Natural complexes of the islands of Oceania

Natural complexes of the islands of Oceania

In Oceania, natural complexes of coral, volcanic and continental islands can be distinguished.

Natural complexes of coral islands are monotonous. A flat surface does not exceed an absolute altitude of 3-10 m above sea level. The vegetation of coral islands is very scarce – only a few plant species. The dominant plant of the islands is the coconut palm. It is a tall, slender tree with feathery foliage on top. Fruit is a nut with a mass of up to 8 kg. The young nut contains a white oily liquid, wonderfully quenching thirst. The solid core of the mature nut is also used for food, it contains up to 68% of fats. There are sago palm, ficus, bamboo, pandanus, casuarina.

The life of the islands is connected with the sea. There are many kinds of crabs on the islands, including

those that feed on the fruits of coconut trees. There are other marine animals. At many atolls seabirds nest. In the waters of the coastal zone there are many fish.

On volcanic islands, natural complexes are more diverse. The mountain relief, only along the coast in the shelf zone there are beaches of coral sand. Coral structures protect the coast from ocean waves. On the windward slopes during the year, a lot of precipitation, so here are common evergreen rainforests. And on the leeward slopes dry shrubs prevail, because during the year an insignificant amount of precipitation falls – about 200 mm.

The nature of the individual islands has a high altitude zone, and on the top of the highest volcano of the Hawaiian Islands, Mauna Kea is covered with snow. Coastal territories of the islands are used for recreation, international tourism. On the islands of Oceania, more recently, there were no mammals. Now some of them live mammals, including domesticated animals. Cultivated crops, imported from the mainland, are also grown.

The natural complexes of the mainland islands are quite diverse. Significant in terms of height and occupied area, mountain systems alternate with large plains. In New Zealand, there are many geysers. The animal and plant world is like the mainland. But there are differences. New Guinea is located

in the subequatorial and equatorial climatic zones, so there are representatives of vegetation and fauna of Eurasia and Australia, including rare species. For example, in New Guinea there is a large crowned dove that does not fly.

Since New Zealand is located in a zone of subtropical and temperate climatic zones, vegetation and wildlife here are somewhat different from the vegetation and fauna of the tropical islands. Most animals and plants in New Zealand are endemic, that is, species that occur only here and nowhere else in the world. Of the detachment of flightless birds, endemic flies are the wingless bird of kiwi, some species of penguins, etc. There are also birds such as the lyrebird, the cockatoo, the birds of paradise, the weedy chickens. For mountain forests are characterized by coniferous tree species, in particular, cowberry pine, tree ferns, evergreen beeches, laurels, myrtles. At present, the species composition of forests has dared. There were trees brought from the mainland.

The main task of the islanders is to preserve their unique nature, changing as a result of human activities.


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Natural complexes of the islands of Oceania