The distribution, structure and diversity of Australian mangrove ecosystems is determined and influenced by climate, and particularly temperature and rainfall. Mangrove species diversity broadly declines with increasing latitude from a maximum of 39 species in the Wet Tropics Bioregion to 1-2 in drier regions and southern range extremities (i.e., Avicennia marina). Rainfall is generally higher on the coastal margins although highly variable and, in the northern regions, occurs mainly in the summer months, largely because of monsoon systems. This frequently results in high humidity and frequent flooding. Further south, rainfall is greatest in the winter months as frontal systems are more frequent. The tropical regions in the north of Australia is subject to both severe cyclone events. This regions is also subject to climatic variability which can contribute to fluctuations in sea level, which can exceed several tens of centimeters in this region.
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