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A drift log from Cape York Peninsula, Australia identified as Vatica (Dipterocarpaceae), and the use of botanical, zoological, geological and ethnographic data in interpreting the direction of oceanic drift

Title

A drift log from Cape York Peninsula, Australia identified as Vatica (Dipterocarpaceae), and the use of botanical, zoological, geological and ethnographic data in interpreting the direction of oceanic drift (2109 KB) pdf document icon

Author/s

Rozefelds, A.C., Walker, J., Norris, E., Wicks, D. & Ilic, J.

Citation

Rozefelds, A.C., Walker, J., Norris, E., Wicks, D. & Ilic, J. 2015. A drift log from Cape York Peninsula, Australia identified as Vatica (Dipterocarpaceae), and the use of botanical, zoological, geological and ethnographic data in interpreting the direction of oceanic drift. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature 59: 235-243. https://doi.org/10.17082/j.2204-1478.59.2015.2015-04

Accepted 19 August 2015
Published online 19 November 2015
Peer reviewed:

Yes

DOI

https://doi.org/10.17082/j.2204-1478.59.2015.2015-04

Keywords Dipterocarpaceae, Vatica, wood anatomy, Cape York Peninsula, New Guinea, drift trajectory, long-distance dispersal, Gulf of PapuaCurrent (GPC), South Equatorial Current (SEC)

Abstract

Information on oceanic currents along with botanical, zoological, geological data and ethnographic records are used to interpret drift patterns in north eastern Australia. A log of Vatica sp. (Dipterocarpaceae), other botanical disseminules, and ethnographic objects, such as indigenous canoes and plastic bottles, found in north eastern Queensland are interpreted as coming from New Guinea. The southerly drift of these objects from New Guinea is facilitated, in part, by the Gulf of Papua Current and/or seasonal south westerly directed winds from October through to March. The identification of source areas for
geological (pumice), zoological (Nautilus) and some anthropological items demonstrates predominantly westerly drift due to the South Equatorial Current and south eastern trade winds from April to October. Thus, seasonal factors determine, in part, the direction of drift in parts of north east Queensland.