ozplants #hiking #nature #australiannativeplants #ecology #womeninstem #abcmyphoto #gardeningaustralia

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Tiny plant perfection 😍 Pimelea alpina and Ranunculus graniticola positively making my heart explode. This morning I was going to head home, but returning to smokey skies and asthma attacks didn't sound too appealing. Instead, I'm going for a walk in the clean crisp air of the mountains to look for my favourite alpine plants on the Etheridge Ridge, Snowy River snowpatch, then visiting my favourite fen.
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#ranunculaceae #buttercup #pimelea #thymeleaceae #alpine #alpineplants #alpineplantsofaustralia #austalps #snowymountains #kosciuszkonationalpark #ecology #nature #science #women#ozplants #australiannativeplants #choosemountains #alpinemeadows #gardeningaustralia

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What a mega social media break! For a range of reasons, it's been nearly 8 months since I've been in the mountains. It was so damn lovely to be up here today sharing my love of the alpine with a bunch of keen undergrad students. There's so much in flower right now too, like these snow daisies #Celmisia costiniana and granite buttercups #Ranunculus graniticola.
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#asteraceae #ranunculaceae #fieldtrip #phdlife #alpine #alpineplants #alpineplantsofaustralia #wildflowers #alpinemeadows #science #ecology #ozplants #australiannativeplants #austrianalps #austalps #choosemountains #abcmyphoto #gardeningaustralia

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Beach stone-curlew also known as the beach thick-knees is a infrequent visitor to Sydney. This over has come down and been hanging out in the intertidal for the last few weeks. Compared to the other shorebirds it's big and ungraceful without the lightness of the long distance migrants. Maybe a bit more dinasaur still hanging around. .
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#beachstonecurlew #beachthickknee #esacus #burhinidae #longreef #esacusmagnirostris

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Flat (thallose) liverworts often have these "gemma cups" on their surface, which contain tiny clones of the liverwort. When a droplet of water hits the cup, the clones splash forth into the great big world and eventually grow into new liverworts

#gemmacup #splashforth #gemmae #vegetativereproduction #liverwort #marchantia #bryophyte #bryology #marchantiophyta #thalloseliverwort #nonvascular #lifecycle

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Many lichens secrete a white powdery substance called a pruina. There are lots of theories about why they do this: sun protection, light concentration, removing excess calcium and even storing water in zeolite crystals. This Fulgensia subbracteata is very pruinose, but if you spray it with water, its true colour is revealed!

#spraydelaywalkaway #pruina #pruinose #lichen #fulgensia #gyalolechia #fulgensiasubbracteata #gyalolechiasubbracteata #zeolite #calciumoxalate #anthraquinone #yellowpigment #lichenology #cryptogam #drylands #aridzone #biocrust #biologicalsoilcrust

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Black shouldered kite flying with its breakfast. #skinkforbreakfast #raptor #blackshoulderedkite #bushellslagoon

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There are some very mysterious cryptogams that live under rocks (hypolithic) and even inside rocks (endolithic). The hypoliths usually live under rocks like quartz that allow some light through, so they can still photosynthesise but stay moist and protected. Endolithic cyanobacteria usually live in the upper layers of sedimentary rocks like sandstone.

I was recently at an old dump site with lots of smashed glass. There wasn't much biocrust around, EXCEPT underneath the glass, where there were thriving communities of hypolithic cyanobacteria and mosses!

#hypolith #endolith #cryptogam #biocrust #cyanobacteria #moss #bryophyte #bryology #lichenology #hypolithic #endolithic #cryptoendolithic #facilitation #aridaustralia #aridzone

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Greater flamingo in #algarve , Portugal. They seem to love the salt ponds flying around to find the perfect water depth for each tide. Genomics tells us that the closest relatives of flamingos are grebes which suggests that evolution can be wild and unpredictable
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#avesportugal #flamingo #pink #greaterflamingo #Phoenicopterus #phoenicopterusroseus #phoenicopteridae

55 2

Innsbruck is just a bit breathtaking. Yesterday it was cold and rainy in the town, but up the mountains snow was falling. Now that the clouds have cleared we have the most amazing view of the mountains 😍 Seeing these giant jagged peaks reminds me how weird the low, rounded, ancient weathered peaks of the Australian Alps are.
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#innsbruck #imc2019 #imc #mountains #snow #austrianalps #tirol #austria #conference #science #sciencecommunication #choosemountains #nature #ecology

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Off on an adventure! This morning I'm starting my looooong journey to Innsbruck, Austria, for the International Mountain Conference. I'll be presenting results from the What's in Flower project, using some neat natural history records to investigate phenological temperature sensitivity in 52 Australian alpine plants. This is a little snippet of my poster, and I'll post more during my whopping ~40 hours of travel! Wish me luck ☺️
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#imc2019 #intmtnconf2019 #imc #internationalmountainsconference2019 #phdlife #phenology #alpine #alpineplants #alpineplantsofaustralia #choosemountains #flowering #ecology #science #scienceoutreach #conference #innsbruck #sciencecommunication #poster #australianalps #austalps #womeninstem

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The threatened anemone buttercup. Flowering last summer behind a remnant bit of snow up in the Australian alps. #ranunculus anemoneus #ranunculaceae
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#australiannative #australiannativeplants #australianflora #flowers #flora #wildflowers #botany #ecology #nature #naturephotography #macro #macrophotography #bokeh #bokehlicious #flowers #flowerphotography #flowerstagram #plants #plantstagram #sydney #nsw #australia #nswnationalparks @nswnationalparks #threatened #threatenedspecies

