American mangrove

Native to tropical America, American mangrove grows in saline environments like other mangrove species. It looks similar to Australia's native red mangrove.

American mangrove is potentially invasive and could compete with, or replace, the red mangrove and possibly other mangrove species if it grew locally. American mangrove was at one time found in coastal north Queensland, but all known specimens are believed to have been eradicated in 2002.

American mangrove is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Rhizophora mangle

Description

  • Shrub generally 5-15m tall, similar in appearance to Australian red mangrove.
  • Stem has diameter of 20-50cm.
  • Bark is grey or grey-brown with reddish inner bark.
  • Leaves are dark green, 5-15cm long, generally larger than other mangrove species.
  • Flowers are white to cream, 1.6-2.4cm long.
  • Fruit is dark brown, ovoid berry.

Habitat

  • Prefers marine mudflats and banks in tropical and subtropical areas.

Distribution

  • Thought to be currently absent from Queensland (detected in coastal northern Queensland and eradicated in 2002).

Affected animals

  • fish
  • marine species

Impacts

Environmental

  • If present in Australia, could compete with, or replace, native mangrove species, particularly red mangrove.
  • Could modify natural mangrove ecosystems, with flow-on effects for fish and other marine species.

How it is spread

  • Propagules (seedling plants that develop on tree and then drop off) are spread by ocean currents.

Legal requirements

  • This is not a declared species under the Land Protection (Pest and State Route Management) Act 2002 but may be declared under other legislation or local government law.

Further information