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Mangroves Essay

1136 words - 5 pages

Mangrove derives from the spanish word mangle, which means a large group of trees or shrubs that grow on shores of tropics (Wikipedia contributors).There is at approximately 80 known species and 3 types (red, black, white) that have been discovered around the world. Mangroves grow in coastal habitats where freshwater rivers empty into saltwater seas, or vice versa. All mangroves either have prop roots or have a root system that allows them to receive oxygen(Maikut). This essay will contain the important characteristics that mangroves contain. Although not many organisms inhabit mangroves, every single one has its key role. Mangroves serve a great purpose, yet humans destroy 60% of the world's historic mangroves for agricultural reasons (Krueger).
Mangroves main purpose and function is to be a nursing ground for small organisms and also house organisms like crustaceans, fish, and many other organisms. Mangroves shelter approximately 75% animals and 25% plants. Not many plants inhabit mangroves, unless they can filter out the salt from the water. Like mangroves can, they also eliminate erosion and have great uses like fishing rods, honey, and also bring in tourist, because of their beautiful elevated prop roots. Mangroves are located where waves are limited and sedimentation is high along with a very low slope.
The main producers in this ecosystem are Caulerpa which is a invasive seaweed. They are also very unusual because they only have one cell with several nuclei, which makes them one of the largest single celled organisms in the world. The last producer is Zooplankton. Zooplankton are microscopic organisms that usually drift in oceans and seas but since mangroves have a great filtration system they're able to reside in mangroves too. Zooplankton thrive vigorously in nursing grounds, mostly by crustacean larvae. A few consumers are; Manatees, large behemoths that are primarily herbivorous. They feed on more than 60 species of plants including turtle grass, manatee grass, shoal grass and various algae. The second consumer being discussed is the nudibranch, which means naked gills. They are carnivorous benthic worms. Lastly is the blue crab a benthic crustacean that lives off of detritus the dead and rotting leaves. Female blue crabs appearance differs from the male because females have large red tipped chelipeds where males have blue ones. Another interesting fact is that crabs molt with the moon cycle.
Mangrove forests are among the most productive terrestrial eco systems and are natural and are a renewable resources. Mangroves are not a marvel just for their adaptations but also for the significant role they play in our environment (Envis). Mangroves produce many nutrients the most common one being detritus. Which is broken down debris; leafs, feces, and other dead organisms. Once the debris has between broken down smaller organisms like the periwinkle snail, crabs, and other benthic organisms can eat this organic matter. Within the mangrove...

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