Mangroves

Introduction to Mangroves:
Mangroves are aquatic plants that are usually found on a beach in the intertidal zone (the area between high and low tide lines). Some live below the tide line and their roots are always in water. This sort of environment would be unsuitable for most plants because of the flooding at high tide and water logging in the roots but mangroves have developed unusual root systems which allow them to live in the harsh conditions.

Habitat:
Mangroves live in tropical and subtropical areas all over the world in places like Australia, where over 30 different species live, Florida, where mangrove swamps can cover as much as 400,000 acres of land and in Asia where there are even larger swamps. Most mangroves are short but some can grow as tall as 12 meters.

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Part in the environment:
Mangroves play an important part in their environment. They help to protect coastal areas from erosion throughout storms. They are home to hundreds of species of animals (like fish, crabs, shrimp and other organisms). Their leaves fall off into the water and decay, which forms a layer of nutritious debris. This layer is a food source for many small animals, fungi and bacteria.

Destruction of habitat:
In the past few years mangrove swamps throughout the world have been disappearing. This is mostly due to human actions. Large areas of mangrove swamps have been cleared to make ponds used for farming of marine shrimp. The swamps have also been destroyed for public leisure, industrial development, to create areas where salt is produced, firewood and even charcoal. New laws have been introduced to protect mangroves in most countries with mangrove swamps.

How Oxygen Gets to Their Root Tissue:
Mangroves live in conditions where their roots are under salt water, most of or all of the time. Unlike most plants which would not survive in these conditions, the mangroves have developed a unique an effective root system to help them adapt to their environment. Most.