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The ecological significance of saltmarshes to the Peel-Harvey Estuarine system. In: McComb, A.J., Kobryn, H.T. and Latchford, J.A. (eds) Samphire marshes of the Peel-Harvey estuarine system Western Australia.

Rose, T.H. and McComb, A.J. (1995) The ecological significance of saltmarshes to the Peel-Harvey Estuarine system. In: McComb, A.J., Kobryn, H.T. and Latchford, J.A. (eds) Samphire marshes of the Peel-Harvey estuarine system Western Australia. Peel Preservation Group and Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

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    Abstract

    The saltmarshes of the Peel-Harvey system are important to the environmental health of the estuary and to this region of the Swan Coastal Plain. Although there have been few scientific investigations specific to this area, a number of world-wide studies on the ecological characteristics of saltmarshes have indicated they are very important to the environmental health of estuaries and coastal ecosystems (Mann, 1982; Kennish, 1990). Unfortunately, there is a paucity of studies on Australian saltmarsh ecosystems (Fairweather, 1990). However, in a local context there is evidence that saltmarshes in the Peel-Harvey system are critical to the overall ecological health of the Estuary (Table 6.1). For example, over 83 bird species have been observed in the saltmarshes of the estuary (Ninox, 1990) (Plate 6.1) and between 18 and 25 of these species are known to be trans-equatorial migrants (Jaensch et al., 1988; Wilkes, 1990). This provides the basis for listing the whole Peel-Harvey Estuarine area as a RAMSAR bird treaty area as well as for the estuary being listed in the JAMBA and CAMBA treaties.

    The area is also significant for other ecological reasons which will be briefly outlined, along with the major ecological points suggested in the previous chapters, and compared with data and literature generated from saltmarsh research elsewhere in the world. In this way it is hoped that a better appreciation of the ecological significance of the saltmarshes in the Peel-Harvey Estuary will be reached.

    Publication Type: Report
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Publisher: Peel Preservation Group and Murdoch University
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6164
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