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A Volunteer Community Awareness Program for Mundy Creek
Mangroves of Mundy Creek

Mundy Creek is home to many species of mangroves. Next time you visit look out for them – you will soon recognise the many varieties of mangrove species that occur. 

Mangrove forests are very productive ecosystems, where nothing is wasted. As mangroves shed their leaves, they are either broken down by fungi and bacteria or eaten by small crabs that live in the mud. The decaying organic material breaks down into small particles called detritus, which is then covered by a protein-rich bacterial film. This detritus is the food source for many mollusks (snails), crustaceans (crabs, shrimps and prawns) and fish, which in turn are the food source for larger animals.

You will notice that some species of mangroves are more tolerant to salt and these are found closer to the mouth of the creek at Rowes Bay. While those species growing further upstream are less tolerant of salt and enjoy being in freshwater.

Mangrove species have special adaptations so they can tolerate the salty conditions within the creek. The most obvious adaptation is their aboveground roots, or pneumatophores. These mangroves occur in a variety of shapes: single trunk, stilt, snorkel or peg, buttress base with knee type roots, or buttress based with plank type roots. These root features make identification easier.

Other adaptive features include the ability to store and secrete salt from their leaves; the ability to minimise water loss from their leaves; some species even have ready-to-go seeds (propagules which have germinated while still attached to the tree).

When you next visit Mundy Creek, look out not only for the mangroves but also for the wonderful animals that live there. This includes mudskippers, crabs, fish, oysters, bats and a variety of bird .

The following is a list of known mangrove species along Mundy Creek:


Common Name

Species name


Mangrove Fern

Acrostichum speciosum

This is the only fern which lives on the ground.

Club Mangrove

Aegialitis annulata

Growing to about 2m in height this mangrove has distinctive heart shaped leaves, white flowers, and salt secreting glands, with cylindrical red-brown fruit.

Large-leafed Orange Mangrove

Bruguiera exaristata

Growing up to 25m in height, this mangrove has large leaves occurring in clumps at the end of branches, red flowers have smaller propagules with green caps.

Black Mangrove

Lumnitzera racemosa

Small light green fleshy leaves with a distinct indentation at the end of the leaf and white flowers assists to identify this species.

Red Mangrove

Rhizophora stylosa

This is a tall tree growing to 20m with prop roots, white flowers and pointed leaves which have a lighter green undersurface covered with brown speckles.

Grey Mangrove

Avicennia Marina

With pencil-sized peg type above-ground roots, light green leaves with a silvery-grey undersurface and salt secreting glands, and small pale organise flowers, this is the most widely distributed mangrove.

Yellow Mangrove

Ceriops tagal

There are three species in Queensland which can only be told apart using fruit and flowers. They all have buttressed knee roots, yellow-green oval-shaped leaves, with small green-brown flower buds with pale orange petals.

For more information and help with identification refer to the “Field Guide to the Mangroves of Queensland” by Catherine Lovelock and Steve Clarke by the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Remember all marine plants are protected by the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994.



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