Mangroves

Through the use of specially adapted filtration systems, mangrove trees manage to survive in hot, salty and muddy conditions that would kill your average tree. They play a vital role in the ecosystem, especially as a nursery to many commercially important fish.

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A thick stand of mangroves with tangled roots lines an island creek in Panama.

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Mangroves

Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems.

Smithsonian Research Stations

These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues are investigating important questions and issues related to mangrove ecosystems. • At...

Oil in the Ocean

In summer 2009, in the heart of New Orleans, a 600-foot tanker collided with a 200-foot fuel barge, tearing the barge in half. Several hundred thousand gallons of oil leaked out of the barge...

Lessons from the Panama Oil Spill

On April 27, 1986, an estimated 50,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil drained from a ruptured storage tank at a refinery in Panama, polluting the coast and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Galeta Marine...
Mangroves abut blue ocean waters.

Mangroves: One Species at a Time

Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as they scramble, climb, crawl, and creep through the tangled roots of a mangrove forest. In this episode of the Podcast...

Make Me Care About: Phragmites (Video)

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 phragmites...
A landscape photo of a shoreline with tall grass-like plants lining the water's edge.

Make Me Care About: Phragmites

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 phragmites...
This shrimp is colored to fit in - probably why they are common members of the seaweed community.

A World Adrift: Life in the Sargassum Slideshow

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 seemingly invisible inhabitants of drifting sargassum seaweeds...
A thick stand of mangroves with tangled roots lines an island creek in Panama.

Mangroves

Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would quickly kill most plants. How do they do it? Through a series of impressive adaptations—including...

Finding Mangroves In Unexpected Places

A newly established black mangrove sits in a field of salt marsh near the northern limit of mangroves in Florida. Mangroves have been expanding near their northern limit in Florida and the expansion is...
Mangrove roots provide an underwater habitat for many marine species.

Mangroves: Photos of Plants and Animals

Mangrove is the name for a tree—and also for a complex ecosystem—that bridges land and sea. There are around 70 species of mangrove trees (meaning trees that can grow in salty water and soils),...

Miami Connects Art and Mangrove Restoration

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...

MarineGEO: A Global Research Network

The Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), directed by the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON), is the first long-term, worldwide research program to focus on understanding coastal marine life and its role in maintaining...

Living on the Edge: Mangroves

Mangroves are the biological buffers between land and sea. Without them, communities living along shorelines would be directly exposed to violent storm surge and erosion. Also crucial to fish communities, mangroves provide fertile nursery...

Inside the Mangrove Forest

Welcome to the mangrove forest, where the daily rhythm of the tides sets the pace. These coastal wetlands create a sanctuary for an extraordinary range of creatures, three-fourths of all tropical fish are born...
Mangroves on the edge of the water.

Mangrove Restoration: Letting Mother Nature Do The Work

Red mangroves form an impenetrable, protective barrier against storms and tsunamis. Credit: Smithsonian Institution By Hannah Waters The ecological importance of coastal mangrove forests is common knowledge today. The trees’ gnarled roots , submerged...

Investigating Nutrient Pollution's Impact on Mangroves

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...
Kopelman Watercolor Detail

Up Close and Personal with a Mangrove Root

Kopelman's watercolors focus on the beautiful sponges that attach to mangrove roots. Credit: Irene Kopelman I got a lot of funny looks at the airport when I opened the oversized cooler for the baggage...