Mangroves are among the most productive and biologically complex ecosystems on Earth. They cover. Mangrove. Ecosystems. 1. Table The world’s 73 mangrove species and hybrids, separated. The space between the tides is a harsh place, open to the. Mangrove forests: ecology and response to natural and man induced stressors. Published Date: Filetype [PDF MB]. Viewer; Details; Supporting Files .

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To differentiate species that use different methods for dealing with salt, scientists categorize mangroves as either secretors—those that actively rid their tissue of salt—and non-secretors—those that block the salt from entering their tissue.

When most tree species take about 8 to 15 years to reach a reproductive age, these seedlings take just one year. Toxins and nutrients can be bound to sediment particles or within the molecular lattice of clay particles and are removed during sediment deposition.

The roots even hold onto those sediments which leads to better water quality and a reduction in erosion. They are highly adapted to their environment, capable of excluding or expelling salt, allowing mangroves to thrive in highly saline waters and soils. The rainbow parrotfish and Goliath grouper are two species listed on the IUCN Red List that rely on this nursery for protection and food.

EcoLogic focuses its work in this region, which is home to the red mangrove, the black mangrove, the white mangrove and the buttonwood, and is making great strides in terms of sustainability. However, there is little quantitative scientific data to back this up.

By providing a safe nursing ground for a wide range of fish larvae, they enhance the survival rate of these species in their early life stages.


A mangrove commonly refers to two different things: Most of the evidence is observational and anecdotal. Viviparity may have evolved as an adaptive mechanism to prepare the propagules for long-distance dispersal, and survival and growth within a harsh saline environment.

They survive high amounts of salinity either by excreting salt through their leaves, or simply by safely keeping it within their tissues. However, rising temperatures and sea level due to climate change are allowing mangroves to expand their ranges farther away from the equator and encroach on temperate wetlands, like salt marshes. Through a series of impressive adaptations—including a filtration system that keeps out much of the salt and a complex root system that holds the mangrove upright in the shifting sediments where land and water meet.

Advanced Search Small Search Button. A male mudskipper is also known for its courtship displays. About Mangroves – Florida Museum.

However, because distinguishing a mangrove species is based upon physical and ecological traits rather than family lineage, scientists often differ in what they consider to be a true mangrove.

The pygmy three-toed sloth, listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, lives predominantly among Rhizophora mangle trees on one tiny island off the coast of Panama. The lenticels contain substances that are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water, so when submerged, water cannot flood into the root.

Intricate food webs of immense varieties of sea life are supported directly through this detritus. Coral Reef, Seagrass Beds and Mangroves: Their roots also play in important role in trapping sediments and stabilizing shorelines facing increased erosion pressures.

Smithsonian Ocean

Mangrove Reproduction Certain mangrove species can propagate successfully in a marine environment because of special adaptations. The wood is frequently used to build stilt houses, furniture, fences, bridges, fishing poles and traps, canoes, rafts, and boats. Many migratory species depend on mangroves for part of their seasonal migrations.


Xylocarpus granatum roots have horizontal plank roots that lengthen vertically to increase the area above ground.

What Is a Mangrove?

The damage caused by the tsunami spurred impacted countries to rethink mangrove importance and many restoration projects are working to rebuild mangroe forests. They protect the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Over time, environmental stress can kill large numbers of mangrove trees. Many crabs, shrimp, and fish will spend the early stages of life within the safety of the mangrove roots before making their way out into the open ocean as adults.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The underground portion of the root adds stability while the looping projections increase access to the air.

Mangroves | Smithsonian Ocean

Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. Feller and colleagues are finding that seedlings of all maangrove at the northern limit of mangroves are super reproductive. Mangroves vary in height according to species and environment, from mere shrubs to 40 meter app. Even without glasses, females of this species keep a sharp eye out for their young.

Back to Previous Page. Healthy mangrove forests are ecozystem to a healthy marine ecology.