Mangrove

Mangrove

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For the Caribbean restaurant in London, see Mangrove restaurant
Mangrove restaurant
The Mangrove was a Caribbean restaurant located at 8 All Saints Road, Notting Hill, west London. It was opened in 1968 by Trinidadian community activist and civil rights campaigner Frank Crichlow...



Mangroves are various kinds of tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s up to medium height and shrub
Shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s that grow in saline
Saline water
Saline water is a general term for water that contains a significant concentration of dissolved salts . The concentration is usually expressed in parts per million of salt....

 coastal sediment habitats in the tropics
Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

 and subtropics
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

 – mainly between latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

s N and S. The word is used in at least three senses: (1) most broadly to refer to the habitat and entire plant assemblage or mangal, for which the terms mangrove forest biome
Biome
Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems. Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of abiotic and biotic factors spread over a...

, mangrove swamp and mangrove forest are also used, (2) to refer to all trees and large shrubs in the mangrove swamp, and (3) narrowly to refer to the mangrove family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

of plants, the Rhizophoraceae
Rhizophoraceae
Rhizophoraceae is a family constituted by tropical or subtropical flowering plants. Among the better known members are mangrove trees of the genus Rhizophora...

, or even more specifically just to mangrove trees of the genus Rhizophora
Rhizophora
Rhizophora is a genus of tropical mangrove trees, sometimes collectively called true mangroves. The most notable species is the Red Mangrove but some other species and a few natural hybrids are known. Rhizophora species generally live in intertidal zones which are indundated daily by the ocean...

.

The mangrove biome, or mangel, is a distinct saline woodland
Woodland
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

 or shrubland
Shrubland
Shrubland, scrubland, scrub or brush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity...

 habitat characterized by a depositional
Sedimentary depositional environment
In geology, sedimentary depositional environment describes the combination of physical, chemical and biological processes associated with the deposition of a particular type of sediment and, therefore, the rock types that will be formed after lithification, if the sediment is preserved in the rock...

 coastal environments, where fine sediments (often with high organic content) collect in areas protected from high-energy wave action. Mangroves dominate three quarters of tropical coastlines. The saline conditions tolerated by various mangrove species range from brackish water
Brackish water
Brackish water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing of seawater with fresh water, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak," meaning "salty"...

, through pure seawater
Seawater
Seawater is water from a sea or ocean. On average, seawater in the world's oceans has a salinity of about 3.5% . This means that every kilogram of seawater has approximately of dissolved salts . The average density of seawater at the ocean surface is 1.025 g/ml...

 (30 to 40 ppt
Salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

), to water concentrated by evaporation
Evaporation
Evaporation is a type of vaporization of a liquid that occurs only on the surface of a liquid. The other type of vaporization is boiling, which, instead, occurs on the entire mass of the liquid....

 to over twice the salinity of ocean seawater (up to 90 ppt).

Ecology



Mangrove "swamps" are found in tropical and subtropical tidal areas. Areas where mangals occur include estuaries
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 and marine shorelines.

The intertidal existence to which these trees are adapted repesents the major limitation to the number of species able to thrive in their habitat. High tide brings in salt water, and when the tide recedes, solar evaporation of the seawater in the soil leads to further increases in salinity. The return of tide can flush out these soils, bringing them back to salinity levels comparable to that of seawater. At low tide, organisms are also exposed to increases in temperature and desiccation, and are then cooled and flooded by the tide. Thus, in order for a plant to survive in this environment, it must tolerate broad ranges of salinity, temperature, and moisture, as well as a number of other key environmental factors. It is unsurprising, perhaps, that only a select few species make up the mangrove tree community.

About 110 species are considered "mangroves", in the sense of being a tree that grows in such a saline swamp, though only a few are from the mangrove plant genus, rhizophora. However, a given mangrove swamp typically features only a small number of tree species. It is not uncommon for a mangrove forest in the Caribbean to feature only three or four tree species. For comparison, the tropical rainforest biome contains thousands of tree species. That is not to say that mangrove forests lack diversity. Though the trees themselves are few in species, the ecosystem that these trees create provides a home for a great variety of other organisms.

Mangrove plants require a number of physiological adaptations to overcome the problems of anoxia
Hypoxia (environmental)
Hypoxia, or oxygen depletion, is a phenomenon that occurs in aquatic environments as dissolved oxygen becomes reduced in concentration to a point where it becomes detrimental to aquatic organisms living in the system...

, high salinity
Salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

 and frequent tidal inundation. Each species has its own solutions to these problems; this may be the primary reason why, on some shorelines, mangrove tree species
Rhizophora
Rhizophora is a genus of tropical mangrove trees, sometimes collectively called true mangroves. The most notable species is the Red Mangrove but some other species and a few natural hybrids are known. Rhizophora species generally live in intertidal zones which are indundated daily by the ocean...

 show distinct zonation. Small environmental variations within a mangal may lead to greatly differing methods for coping with the environment. Therefore, the mix of species is partly determined by the tolerances of individual species to physical conditions, like tidal inundation and salinity, but may also be influenced by other factors such as predation of plant seedlings by crabs.

