Geographic variation in mangrove flooding and accessibility for fishes and nektonic crustaceans

Baker, Ronald, Sheaves, Marcus, and Johnston, Ross (2015) Geographic variation in mangrove flooding and accessibility for fishes and nektonic crustaceans. Hydrobiologia, 762 (1). pp. 1-14.

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Intertidal habitats are only available to most nekton when inundated by tides. We assessed the variability of access to mangrove habitats for aquatic organisms over 3500 km of Australia's east coast. After determining the elevation of the lower mangrove edge across 19 locations, we used 6 years of historic hourly tide gauge readings to estimate wetland edge flooding frequency, duration, and depth at each location. Although mangrove edges broadly tracked mean sea level along the east coast, deviations in edge elevation corresponded to substantial geographic variation in flooding dynamics. Mangrove edges were flooded from as little as 20% of the time in central Queensland sites, to as much as 90% of the time during some seasons in northern New South Wales. Flooding frequency and depth were also highly variable, with some mangrove edges flooding and draining almost twice as frequently as others. Flooding depth profiles revealed dynamic patterns of flooding of mangrove habitat. The variability in flooding dynamics demonstrates that the availability of mangrove habitat to aquatic organisms varies significantly among locations. This variability in flooding patterns suggests the nature of mangrove use and the functional value of these habitats for fishes and nektonic crustaceans may differ substantially among regions.

Item ID: 41703
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5117
Keywords: tidal wetland, nursery ground, refuge, foraging migrations, mangrove restoration
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Projects and Grants: JCU/CSIRO Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 14:20
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961201 Rehabilitation of Degraded Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 20%
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