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Saltmarsh in Australia

Saltmarsh Plants

Plant species diversity is relatively low, since they must be tolerant of salt, complete or partial submersion, and living in mud (sandy silt and clay soils) which contains very little oxygen. The most common salt marsh plants are glassworts like the Sarcicornia species, grasses and sedges. Coastal saltmarsh does not have a tree layer but may have some trees scattered through it, for example, Grey Mangrove or River Mangrove.

Scattered or clumped shrubs may emerge from the continuous groundcover such as young mangroves, Swamp Paperbark and south of Sydney and saltbush. In Victorian saltmarshes groundcover species that are most common and these include: Baumea juncea, Knobby Club Rush (Ficinia nodosa), Sea Rush (Juncus kraussii), Creeping Brookweed (Samolus repens), Samphire (Sarcocornia quinqueflora), Swampweed (Selliera radicans), Austral Seablite (Suaeda australis), Streaked Arrowgrass (Triglochin striata) and Prickly Couch (Zoysia macrantha). In brackish areas dense stands of tall reeds (Phragmites australis and Typha spp.) may occur as part of the community. The plant species found depend on the geographic location of the saltmarsh.

The diversity of saltmarsh plant species increases as you move south in Australia.

Photographs of species from other states can be found in Gallery 1- Plants.


 

Some Victorian saltmash species


Yellow sea lavender
Image © Harry Breidahl


Trailing hemichroa (with flowers)
Image © Harry Breidahl

   


Swamp weed (withflower)
Image © Harry Breidahl


Streaked arrowgrass
Image © Harry Breidahl

Shrubby glasswort showing its red autumn colours
Image © Harry Breidahl

Shrubby glasswort
Image © Harry Breidahl

Rounded noonflower showing its red autumn colours
Image © Harry Breidahl

Rounded noonflower
Image © Harry Breidahl

Marsh saltbush with flowers
Image © Harry Breidahl

Beaded glasswort with flowers
Image © Harry Breidahl

Australian salt grass
Image © Harry Breidahl

 

Next: Saltmarsh animals  ...   

 

Introduction
Distribution
Ecology
Adaptations
Saltmarsh plants
Saltmarsh animals
Importance
Threats
Management
Gallery 1- Plants
Gallery 2- Animals

 

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