Daintree Region Guide

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CRITICAL TO THE ECOSYSTEM
CRITICAL TO THE ECOSYSTEM
SALT TOLERANT
SALT TOLERANT
MANGROVE BOARDWALK
MANGROVE BOARDWALK


Mangroves

Updated: 13-Apr-2007

Mangroves are what we call the collection of salt tolerant plants that are found along sheltered shorelines and in the saline reaches of rivers along the length of the Great Barrier Reef.

Mangrove forests occupy approximately 2070 km2 spread along the length of the coast adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

About 95 per cent of this forest is on the border of the World Heritage Area, not actually inside it. However, all mangrove forests within and adjacent to the World Heritage Area are interconnected with, and form a critical part of, the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.

Mangroves within and bordering the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are some of the most pristine and diverse mangrove forests in the world. There are 34 species of mangroves in Queensland with a total of only 69 species worldwide.

These salt tolerant plants have adapted for where they live. Each high tide, the sea floods their roots and trunks. The mangroves have a number of different systems to handle all this salt:

  • Their roots can prevent its absorption by filtering it out
  • They can concentrate the salt in older leaves which fall off, taking their accumulated salt with them
  • Some species have salt glands which actually excrete the salt onto the surface of the leaves where it is washed away by the rain.

Boardwalks have been installed at several locations in the Wet Tropics area and this makes a wander through the mangrove forest enjoyable and easy - but don't forget your insect repellent!

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