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Mangrove roots provide support for filter-feeders like sponges, mussels, oysters, and barnacles. These play an important role in keeping the water clear. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
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Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing...
This beautiful bromeliad, also called an air plant because it gets its...
Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian...

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In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the land, mangrove trees serve...
An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass ...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Dr. Wayne Sousa (right) studies how gaps in the canopy caused by lightning help mangrove forests regenerate. More about mangroves can be...
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...
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...
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, opening up a well that pumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. It was the largest spill in U.S. history. In this presentation...
A map that shows the location of mangroves throughout the world. They are mainly found in the tropics and subtropics. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
From the water, red mangroves appear to form an impenetrable tangle of roots, trunks, and leaves—a protective barrier against storms and tsunamis. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves...
Dr. Ilka C. "Candy" Feller calls mangroves the 'nursery of the sea.' These important coastal habitats face many threats, including nutrient pollution from fertilizer runoff. That's the focus of much...
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...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest. Mangrove roots help to build the peat underlying mangrove islands Over thousands of years, the organic deposits grow to...
Smithsonian Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow, Seabird McKeon, returns from the Smithsonian field site in Belize. Together with Dan Barshis of Stanford University, Seabird reports on the...
The sun sets over marshland near Ocean City, N.J.
This week at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal we embark on an experiment we're calling "Make Me Care." The concept is simple: we ask a renowned expert to tell us why we should care about his or her...
Mangrove roots provide support for filter-feeders like sponges, mussels, oysters, and barnacles. These play an important role in keeping the water clear. More about mangroves can be found in our...
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...
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...
Rivulus fish live in bodies of water that sometimes become contaminated with hydrogen sulfide—an extremely toxic compound that smells like rotten eggs. When this happens, the adaptable fish wiggle...
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...
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