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SCIENTIFIC ITEMS We record with regret the death of Alexander Smith, formerly professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago and Columbia University; of Alice Robertson, formerly professor of zoology in Wellesley College; of David Sharp, formerly curator of the Museum of Zoology of the University of Cambridge and editor of the Zoological Record; of F. T. Trouton, emeritus professor of physics in the University of London, and of E. Bergmann, director of the ChemischTechnische Reichsanstalt, Berlin.
Sir ERNEST RUTHERFORD, Caven. dish professor of physics at the University of Cambridge, has been elected president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
in succession to Sir Charles S. Sherrington. The meeting next year will be at Liverpool; the following year the meeting will be in Toronto.
DR. ROBERT A. MILLIKAN, chairman of the board of the California Institute of Technology and director of the Norman Bridge laboratory of physics, has been appointed a mem. ber of the committee on intellectual cooperation of the League of Nations to succeed Dr. George E. Hale, director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, who has resigned from the committee owing to the state of his health.
PROFESSOR W. L. BRAGG, of Manchester University, who, together with his father, Sir William Bragg, was awarded the Nobel Prize for physies in 1915, delivered on September 6 the lecture in Stockholm as prescribed by the statutes of the Nobel Institution.
This year's Silliman Memorial Lectures at Yale University will be delivered by Dr. August Krogh, professor of zoophysiology in Copenhagen University. Professor Krogh has taken for his general topic “The Anatomy and Physiology of Capillaries.'
ENERAL LIBRARY 487? VOL. XV, NO.
DEC 1 1922
UNIV. OF CH.
EDITED BY J. McKEEN CATTELL
THE VEGETATION OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND.
Professor D. H. Campbell --
EASY GROUP THEORY. Professor G. A. Miller..
THE HISTORY OF THE CALORIE IN NUTRITION. Dr. Mildred R. Ziegler----520 SOCIAL LIFE AMONG THE INSECTS. Professor William Morton Wheeler-----527
THE MARINE FISHERIES, THE STATE AND THE BIOLOGIST.
William F. Thompson.
Professor G. F. Ferris--
TYPOGRAPHICAL MAPS OF THE UNITED STATES.
Professor William Morris Davis---
WHAT NEXT IN IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION. Professor Robert DeC. Ward -561
A MODERN MECCA. Professor A. E. Kennelly-
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE:
Rewards for Working Inside the Atom; How the Chemist moves the World; The Cost of Niagara; Look out for Alpha Centauri; New Light on the Origin of Life; Scientific Items--
INDEX TO VOLUME XV.
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OF THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY January 15 th 1921
THE VEGETATION OF AUSTRALIA AND
By Professor D. H. CAMPBELL
WHOSE parts of the world which for one reason or another are
completely isolated show very plainly the effects of this isolation upon the animals and plants which inhabit them. The degree of specialization in these organisms is to a certain extent an index of the length of time the region has been shut off. A comparison of these organisms with those of other regions may throw light upon such problems as the changes in the distribution of land and water upon the earth's surface in the course of ages, and thus be of great interest to the geologist and geographer as well as to the biologist.
If we compare the lands of the northern hemisphere, as they now exist, with the principal land masses of the southern hemisphere, we find the former to be very much more extensive than the latter. In the north there is a marked preponderance of land in the polar and subpolar regions, which merge into the temperate regions in both the American and Eurasian continents. In the southern hemisphere there is an extensive almost absolutely barren polar continent, but the regions corresponding to the subarctic land masses of the north are entirely occupied by water; and the south temperate regions are completely separated from the antarctic continent by a wide stretch of sea.
Moreover, the temperate regions of Australasia, South Africa and South America are widely separated from each other by the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. In extent the temperate regions of the south are much less than those of the northern hemisphere. As might be expected, this condition of things is accompanied by a much greater diversity in the temperate floras of the southern hemisphere than is the case in northern latitudes. This perhaps reaches its maximum in the Australasian region, the completely isolated Australian continent and the islands of New Zea
land having extremely specialized floras which are of very great interest to the student of plant geography.
While Australia and New Zealand are usually grouped together geographically as “Australasia," they differ much from each other in their vegetation, although having more or less in common. New Zealand is separated from Australia by over a thousand miles of sea, and many of the most characteristic Australian types are quite absent, and others only very sparingly represented. Owing to its very much greater size and range of climate, Australia, as might be expected, possesses a much more extensive flora than the relatively small islands of New Zealand.
The completely isolated continent of Australia is almost exactly the size of the continental United States exclusive of Alaska. The Australian climate, however, is very different. The northern portion of Australia is within the tropics, the tip of York Peninsula being only 11 degrees from the equator, while the southernmost part of the continent scarcely touches the fortieth degree of latitude. The adjacent island of Tasmania extends about three degrees further south. The climate is therefore much warmer on the whole than that of the United States or Europe, the coolest regions in the south having a climate comparable to that of California or the Mediterranean. At the north a true tropical climate prevails.
The topography of Australia is much less varied than that of the United States. There are no mountains comparable to our great western ranges, and there is a marked dearth of large rivers and lakes. The principal mountain masses are close to the eastern coast, a succession of mountain ranges and highlands extending from the York Peninsula to eastern Victoria and Tasmania. In Queensland there are some definite mountain ranges, but for the most part the high land is a plateau sloping gradually westward, with more or less definite escarpments toward the east. These escarpments sometimes exhibit abrupt gorges cut by the streams. These are well shown in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. The highest point in Australia is Mt. Kosciusko, 7,300 feet, situated in New South Wales near the Victoria border.
This highland region and the adjacent coastal areas have for the most part a good rainfall, but there are no large rivers. The heaviest rainfall is in the coastal region of North Queensland where at certain stations it may exceed two hundred inches annually and averages one hundred and fifty.
Inland, however, the rainfall diminishes rapidly, and a third of the continent is said to have ten inches or less annually and another third less than twenty. This means that two thirds of the area of Australia must be classed as desert or semiarid, and