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Patterned Fen of Jabiru Swamp, Fraser Island, Queensland

Jabiru Swamp is a freshwater wetland that extends for almost 20 kms behind the current foredunes at the southern end of Fraser Island. The plant communities that grow in and adjacent to the water bodies are generally sequenced from algae, reeds, sedges and woody species.

Seen from the air the swamp is a patterned fen, the patterns changing with wind direction, season and water levels. The fresh water of these wetlands are naturally acidic because of the vegetable matter and tannin that stains the water, and because it is essentially groundwater that has little nutrient due to the base being silica sands. Such water is not suitable to most aquatic species, though there are acid tolerant frogs that live in these wetlands.

The ecosystem is very vulnerable to human interference, and is part of the Fraser Island environment that was inscribed on the World Heritage Register of UNESCO in 1992.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on November 25, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens