Mangroves

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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 hold up...
Photographer Brian Skerry hikes through a mangrove in Bimini (The Bahamas) to...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest...

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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 hold up to five times more...
In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis )...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
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...
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...
An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the...
Dr. Karen L. McKee collects a peat core in a mangrove forest in Belize. It will help her reconstruct how mangroves have changed over the past 8,000 years. Dr. McKee’s research has shown that when...
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...
Mangroves canopies support an amazing array of life—including this mangrove yellow warbler ( Dendroica petechia bryanti ), the most common songbird in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay...
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought the world’s attention to the Gulf of Mexico and raised awareness of the region’s chronic loss of wetlands and the massive dead zone caused by excess nutrients...
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...
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...
The Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Cay Marine Field Station supports research projects of marine scientists year-round. It offers ready access to thousands of small mangrove islands as well as countless...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands...
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