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Gigaspermum here is a very special moss. While most mosses produce a sporing structure (sporangium) on a tall stalk, Gigaspermum grows its spores in that bulbous green bit at its centre (called a sessile capsule). It also has some of the largest spores of any moss, at 0.13 mm, which is actually visible to the naked eye. The largest known spores are found in Archidium mosses, reaching 0.32 mm. The smallest vascular plant seed is about 0.085 mm

#gigaspermum #sessilecapsule #gigaspermumrepens #moss #bryology #bryophyte #traits #functionaltraits #planttraits #seedsize #sporesize #sporangium #drylands #aridzone #diecious

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Late November is a lovely time for buttercup watching, like these felted #Ranunculus muelleri and granite R. graniticola buttercups flowering sympatrically up near one of my field sites. Granite buttercup is easy to tell from the felted buttercup, as the centre of the flower is usually darker in colour.
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The little body of water on the left is part of a system of tiny snowmelt pools, which provides an important late spring – early summer aqueous habitat for mountain animals like frogs, dragon flies, and other alpine invertebrates. Buttercups also thrive in these wet microhabitats, flowering at full steam in late spring before the ephemeral pools dry out.
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#ranunculaceae #buttercup #flowers #yellowflowers #ig_color #nature #alpinewildflowers #alpine #alpineplants #abcmyphoto #alpineplantsofaustralia #choosemountains #ecology #microhabitat #australianalps #austalps #snowymountains #kosciuszkonationalpark #ecosystems #ozplants #phenology #scicomm #womeninstem

152 0

Another very flattering common name: finger wart lichen (fingervortelav på Norsk). Also known as Pertusaria dactylina

#pertusaria #lichen #cryptogam #symbiosis #dovrefjell #norway #pertusariadactylina #cladonia #tundra #ecology #environmentalscience #norskelav #lav

117 5

Silver snow daisies #Celmisia costiniana are one of the dominant species of the widespread Tall Alpine Herbfield community. Even though their upright rosetted leaves don't really get longer then 15cm, their floral scape can reach 40cm high, making them one of the 'taller' herbs of the alpine zone. Flowering enmass is kinda their thing too, with huge colonies exploding into a sea of white flowers late December to mid January.
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#asteraceae #snowdaisy #daisies #whiteflowers #alpinewildflowers #alpine #alpineplantsofaustralia #abcmyphoto #alpineplants #choosemountains #ecology #botany #alpinefloraofaustralia #australianalps #austalps #kosciuszkonationalpark #snowymountains #phdlife #phenology #ig_color #granite #gardeningaustralia

282 2

Lay down in a bed of bluebells? Check. #wahlenbergia ceracea #campanulaceae [Jan 19]
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#australiannative #australiannativeplants #australianflora #flowers #flora #wildflowers #botany #ecology #nature #naturephotography #macro #macrophotography #bokeh #bokehlicious #flowers #flowerphotography #flowerstagram #plants #plantstagram #sydney #nsw #australia #nswnationalparks @nswnationalparks

179 6

In the Scandinavian tundra, there are some plants that can survive on the harsh exposed mountaintops underneath a protective (or possibly competitive) canopy of lichens. This alpine azalea is often found underneath Flavocetraria and Alectoria

#microclimate #microclimatebuffering #tundra #cryptogam #kalmia #kalmiaprocumbens #loiseleuriaprocumbens #flavocetraria #alectoria #flavocetrarianivalis #alpineazalea #shrub #alpineflora #lichen #facilitation #ecology

197 9

When you're a wolf spider but also proud of your burrow. Many burrows of the large alpine wolf spiders are fringed by tiny prostrate flowering plants, with #Pimelea alpina, #Pentachondra pumila and #Stackhousia pulvinaris looking particularly like carefully tended flower gardens when in bloom. This particular spider has burrowed under a carpet of alpine pimelea.
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#thymeleaceae #alpine #alpineplants #alpinewildflowers #alpineplantsofaustralia #tinyplants #wolfspider #austalps #australianalps #snowymountains #kosciuszkonationalpark #ecology #ozplants #habitat #scicomm #choosemountains #biodiversity

174 4

Well, the hills are certainly white right now, and not with tall billy buttons #Craspedia leucantha! For anyone lucky enough to be putting in some sweet, sweet powdery turns today, do a few extra for me as I sit here in front of my laptop.
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This winter so far has been warm and dry with irregular snowfall. For the Australian Alps, a key abiotic trait of winter climate change is decreased light and regular snowfalls, with higher and more intense precipitation (when cold, this usually means snow) occuring over fewer days. So longer periods of no snow fall followed by big snow events, such as the blizzard we're currently seeing. For those interested in long term (1958-2012) synoptic circulation and precipitation trends in the Snowy Mountains, check out the 2016 paper by Theobald, McGowan & Speirs ❄️❄️❄️
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Botanical note: C. leucantha is endemic to the alpine zone of Kosciuszko National Park and only inhabits wet seepage areas usually within close proximity to late-laying snowpatches. While not explicitly a snowpatch species (it usually occurs outside of the community), it is dependent on summer irrigation from the melting snow.
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#asteraceae #blizzard #powaustralia #climatechange #alpine #alpineplantsofaustralia #winter2019 #climateemergency #snowymountains #phdlife #australianalps #austalps #winter #precipitation #ozplants #australiannativeplants #sciencecommunication #scienceoutreach #scicomm #ecology #womeninstem #unswbees #climatescience #snowpatch #rareplants #winterclimatechange

233 5

The striking sunset-orange sporophyte of Tetraplodon mniodes

#moss #tetraplodon #cryptogam #tundra #lichenmats #sporophyte #tetraplodonmnioides #bryology #bryophyte #norway #dovrefjell #dovrefjellnasjonalpark #sunsetorange

207 1