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Subtidal rocky reefs

Red Velvet Fish (photo: Mark Norman)

Red Velvet Fish (photo: Mark Norman)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Subtidal rocky reefs

Common Kelp  (photo: William Boyle)

Common Kelp (photo: William Boyle)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Subtidal rocky reefs

Victorian Scaly Fin (photo: Amelia Fowles)

Victorian Scaly Fin (photo: Amelia Fowles)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Subtidal rocky reefs

Short Tailed Nudibranch (photo: Julien Fynn)

Short Tailed Nudibranch (photo: Julien Fynn)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: Subtidal rocky reefs

Jewel Anemone (Photo: Mark Norman)

Jewel Anemone (Photo: Mark Norman)

3 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: 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 both deep and shallow waters, they provide an essential, solid foundation which many plants and animals need to survive. Erosion from wave action can create rock overhangs and crevices which provide shelter and protection to the species which live there.

Subtidal rocky reefs are home to a fascinating and diverse range of marine plants and animals. Shallower reefs can support extensive plant communities forming kelp forests whereas deeper communities can be brilliantly coloured due to the huge diversity of sponges and marine invertebrates. Even though Victorian reefs are temperate, bright corals are common in many areas as well as magnificent fish.

The reefs are vital to the survival of many species, including commercially viable species such as abalone and rock lobsters. They also provide an excellent site for divers and snorkellers to experience a huge range of Victoria’s marine life.

Key Threats

  • Fishing or removal of animals and plants
  •  Marine pests such as the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis) or Japanese Kelp (Undaria pinnatifida) which compete for food or space
  • Trampling of reef plants and animals by visitors
  • Anchor damage
  • Climate change effects including sea level rise, warming sea surface temperatures, and increasing ocean acidity.

Where to see rocky reefs

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Seeds for the Future Project a Blooming Success

11 Dec 2014

Growing native wild flowers and grass seed for local re-vegetation projects is proving to be a blooming success thanks to a partnership between AMES, Parks Victoria and the Western Melbourne Catchments Network. It’s resulted in about 1000 plants and 25 species of flowers and grasses being propagated, raised and now…

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Westerfolds parkrun

20 Dec 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families, prams and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the…

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Melbourne Tramways Band Recital

21 Dec 2014 2:30pm-4:30pm

The Melbourne Tramways Band will be holding their "Christmas Reflections" recital at the open air bandstand in Wattle Park in Burwood (weather permitting). Mel 60 J3. Bring your own rug or chair. If a concert is to be cancelled Parks Victoria will be advised by midday. You can check by…

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Westerfolds parkrun

25 Dec 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families, prams and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the…

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

27 Dec 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families, prams and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the…