Mangrove coastal vegetation can be seen mostly in the tropical and subtropical countries, plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Salt Tolerance mangrove can be seen as vastly spread shrubs or trees on the edge of coast. There are 54 species to 110 species belonging to different varieties based on their ecological and physical characteristics and traits.
Common types of Mangrove
- Red Mangrove (Rhizophora Mangle)
Red mangrove most common mangrove are native to Florida, puerto rico and Virgin island. Red mangrove can grow up to 24 meters but most trees are about 6 meters of height. Red mangrove produce small yellow color flowers. The roots of the mangrove are prop root systems which help to direct intake of oxygen to the rest of plant and it has a green color elliptical shape long leave. It is called red mangrove as it has red color in its root
- Black Mangrove (Avicennia Germinans)
Black mangrove can be seen in the coastal lagoon. They are native to Bermuda, southern America and the West Indies. Mangrove with silvery green leaves and dark trunk can grow up to 9 to 12 meters of height. Unlike Red Mangrove the black mangrove has pneumatophore roots i.e grow straight up to the air. That is mainly because black mangrove grew up in wet soil and the oxygen level is very low. Another interesting fact about black mangrove is that it realizes the excess salt to its leaves.
- White Mangrove (Laguncularia Racemosa)
White Mangrove can mostly be seen in western Africa, Atlantic coast and Pacific coast of America. White Mangrove are grey-brown or reddish color bark with a height of 12 to 18 meters. Unlike the above two mangrove the root of white mangrove will depend on the environment conditions. It can either be prop root or pneumatophore roots.
- Spurred Mangrove (Ceriops Decandra)
Spurred Mangrove can be seen mostly in India, Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Australia, Eastern and Southern Africa. Spurred mangrove has silvery grey/ orangish brown bark with opposite pair leaves of yellowish green in the above. Approximate height of medium size mangrove is 25 meters grown in columnar or multi-stemmed with buttress root. Spurred mangrove produces a flower borne in leaf axils.
- Upriver Orange Mangrove (Bruguiera Sexangula)
Upper orange Mangrove is commonly found in India, tropical coasts in southeast Asia and Northern Australia. They are spread in single stemmed trees or multi-stemmed shrubs. Mangrove has elliptic/ elliptic oblong green leaves with grey – brown color bark. It gives a flower which has yellow green to pinkish orange calyx. Roots of the upriver orange mangrove are short buttresses at the root base and pneumatophores roots.
- Milky Mangrove (Excoecaria Agallocha)
Milky mangroves, poisonous mangroves which are common in Bangladesh and in India. It also can be found in coast of Philiphine, some coasts in Australia. The mangrove is an approximate height of 15 meters. The milky mangrove is not used for any purpose like other mangrove due to its poisonous nature. It’s also called blind-your-eye mangrove, river poison tree.
- Kandelia Obovata
Kandelia Obovata is another kind of mangrove, which widely spread in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Natuna Islands.
These are some mangrove can be found around the world.
Mangroves are reproduce via Vivipary. Before seeds get detached from the parent tree it germinates and develops into seedlings. Once it falls into water these are float until they find better environment condition to rooting.
Significance and uses of Mangrove
Mangrove unique root structures act as a natural barrier to soil erosion and other natural disasters.
It provided natural habitat to the mammal, small fishes, birds and other plants. Mangrove filter pollutants water and increase the clarity of water.
Mangrove can be used for wood, fuel, medicine and as a substitute to tobacco. (Except for milky mangrove )
Mangrove barks extracts also provide natural dye which are vastly used in batik industries.
Studies have shown that mangrove absorb and store more carbon compared to any rain forest.
Due to human activities such as using for wood fire, destruction of coral reef, changes in river ways can cause the decrease in population of mangrove. Over the decades loss of mangrove have been estimated to be by 20% to 35% and still high in rate of loss. If it continues to lose at a high rate there are chances of mangroves being extinct.
by staff contributor