Once established, mangrove roots provide an oyster habitat and slow water flow, thereby enhancing sediment deposition in areas where it is already occurring. The fine, anoxic sediments under mangroves act as sinks for a variety of heavy (trace) metals
Heavy metals
A heavy metal is a member of a loosely-defined subset of elements that exhibit metallic properties. It mainly includes the transition metals, some metalloids, lanthanides, and actinides. Many different definitions have been proposed—some based on density, some on atomic number or atomic weight,...

 which colloidal particle
Colloidal particle
Colloidal particle is a small amount of matter having size typical for colloids and with a clear phase boundary . A group of such particles or being a macromolecule or a molecular aggregate .A colloidal sized particle is defined in diameter from 1-1000 nanometers...

s in the sediments scavenged from the water. Mangrove removal disturbs these underlying sediments, often creating problems of trace metal contamination of seawater and biota
Biota (ecology)
Biota are the total collection of organisms of a geographic region or a time period, from local geographic scales and instantaneous temporal scales all the way up to whole-planet and whole-timescale spatiotemporal scales. The biota of the Earth lives in the biosphere.-See...

.

Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surge (especially during hurricanes), and tsunamis. The mangroves' massive root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy. Likewise, they slow down tidal water enough that its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles when the tide ebbs. In this way, mangroves build their own environment. Because of the uniqueness of mangrove ecosystems and the protection against erosion they provide, they are often the object of conservation programs, including national biodiversity action plan
Biodiversity Action Plan
A Biodiversity Action Plan is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity...

s.

However, mangrove swamps' protective value is sometimes overstated. Wave energy is typically low in areas where mangroves grow, so their effect on erosion can only be measured over long periods. Their capacity to limit high-energy wave erosion is limited to events such as storm surges and tsunamis. Erosion often occurs on the outer sides of bends in river channels that wind through mangroves, while new stands of mangroves are appearing on the inner sides where sediment is accruing
Accretion (geology)
Accretion is a process by which material is added to a tectonic plate or a landmass. This material may be sediment, volcanic arcs, seamounts or other igneous features.-Description:...

.

The unique ecosystem found in the intricate mesh of mangrove root
Root
In vascular plants, the root is the organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial or aerating . Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either...

s offers a quiet marine region for young organisms. In areas where roots are permanently submerged, the organisms they host include algae
Algae
Algae are a large and diverse group of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelps that grow to 65 meters in length. They are photosynthetic like plants, and "simple" because their tissues are not organized into the many...

, barnacle
Barnacle
A barnacle is a type of arthropod belonging to infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea, and is hence related to crabs and lobsters. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. They are sessile suspension feeders, and have...

s, oyster
Oyster
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

s, sponge
Sea sponge
Sponges are animals of the phylum Porifera . Their bodies consist of jelly-like mesohyl sandwiched between two thin layers of cells. While all animals have unspecialized cells that can transform into specialized cells, sponges are unique in having some specialized cells, but can also have...

s, and bryozoans, which all require a hard surface for anchoring while they filter feed. Shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

s and mud lobsters
Thalassinidea
Thalassinidea is an infraorder of decapod crustaceans that live in burrows in muddy bottoms of the world's oceans. In Australian English, the littoral thalassinidean Trypaea australiensis is referred to as the yabby , frequently used as bait for estuarine fishing; elsewhere, however, they are...

 use the muddy bottoms as their home. Mangrove crab
Mangrove crab
Mangrove crabs are crabs that live among mangroves, and may belong to many different species and even families. They have been shown to be ecologically significant in many ways. They keep much of the energy within the forest by burying and consuming leaf litter. Along with burrowing in the ground,...

s mulch the mangrove leaves, adding nutritients to the mangal muds for other bottom feeders. In at least some cases, export of carbon fixed in mangroves is important in coastal food webs.

Mangrove plantations in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 host several commercially important species of fish and crustaceans. Despite restoration efforts, developers and others have removed over half of the world's mangroves in recent times.

Biology


Of the recognized 110 mangrove species, only about 54 species in 20 genera from 16 families
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 constitute the "true mangroves", species that occur almost exclusively in mangrove habitats. Demonstrating convergent evolution
Convergent evolution
Convergent evolution describes the acquisition of the same biological trait in unrelated lineages.The wing is a classic example of convergent evolution in action. Although their last common ancestor did not have wings, both birds and bats do, and are capable of powered flight. The wings are...

, many of these species found similar solutions to the tropical conditions of variable salinity, tidal range (inundation), anaerobic soils and intense sunlight. Plant biodiversity is generally low in a given mangal. This is especially true in higher latitudes and in the Americas. The greatest biodiversity occurs in the mangal of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 and Malaysia.

Adaptations to low oxygen




Red mangroves
Rhizophora mangle
Rhizophora mangle, known as the red mangrove, is distributed in estuarine ecosystems throughout the tropics. Its viviparous "seeds," in actuality called propagules, become fully mature plants before dropping off the parent tree...

, which can survive in the most inundated areas, prop themselves above the water level with stilt roots and can then absorb air through pores in their bark (lenticel
Lenticel
A lenticel is an airy aggregation of cells within the structural surfaces of the stems, roots, and other parts of vascular plants. It functions as a pore, providing a medium for the direct exchange of gasses between the internal tissues and atmosphere, thereby bypassing the periderm, which would...

s). Black mangroves
Avicennia germinans
Avicennia germinans, commonly known as the black mangrove, is a species of flowering plant in the acanthus family, Acanthaceae.A. germinans grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and on the Atlantic coast of tropical Africa, where it thrives...

 live on higher ground and make many pneumatophores (specialised root-like structures which stick up out of the soil like straws for breathing) which are also covered in lenticel
Lenticel
A lenticel is an airy aggregation of cells within the structural surfaces of the stems, roots, and other parts of vascular plants. It functions as a pore, providing a medium for the direct exchange of gasses between the internal tissues and atmosphere, thereby bypassing the periderm, which would...

s. These "breathing tubes" typically reach heights of up to thirty centimeters, and in some species, over three meters. There are four types of pneumatophore—stilt or prop type, snorkel or peg type, knee type, and ribbon or plank type. Knee and ribbon types may be combined with buttress roots at the base of the tree. The roots also contain wide aerenchyma
Aerenchyma
Aerenchyma is an air channel in the roots of some plants, which allows exchange of gases between the shoot and the root. The channel of large air-filled cavities provides a low-resistance internal pathway for the exchange of gases such as oxygen and ethylene between the plant above the water and...

 to facilitate transport within the plant.

