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Marine

A useful way to distinguish and manage the marine ecosystem is by marine habitats and the animals and plants typical of these areas. A marine habitat is a place where species are found together.

Habitats provide basic needs organisms require to survive:

  • Energy or food sources
  • Oxygen
  • Water
  • Protection
  • Opportunities for reproduction.

While marine habitats may occur in different locations within a marine national park, marine sanctuary or along the coast, they often have similar species, values and are affected by similar threats.

Subtidal rocky reefs

As the name suggests, subtidal rocky reefs are composed of rocks (e.g. granite, limestone, basalt) which are always submerged, even at low tide. Found in...

Intertidal rocky reefs

Rocky reefs that are exposed at low tide are great places to explore as there are many animals and several plants that can survive out...

Sponge Gardens

Brightly coloured and composed of a huge range of invertebrate species, sponge gardens are found growing on deep reefs (generally greater than 20m) along the...

Kelp forests

Seaweed forests are made up of a special group of large brown algae called kelps. These large plants attach themselves to solid structures such as...

Mangroves

In sheltered bays and inlets like Western Port and Corner Inlet, and larger estuaries like the Yarra and Barwon Rivers, small trees called mangroves form...

Mudflats

Mudflats are places without vegetation where low tides leave soft muddy sediments exposed to the air. They are important feeding areas for many birds and...

Open water

Many animals and plants live in the open waters of Bass Strait or the Southern Ocean away from the shoreline. These areas are affected by...

Sandy plains

Sandy habitats are far from being deserts and have a surprising wealth of life. These areas are home to a range of tiny plants and...

Seagrass beds

In the sheltered parts of many bays, inlets, and estuaries flowering plants called seagrasses establish extensive underwater meadows. Seagrasses are critical in the lifecycles of...