Key values

The following table outlines key values and attributes for the Great Barrier Reef. These values and attributes underpin Reef-related Matters of National Environmental Significance. For the World Heritage Area, values are based the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value.  For the World Heritage Area, connections are based on the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. For listed species, processes that have a major supporting role in maintaining the species are shown (for example, the role that beaches play in the nesting of listed marine turtles). For wetlands of international importance, the connections shown are those discussed in the Ramsar Convention information sheet. ( o = relevant to the Matter of National Environmental Significance).

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Biodiversity — Great Barrier Reef habitats

Islands

o

o

o

o

o

o

Beaches and coastlines

o

o

o

o

o

o

Mangrove forests

o

o

o

o

o

o

Seagrass meadows

o

o

o

o

o

o

Coral reefs (<30 m)

o

o

o

o

o

o

Deeper reefs (>30 m)

o

o

o

o

o

Lagoon floor

o

o

o

o

o

Shoals

o

o

o

o

o

Halimeda banks

o

o

o

o

o

Continental slope

o

o

o

o

Open waters

o

o

o

o

o

o

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Biodiversity — terrestrial habitats that support the Great Barrier Reef

Saltmarshes

 

o

 

o

o

o

Freshwater wetlands

 

o

 

o

o

o

Forested floodplain

 

o

 

o

 

o

Heath and shrublands

 

o

 

o

 

o

Grass and sedgelands

 

o

 

o

o

o

Woodlands

 

o

 

o

 

o

Forests

 

o

 

o

 

o

Rainforests

o

o

 

o

  

Connecting water bodies

o

o

o

o

o

o

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Biodiversity — species

Mangroves

o

o

o

o

 

o

Seagrasses

o

o

o

o

o

o

Macroalgae

o

o

o

o

o

 

Benthic microalgae

o

o

o

o

  

Corals

o

o

o

o

  

Other invertebrates

o

o

o

o

o

o

Plankton and microbes

o

o

o

o

o

 

Bony fish

o

o

o

o

o

o

Sharks and rays

o

o

o

o

o

 

Sea snakes

o

o

o

o

  

Marine turtles

o

o

o

o

o

o

Estuarine crocodiles

o

o

o

o

o

 

Seabirds

o

o

o

o

o

 

Shorebirds

o

o

o

 

o

o

Whales

o

o

o

o

o

 

Dolphins

o

o

o

o

o

 

Dugongs

o

o

o

o

o

o

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Geomorphological features

Coral reefs

o

o

o

o

  

Islands and shorelines

o

o

o

o

o

o

Channels and canyons

o

o

o

o

  

River deltas

o

o

o

o

  

Halimeda banks

o

o

o

o

  

Seagrass meadows

o

o

o

o

o

o

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage

Cultural practices, observances, customs and lore

o

o

o

o

o

o

Sacred sites, sites of particular significance, places important for cultural tradition

o

o

o

o

 

o

Stories, songlines, totems and languages

o

o

o

o

o

o

Indigenous structures, technology, tools and archaeology

o

o

o

o

 

o

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Historic heritage

Places of historic significance — historic shipwrecks

 

o

 

o

  

Places of historic significance — World War II features and sites

 

o

 

o

  

Places of historic significance — lightstations

 

o

 

o

  

Places of historic significance — other

 

o

 

o

 

o

Places of scientific significance (research stations, expedition sites)

 

o

 

o

  

Places of social significance — iconic sites

 

o

 

o

  

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Community benefits of the environment

Income

 

o

 

o

 

o

Employment

 

o

 

o

 

o

Understanding

 

o

 

o

  

Appreciation

o

o

o

o

 

o

Enjoyment

o

o

o

o

  

Access to Reef resources

 

o

 

o

  

Personal connection

 

o

 

o

  

Health benefits

 

o

 

o

  

Aesthetics

o

o

o

o

o

o

Key values and attributes

World heritage properties

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

National heritage places

Commonwealth marine areas

Listed migratory and threatened species

Wetlands of international importance

Key environmental processes

Waves, currents and tides

o

o

o

o

o

 

Cyclones

o

o

o

o

o

 

Wind

o

o

o

o

o

Sedimentation

o

o

o

o

o

o

Sea level

o

o

o

o

o

o

Sea temperature

o

o

o

o

o

Light

o

o

o

o

o

Nutrient cycling

o

o

o

o

o

Ocean acidity

o

o

o

o

 

Freshwater inflow and salinity

o

o

o

o

o

Microbial processes

o

o

o

o

Particle feeding

o

o

o

o

Primary production

o

o

o

o

o

Herbivory

o

o

o

o

o

Predation

o

o

o

o

o

Symbiosis

o

o

o

o

Competition

o

o

o

o

o

Connectivity

o

o

o

o

o

o

Recruitment

o

o

o

o

o

o

Reef building

o

o

o

o