Limiting salt intake


Red mangroves exclude salt by having significantly impermeable roots which are highly suberised
Suberin
Suberin is a waxy substance found in higher plants. Suberin is a main constituent of cork, and is named after the Cork Oak, Quercus suber.-Anatomy and physiology:...

, acting as an ultrafiltration mechanism to exclude sodium
Sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 salts from the rest of the plant. Analysis of water inside mangroves has shown 90% to 97% of salt has been excluded at the roots. Salt which does accumulate in the shoot, concentrates in old leaves which the plant then sheds. Red mangroves can also store salt in cell vacuole
Vacuole
A vacuole is a membrane-bound organelle which is present in all plant and fungal cells and some protist, animal and bacterial cells. Vacuoles are essentially enclosed compartments which are filled with water containing inorganic and organic molecules including enzymes in solution, though in certain...

s. As seen in the picture on the right, white (or grey) mangroves can secrete salts directly; they have two salt glands at each leaf base (co-relating with their name—they are covered in white salt crystals).

Limiting water loss


Because of the limited fresh water available in salty intertidal soils, mangroves limit the amount of water they lose through their leaves. They can restrict the opening of their stomata (pores on the leaf surfaces, which exchange carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 gas and water vapour during photosynthesis). They also vary the orientation of their leaves to avoid the harsh midday sun and so reduce evaporation from the leaves. Anthony Calfo, a noted aquarium
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

 author, observed anecdotally a red mangrove in captivity only grows if its leaves are misted with fresh water several times a week, simulating the frequent tropical rainstorms.

Nutrient uptake


The biggest problem that mangroves face is nutrient uptake. Because the soil is perpetually waterlogged, there is little free oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 liberate nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 gas, soluble iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, inorganic phosphate
Phosphate
A phosphate, an inorganic chemical, is a salt of phosphoric acid. In organic chemistry, a phosphate, or organophosphate, is an ester of phosphoric acid. Organic phosphates are important in biochemistry and biogeochemistry or ecology. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in...

s, sulfide
Sulfide
A sulfide is an anion of sulfur in its lowest oxidation state of 2-. Sulfide is also a slightly archaic term for thioethers, a common type of organosulfur compound that are well known for their bad odors.- Properties :...

s, and methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

, which makes the soil much less nutritious and contributes to mangroves' pungent odor
Odor
An odor or odour is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction. Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors...

. Pnuematophores (aerial root
Aerial root
Aerial roots are roots above the ground. They are almost always adventitious. They are found in diverse plant species, including epiphytes such as orchids, tropical coastal swamp trees such as mangroves, the resourceful banyan trees, the warm-temperate rainforest rātā and pōhutukawa Aerial roots...

s) allow mangroves to absorb gases directly from the atmosphere, and other nutrients such as iron, from the inhospitable soil. Mangroves store gases directly inside the roots, processing them even when the roots are submerged during high tide.

Increasing survival of offspring



In this harsh environment, mangroves have evolved a special mechanism to help their offspring survive. Mangrove seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s are buoyant and therefore suited to water dispersal. Unlike most plants, whose seeds germinate in soil, many mangroves (e.g. red mangrove) are viviparous
Vivipary
Vivipary has two different meanings. In animals, it means development of the embryo inside the body of the mother, eventually leading to live birth, as opposed to laying eggs...

, whose seeds germinate while still attached to the parent tree. Once germinated, the seedling grows either within the fruit (e.g. Aegialitis, Avicennia and Aegiceras), or out through the fruit (e.g. Rhizophora, Ceriops, Bruguiera and Nypa) to form a propagule
Propagule
In horticulture, a propagule is any plant material used for the purpose of plant propagation. In asexual reproduction, a propagule may be a woody, semi-hardwood, or softwood cutting, leaf section, or any number of other plant parts. In sexual reproduction, a propagule is a seed or spore...

 (a ready-to-go seedling) which can produce its own food via photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called photoautotrophs, since they can...

. The mature propagule then drops into the water, which can transport it great distances. Propagules can survive desiccation and remain dormant for over a year before arriving in a suitable environment. Once a propagule is ready to root, its density changes so the elongated shape now floats vertically rather than horizontally. In this position, it is more likely to lodge in the mud and root. If it does not root, it can alter its density and drift again in search of more favorable conditions.

Taxonomy and Evolution


The following listing (modified from Tomlinson, 1986) gives the number of species of mangroves in each listed plant genus and family. Mangrove environments
in the Eastern Hemisphere harbor six times as many species of trees and shrubs as do mangroves in the New World. Genetic divergence of mangrove lineages from terrestrial relatives, in combination with fossil evidence, suggests that mangrove diversity is limited by evolutionary transition into the stressful marine environment and
that the number of mangrove lineages has increased steadily over the Tertiary with little global extinction.

Major components

Family Genus, number of species Common name
Acanthaceae, Avicenniaceae or Verbenaceae
Avicennia
Avicennia is a genus of flowering plants currently placed in the bear's breeches family, Acanthaceae. It contains mangrove trees, which occur in the intertidal zones of estuarine areas and are characterized by aerial roots. Species of Avicennia occur worldwide south of the Tropic of Cancer.The...


