Coastal vegetation plays an important role in the coastal ecosystem.
In South Australia, coastal plant communities are generally characterised as dune, clifftop, mangrove and saltmarsh communities. Each plant community is made up of a diverse variety of plant species that have adapted to the hot, dry and saline coastal environment in which they survive. These communities form important habitats for a variety of native fauna, including birds and reptiles. They also play a very important role in stabilising and trapping marine sediments and forming protective buffers.
Over the years, various studies have been undertaken that aimed to survey the coastal vegetation in South Australia, in particular to map the location and extent of mangrove and saltmarsh habitats. These studies are regularly used to identify any changes in extent or species composition of important habitats that occur along the South Australian coastline. You can view a list of the coastal vegetation surveys.
Introduced weed species are considered to be a significant threat to coastal vegetation in South Australia. Weed species can be introduced or spread into the coastal environment by wind, water, animals and humans – either by accident or deliberately. Weeds readily invade and cause a local loss of native plants in an area, reducing the amount of habitat, food and shelter available for native animals and insects. .
Weed management and awareness programmes are regularly undertaken throughout the State to try and minimise the spread of introduced species in South Australia. For more information about particular weed management programs in your area or for a list of coastal area-friendly plants, please contact your local natural resources centre or council.