A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that belongs primarily to the Rhizophoraceae, Acanthaceae, Lythraceae, Combretaceae, and Arecaceae families; that grows along coastal estuaries, in salt marshes, and on muddy shores in dense thickets or forests; and that has prop roots, i.e. exposed supporting roots, characteristically. Two separate things are generally referred to: the ecosystem of coastal swamps found in tropical deltas, estuaries, lagoons or islands, and the characteristic tree species that populate this ecosystem. Mangroves occur globally in tropics and subtropics, mostly between 25° N and 25° S latitudes. In 2000, the world’s gross mangrove forest area was 137,800 square kilometers (53,200 sq mi), spanning 118 nations and territories.

(Above and below water view at the edge of the mangal)

The term mangrove also refers to the thickets of such plants and to forests. Mangroves are salt-tolerant plants, also called halophytes, and in harsh coastal conditions are adapted to life. Respiratory or knee roots (pneumatophores) are characteristic of the many species; they project above the mud and have small openings (lenticels) through which air enters, passing through the soft spongy tissue to the roots beneath the mud. The word is used in at least three senses: (1) mainly to refer to the ecosystem and whole plant assembly or mangrove for which the words mangrove forest biome and mangrove swamp are often used; (2) to refer to all trees and large shrubs in a mangrove swamp; and (3) to refer only to “real” mangrove trees of the Rhizophorae genus of the Rhizophoraceae family.

As the essential species associated with shaping mangrove timberlands lean toward exceptionally warm, wet conditions, they are confined to tropical and warm calm scopes around the globe. Mangrove trees have created remarkable transformations to the cruel states of beachfront conditions. Its swamps are unique ecological communities that connect the ecosystems of freshwater and ocean and host a rich diversity of animal species. The salty environments tolerated by different species of mangroves vary from brackish water to pure seawater (3 to 4%) to water concentrated by evaporation to more than twice the salinity (up to 9%) of ocean seawater.


Mangroves are critical to the beachfront environments they possess. Truly, they fill in as a cradle among marine and earthly networks and shield shorelines from harming winds, waves, and floods. According to a NASA-led study based on satellite data, mangrove forests transfer carbon dioxide “from the atmosphere into long-term storage” in greater amounts than other forests, making them “one of the strongest carbon scrubbers on the earth.” Mangroves, like reef-building corals, are ecological engineers who shape their own ecological and provide many other organisms with habitat. Mangroves’ root systems trap huge amounts of sentimental sediments, and in some areas where dense mangrove forests become established, they’ll be answerable for creating entire islands.

By removing contaminants and collecting sediments from the ground, mangrove thickets boost the water quality and reduce coastal erosion. They provide an environmentally friendly habitat for a number of terrestrial organisms, and many species of coastal and offshore fish and shellfish depend solely on mangroves as their breeding, spawning, and hatching grounds. Mangrove plants require various physiological transformations to defeat the issues of low ecological oxygen levels, high saltiness, and successive flowing flooding. Due to their high salt resistance, mangroves are frequently among the main species to colonize mud and shoals overwhelmed via seawater; however, an expansion in seaside advancement and changed land use prompted a decrease in global populations.

Mangrove forest

In the sense of being a tree that grows in such a saline marsh, about 110 species are called ‘mangroves,’ although only a few are from the genus of mangrove plants, Rhizophora. Several species are listed on the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable or endangered. While certain species consume their whole time on earth length in this biological system, various fish species utilize the haven of the mangrove as a nursing ground before making a beeline for the vast sea, to the degree that 33% of all marine species were brought up in mangrove woods around the globe. Subsequently, the mangroves’ prosperity is integral to the soundness of a lot more environments.

Furthermore, mangrove forests are a primary habitat for mature individuals of the many species of seabirds and waterfowl and a few terrestrial animals also. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surges (especially during hurricanes), and tsunamis The trunks and branches of most species of mangroves are constantly producing adventitious roots that strike at some distance from the parent stem and send new trunks, descending in arched fashion. Mangroves manufacture their own surroundings. Due to the uniqueness of mangrove environments and the assurance against the disintegration they give, they are frequently the object of preservation programs, including public biodiversity activity plans.

Underwater life at Mangroves

The common mangrove grows to a height of around 9 meters. The leaves are long, opposite, oval or elliptic, 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 inches), and smooth-edged; they are thick, have leathery surfaces, and are borne on short stems. The blossoms are pale yellow. The double administrations of beachfront security and living space for industrially significant species make mangrove woodlands one of the most important biological systems on the planet. Tragically, in the same way as other waterfront and marine environments, they are being lost at an incredibly quick rate. The most immediate result of a mangrove tree is its wood, which is utilized either as fuel or as development material. Other sections of the tree are also harvested to produce corks and floats, colorants, soap substitutes, synthetic fibers and cosmetics, and even fruit, honey, vinegar, salt, or cooking oil food.

Mangroves are a very important source of blue carbon. Scientists estimate that a minimum of one-third of all mangrove forests has been lost during the previous few decades. Mangroves are known to offer measurable economic protection to coastal communities globally affected by tropical storms. This carbon storage process is especially well carried out by mangroves, as they can store up to five times more carbon than an equivalent area of rainforest. In light of the worsening climate change, these effective carbon sinks are becoming increasingly important.


Information Sources:

  1. oceana.org
  2. ecologic.org
  3. britannica.com
  4. wikipedia