(family allocation disputed)
Avicennia
Avicennia
Avicennia is a genus of flowering plants currently placed in the bear's breeches family, Acanthaceae. It contains mangrove trees, which occur in the intertidal zones of estuarine areas and are characterized by aerial roots. Species of Avicennia occur worldwide south of the Tropic of Cancer.The...

, 9
Black mangrove
Combretaceae
Combretaceae
Combretaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Myrtales. The family includes about 600 species of trees, shrubs, and lianas in 18 genera. The family includes the leadwood tree, Combretum imberbe. Three genera, Conocarpus, Laguncularia and Lumnitzera, grow in mangrove habitats ....

Conocarpus, 1; Laguncularia
Laguncularia
Laguncularia is a genus of plants in the family Combretaceae, with ten species:*Laguncularia coccinea Gaudich., syn. for Lumnitzera littorea*Laguncularia glabriflora C.Presl, syn. for Laguncularia racemosa?...

, 11; Lumnitzera
Lumnitzera
Lumnitzera is an Indo-West Pacific mangrove genus in the family Combretaceae. The English common name is Black Mangrove. Lumnitzera, named after the German botanist, Stephan Lumnitzer , occurs in mangroves from East Africa to the Western Pacific , and northern Australia.The genus has two species of...

, 2
Buttonwood, white mangrove
Arecaceae
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

Nypa
Nypa fruticans
Nypa fruticans, known as the attap palm , nipa palm , and mangrove palm or buah atap , buah nipah , dừa nước , Ging Pol in Sinhala in Sri Lanka and gol pata , dani . It is the only palm considered a mangrove in the Mangroves Biome...

, 1
Mangrove palm
Rhizophoraceae
Rhizophoraceae
Rhizophoraceae is a family constituted by tropical or subtropical flowering plants. Among the better known members are mangrove trees of the genus Rhizophora...

  
Bruguiera
Bruguiera
Bruguiera is a plant genus in the family Rhizophoraceae. It is a small genus of six mangrove species of the Indian and west Pacific Ocean region, its range extending from East Africa and Madagascar through coastal India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia to northern Australia, Melanesia and Polynesia...

, 6; Ceriops
Ceriops
Ceriops is a genus of mangroves in family Rhizophoraceae.There are 5 species:*Ceriops australis *Ceriops decandra Ding Hou *Ceriops pseudodecandra Sheue, Liu, Tsai, and Yang...

, 2; Kandelia, 1; Rhizophora
Rhizophora
Rhizophora is a genus of tropical mangrove trees, sometimes collectively called true mangroves. The most notable species is the Red Mangrove but some other species and a few natural hybrids are known. Rhizophora species generally live in intertidal zones which are indundated daily by the ocean...

, 8
Red mangrove
Lythraceae
Lythraceae
Lythraceae are a family of flowering plants. It includes about 620 species of mostly herbs, with some shrubs and trees, in 31 genera. Major genera include Cuphea , Lagerstroemia , Nesaea , Rotala , and Lythrum...

Sonneratia
Sonneratia
Sonneratia is a genus of plants in the family Lythraceae. Formerly the Sonneratia were placed in a family called Sonneratiaceae which included both the Sonneratia and the Duabanga, but these two are now placed in their own monotypic subfamilies of the family Lythraceae...

, 5
Mangrove apple

Minor components

Family Genus, number of species
Acanthaceae
Acanthaceae
The family Acanthaceae is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants containing almost 250 genera and about 2500 species....

Acanthus
Acanthus (genus)
Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. Common names include Acanthus and Bear's breeches...

, 1; Bravaisia, 2
Bombacaceae
Bombacaceae
Bombacaceae is a family of flowering plants or Angiospermae included within Malvales order. As is true for any botanical name, circumscription and status of the taxon has varied with taxonomic point of view...

Camptostemon, 2
Cyperaceae
Cyperaceae
Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges, which superficially resemble grasses or rushes. The family is large, with some 5,500 species described in about 109 genera. These species are widely distributed, with the centers of diversity for the group...

Fimbristylis
Fimbristylis
Fimbristylis is a genus of sedges. A plant in this genus may be known commonly as a fimbry, fimbristyle, or fringe-rush. There are 200 to 300 species distributed worldwide. Several continents have native species but many have been introduced to regions where they are not native. Many are...

, 1
Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbiaceae
Euphorbiaceae, the Spurge family are a large family of flowering plants with 300 genera and around 7,500 species. Most are herbs, but some, especially in the tropics, are also shrubs or trees. Some are succulent and resemble cacti....

Excoecaria
Excoecaria
Excoecaria is a plant genus of the family Euphorbiaceae, comprising about 40 species. The genus is native to the Old World Tropics.The milky sap of Excoecaria agallocha, also known as Thillai, milky mangrove, blind-your-eye mangrove and river poison tree, is poisonous. Mangroves of this plant...

, 2
Lecythidaceae
Lecythidaceae
The Lecythidaceae comprise a family of about 20 genera and 250-300 species of woody plants native to tropical South America and Madagascar.According to the most recent molecular analysis of Lecythidaceae The Lecythidaceae comprise a family of about 20 genera and 250-300 species of woody plants...

Barringtonia
Barringtonia
Barringtonia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lecythidaceae. A common name is cornbeefwood.Bengali name is "Hijalna".Species include:* Barringtonia acutangula* Barringtonia asiatica* Barringtonia calyptrata...

, 6
Lythraceae
Lythraceae
Lythraceae are a family of flowering plants. It includes about 620 species of mostly herbs, with some shrubs and trees, in 31 genera. Major genera include Cuphea , Lagerstroemia , Nesaea , Rotala , and Lythrum...

