Publication Details

Bergstrom D. and Robinson, S. (2010) Casey: the Daintree of Antarctica [Fact file], Australian Antarctic Division. Original web article available here: About Antarctica.


Antarctica is at the edge of life on the planet. Less than 0.5% of the Antarctic continent is ice-free rock or soil and therefore only tiny pockets of land are available for plants to establish. The Australian Antarctic Territory is home to some of the rarest ecosystems on the planet and the plant life at Casey is as good as it gets - Casey has the most extensive and best developed plant communities in continental Antarctica: it is the 'Daintree' of Antarctica. The largest plants are the mosses and they are like miniature old growth forests, growing incredibly slowly. A single moss shoot may be over 100 years old. Very few plants can cope with Antarctic conditions which is why the Casey vegetation is so special.