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Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually occur, in places that historically...
This beautiful bromeliad, also called an air plant because it gets its...
Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian...
Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely...

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At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. See a photo...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that...
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
This view of mangrove roots above the water misses a lot of the action. The roots extend far below the water’s surface, anchoring the forest to the sea and providing a tangled habitat for a variety...
The Sundarbans site in Bangladesh was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. The site’s mangrove forest is one of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world and supports a rich...
These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems from a range of latitudes. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
Dr. Feller at White Pond on the island of Twin Cays, Belize. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely new ecosystem is revealed. The twisting mangrove roots, some of which don’t make it to the seafloor, support a great...
The sargassum is coated with encrusting organisms, such as bryozoans and hydroids, that use it as a perch to filter feed in the oceanic waters, as well as crustaceans such as thos swimming crab...
Dr. Chris Reddy, an environmental chemist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution studies the long-term impacts of oil spills. Watch as he digs beneath the surface in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor...
In Fort Pierce, Florida, researchers at the Smithsonian Marine Station focus on mangroves and other marine ecosystems of Florida. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
Fringing mangroves in the Pelican Cays, Belize, were killed by dredge material that overflowed and smothered the aerial roots of trees along the shoreline. More about mangroves can be found in our...
The invasive reed Phragmites australis can create new plants through seeds (shown here) or underground rhizomes. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have discovered that seeds...
Photographer Brian Skerry hikes through a mangrove in Bimini (The Bahamas) to scout locations to photograph baby sharks. Learn more about Brian's life in the field .
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow coastal ecosystems along the southeastern North America and northeastern South America. They graze plants in mangrove ecosystems...
Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of...
Arching mangrove roots like these help keep trunks upright in the soft sediments at water’s edge. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
This creek lined with mangroves is located near the Smithsonian Institution’s field station in Bocas del Toro , Panama. The tangled roots support an amazing array of life. Learn m ore about mangroves...
A male mudflat fiddler crab ( Uca rapax ) waves its huge claw to impress females and threaten competitors. Only the males have the large claw. When the tide is high, fiddler crabs retreat to their...
Marc Frischer, a microbial ecologist at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography , collects bacteria at the Smithsonian Institution’s field station in Belize. Smithsonian scientists and colleagues from...
Dr. Candy Feller is framed by the roots of a mangrove tree on Panama’s Pacific coast. Mangrove trees grow particularly large in this area. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
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