The Wet Tropics has one of the highest diversity of mangrove trees and shrubs in the world (about 30 species). They can be found all along the coastline, including city areas like Cairns. Significant mangrove zones can be found along the Hinchinbrook Channel, the north bank of the Daintree River and Cooper Creek. Mangroves may form mixed forests with palms and vine forests. The mangrove zone has a rich and varied epiphytic flora, including ferns of the genus Drynaria, orchids of the genus Dendrobium and the ant plant, Mymecodia becarii.
The mangrove zone may also contain grasslands and herblands on the landward side, often as extensive flats forming a sparsely vegetation corridor between terrestrial ecosystems and mangrove forests. The community generally forms in response to desiccation between tidal flooding episodes, leading to hypersalinity which is often evident as salt crusting on the soil surface.
See our mangroves page under plant diversity for lots more information about individual plants that thrive in the mangroves and make it such a complex ecosystem.