Pemphis
Pemphis
Pemphis is a possibly unispecific genus of maritime plants in family Lythraceae, represented by the type species, described in 1775, Pemphis acidula .Pemphis are highly adaptive...

, 1
Meliaceae
Meliaceae
The Meliaceae, or the Mahogany family, is a flowering plant family of mostly trees and shrubs in the order Sapindales....

Xylocarpus
Xylocarpus
Xylocarpus is a genus of plants in the mahogany family . It includes two or three species of mangroves, native to coastal mangrove forests of the Western and Central Indo-Pacific, from eastern Africa to Tonga....

, 2
Myrsinaceae
Myrsinaceae
Myrsinaceae, or the Myrsine family, is a rather large family from the order Ericales. It consists of 35 genera and about 1000 species....

Aegiceras
Aegiceras
Aegiceras is a genus of trees and shrubs from Southeast Asia, Malesia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. They occur in coastal or estuarine areas.-Species:* Aegiceras corniculatum* Aegiceras ferreum* Aegiceras floridum...

, 2
Myrtaceae
Myrtaceae
The Myrtaceae or Myrtle family are a family of dicotyledon plants, placed within the order Myrtales. Myrtle, clove, guava, feijoa, allspice, and eucalyptus belong here. All species are woody, with essential oils, and flower parts in multiples of four or five...

Osbornia
Osbornia
Osbornia is a genus of plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It is monospecific genus that contains only one species, namely Osbornia octodonta-External links:* FloraBase:...

, 1
Pellicieraceae Pelliciera
Pelliciera
Pelliciera rhizophorae, known as the tea mangrove, is a less-common species of mangroves found along the Pacific coast from the Gulf of Nicoya in Costa Rica to the Esmeraldas River in Ecuador as well as within stands located in Nicaragua, Panama, and Colombia. During eras such as the Cenozoic, the...

, 1
Plumbaginaceae
Plumbaginaceae
Plumbaginaceae is a family of flowering plants, with a cosmopolitan distribution. The family is sometimes referred to as the leadwort family or the plumbago family....

  
Aegialitis
Aegialitis
Aegialitis is a genus of two shrubby mangrove species, with one native to Southeast Asia and the other native to Australia and Papua New Guinea.- Description :...

, 2
Pteridaceae
Pteridaceae
Pteridaceae is a large family of ferns in the order Pteridales. Members of the family have creeping or erect rhizomes and are mostly terrestrial or epipetric...

Acrostichum
Acrostichum
Acrostichum was one of the original pteridophyte genera delineated by Linnaeus. It was originally drawn very broadly, including all ferns that had sori apparently "acrostichoid", or distributed in a solid mass across the back of the frond, rather than organized in discrete sori...

, 3
Rubiaceae
Rubiaceae
The Rubiaceae is a family of flowering plants, variously called the coffee family, madder family, or bedstraw family. The group contains many commonly known plants, including the economically important coffee , quinine , and gambier , and the horticulturally valuable madder , west indian jasmine ,...

Scyphiphora, 1
Sterculiaceae
Sterculiaceae
Sterculiaceae is a botanical name for a group of flowering plants at the rank of family, which is now considered obsolete. As is true for any botanical name, the circumscription, status and placement of the taxon has varied with taxonomic point of view...

Heritiera
Heritiera
Heritiera is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae family.-Selected species:* Heritiera aurea* Heritiera borneensis* Heritiera fomes* Heritiera globosa* Heritiera javanica* Heritiera littoralis...

, 3

Geographical regions


Mangroves occur in numerous areas worldwide. See List of mangrove ecoregions.

Africa


There are important mangrove swamps in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, with the latter even admixing at the coastal verge with dry deciduous forests
Madagascar dry deciduous forests
The Madagascar dry deciduous forests represent a tropical dry forest ecoregion generally situated in the western part of Madagascar. The area has high numbers of endemic plant and animal species but has suffered large-scale clearance for agriculture...

.

Nigeria has Africa's largest mangrove concentration, spanning 36,000 km2. Oil spills and leaks have destroyed many in the last fifty years, damaging the local fishing economy and water quality.

Along the of the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

, both on the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian side and in the Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. In pre twentieth-century and modern sources it is often named the Gulf of Eilat, as Eilat is its predominant Israeli city ....

, mangroves composed primarily of Avicennia marina and Rhyzophora mucronata in about 28 stands cover about 525 hectares. Almost all Egyption mangrove stands are now protected..

Americas


Mangroves live in many parts of the tropical and subtropical coastal zones of North, South and Central America.

Continental United States


Because of their sensitivity to subfreezing temperatures, mangroves in the continental United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 are limited to the Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 peninsula (see Florida mangroves
Florida mangroves
The Florida mangroves comprise an ecosystem of the coasts of the Florida peninsula, including the Florida Keys. The Florida mangrove community includes three mangrove species, Red Mangrove , Black Mangrove and White Mangrove , and one species that is variously classified as a mangrove or a...

) and isolated growths of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans
Avicennia germinans
Avicennia germinans, commonly known as the black mangrove, is a species of flowering plant in the acanthus family, Acanthaceae.A. germinans grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and on the Atlantic coast of tropical Africa, where it thrives...

) along the coast of southern Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and south Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...


Central America and Caribbean


Mangroves occur on the west coast of Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, and Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, and on many Caribbean Islands, such as Curaçao
Curaçao
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao , which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao , is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, Bonaire, Antigua
Antigua
Antigua , also known as Waladli, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la...

, Anguilla
Anguilla
Anguilla is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin...

, the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis , located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island nation in the West Indies. It is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population....

 and St. Lucia. Significant mangals include the Marismas Nacionales-San Blas mangroves
Marismas Nacionales-San Blas mangroves
Marismas Nacionales-San Blas mangroves is a Mangrove ecoregion of the Pacific coast of Mexico.-Setting:The Marismas Nacionales-San Blas mangroves occupy an area of in coastal Nayarit and Sinaloa states...

 in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Mangroves can also be found in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Trinidad
Trinidad
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. With an area of it is also the fifth largest in...

, Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, and the Pacific coast of El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

.
Belize

The nation of Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

 boasts the highest overall percentage of forest cover of any of the Central American countries. In terms of Belize's mangrove cover - which assumes the form not only of mangrove 'forest' but also of scrubs and savannas, among others - a 2010 satellite-based study of Belize's mangroves by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) found that in 2010, mangroves covered some 184,548 acres (74,684 hectares) or 3.4% of Belize's territory. In 1980, by contrast, mangrove cover stood at 188,417 acres (76,250 hectares) - also 3.4% of Belize's territory, although based on the work of mangrove researcher Simon Zisman, it is estimated Belize's mangrove cover in 1980 represented 98.7% of the precolonial extent of those ecosystems. Belize's mangrove cover in 2010 was thus estimated to represent 96.7% of the precolonial cover. Assessing changes in Belize's mangrove cover over a 30-year period was possible because of Belize's participation in the Regional Visualization & Monitoring System (SERVIR, in Spanish) a regional observatory jointly implemented by CATHALAC, RCMRD, ICIMOD, NASA, USAID, and other partners.

South America


Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 contains approximately 26,000 km2 of mangals, 15% of the world's total of 172,000 km2.

Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 have significant areas of mangroves, mainly in the Gulf of Guayaquil-Tumbes mangroves
Gulf of Guayaquil-Tumbes mangroves
The Gulf of Guayaquil-Tumbes mangroves are an ecoregion located in the Gulf of Guayaquil in South America, in northern Peru and southern Ecuador. It has an area of 3,300 km² ....

.

Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

's northern Caribbean island, Margarita
Isla Margarita
Margarita Island is the largest island of the state of Nueva Esparta in Venezuela, situated in the Caribbean Sea, off the northeastern coast of the country. The state also contains two other smaller islands: Coche and Cubagua. The capital city of Nueva Esparta is La Asunción, located in a river...

, possesses mangrove forests in the Parque Nacional la Restinga.

Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 possesses large mangrove forests on both its Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

Indomalaya ecozone


Mangroves occur on Asia's south coast, throughout the Indian subcontinent, in all southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n countries, and on islands in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

, Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal
The Bay of Bengal , the largest bay in the world, forms the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean. It resembles a triangle in shape, and is bordered mostly by the Eastern Coast of India, southern coast of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to the west and Burma and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the...

, South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 and the Pacific.

The mangal is particularly prevalent in the deltas of large Asian rivers. The Sundarbans
Sundarbans
The Sundarbans [Sundarban Tour Booking-9051115228] is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.The name Sundarban can be literally translated as "beautiful jungle" or "beautiful forest" in the Bengali language...

 is the largest mangrove forest in the world, located in the Ganges river delta in Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 and West Bengal, India.

The Pichavaram
Pichavaram
Pichavaram is located near Chidambaram in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, in South India. The nearest railway station is Chidambaram from where it is accessible by road....

 Mangrove Forest near Chidambaram, South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

, by the Bay of Bengal, is the world's second largest mangrove forest.

Major mangals live on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Gulf of Kutch
Gulf of Kutch
The Gulf of Kutch is an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India, in the state of Gujarat, and renowned for extreme daily tides .The maximum depth of Gulf of Kutch is ....

 in Gujarat.
Other significant mangals in India include the Bhitarkanika Mangroves and Godavari-Krishna mangroves.

There are mangroves in certain muddy swampy islands of the Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

.

In Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, mangrove forests grow along the southern coast, including two forests: the Can Gio Mangrove Forest
Can Gio Mangrove Forest
Can Gio Biosphere Reserve is a wetland located 40 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. This reserve has been listed the biosphere reserve by UNESCO...

 biosphere reserve
Biosphere reserve
The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

 and the U Minh mangrove forest
U Minh Thuong National Park
U Minh Thuong National Park or Upper U Minh National Park is a national park in the province of Kiên Giang, Vietnam.-Establishment:...

 in the Sea and Coastal Region of Kien Giang, Ca Mau
Ca Mau Province
Cà Mau is a province of Vietnam, named after its capital city. It is located in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, and is the southernmost of Vietnam's 58 provinces...

 and Bac Lieu province
Bac Lieu Province
Bạc Liêu is a province of Vietnam. It is a coastal province, and is situated in the Mekong Delta region of the southern part of the country.- Name :Formally a territoy of Cambodia, the name Bac Lieu is believed to derive from the Khmer language...

.

The mangrove forests of Kompong Sammaki in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 are of major ecological and cultural importance, as the human population relies heavily on the crabs and fish that live in the roots.

The three most important mangrove forests of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 are: Tamsui River
Danshui River
The Tamsui River is a river in northern Taiwan. Its source is at Pintian Mountain in Hsinchu County. The river flows through New Taipei City, Taoyuan County, Taipei City, and Hsinchu County and has a length of and a drainage area of...

 in Taipei, Jhonggang River in Miaoli and the Sihcao Wetlands
Sihcao Wetlands
The Sihcao Wetlands are a protected ecological environment in Tainan, Taiwan. They were set aside in 1994 by the Tainan City government and consist of approxiamtely 515 hectars....

 in Tainan
Tainan
Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

. According to research, there are four existing types of mangrove in Taiwan. Some places have been developed as scenic areas, such as the log raft
Timber rafting
Timber rafting is a log transportation method in which logs are tied together into rafts and drifted or pulled across a water body or down a flatter river. It is arguably the second cheapest method of transportation of timber, next after log driving...

 routes in Sihcao.
Indonesia

In the Indonesian Archipelago, mangroves occur around much of Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

, Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

, Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

 and the surrounding islands, while further north, they are found along the coast of the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

. Indonesia has around 9.36 million hectares of mangrove forests, but 48 percent is categorised as 'moderately damaged' and 23 percent as 'badly damaged'.


Pakistan

Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i mangroves are located mainly along the Indus delta (the Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves
Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves
The Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves are a large mangrove ecoregion on the Arabian Sea coast of India and Pakistan.-Location and description:...

 ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

). Major mangrove forests are found on the coastline of the provinces of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

.
In Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

, land reclamation projects have led to the cutting down of mangrove forests for commercial and urban development.

Middle East


Oman, near Muscat, supports large areas of mangroves, in particular at Shinas, Qurm Park and Mahout Island. In Arabic, mangrove trees are known as qurm, thus the mangrove area in Oman is known as Qurm Park. Mangroves are also present extensively in neighboring Yemen.

Iranian mangrove forests occur between 25°11′N to 27°52′N. These forests exist in the north part of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 and Oman Sea, along three maritime provinces in the south of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. These provinces respectively from southwest to southeast of Iran, include Bushehr
Bushehr
Bushehr Bushehr lies in a vast plain running along the coastal region on the Persian Gulf coast of southwestern Iran. It is the chief seaport of the country and the administrative centre of its province. Its location is about south of Tehran. The local climate is hot and humid.The city...

, Hormozgan and Sistan & Balouchestan.

Australia and New Guinea



More than fifty species of Rhizophoraceae grow in Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

 with particularly high biodiversity on the island of New Guinea and northern Australia.

Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 has approximately 11,500 km2 of mangroves, primarily on the northern and eastern coasts of the continent, with occurrences as far south as Millers Landing in Wilsons Promontory
Wilsons Promontory
Wilsons Promontory is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland and is located at . South Point at is the southernmost tip of Wilsons Promontory and hence of mainland Australia...

, Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 (38°54′S) and Barker Inlet in Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

, South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

.

New Zealand


New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 also has mangrove forests extending to around 38°S (similar to Australia's southernmost mangrove incidence): the furthest geographical extent on the west coast is Raglan Harbour (37°48′S); on the east coast, Ohiwa Harbour (near Opotiki
Opotiki
Opotiki is a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. It houses the headquarters of the Opotiki District Council and comes under the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.-Population:* of the town: 4176 - Male 1,989, Female 2,187...

) is the furthest south mangroves are found (38°00′S).

Pacific islands


Twenty-five species of mangrove are found on various Pacific islands, with extensive mangals on some islands. Mangals on Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, Palau
Palau
Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

, Kosrae
Kosrae
Kosrae , formerly known as Kusaie, is an island in Micronesia. The State of Kosrae is one of four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, and includes, besides the island of Kosrae, about a dozen satellite islands and islets, the most significant of which is Lelu Island.-Geography:With a...

 and Yap
Yap
Yap, also known as Wa'ab by locals, is an island in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific Ocean. It is a state of the Federated States of Micronesia. Yap's indigenous cultures and traditions are still strong compared to other neighboring islands. The island of Yap actually consists of four...

 have been badly affected by development.

Mangroves are not native to Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, but the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle
Rhizophora mangle
Rhizophora mangle, known as the red mangrove, is distributed in estuarine ecosystems throughout the tropics. Its viviparous "seeds," in actuality called propagules, become fully mature plants before dropping off the parent tree...

, and Oriental mangrove, Bruguiera sexangula
Bruguiera sexangula
Bruguiera sexangula, commonly called the Upriver Orange Mangrove, is a mangrove shrub or tree usually growing up to 15 m, occasionally 30 m, in height.-Description:...

, have been introduced and are now naturalized
Naturalisation (biology)
In biology, naturalisation is any process by which a non-native organism spreads into the wild and its reproduction is sufficient to maintain its population. Such populations are said to be naturalised....

. Both species are classified as pests by the University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii System, formally the University of Hawaii and popularly known as UH, is a public, co-educational college and university system that confers associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment...

 Botany Department.

Exploitation and conservation



Approximately 35% of mangrove area was lost during the last several decades of the twentieth century (in countries for which sufficient data exist), which encompass about half of the area of mangroves. The United Nations Environment Program also estimated shrimp farming causes a quarter of the destruction of mangrove forests. Likewise, the 2010 update of the World Mangrove Atlas (WMA) indicated a fifth of the world's mangrove ecosystems have been lost since 1980.

Grassroots efforts to save mangroves from development are becoming more popular as the benefits of mangroves become more widely known. In the Bahamas, for example, active efforts to save mangroves are occurring on the islands of Bimini
Bimini
Bimini is the westernmost district of the Bahamas composed of a chain of islands located about 53 miles due east of Miami, Florida. Bimini is the closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland United States and approximately 137 miles west-northwest of Nassau...

 and Great Guana Cay
Great Guana Cay
Great Guana Cay is an islet located in The Bahamas. It is a long but narrow islet which is 9 miles in length. It is located in the centre of the Abaco Islands...

. In Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

 as well, efforts are underway to protect a mangrove threatened by the construction of a steelmill and a port. In Thailand, community management has been effective in restoring damaged mangroves.

It has been cited that mangroves can help buffer against Tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

, cyclone
Cyclone
In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

s, and other storms. One village in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 was protected from tsunami destruction - the villagers in Naluvedapathy
Naluvedapathy
Naluvedapathy is a coastal village in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located in the Vedaranyam taluk of the Nagapattinam district. It sits on the mouth of the Addapar River...

 planted 80,244 saplings to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. This created a kilometre-wide belt of trees of various varieties. When the tsunami struck, much of the land around the village was flooded, but the village itself suffered minimal damage.

Reforestation


In some areas, mangrove reforestation is also underway. Red mangroves are the most common choice for cultivation, used particularly in marine aquariums in a sump
Sump
A sump is a low space that collects any often-undesirable liquids such as water or chemicals. A sump can also be an infiltration basin used to manage surface runoff water and recharge underground aquifers....

 to reduce nitrates and other nutrients in the water. Mangroves also appear in home aquariums, and as ornamental plants, such as in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

In Senegal, Haïdar El Ali has started the Océanium de Dakar project, which (amongst others) focuses on reforesting several areas with mangroves.

The Manzanar Mangrove Initiative is an ongoing experiment in Arkiko
Arkiko
Arkiko is a town in the Northern Red Sea region of Eritrea. Situated on the Red Sea, it lies on the mainland across from the island of Massawa.-Overview:...

, Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, part of the Manzanar Project founded by Dr Gordon H. Sato
Gordon H. Sato
Dr. Gordon Hisashi Sato, Ph.D. is an American cell biologist who first attained prominence for his discovery that polypeptide factors required for the culture of mammalian cells outside the body are also important regulators of differentiated cell functions and of utility in culture of new types...

, establishing new mangrove plantations on the coastal mudflats. Initial plantings failed, but observation of the areas where mangroves did survive by themselves led to the conclusion that nutrients in water flow from inland were important to the health of the mangroves. Trials with the Eritrean Ministry of Fisheries followed, and a planting system was designed to introducing the nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron missing from seawater. The propagules are planted inside a reused galvanized steel can with the bottom knocked out; a small piece of iron and a pierced plastic bag with fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus are buried with the propagule. As at 2007, after six years of planting, there are 700,000 mangroves growing; providing stock feed for sheep and habitat for oysters, crabs, seashells and fish.

National studies


In terms of local and national studies of mangrove loss, the case of Belize's mangroves is illustrative in its contrast to the global picture. A recent, satellite-based study - funded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and conducted by the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) – indicates Belize's mangrove cover declined by a mere 2% over a thirty-year period. The study was borne out of the need to verify the popular conception that mangrove clearing in Belize was rampant. Instead, the assessment showed that between 1980 and 2010, under 4000 acres (16.2 km²) of mangroves had been cleared, although clearing of mangroves near Belize's main coastal settlements (e.g. Belize City
Belize City
Belize City is the largest city in the Central American nation of Belize. Unofficial estimates place the population of Belize City at 70,000 or more. It is located at the mouth of the Belize River on the coast of the Caribbean. The city is the country's principal port and its financial and...

 and San Pedro) was relatively high. The rate of loss of Belize's mangroves - at 0.07% per year between 1980 and 2010 - was much lower than Belize's overall rate of forest clearing (0.6% per year between 1980 and 2010). These findings can also be interpreted to indicate Belize's mangrove regulations (under the nation's ) have largely been effective. Nevertheless, the need to protect Belize's mangroves is imperative, as a 2009 study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) indicates the ecosystems contribute US$174–249 million per year to Belize's national economy.

In popular media

  • The mangrove is used as a symbol in Annie Dillard's
    Annie Dillard
    Annie Dillard is an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction. She has published works of poetry, essays, prose, and literary criticism, as well as two novels and one memoir. Her 1974 work Pilgrim at Tinker Creek won the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for General...

     essay Sojourner due to its significance as a self-sustaining biome.
  • The manga series One Piece
    One Piece
    is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 4, 1997; the individual chapters are being published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released on December 24, 1997, and the 64th volume released as...

    features a forest of giant mangroves that form the Sabaody Archipelago. The mangroves produce a resin that combines with the oxygen exhaled by the trees to create large bubbles. The local population uses the bubbles for everything from transport to hotels.

See also

  • Changes in global mangrove distributions
    Changes in global mangrove distributions
    Global mangrove distributions have fluctuated throughout human and geological history. The area covered by mangroves is influenced by a complex interaction between land position, rainfall hydrology, sea level, sedimentation, subsidence, storms and pest-predator relationships)...

  • Ecological values of mangrove
    Ecological values of mangrove
    Mangrove ecosystems represent natural capital capable of producing a wide range of goods and services for coastal environments and communities and society as a whole. Some of these outputs, such as timber, are freely exchanged in formal markets...

  • List of mangrove ecoregions
  • Mudflat
    Mudflat
    Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of...

  • Salt marsh
    Salt marsh
    A salt marsh is an environment in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and salt water or brackish water, it is dominated by dense stands of halophytic plants such as herbs, grasses, or low shrubs. These plants are terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh...


Further reading

  • Spalding, Mark; Kainuma, Mami and Collins, Lorna (2010) World Atlas of Mangroves Earthscan, London, ISBN 978-1-84407-657-4; 60 maps showing world-wide mangrove distribution

External links


  • Mangroves- At the Smithsonian Ocean Portal
  • In May 2011, the VOA Special English
    Special English
    Special English is a controlled version of the English language first used on October 19, 1959, and still presented daily by the United States broadcasting service Voice of America. World news and other programs are read one-third slower than regular VOA English. Reporters avoid idioms and use a...

     service of the Voice of America
    Voice of America
    Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors . VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio...

    broadcast a 15-minute program on mangrove forests. A transcript and MP3 of the program, intended for English learners, can be found at Mangrove Forests Could Be a Big Player in Carbon Trading