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Wet Tropics Freshwater Biogeographic Province

Wet Tropics Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Climate

Wet season (Jan-Apr) Average temperature (22°) Temperature varies spatially with no gradient Width of riparian zone (21m) Small, medium trees Grasses High relief ratio Percentage of water which is base flow (30%) Annual spate duration (1 month) Annual no-flow duration (1 month) Sand High macroinvertebrate richness Low turbidity Large woody debris cover (6%) Submerged and emergent macrophyte growth forms dominant Concave bank shape category Convex bank shape category Dominant bank slope (10°-80°) Fauna Fauna

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Annual mean precipitation is high throughout the FBP, with a mean of 1800 mm and maximum of 7512mm. This is the highest precipitation value recorded in Queensland. The values for the driest quarter mean precipitation throughout the FBP are patchy, and range from low (with a minimum value of 0 mm recorded) in the western and northern extremities to high elsewhere. Rainfall erosivity is on average very high and ranges from moderate to very high throughout the FBP.

Precipitation results in lateral run-off from the surrounding catchments into rivers, supplying water, sediment, nutrients and debris (allochthonous inputs) to the system. The high volumes and erosivity of rainfall in this FBP suggests a high potential rate and volume of input. The high volume of rain is responsible for the perennial or near-perennial nature of river flow in the FBP both via direct run-off and by recharging groundwater sources contributing base flow.

The high altitude Bellenden Ker Range has endemic invertebrate species from families that are aquatic (various caddisflies), but because there is so much rainfall these species are able to live on land.

Information about Rainfall

Information about methods

Mean SE Minimum Maximum
Annual mean precipitation (mm) 1807.24 1.29 718 7512
Driest quarter precipitation (mm) 101.99 0.13 0 748
Rainfall erosivity (MJ mm ha-1 hr-1 yr-1) 11513.48 9.96 3834 40289

Wet Tropics FBP Rainfall Maps  

State Rainfall Map


The annual mean temperature for the Wet Tropics FBP ranges from cold to moderate, with the lowest temperatures recorded from the areas of the FBP at higher altitude. Values for the highest weekly mean maximum temperature are similar throughout the FBP. Values for the lowest weekly mean minimum temperature range from moderate to high.

The ratio of the hottest weekly maximum to the coldest weekly minimum values was low throughout the FBP. This suggests that seasonality in temperature is not pronounced e.g. the temperature difference between the hottest and coldest times of year is small.

Information about temperature

Information about methods

Mean SE Minimum Maximum
Mean annual temperature (°C) 22.37 0.0029 15.40 25.50
Highest weekly mean maximum temperature (°C) 30.52 0.0020 24.10 33.20
Lowest weekly mean maximum temperature (°C) 13.04 0.0045 7.80 18.60
Ratio hottest weekly maximum to coldest weekly minimum 2.44 0.0008 1.69 3.90

Summary Maps of FBP Temperature  

State Temperature Map

Water Balance


Mean Annual Run-off in the FBP is high (7.24 mm).

Information about water balance

Information about methods


Last updated: 22 March 2013

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2013) Wet Tropics Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Climate, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation