Mangrove and Saltmarsh Distribution

Mangroves in Australia

Estimates of the total length of the Australian coast range from 25,760 to ca. 70,000 km. Australia has approximately 11,000 km of mangrove-lined coast [1], being around 18% of the coastline [1].

Estimates of the total area of mangroves in Australia range from 749,000 to 1,161,700 hectares. Australia has the third largest area of mangroves in the world after Indonesia and Brazil [1]. Approximately 75% of this occurs in the humid tropics, but mangroves are found in temperate regions as far south as Corner Inlet in Victoria, at around 38? S. This is the highest latitude site of mangroves in the world. Species of Rhizophoraceae dominate the northern Australian coastline, while southern mangrove stands comprise a single species, Avicennia marina, in the Avicenniaceae [1].

Mangrove Habitat Distribution in Australia

image001.jpg

Source: OzCoasts

Saltmarsh in Australia

The area of saltmarsh/salt pan habitat in Australia has been estimated to be 1,359,500 ha [2]. A more current estimate of saltmarsh-dominated habitat from OzCoasts is 1,302,895 ha. While this is smaller than the previous estimate, it does not include saltpans.

Saltmarsh Habitat Distribution in Australia

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Source: OzCoasts

Mangrove and Saltmarsh Sites in Australia (incomplete)


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Distribution in Australian States & Territories

New South Wales

Mangroves are confined within sheltered embayments and estuaries. Of the 133 estuaries and small coastal creeks, 69 contain mangroves, covering a combined area of 107 km2. Floristic diversity declines with increasing latitude, from six species near the NSW/Queensland border, to two in the Sydney region, with only one occuring south of Merimbula to the Victorian border [1], [3].

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Jervis Bay Territory

The Territory, of about 6,677 hectares, was acquired by the Commonwealth from the State of New South Wales. It is entirely contained within that State. The bulk of the Territory comprises Booderee National Park and supports approximately 30 saltmarsh species and 2 species of mangrove.

Victoria

Mangroves occur predominantly in sheltered habitats along the central section of the coast. There are around 63 km2 of mangroves in the State, comprising only a single species. Mangroves occur in isolated locations east of Corner Inlet, above Wilsons Promontory, to the NSW border. They are best represented in Corner Inlet and Westernport Bay, with some sites in Andersons Inlet and Port Phillip Bay. There are no mangroves west of Anglesea to the South Australian border (after [1]).

Saltmarshes commonly occur on the landward side of mangroves and in other sheltered habitats along the entire coast.

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Queensland

Mangroves inhabit a diverse range of coastal and estuarine environments. Some 39 mangrove species and hybrids are present, occupying an area of approximately 4100 km2. The Daintree River alone has 31 mangrove species, making it one of the most species-rich estuaries in the world (after [1]). Many studies have been reported:
  • distributions of mangroves in 56 coastal rivers, estuarine inlets and island bays in northeastern Australia between Rockhampton and Cape York [4]

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

South Australia

Mangroves in South Australia are confined to sheltered shores in the Gulf of Saint Vincent and Spencer Gulf, and isolated protected bays on the Eyre Peninsula and along the coast to near Ceduna. Some isolated mangroves were planted near the River Murray Mouth about 40 years ago [1].

Saltmarshes occur on the landward side of mangroves and at other locations, including Kangaroo Island.

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Western Australia

Mangroves occur as a complex ensemble of habitats and plant types quite different from elsewhere in Australia, ranging from tropical subhumid climates, flushed with king tides up to 10 m in range, in the north to temperate microtidal in the south. Species richness ranges from 19 species in the north to 1 species at the southern limit at Leschenault Inlet near Bunbury. An unusual inland mangrove site of Avicennia marina occurs near Anna Plains, bordering the Great Sandy Desert and, further south, the same species fringes a large salt lake, Lake Macleod, forming the largest inland mangrove area in Australia. Mangroves do not occur along the state's southern coast. Total mangrove area is approximately 2500 km2 (after [1]).

Characteristics of regional areas within the state can be found in [1].

Saltmarshes also occur in Western Australia [MORE INFORMATION NEEDED]

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Tasmania

There are no mangroves in Tasmania. Source: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/webpages/sska-6g627y?open

Saltmarshes occur throughout the State in sheltered estuaries and inlets. They are most extensive along the highly indented southeastern coast and in the far west of the north coast. [5]

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Northern Territory

Localities (not complete):


View Mangroves and Saltmarshes of Australia in a larger map

Blue markers represent estuaries where mangroves or saltmarshes have been recorded, as per OzCoasts. Yellow markers represent individual sites derived from the indicated source.

Australia's Offshore Islands and External Territories

In the Tasman Sea: Lord Howe Island supports a few scattered shrubs of Avicennia marina and Aegiceras corniculatum, while Norfolk Island supports Excoecaria agallocha [1].

In the Indian Ocean: Cocos Islands supports Rhizophora apiculata (apparently introduced) and Pemphis acicula. Christmas Island supports a larger range of species as well as a unique, elevated, freshwater mangrove forest [1].

Localities:

World Mangrove Distribution

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References

  1. Duke, N.C. (2006). Australia's Mangroves. The authoritative guide to Australia's mangrove plants. University of Queensland, Brisbane. (more)
  2. " Cappo, M., Alongi, D.M., Williams, D.McB. and Duke, N. (1998). Major Threats, Issues and Gaps in Knowledge of Coastal and Marine Fisheries Habitats - A Prospectus of Opportunities for the FRDC ""Ecosystem Protection Program"" Volume 2: Scoping Review. Australian Institute of Marine Science. Available online: http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/research/afhr/afhr-00.html " (more)
  3. West, R.J., Thorogood, C.A., Walford, T.R. and Williams, R. J. (1984). Mangrove distribution in New South Wales. Wetlands (Australia) 4: 2–6. Available online: http://ojs.library.unsw.edu.au/index.php/wetlands/article/viewFile/128/141 (more)
  4. Bunt, J.S., Williams, W.T. and Duke, N.C. (1982). Mangrove distributions in north-east Australia. J. Biogeography 9: 111-120. Available online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/2844696.pdf (more)
  5. Kirkpatrick, J.B. and Glasby, J. (1981). Salt marshes in Tasmania: distribution, community composition and conservation. Occasional paper (University of Tasmania. Dept. of Geography), 8 . Dept. of Geography, University of Tasmania, Hobart. ISBN 0859011577. Available online: (more)