Hunt for the Grey Mangrove this Citizen Science Month!
Images: Avicenna marina flowers and propagule | MangroveWatch
Document the flowers, leaves, fruits and pollinators of Grey Mangroves (Avicennia marina) near you
When: April 2020 (04/01/2020 to 04/30/2020)
Where: Australia – All states except Tasmania
Grey Mangrove species field guide: www.climatewatch.org.au/species/plants/grey-mangrove
Mangroves are vital habitats for fisheries, shoreline protection, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. The Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina) is Australia’s most common and widely distributed mangrove present in all mainland states. This species is uniquely cold tolerant and Australia has the southernmost stand of mangroves in the world at Corner Inlet, Victoria.
One of the main implications of a changing climate on mangroves are changes to phenology (propagule, flower and fruit production). These processes may also be limited in Australia under stressful conditions such as prolonged inundation and extreme salinities.
Grey mangrove fruiting period is closely linked to temperature (see Duke 1990). Increasing temperature may result in earlier fruiting periods, which in some places may lead to increased seedling loss due to factors like floods and reduced seedling viability.
Early recognition of phenological impacts on Australia’s mangrove systems is important for conserving and managing these significant environments that support our fisheries and protect our reefs and coasts. Increasing temperature beyond the upper threshold of mangroves may result in negative impacts such as a decline in leaf formation, mass leaf-drop and reduction in photosynthesis which can prevent efficient flowering, fruiting or propagule development.
With our coastal ecosystems experiencing greater pressure from human stressors, monitoring phenological changes through ClimateWatch becomes increasingly important for identifying mangrove health and response to climate change.
Get involved! Help us reach 100 sightings of Grey Mangroves across Australia this citizen science month!
By uploading your images and notes through ClimateWatch, you will be helping measure the effects of climate change on mangrove plants.
Source: Duke, N.C. 1990. Phenological trends with latitude in the mangrove tree Avicennia marina, Journal of Ecology 78, 113-133.