Mangal (tidal forest) communities vary with respect to position in the littoral sequence, and latitude. A previous classification of mangal from the southern and western coastlines of Australia has been subjected to a series of ordinations, in an attempt to produce a robust syntaxonomy. An iterative ordination process allowed for the progressive refinement of the syntaxonomic units. This process allows an ecologist to use critically a numerical technique to refine ecological assumptions developed from field work, and/or non-numerical analyses. Ordination analysis suggested a need for the classification to be refined, and allowed the construction of a final syntaxonomy. In conjunction with broad environmental data collected during the investigation, the ordinations allowed the development of some environmental perspectives. These suggested that littoral position is a stronger environmental influence on mangal communities than balance between salt and freshwater.