Mangrove forest dominated by Rhizophora spp.
Disclaimer: Ecosystem type descriptions are based on biophysical attributes identified in Central Queensland through expert advice and supported by scientific literature. Not all ecosystem types are mapped based on current inventory, and many of the ecosystems described here may also occur in other parts of Queensland.
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Mangrove forest dominated by Rhizophora spp., (mostly Rhizophora stylosa), typically on the seaward margin of mangrove communities. Occurs on Quaternary estuarine deposits, on intertidal flats which are often dissected by tidal streams. Soils are usually deep saline clays. Typically forms large closed forests that extend form the seaward edge in muddier areas with more stable sediments. These seaward forests are inundated on every high tide. Several species from the genus Rhizophora have been recorded in Queensland, including hybrids.
Mangroves are not a taxonomically unified group, but rather an ecological group that arose through convergent evolution and includes several different families. They are characterised by trees that are adapted to tolerate tidal inundation. Rhizophora spp. dominated mangroves are recognisable by their prop roots or stilts which stabilise them in the mud.
Mangrove communities provide a wide variety of services, including:
The prop roots and frequent tidal inundation of Rhizophora forests provide particularly good nursery habitat for fish, crustaceans and molluscs, many of recreational and commercial importance. Fiddler crabs (Uca coarctata and Uca dussumieri) and molluscs (e.g. whelks) can be particularly abundant in Rhizophora forests. Dense growth of the red algae Catenella nipae on mangrove prop roots provides food for recreationally important herbivorous fishes. The interface of mangroves and an estuary often provide the best nursery habitat in association with the high abundance of snags and/or prop roots.
Inundation 'Intertidal – Lower low', 'Intertidal – Mid low', 'Intertidal – Upper low', 'Intertidal – Low undifferentiated', 'Intertidal – Lower medium', 'Intertidal – Upper-medium', 'Intertidal – Medium undifferentiated', 'Intertidal – High', 'Intertidal – Undifferentiated', 'Intertidal – High undifferentiated' although mangroves usually occur at mean sea level and above
Structural macrobiota 'Mangroves – Rhizophora'
No qualifiers mapped however Period and Trend are relevant as Rhizophora forests typically extend from the seaward boundary and can be influenced by sea level rise.
Relevant attributes associated with change (e.g. mangrove dieback) in Moreton Bay include Freshwater source, Freshwater volume and Trace elements/nutrients.
Relevant attributes associated with change for Gulf of Carpentaria include Inundation (sea level changes associated with extreme weather events).
The north-east coast of Australia was close to the centre of mangrove origin and dispersal. The climate is similar to that under which they first evolved, and the sheltered shallow waters of numerous estuaries are ideal for growth. Rhizophora spp. (mostly R. stylosa) grows throughout the Indo-Pacific and is found across northern Australia from the Richmond River in New South Wales to Shark Bay in Western Australia.
The following relates to distribution of this ecosystem type within the Central Queensland mapping area:
Other relevant attributes include Consolidation, Energy and Sediment texture as mangroves typically occur on unconsolidated muds and fine sediments in low energy environments.
Moreton Bay mangroves and associated communities interactive map viewer - WetlandInfo
Mangroves - Queensland Government
Common mangroves - Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Mangrove community dynamics - OzCoasts
Mangroves and associated communities of Moreton Bay - WetlandInfo
Serious Dieback of Mangroves around Mackay - University of Queensland
Last updated: 19 July 2019
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2019) Rhizophora-dominated mangroves, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2023. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/aquatic-ecosystems-natural/estuarine-marine/descriptions/7/