Mangroves

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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 strong in the...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest...
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Happy International Mangrove Action Day! This occasion is a small but vibrant...
Arching mangrove roots like these help keep trunks upright in the soft...

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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 southern coast of the United States...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues are investigating important questions and issues related to mangrove ecosystems. • At the Smithsonian Marine Field Station on Carrie Bow Cay in Belize ,...
This orchid ( Brassavola sp. ) grows in the mangroves of Belize—providing a spot of grace and beauty amidst the mud. More about the plants and animals found in mangrove forests can be found in the...
Happy International Mangrove Action Day! This occasion is a small but vibrant tradition that has been observed annually on July 26th for nearly a decade in countries around the globe, including the U...
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...
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 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...
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...
This shrimp farm in southern Belize is just one example of how mangroves worldwide are giving way to human development. In just the last decade, at least 35 percent of the world's mangroves have been...
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...
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...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several species of geckos that live in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay. More about mangroves can be found in our...
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...
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 .
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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