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Gold Coast natural environment

We have one of Australia's most biodiverse cities. Let's explore, celebrate and work together to protect it for the future.

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Ribbon Weed

Ribbon Weed

Ribbon Weed (Vallisneria nana) is a submerged aquatic plant with delicate ribbon-like leaves. It is often confused with a type of seagrass (Zostera sp.).

However, it can easily be distinguished from this seagrass by its preference for freshwater and by the presence of a very feint-toothed edge on the leaves.

Although this plant is commonly known as Ribbon Weed, it is a native specie that fulfils the same function in freshwater that seagrass does for marine waterways.

It is a very beneficial species, providing habitat, food and shelter for a wide range of aquatic fauna including turtles, macro-invertebrates and fish.

It also plays a vital role in nutrient cycling and removal of excess metals and carbon. In addition, these plants protect the bed of the water body, limiting underwater erosion, and preventing sand and silt being washed away.

By trapping organic matter, sediments and nutrients, increasing shade and reducing water temperatures, this plant helps to reduce the risk of noxious algae blooms.


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