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Your World Heritage...

Wetlands

The Wet Tropics is home to a range of wetlands, from towering paperbark (melaleuca) swamps and scrubby whipstick melaleuca swamps to wet sedgelands and grasslands. The different wetland vegetation types are often found as complex mosaic mixed with some drier vegetation types on coastal swales or poor soils.

 

Melaleuca swamps

Melaleuca forests range from tall open forests to sparse shrublands. Melaleucas are the dominant tree species in poorly drained lowland coastal areas where the water table is near or above ground level for most of the year. They usually occur as components of vegetation mosaics reflecting specific habitats. These include Melaleuca leucodendra and Melaleuca dealbata complexes in freshwater and brackish swales in old beach ridge systems, Melaleuca quinquenervia forests in fresh water swamps, and Melaleuca viridiflora on low nutrient soils with impeded drainage and seasonally waterlogged. Drainage and clearing of coastal swamps, often for sugar cane, has threatened some melaleuca communities (see Melaleuca viridiflora communities listed as threatened).

The most extensive remaining forests are on poorly drained alluvial flats on the coastal plain south of Cardwell. Swamp forests formed by alliances of Melaleuca quinquenervia, Melaleuca cajuputi, Melaleuca leucadendra and Melaleuca dealbata are relatively extensive on the very wet portions of the coastal plain from Ingham northwards to Cape Tribulation. A rare highland example of Melaleuca quinquenervia swampland is also found in the Koombooloomba area.

 

Sedgelands

Depending on soils, drainage, fire regimes and water flows, sedges and grasses may dominate wetland areas. Sedgelands are found on coastal lowlands between Gordonvale and Cardwell.

 

News and Events

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News and Events

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New positions created at Wet Tropics Management Authority

New positions created at Wet Tropics Management Authority

A host of new and exciting roles have emerged within Wet Tropics Management Authority's Yellow Crazy Ants Eradication Program (YCAEP).... READ MORE

Forgotten plane crash site found in Wet Tropics

Forgotten plane crash site found in Wet Tropics

The search for a plane that crashed into far north Queensland rainforest 50 years ago has ended.... READ MORE

'Wild' Wet Tropics eco-sculptures get measured up

'Wild' Wet Tropics eco-sculptures get measured up

Talented young artists are fashioning the final casts, cuts and hews to their amazing artworks this week.... READ MORE