Mangrove Trees & The Great Barrier Reef


The mangrove trees that are found along the coast of Australia are salt marsh mangroves.  There are 26 different species of mangrove trees in this area.  They have the ability to excrete salt from their tissue which allows them to survive in their extremely salty environment.. 
Sediment deposits are hazardous
to the Great Barrier Reef.   As sediment washes into the water
from the land it can deposit on the coral and suffocate it.  Sediment deposits can also block sunlight which is important for the symbiotic algae that lives in the coral. 


Relationship: Long Distance

"The Great Barrier Reef and the mangrove trees have a symbiotic relationship even though they are far apart from each other. The Great Barrier Reef buffers against heavy seas and allows mangrove forests to grow along the coasts near the reefs."

"In turn,  mangrove forests trap sediments and absorb extra nutrients.  Their complex root systems filter the water before it moves out into the ocean.  The roots  slow the movement of water and cause the sediment to fall to the bottom instead of depositing on the coral as the water moves past it.  Therefore both the reef and the mangrove trees benefit from this relationship."


CAC is a program of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.