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A liana is any of various long-stemmed, woody vines that are rooted in the soil at ground level and use trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy to get access to well-lit areas of the forest. The term "liana" is not a taxonomic grouping, but rather a description of the way the plant grows – much like "tree" or "shrub". (Wiki) Lianas are long-lived and compete with trees and other flora for light and nutrients, and because they are rooted in the soil, they are not epiphytes. PS: There is so little information online about Australian liana species, and as there are literally dozens of species in Australia, an exact ID* is most unlikely at this stage. When it comes to identifying many large lianas, all we see is the bark. Any new growth such as leaves, flowers and fruit, is all happening high up in the canopy, and that is usually beyond view until the supporting trees and vine come crashing down. However, the last photo in this series (#7) shows a much younger vine where its foliage is still visible. Big vines start off as little vines, and that's the best time to ID them! This specimen was on a different part of the track, and most likely a different species.


Spotted on the Mt. Mathieson Trail in a dense section of subtropical rainforest at Mt. Mathieson, Spicers Gap. This area is part of Main Range National Park, and the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Lots of leaf litter and quite damp due to morning fog. Soft, filtered light.


* Queensland Government - Department of Environment and Science (DES) - (1) https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetla... Specific to the native plants found in Main Range National Park. (2) https://www.des.qld.gov.au/assets/docume... - Notophyll vine forest and microphyll fern forests to thickets on high peaks and plateaus (page 58 of PDF document). It applies to the Scenic Rim national parks in southeast Queensland. Frequent vines include: Cephalaralia cephalobotrys, Hibbertia scandens, Marsdenia rostrata, Pandorea baileyana, Parsonsia induplicata, Ripogonum discolor and Smilax australis. Other reference sites: Notophyll rainforests and thickets of the wet tropics bioregion, and the different classifications for vine forests - https://www.wettropics.gov.au/site/user-... and defining tropical rainforest - http://rainforest-australia.com/Plant_ty...

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Machi. It's an interesting mission.

Machi 3 weeks ago

Very cool spotting! And Brian, there is a Life & Mathematics Mission: https://www.projectnoah.org/missions/907...

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 weeks ago

Thanks. I appreciate that. I don't think they benefit other plants at all, particularly the trees. If the vines are dense and strong enough, they can pull trees down in storms or high winds. However, they are of incredible benefit to many animals who use them as highways. Lemurs are an example of this. Tarzan is another ;)

Brian38 3 weeks ago

I love this spotting and of course your notes are always fun to read. Most people wouldn't even notice the vine. I wonder if there is a "spriral mission " this could go in? Wikipedia puts a negative spin on the vine, mentioning it takes nutrients from the soil and light from the sun away from other plants. I wonder what positive things this vine does for the community? I'm sure there is something.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Brian. This is one of my favourite areas to hike not to far from Brisbane. This section of rainforest is gorgeous. A different world with massive figs and giant lianas.

Brian38 3 weeks ago

Awesome spotting Neil!

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Warwick, QLD, Australia

Lat: -28.07, Long: 152.42

Spotted on Jun 20, 2018
Submitted on May 26, 2019

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