The Worlds Mangroves

The Worlds Mangroves, updated 9/15/19, 3:50 PM


The term "mangrove" refers to a tidally influenced wetland ecosystem within the intertidal zone of tropical and subtropical latitudes. Mangrove also designates the marine tidal forest that includes trees, shrubs, palms, epiphytes and ferns (T omlinson, 1986). The distinctive community of plants and animals associated with mangroves is sometimes referred to as the 'mangal' (Macnae, 1968). The origins of the terms for mangrove are well researched by V anucci (1989). She concludes that the word mangue is from West Africa, Senegal, Gambia and Guinea. The English word mangrove is a derivation of the Portuguese or Spanish meaning grove made of mangue. Mangrove ecosystems are heterogeneous habitats with an unusual variety of animals and plants adapted to the environmental conditions of highly saline, frequently inundated, soft-bottomed anaerobic mud. (Khairnar et al., 2009). Not all mangroves are obligated to live in saline intertidal areas (Clough, 1992). Plants that are conϐined to the mangrove are called true mangroves; plants that can also occur elsewhere are called mangrove associates (T omlinson, 1986). Mangrove associates never grow in true mangrove communities and may occur in terrestrial vegetation. The mangrove fauna includes terrestrial, marine, temporary and permanent animal species, all of which have different adaptations to cope with the mangrove environment. The diversity of mangroves is high, but the variety of mangrove ecosystems also makes it difϐicult to produce general guidelines for conservation and management of mangroves because each system is unique.

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