Life among the mangroves | Stories


Straddling the land and the sea with a tangle of arching roots, mangrove trees guard coastlines all over the world. Mangroves recycle pollutants, maintain water quality, and provide habitat and a secure source of food for wildlife and people. They also play a vital role in climate health. The trees can store carbon for hundreds—sometimes even thousands—of years, making mangrove forests among the most carbon-rich habitats on Earth. Mangrove forests cover roughly between 33 million and 49 million acres of the globe and are one of the most complex and productive ecosystems on the planet.

Among the tangled root systems, reaching branches, and fluttering leaves of mangrove forests, you can find a colorful variety of wildlife who call these trees home. Their leaves are the basis of an incredibly productive food web, beginning with providing nutrients for algae and invertebrates, which in turn feeds many other organisms. The reach of the benefits that mangroves provide goes much beyond forest boundaries. The role of mangroves in ecosystem function serves to protect wildlife from all around the world.

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