Mangroves

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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 .
Mangrove roots provide support for filter-feeders like sponges, mussels,...
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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...

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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...
Dr. Feller at White Pond on the island of Twin Cays, Belize. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
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 grow in a saline salt), but they are not...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that are folded over one another, with colors ranging from blue to green, with purple and red lining. The green coloring is...
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 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...
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 .
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...
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...
More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt marsh, environmental chemist Dr. Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution finds that the oil is still...
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...
What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can...
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 .
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...
Smithsonian research assistant Anne Chamberlain and Marc Frischer from Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia, stride through thick mud covered by algal mats in a mangrove pond at...
The dense aerial root system of this mangrove forest in Pelican Cays, Belize, creates a strong but permeable barrier to waves and currents. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
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...
In Edgewater, Maryland, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center examine the influences of climate change, excess nutrients, and surrounding habitats on mangroves. They have also...
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...
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