Mangrove & Estuary

 Picture 527  Green back crab Sesarma erythrodactyla

“Eel grass and mangroves both thrive in the quiet dynamics of an estuary, a place where a myriad of ecological niches interact.”

 

Within a two minute walk of our facility looms a magnificent tidal mangrove ecosystem. An oasis which is a rich refuge for both ocean and littoral marine life.

 

Cradled within a huge pristine forested hillside its shallow meandering course and open lagoons support thick beds of eel grass margined by dense stands of pneumatophore studded grey river mangrove Avicennia.

The diversity of habitats includes ecological enclaves of the tropical mangrove Rhyzophora and Aegicerus, and the dominant Avicennia with clearly defined zones of succulent halophytes, reeds and salt pans. All these communities can be accessed easily and safely and can be effectively explored
in a 30 to 90 min field study on the high tide.

 

The marine littoral biodiversity here is extensive, including burrowing invertebrates, fish and rays, birds and reptiles forming an easily conceptualised food web. Students can quickly corroborate many significant learning outcomes gained in the field using our 3D food web construction found in the museum.

 

The mangrove swamp is a fragile ecosystem easily disturbed by excessive and unnecessary interference. Gliding across its surface on skis is a great way to experience its ecology with minimum disruption to the many interactions quietly playing uninterruptedly below.

Next – Rocky shores

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