Mangrove ecosystem is a peculiar habitat found at the interface between land
The term "mangrove"
is being applied to the specific ecosystem of the intertidal world in the
tropics and subtropics and the plant community of this ecosystem is termed
as "mangrove vegetation".
Many people think that mangroves are a few dwarf weedy plants along the
shoreline but mangroves are much more than that. It is a whole ecosystem
acting as a buffer between land and sea. Mangroves are extensions of
tropical and sub-tropical forests into the sea.
Mangroves are found extensively in the estuarine
regions where mud-flats are wide and gently sloping. Besides estuaries, they
also inhabit the intertidal regions of shallow bays and creeks where the
environment is conducive for the growth of mangroves. Mangroves are flood
buffers. They also help to stabilize climate by moderating temperature,
humidity, wind and even waves. They are specially adapted to withstand
salinity, wave action, and can grow in poor soils. They actually protect the
land from the impact of the sea.
Growing in the
intertidal areas and estuary mouths between land and sea, mangroves
provide critical habitat for a diverse marine and terrestrial flora and
fauna. Healthy mangrove forests are key to healthy marine ecology.