Continental edge, nutrient input via runoff, rivers
Red mangroves, low tide, south Florida
Rhizophora mangle – red mangrove
prop roots; extrudes salt
Avicennia germinans – black mangrove
pneumatophores; extends to coastal Louisiana where it, unusually, coexists w/ Spartina
Laguncularia racemosa – white mangrove
These have viviparous propagules
Much higher diversity in the Indo-Pacific
Zonation and Distribution of mangroves is affected by flooding, salinity, temperature fluctuations (air/soil/water), and soil.
Prop roots of red mangroves provide substrate for benthic organisms (algae, sponges, hydroids, tunicates, bryozoans)
Mangrove swamps provide critical protected nursery areas for fishes, crustaceans, and shellfish.
Dense mangrove branches serve as rookeries for many coastal species of birds
Organisms reared in mangrove swamps become food for fish (snook, snapper, tarpon, jack, sheepshead, red drum) oysters, and shrimp.
Prop root communities
Many acres of mangroves in south Florida have been lost to development and to anthropogenic changes in hydrology.
Globally, many areas of mangroves are being cut for wood or converted to aquaculture or mariculture ponds (e.g., fish, shrimp, prawns for seafood restaurants).
Concomitant declines in offshore fisheries can be expected and have been seen.
Mangrove swamp in Mexico