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2068

Wildlife & Ecosystems

Daintree’s Hidden Coastline

Protecting Australia’s fragile Daintree River coastline from land clearing, pesticides, and climate change.

Previously Funded Expedition

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

To protect the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef, special attention to the condition of coastal mangroves is required.

A dedicated team of researchers assessed the condition of the Daintree region, an Australian tropical wilderness.

Australia’s Daintree region is a wet tropical wilderness teeming with natural wonders among extensive pristine rainforests and lush mangroves. To protect the Daintree and the nearby Great Barrier Reef, we paid special attention to the condition of coastal mangroves.

The mangrove forest is a distinctive community of trees and shrubs that grow in sediments along tropical and subtropical seacoasts. Mangroves play a crucial role in protecting coral reefs by buffering shorelines from storms and floods and filtering runoff from the land––earning them the title of “kidneys of the coast.” Without mangroves, the reef would not exist as we know it. Mangroves also absorb a vast amount of greenhouse gases––up to five times the amount absorbed by land-based tropical forests. Severe storms, land clearing, use of pesticides, and global climate change reduce the capacity of mangrove systems to respond to change. To help preserve these systems, managers and scientists required knowledge of their condition and how they are changing in response to such stressors.

Mangrove Forest, Daintree River, Australia

Gathering valuable information on the health of one of Australia’s iconic estuarine systems.

On this expedition, volunteers joined experienced scientists from James Cook University to assess the condition of mangrove forests in the Daintree River estuary and disseminate their findings around the world.

About the research area

Daintree River, North Queensland, Australia, Australia & South Pacific

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

This is a summary:

The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Norm
Duke
Professorial Research Fellow, Mangrove Hub, TropWATER, James Cook University

ABOUT Norm Duke

Dr. Norm Duke is an Earthwatch scientist whose research centers on the ecology of mangrove forests in Australia and Central America.

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Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food

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