Mangrove Analysis Report Common Mangroves; Structure Of Mangrove Forests; Mangrove Herbal Remedies; Functionment; Definitions; Ecological Factors Of Export; Water Salinity

2672 words - 11 pages

Mangrove Analysis Report[By Nathania Burrie][User: TaniaSmartTwit][March 2002]IntroductionCoastal mud flats throughout the tropics carry a vegetation of mangrove swamp, which is particularly luxuriant in the wet tropics, such as Cairns itself. These evergreen trees and shrubs share similar habitat preferences, and a similar appearance to the untrained eye. This report will explain my findings in this biological topic, and describe the adaptations the mangroves have developed in order to survive the harsh location of estuaries and wetlands; the typical layout of mangrove communities through an original transect; representative specimen samples and descriptions; and also the typical state of the water and thus the environment through regular water samples.AdaptationsThe estuaries, salt marshes, swamps and wetlands mangroves live in represent hostile environments to mainland vegetation and have forced upon mangrove evolution a few peculiar adaptations such as tolerance of salty water, the development of pneumatophores ("breathing roots"), and a marked tendency to germinate their seeds on the tree. These features have consequently enabled mangroves to dominate the muddy coasts, leaving few competitors and only a small percentage of non-mangroves surviving in the harsh conditions, - most of the non-mangroves, as you will find, being part of the myrtle family.Because of salt water and oxygen-deficient soil, many mangrove trees have roots growing above the ground. The names of these roots are: prop roots, buttress roots, pneumatophores or knee roots, and surface roots. These project above the mud and have small openings (lenticels) through which air penetrates and oxygen is absorbed through the spongy tissue to the roots beneath.Estuaries and swamps impose very high water salinity. In fact salinity percentages can stand on average 3%'s - as high as seawater! For this purpose, mangroves have acquired three ways to survive with high and variable quantities of salt in their environment. Some trees absorb the salt then secrete it through a gland at the indented apex of the midrib. The Lumnitzera Racemosa is only an example. Other mangroves absorb the salt, then direct it to old leaves or bark that are soon to be lost from the plant, while others actually exclude salt entirely from their tissues by filtering all input in the roots. The sap of these types of species is therefore almost of the same salinity as common mainland plants. Examples of these organisms are the Ceriops Tagal and the Rhizophora Stylosa or Red Mangrove, part of the very common Rhizophoraceae family.Another particular adaptation of many mangroves is seed and fruit dispersal by water. The swamp plants have waterborne seeds, which are buoyant being enclosed in air-containing fruits, like all species of Rhizophoraceae. For some, the seeds are dispersed by water, making the buoyancy of the fruit crucial. They lie horizontal in seawater, and on reaching brackish water, turn vertically - roots...

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