Mangrove: what is it and where is it found?

The mangrove is a marine biome

The mangrove is a marine biome

In tropical and subtropical regions we can find a very particular type of biome: the mangrove swamp. This word derives from mangrove, an English, German and French term, which comes from a Caribbean that translates as twisted tree. And, certainly, they are plants that from an early age can become twisted due to the force of the tides and / or the wind.

But also have several important benefits for the flora and fauna that live inlandwhich includes humans, since thanks to them the impact of hurricanes and tsunamis is much less than it would be if the coasts were unprotected.

What is a mangrove?

Mangroves are biomes

Mangroves are biomes

A mangrove It is a biome that is made up of trees capable of living in areas where there are high concentrations of saltas in the intertidal zones that are near the mouths of rivers, streams, marshes, coves or inlets and gulfs of the tropical regions of the world.

The vegetation that grows here is known as mangroves, which usually have aerial roots known as pneumatophores. These allow plants to breathe even if they are submerged, something that happens frequently on the coasts, or even if they live in flooded land.

Where are mangroves found and what is their importance?

We can find mangroves on tropical and subtropical coasts around the worldparticularly from Central America, East Africa, and those from the Asian Pacific islands. All of them are very important, since if the coasts were not there they would be at the mercy of hurricanes.

In addition, they are very important for marine animalsfor there are many who find refuge among their roots. For example, young hammerhead sharks are known to use the mangroves of the Galapagos Islands as a kind of nursery. But sharks are not the only ones that live in these regions: mollusks, crustaceans, fish … even some birds nest among the treetops.

But there is more: mangroves not only fix carbon dioxide to the ground, but also prevent large amounts of nutrient-rich sediment from being loston which many animals feed. Thus, they can be a wonderful help in fighting climate change and its consequences.

In fact, the destruction of the mangrove only has very negative consequencessuch as the loss of marine species, or less protection against hurricane force winds and tsunamis.

Are there mangroves in Spain?

Mangroves like what you can find in the Caribbean for example, there. But mangroves are marine-coastal wetlands, according to the Ramsar Convection, and if we start from that we can say that there are in Spain. In fact, in this country there are 74 wetlands that have international importance.

Surely the best known is the Doñana National Park, but there are others such as the Delta del Ebro, or the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra.

What types of plants are in mangroves?

There are a wide variety of mangrove species, but some of the best known are the following:

Avicennia sprouting

View of the AvicenniaView of the Avicennia

Image – Flickr / Katja Schulz

It is called white mangrove or black mangrove, and it is a species of tree native to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts (West Africa). It grows between 3 and 10 meters in heightand has elliptical-oblong leaves up to 10 centimeters long by up to 3 centimeters wide.

Conocarpus erectus

View of the Conocarpus erect, a mangroveView of the Conocarpus erectus, a mangrove

Image – Wikimedia Commons / David J. Stang

Known as the button mangrove, it is native to tropical and subtropical coasts around the world. Reaches a height of between 1 and 4 metersAlthough it can reach 20 meters with a trunk up to 1 meter in diameter. Its branches are fragile, and from them sprout alternate and oblong leaves up to 10 centimeters long.

kandelia candle

The Kandelia candel is a tropical mangroveThe Kandelia candel is a tropical mangrove

Image – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is known as the red mangrove of India, or Philippine league, and is endemic to Southeast Asia, specifically Singapore. Reaches a height of 7 metersand its leaves are bright green and oblong. The flowers are white, and they bloom in summer.

Laguncularia racemosa

The white mangrove is a tropical plantThe white mangrove is a tropical plant

Image – Wikimedia / Katja Schulz

It is called white mangrove, patabán or mereicillo, and it is a tree native to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts (West Africa) of 12-18 meters highwith greenish-yellow leaves, which are oblong-elliptical in shape. If necessary, it develops supportive tabular roots, as well as pneumatophores.

Rhizophora Mangrove

The mangrove is a fragile biomeThe mangrove is a fragile biome

Image – Wikimedia Commons / James St. John

It is popularly known as the red mangrove, and it is a tree native to tropical America. In Venezuela it is considered an emblematic tree, and it supports salinity better than other mangroves. Reaches a height of 4 to 10 meterswith elliptical to oblong and green leaves. The flowers are small and yellowish-white.

What did you think of this topic? Have you been able to see any? Without a doubt, taking a boat ride among these plants must be a magnificent experience. We hope you liked what we have told you about mangroves.

Mangrove: what is it and where is it found?

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